We've talked in the context of the kill-the-gays law in Uganda about how the American Evangelicals have been responsible for stirring up the hate. (See previous posts here and here). The new issue of the Advocate has a detailed cover story from Jeff Sharlet talking not just about exporting the culture war to Uganda, but throughout Africa. And as this graphic from Wikipedia shows, they have been very successful.
Death sentences in Nigeria. Prison terms in Malawi. Violent, homophobic rhetoric spewed by dictators in Zimbabwe and Gambia. Perhaps nowhere on earth are gays persecuted more than in Africa — ground zero for a culture war waged by U.S. religious and political leaders.Interviewing a virulently anti-gay American evangelical in uganda, Sharlet writes
I explained that I was interested in their view of the death penalty for homosexuality. Tommy shook his head. Tough one.If you look at the map, you can see the effect of all this: Africa stands out as a backward place where people are murdered for who they are. Even as we win battles in Europe, the US, and central and south America, our GLBT brothers and sisters are being abused, imprisoned, tortured, and put to death at the behest of Americans. Exporting their hate.
“Well, I’m totally against killing them. Because some of them can be saved, and changed. But the thing is, you can’t force them to stop. It’s been tried! But it don’t work.” He shook his head over the problem on all sides — the homosexuals, themselves, and his Ugandan friends, so on fire for the gospel that they’d gone too far in an antigay crusade. That’s how it is with Ugandans, he explained. They’re a bighearted people, but they get ahead of themselves sometimes. That’s where Americans could help.
“What they need,” Tommy proposed, “is a special place, like, for people doing homosexual things to learn different. A camp, like.”
“Keep them all in one place?” I asked.
“Yes. I think that’s what we have to try,” he said. “Because the thing is, the Bible says we can’t kill them. And we can’t put them in prison because that’d be like putting a normal fella in a whorehouse!” Teresa chuckled with her husband. A camp in which to concentrate the offenders — that was the compassionate solution.