The NYT has just discovered the Ugandan bill, inspired by key American Christianists, that will round up, jail and execute homosexuals. (Non-MSM readers would have been following this essential story for months on Box Turtle Bulletin). The multi-media page is superb. What's fascinating is that the rhetoric the Christianists use is the same in Africa as it is in America, but in Africa, the public consensus is so anti-gay already that the consequences of this demonization are felt much more immediately and brutally. Here's the American rhetoric:
For three days, according to participants and audio recordings, thousands of Ugandans, including police officers, teachers and national politicians, listened raptly to the Americans, who were presented as experts on homosexuality. The visitors discussed how to make gay people straight, how gay men often sodomized teenage boys and how “the gay movement is an evil institution” whose goal is “to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity.”
If a movement is "evil" and trying to "defeat" all families, as evangelicals claim of gays (and Nazis and Communists said of gays), then of course some already predisposed against gays would believe it is essential to identify, round up, forcibly cure or execute this foul threat from within. And yet the Americans now claim they are shocked, shocked! by the results of their strategy. Maybe they are.
If so, they should have provided some smidgen of balance in their campaign to demonize a tiny minority of already persecuted people:
The Ugandan organizers of the conference admit helping draft the bill, and Mr. Lively has acknowledged meeting with Ugandan lawmakers to discuss it. He even wrote on his blog in March that someone had likened their campaign to “a nuclear bomb against the gay agenda in Uganda.” Later, when confronted with criticism, Mr. Lively said he was very disappointed that the legislation was so harsh.
So a nuclear bomb is fine as a metaphor, but actual executing gays is too far. (And remember that Lively has written a disgusting little book claiming that Nazism itself was a gay plot.) But wasn't Lively right in the first place? The Bible is absolutely clear that the death penalty applies to homosexuals. Why are these Christianists not following God's literal truth? Or now that they have unleashed a proto-fascist pogrom against gay, bi and trans people in Africa, have they finally come to terms with the actual consequences of what they actually believe? Here's hoping it's the latter.
But if you ever wondered what the ultimate fantasies of the Christianist right are with respect to gay people, just look at what they say when they think no American is listening.
(Photo: an execution of two young men accused of homosexuality in Iran three four and a half years ago. American evangelicals helped craft a Ugandan law that would replicate Iran's policy in Africa.)