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News Anti-Homosexuality in Africa

  1. May 27, 2010 #1


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    Anti-Homosexuality in Africa - and the influence of American Evangelists

    Earlier this month, a Presidential Commission in Uganda recommended against passing an anti-homosexuality bill (proposed last year) which punishes homosexuals with life imprisonment (and the death penalty for repeat "offenses" or being an HIV-positive gay) and imprisonment for others who refuse to inform the police about people they know to be homosexuals.


    While the bill appears to be overwhelmingly supported by the public, the only reason it hasn't yet passed is because Uganda's economy is hugely supported by foreign aid (to the extent of about a third), and there has been a strong backlash from donor nations. Sweden, for instance, has threatened to pull all aid if the bill passes.

    I recently watched an investigative report on this issue made by Peabody Award winner and journalist, Mariana van Zeller, working with the Vanguard documentary series:

    LINK to documentary (watch it!) ====> http://www.hulu.com/watch/150328/vanguard-missionaries-of-hate [Broken]

    We will have to wait and see how this plays out over the coming months. Among the American Evangelical preachers who were key players in Uganda, the only prominent one who has openly denounced the bill appears to be Rick Warren. Others, like Scot Lively support the bill, but oppose the death penalty requirement. Within Uganda, some proponents of the bill (especially Catholic churches) are pushing for a version of the bill without the death penalty, expecting that it will then see weaker opposition from foreign influences.

    Feel free to voice your thoughts on the issue, but please stay on topic. It is much too easy to drift away into tangential discussions, so let's try to be mindful of that.

    Other references:

    1. " Homosexuality in “Traditional” Sub-Saharan Africa and Contemporary South
    Africa" (2005), Stephen O. Murray - [link to pdf file]

    2. MSNBC's Rachel Maddow ran a series on this issue:

    3. AP article about progress of the bill, Jan 2010: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/01/08/AR2010010803673.html
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2010 #2
    Lol, I love the 'Uganda be kidding me' hahahahahaha.

    I believe however that an anti-homosexuality thought line has been in Africa for a fairly long time. I'm tempted to say prior to Christian missions there but I'm not entirely sure so I'll look it up. The Evangelical preaching probably led to a belief that they need to make it a more 'severe type of crime'.

    Personally I think that all nations have the right to act on their own and in the best interests of their nation. So if they feel this is a law they must pass then so be-it. If Sweden feels that they must pull aid out of Uganda, then so be it... I think that it'd be more than just Sweden pulling out aid however, even if they follow the Catholic Churches version.

    I think that it would be fair game to play hardball with Uganda if this bill goes through, I mean really what does Uganda have to offer to the world? A bit of copper? Who cares??? The only reason people really help them is specifically to help the people. I do not think they get anything in return for that investment other than knowing the people have a better chance to live in one of the poorest nations in the world. If they start killing or jailing people of the nation which the support nations are specifically trying to protect(all the citizens) then I don't see any further reason support should flow in.

    QUESTION: Does any other African nation hold a similar law already in place and actively used?
  4. May 27, 2010 #3
    This is basically just as bad as what Hitler was doing to the Jews. You don't think that deserves intervention?
  5. May 27, 2010 #4
    If other nations think it's in their best-interest to intervene then of course that means intervention. I don't see how that's hard to understand and I don't see why you had to fall to Godwins Law so early on in the thread.

    I'm pretty sure I drew out that a country acting in it's best interest certainly can take support out and even go further. Way to selectively quote and then try to 'attack' a misrepresentation of what I had actually said.
  6. May 27, 2010 #5


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    Yes, homosexuality has been taboo in Africa since long before the missionaries got there. In fact, if I recall correctly, one of the US pastors (in the documentary) cites this as a big reason for their focused interest in spreading Christianity through Africa.

    At least a dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa have banned homosexuality, but the punishment has never risen to the level of life imprisonment or death. While some countries, like China, have never had laws banning sodomy, most western countries have lad laws in the books until only relatively recently. Among the earliest countries in the west to fully legalize homosexuality were the Scandinavians, early in the 20th Century. Most other countries followed suit between 1960 and the 80s. Texas' sodomy law was struck down by the US Supreme Court less than a decade ago. Some Commonwealth countries (like India) that did not previously have laws against sodomy, inherited them from the British penal code. India's Supreme Court finally struck down its anti-gay part of the penal code only last year. Singapore still retains section 377 (the part of British Penal Code that bans homosexual acts), but has reduced the punishment to 2 years in jail (a walk in the park, compared to their drug violation terms). Russia threw out its sodomy laws when the USSR broke up, and it started out with a fresh constitution. Of course, some countries that no longer have laws against gays in general still discriminate against them in the military.
    Last edited: May 27, 2010
  7. May 27, 2010 #6
    Hmm, well I hope that this bill does not pass through, and I hope that if it does pass that countries do withdraw support in Uganda. This could very well set a precedent for the other nations to take a more severe approach to dealing with homosexuality if they perceive that 'nothing will come of it' in terms of support they receive. We can't allow that to happen (not saying it will 100% but we shouldn't allow an opportunity to arise).

    I'd imagine though that homosexuality is 'rare' in African, at least open homosexuality.
  8. May 27, 2010 #7
    I had to look that one up, I didn't know what Godwin's Law is. But you used it wrong.
    "Godwin's Law" isn't just the referencing of Hitler.
    Yeah, they can do this and they can do that. They can do anything they want. I was just asking if you thought it deserved intervention. I do. Like if someone is getting attacked on the street, my position is that if someone sees it, they should do what they can to help. Not "well if they want to help, they can, if they don't want to, they can do that too".
  9. May 27, 2010 #8
    You'd be surprised how many people don't help. It is a choice we have, I like you agree that we should help. We also shouldn't allow gross crimes against humanity occur, but we allow that to happen to. (ever heard of Darfur? Rwanda? yes even the Holocaust.) There's always a choice to not help.

