¨IT MIGHT seem only a nasty coincidence. As gay rights advance in the West—France and New Zealand are the latest countries to legalise same-sex marriage—homophobia is on the rise elsewhere. But these apparently contradictory trends may be related. Confounded at home, a crusading squad of American conservative Christians are taking the fight abroad.
In an unusual case, brought under the Alien Tort Statute, a judge in Massachusetts is pondering a claim by Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), a gay-rights group, against Scott Lively, a preacher and co-author of “The Pink Swastika” (which argues that Nazism was fuelled by homosexuality). Mr Lively visited Uganda in 2009, meeting politicians, appearing on television, and sharing his theories about homosexuals’ recruitment of youngsters.
This episode is part of a wider campaign. Other preachers, such as Lou Engle, a fundamentalist pastor at a megachurch in Kansas, have also been to Uganda. A new documentary, “God Loves Uganda”, depicts co-ordination between the visitors, resident missionaries and American-trained Ugandan priests. Offshoots of the American Centre for Law and Justice (ACLJ), a group founded by the televangelist Pat Robertson, in Kenya and Zimbabwe, are said to have resisted gay-friendly changes to their constitutions. (The ACLJ insists it “does not export an agenda”.)Shortly afterwards a Ugandan MP introduced a parliamentary bill that would stiffen existing penalties for homosexual behaviour; among other drastic measures it mandated the death sentence for “aggravated” homosexuality. Amid a burst of anti-gay vitriol, and headlines such as “Hang Them, They Are After Our Kids”, a gay activist was murdered. SMUG alleges that, on this occasion and previously, Mr Lively conspired to persecute Ugandan homosexuals. He says he advocated therapy and prevention, not harsh punishments.
In Africa campaigners adopt the language of anti-colonialism, portraying gay rights, and even homosexuality itself, as Western impositions; opponents counter that the criminalisation of gay sex is itself largely a legacy of empire. But the rhetoric and tactics are flexible. The Americans are happy, when necessary, to co-operate with like-minded Roman Catholic and Orthodox believers, which barely count as Christian in the eyes of extreme Protestants. Hardline Islamists are tacit allies too...¨please read it all
¨If you go to the second floor of the National Museum of American History inWashington, D.C., you’ll find a small room containing an 18...
REAL HERO/REAL LIFE: Bishop John Shelby Spong
“I was simply interpreting a rising consciousness,” he said. “Whether it was race or women or homosexual people, the issue was always the same: fighting against anything that dehumanizes a child of God on the basis of an external characteristic.” Bishop John Shelby Spong (click on his photo)
IT GETS BETTER--Archbishop Desmond Tutu supports LGBT full acceptance and inclusion too!
¨Churches say that the expression of love in a heterosexual monogamous relationship includes the physical, the touching, embracing, kissing, the genital act - the totality of our love makes each of us grow to become increasingly godlike and compassionate. If this is so for the heterosexual, what earthly reason have we to say that it is not the case with the homosexual?¨ Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The No Anglican Covenant Coalition -- COMPREHENSIVE UNITY
A VERY UN-ANGLICAN COVENANT (click on logo)
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