Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Time Magazine Ties Americans To Ugandan Anti-Gay Legislation

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It's one thing for Rachel Maddow to make the connection, Time Magazine is another story.

Time's Zoe Alsop is sure to rattle some high-profile cages, with a new story, featuring the disturbing headline, "Uganda's Draconian Anti-Gay Bill: Inspired by the U.S."

The proposed legislation, initially has called for the execution of gays. It is now being reported that the death penalty is apparently going to be removed from the bill. However Ugandans could face years in prison for merely 'attempting' to commit a consexual homosexual act. Others, including members of the Ugandan press, face years of incarceration simply for not reporting about people that they know to be gay. Additionally, convicted homosexuals now may face forced conversion therapy. Lobotomy, anyone?

Meanwhile, according to Alsop,
The bill has an American genesis of sorts, inspired to a large extent by the visits of U.S. evangelicals who are involved with a movement that promotes Christianity's role in getting homosexuals to become "ex-gays" through prayer and faith. Ugandan supporters of the bill appear to be particularly impressed by the ideas of Scott Lively, a California conservative preacher who has written a book, The Pink Swastika, about what he calls the links between Nazism and a gay agenda for world domination, which, by itself, would have raised the anti-colonial sensitivities of Ugandan society.

Additionally, Alsop writes,
One of the bill's loudest supporters is a charismatic pastor, Martin Ssempa, who heads a Ugandan campus AIDS eradication organization that is funded in part by the U.S. and who was associated with the global outreach of Southern California's Saddleback Church, run by Rick Warren, author of best-selling book The Purpose Driven Life.

Alsop adds,
Rick Warren, however, seems to be avoiding tackling the subject directly. Although he cut ties with Ssempa, the popular preacher released a statement to Newsweek saying, "It is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations." That position irks the Rev. Kaoma, who is an Anglican pastor with the Archdiocese of Boston. Warren, he says, has immense influence among Uganda's political élite, counting many parliamentarians, including the country's First Lady Janet Museveni (who is reportedly close to Ssempa), among his friends. "He eats with them, he knows what goes on, they respect him," said Kaoma in a conference call. At the very least, Warren could get his purpose-driven nation to reflect on the purpose of this severe piece of legislation.

[UPDATE] Faced with a barrage of criticism, Warren has now chosen to speak out publicly against this proposed law. The Joe My God blog has the text and video.

'Family' ties

Rachel Maddow, on Wednesday night, continued to focus major coverage on this. Her guest, Harper Magazine contributor Jeff Sharlet, has authored a book on the tentacles of The Family, an international, right-wing religious organization with enormous political clout. Sharlet shared some information, suggesting that Ugandan members of The Family have been behind this proposed law from the time of its first formulation and prominent American members of the fellowship, at the very least, have done nothing to stop its progression.

As was reported on Maddow's show, the proposed anti-gay bill was proposed at a Ugandan prayer breakfast, by a Ugandan member of The Family.

While it is being reported that there is a schism on this going on within that religious clique, there has been no willingness to interfere, as is now being alleged, with Ugandan affairs. As Maddow pointed out, they didn't have a problem interfering when it came to railing against condom distribution in that country.

Meanwhile, progressives in Iowa have now challenged their Senator, Chuck Grassley, who is very close with Uganda, to speak out on this to Ugandan officals. He has yet to show a willingness to do so.

Guess who's coming to breakfast?

Maddow's biggest bombshell was the fact that the Ugandans who have introduced this legislation are quite possibly going to be attending an upcoming February prayer breakfast in the Capitol, where President Obama will be speaking.

I'll keep you posted with future developments on this, including a look into some of the Ugandan papers. If you want a real education, just read some of the comments in their daily papers. Backwards, and extreme, religious-justified hatred don't nearly begin to describe what some of these Ugandans believe. Reading their vicious and ignorant comments is like taking a nightmarish leap back to a highly uncivilized time and place. In Uganda, the clock has stopped.

And this from a nation that suffered the violent excesses of Idi Amin.

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