    If you go on youtube I'm sure you can find plenty of videos where people are recording someone fighting for their life, or dying on the floor and people just walk on by them. There was security footage of this one guy who was shot, he was laying there bleeding to death and NO ONE attempted to help him, in fact one guy even stopped and took a picture of him... We lived in a messed up world.

    As well here's Godwins Law:
  10. May 27, 2010 #9
    I'm aware of all of that. Everything's a choice, but I believe there are things people should or shouldn't do, regardless of the fact that they have a choice. I'd like to believe other good people think the same way and not "well if they want to help that dying man, they can, but if they don't, that's their choice".
    I don't see how that applies to me. The mere utterance of his name doesn't fit that definition.
  11. May 27, 2010 #10
    Well first of all I don't see how your personal opinion matters much to what I had originally stated. But, to bring this back on topic, dealing with international sanctions and withdrawl of personal aid to one of the poorest nations in the world is hardly a simple choice to make. I think I expressed my opinion on this matter quite clearly in my original post.

    Well first, yes that's what Godwins Law DOES mean(unless it's a thread specifically about Hitler and Nazi's then it obviously doesn't apply). It just means that as any online discussion continues (on for infinity) the probabilty of a comparisson being made to Nazi's or Hitler approaches 1 (100%). You fulfilled that within the first 3 posts of this thread :rofl:. As an aside you didn't 'merely utter his name' You made a direct comparisson to what 'Hitler did to the Jews'. So your wrong on both counts here. You sure do love to argue I've noticed and it seems to me more often than not that you are always on the side with little to no support. Do you just like playing devils advocate or are you just a very argumentatitive person?
  12. May 27, 2010 #11
    And then I asked a question which you lost your temper over for no apparent reason.
    So any time someone compares anything with Hitler, it's "Godwin's law"? No. That's just the probability of it happening (which is a fake probability in the first place).
    I like to discuss things, which is something people like you aren't capable of without getting upset and resorting to ad hominem.
    1.) I can't argue with myself. That's pretty interesting that someone arguing with me is calling me out for being argumentative.
    2.) I have no support in here, as opposed to your hordes of supporters? Please name them.
  13. May 27, 2010 #12
    we should send http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Haggard" [Broken] on a fact-finding mission
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  14. May 27, 2010 #13


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    I'm confused - if black people had bad things done to them in the past , doesn't that mean that anything black people do can't be bad?
  15. May 27, 2010 #14
    This type of logic is completely flawed. It might be in my best interested to kill you and steal your money - so that makes it permissible?
  16. May 27, 2010 #15
    Permissible to who? To yourself? Of course. To me? No... now let's see who has got the bigger guns, or the most support.

    You forget, we're talking about an entire nation here. I don't think my logic is flawed at all... in fact it's somewhat borrowed from von Clausewitz.

    Actually I'd say your logic is flawed. Do you really think it's in your best interest to kill me and steal my money? Worth going to jail over the 80$ in my wallet? I don't know... you might be being dishonest to yourself. It'd probably be in your best interest to ask me to borrow some money though.
  17. May 28, 2010 #16
    Evanglical christrianity, like what we saw backing up the Bush administration, has been growing rapidly, not just in the US but also in many parts of the non-islamic third world, spreading their poison and intolerance to places where there is little to no firmly established progressivists to moderate their hate.

    What's also interesting to note is at the same time in the islamic world there has been a big rise in their version of evangelism: wahabbist islam. Personally I feel with both of these groups on the rise after a few decades it will cause a lot of trouble.


    This isn't true, it was decriminalized in 1999 and there has been a huge bias against homosexuals for a few centuries now.
  18. May 28, 2010 #17


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    I am not well-read on this subject, and what little knowledge I have comes from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LGBT_rights_in_China

    From what I read, while there has long been a cultural bias against homosexuality, it has never risen anywhere near the level of homophobia prevalent in the west. In fact, Taoism preaches that it is good for everyone to have a balance of yin and yang. Some dynasties treated homosexuality as a mild crime, but the taboo grew significantly only as recently as the mid-20th century.

    PS: I do not wish to get into detail about gay rights in China. If you wish to add anything to this, I will let that be the last word on the Chinese situation, lest we derail the thread from its primary intent.
  19. May 28, 2010 #18
    Seriously? We are going to lump in all evangelical Christians with the few radicals who claim the title?
    This would be like saying all Catholics are pedophiles, or all Muslims are terrorists.
  20. May 28, 2010 #19
    No, Evangelical beliefs automatically come with no-nonsense acceptance of the bible. They believe the bible is infallible and everything in the gospels is to be followed exactly as is. So yes, they are against gays because it says so in the bible. They believe that dinosaurs existed alongside man, they believe that the Earth is quite young.

    Your comparisson is wrong because part of being Catholic doesn't involve the belief in being a pedophile, and part of being Muslim doesn't require the belief of being a terrorist. Part of being an Evangelical Christian however requires 100% acceptance of the bible as infallible. The bible is also at the highest point of authority in their lives. If you've ever read the bible you can quickly see why this would be considered as 'poison' and 'intolerance'.
  21. May 28, 2010 #20


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    I heard there was a 'new' sequel out by some guy that was all about the meek and sinners and how you shouldn't cast the first stone.
    Perhaps we could club together and get a few sent out to these people, should be a simple 'mission'.
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