20 June 2013 | bkoganbing
.........and so does the Religious Right
As more and more people in the USA are getting wise to the fearmongering of the Religious Right here and in the western culture, they've decided their fertile field is in the Third World specifically Africa. The test case for them seems to be the troubled country of Uganda, known until recently as the place where Idi Amin ruled in the Seventies and hosted the terrorists in Entebbe who hijacked an El Al airliner.
Idi Amin is gone now, but the craziness lives on. And now it is being fueled by our Christian Right who have decided that this is a fertile evangelical field for their kind of religion which includes a mindless fear of gays. Not that it wasn't there before, but it's being brought to a high boil.
It is incredibly ironic for a multitude of reasons. First until the missionaries came and told them so, most Africans didn't realize gay was so evil. Secondly the colonial powers didn't unlearn their colonies about gays when they left in 50s and 60s. Third those same powers are now one by one allowing lesbians and gays to marry.
In walks the religious right and the bacillus of homophobia is injected in the body politic. The efforts of the right wing evangelicals there have culminated in one of the strictest of sodomy laws, not seen for two centuries. Life in prison for a first offense of sodomy, death for 'aggravated' homosexuality.
The Ugandan Parliament has been toying with this bill for over a year now. Other countries in Africa like Ethiopia and Nigeria have gone ahead and have passed such legislation.
But the reason that Uganda has gotten such attention is its best flirting with terrorism and because of the fact that gay activist David Kato was murdered two years ago. Kato became the face for African homophobia as surely as Matthew Shepard did in the USA. From what I know of him he was a Nelson Mandela figure for the LGBT folks of the sub-Saharan African continent.
The God of God Loves Uganda is not the creation of the religious right, it is the God who recognizes that love is the strongest force in the Universe even if it is between same gender people. This film is an expose of the other God who finds no place in his kingdom for LGBT people.
Watching documentaries such as these you wonder why people condemn themselves out of their own mouths. The news here is just reported, not laid on with a heavy hand. With some cross cutting footage from gay Ugandans and friendly clergy the impact of their statements is positively condemnatory.
The scenes of beating of gay men after a rousing sermon and a rousing session of the Ugandan Parliament that looked like a lynch mob is powerful and disturbing. As surely as Jews were made scapegoats LGBT people are the same, the parallels with Nazi Germany are too clear to overlook.
God Loves Uganda should be seen and reseen by all LGBT people and their straight allies. Every Gay/Straight Alliance group should get this for showing once it's commercially available. Every LGBT youth group like Gay/Lesbian Youth Service in my town and in all areas should have this film shown. The stories of the gay Africans will inspire you.
And this film review is humbly dedicated to David Kato that gentle soul who battled with love, reason, and information against a ruthless enemy. May his spirit triumph.