Thursday, March 11, 2010

ABC News: American evangelical pastor(s) may have stirred "anti-gay" unrest in Uganda, helping pust draconian bill in that country's parliament

On Wednesday March 10, ABC News (on World News Tonight and then on Nightline) reported again on a bill in the parliament in Uganda that may be the most draconian anti-gay law ever proposed, jailing parents or friends who do not report homosexuals as well as prohibiting homosexual literature and sometimes providing the death penatly for some gays.

The story claims that some American evengelical pastors, especially Scott Lively from Springfield MA (ironic), fueled the fire there.

The ABC News story is by Dan Harris, Kate Hinman, and Almin Karamehmedovic, “Anti-Homosexual Bill In Uganda Causes Global Uproar
The Proposed Bill Could Punish Homosexuals Who Marry With Life In Prison”, with link here.

ABC has also been reporting on child sacrifice in Uganda.

Lively (“Defend the Family”; link) has authored a book “Pink Swastikas: Homosexuality in the Nazi Party” , with Kevin Abrams, from Veritas, from as far back as 1995 and 2002. The ABC report mentioned the book. The reader reviews on Amazon present a mixed picture, to say the least, especially about the accurate use of factual sources. There is a book by Lothar Machtan, translated from German, from Basic Books, “The Hidden Hitler: The Double Life of a Dictator” where the author repeatedly refers to “Hitler’s homosexuality.” In 2004 Cinemax aired the indie film “The Hidden Hitler: Debating the Enigma of Hitler’s Sexuality” bu Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato with Gabriel Rotello (the latter also known for an anit-gay book on AIDS

A Ugandan pastor named Martin Ssempa (at one time invited by Rick Warren -- who himself spoke at Obama's inauguration -- to speak at Saddleback) equated homosexuality to “sexual terrorism” intent, he claims, on "destroying marriage-based society", perhaps by making it seem socially "meaningless" or optional. He demands collective, emotional response to his accusations (as does Lively) and expresses indignation that some people would simply ignore his rants. His statements seemed to feed on “victimization” mentality and strong together accusations (of an “us vs. them” sort) that did not make logical sense. Yet, like many authoritarian figures, we was able to stir up public fervor with frightening anti-gay demonstrations, maybe the most vitriolic in history. While this tactic was in fact used in Nazi Germany to gain power, it appeals to dictators in tribal societies around the third world. In Ssempa's "statements", there is a suggestion than male homosexuality tends to aim to make less secure men less comfortable with the idea that they should and will be able to have families themselves, as a result of psychological reaction formation. The rhetoric also reflects the human social tendency to want to see others have to follow the same "collective" goals and norms that one has been expected to follow.

The original story about the Uganda bill appeared Nov. 30, 2009 on my GLBT blog.

Wikipedia attribution link for ehnic languages map of Uganda here.

Update: March 12

Desmond Tutu has an important op-ed in the Washington Post today, "In Africa, a step backward on human rights", link here. "The writer is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa. Besides the situation un Uganda, he discusses Senegal, Malawi, and Kenya. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984."

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