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Uganda: Where All Men Are Straight…Or ELSE!

January 9, 2010

The recent anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda is a disgrace.  I was shocked and now saddened after reading the news.  I feel embarrassed for those people whose preoccupation with strangers’ genitals has led them to a life trying to affect what those strangers can or can not do with them.  Honestly, what sits at the bottom of their wellspring of fear; what lurks in that dark that frightens them to act at such great length?  Can they truly believe their own rhetoric of a “gay agenda” whereby gay men and women are actively trying to destroy marriage, the traditional family unit, promote promiscuity and “recruit” new homosexuals?  If so, how fragile their own sexuality and relationships must be.  How weak the trust in their own beliefs and value systems in a pluralistic world.  I believe it is not the devil they fear, but themselves.

And to rest those insecure men assured, you did not choose your sexuality, unless you are one of the “reformed” gay Christians.  Other people engaging in homosexual behavior will not make you, your spouse or children homosexual.  Please cease and desist as the world does not need you to work out your personal demons on a global stage.  This plea is directed not only to the supporters and lawmakers of the bill in Uganda, but especially to those Evangelical Christians who have made the spreading of their beliefs and values one of their lives’ missions. 

This case represents exactly what can go wrong with the growing collusion of the development field and religion.  When Scott Lively, Caleb Brundidge and Don Schmierer went to Uganda last March to support Uganda’s anti-homosexual movement, their ignorance of history, political forces, and cultural context allowed them to unwittingly become the legitimization needed for this bill to be created.  Ignorance does not excuse them from culpability. 

This instance of American evangelicals abroad advocating their socially conservative agenda is exactly the kind of problem that is bound to occur as Christians understand that their greatest opportunity for growth is outside of the United States.  They have found a cornucopia of bodies to aid and souls to save in developing countries.  Even though they may have chosen timely issues and use development jargon, their ultimate goal is not to reach the Millennium Development Goals or reduce greenhouse gases.  This excerpt is from a article on the Evangelical Rick Warren:

 When Warren hears that other NGOs in Rwanda repeatedly told TIME that PEACE could offer no working examples of tangible aid-and-development projects, he laughs for 10 full seconds. “You were talking to the wrong guys,” he says. Most aid-and-development experts, he claims, depend on Western-style measurements and reports. Rwandan churches, he says, have neither the time nor the obligation to produce them. Moreover, he asserts that executing a program involving spiritual goals through churches initially produces “results that tend not to be programmatic — they tend to be life change.” (For instance, PEACE has recorded 10,000 baptisms in Rwanda.) Even when classic development programs are under way, he continues, “we don’t sacrifice sustainability for speed. If you go back to my very first message in 2003, I said, This is going to take 50 years.” He adds, “My confidence is not that I’ve got it all figured out. My confidence is, Jesus said, ‘Do these five things,’ and we’ve got the people out there.” He is comfortable “building the plane as we fly it.”

This is the most irresponsible unsustainable model for development that I think I have ever seen.  No baseline data collected, no proof of concept.  He has no way of knowing whether the results are negative or positive and no point of reference to improve any of his projects if they are not working efficiently.  But development is not his goal: it’s spreading his religion.  In this model he saves the souls and God is supposed to do all the hard work of actually building infrastructure and capabilities.  Personal faith in God is wonderful; faith that he will magically take care of your well-intentioned mess is delusional.      

There are those of us who are truly working towards goals of human development without an ulterior motive or agenda.  International development field workers and administrators are doing their due diligence with only the motivation of trying to improve the quality of life for all people.  Many of these people are religious and let their faith direct them in the lives they have chosen.  A life of service is altruistic; a life of service for the sake of other goals is only opportunistic.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Moot_. permalink
    January 14, 2010 8:19 pm

    An informative and honest take on the situation from homosexuals on the ground in Uganda.

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