Gospel of Intolerance: American Evangelicals Finance Uganda’s Anti-Gay Policies

In a New York Times Op Ed yesterday, Roger Ross Williams -a New York based filmmaker – discussed how thanks to several American fundamentalist Christian groups, Uganda has been able to shape and mold their anti-fay policies.  These are the same ideologies and policies that lead to the now-infamous Kill the Gays legislation. In his short film Williams reveals how money donated by American evangelicals helped to finance the violent anti-gay movement in Uganda. In introducing the short documentary film attached to the opinion, Williams said:

Raised in Pennsylvania, I grew up in the black church. My father was a religious leader in the community, and my sister is a pastor. I went to church every Sunday and sang in the choir. But for all that the church gave me — for all that it represented belonging, love and community — it also shut its doors to me as a gay person. That experience left me with the lifelong desire to explore the power of religion to transform lives or destroy them. I became interested in Uganda, an intensely religious country that attracts many American missionaries and much funding from United States faith-based organizations. The American evangelical movement in Africa does valuable work in helping the poor. But as you’ll see in this Op-Doc video, some of their efforts and money feed a dangerous ideology that seeks to demonize L.G.B.T. people and intensifies religious rhetoric until it results in violence. It is important for American congregations to hold their churches accountable for what their money does in Africa.

The short film is below. Everyone – LGBT, Straight, or otherwise should see this. If you’re Christian that applies double. Merely stating “not all Christians think that way” is sufficient any longer; silence on the subject is tacit cooperation with those commititng these atrocities. Unless you’re speaking out loudly against those people giving Christianity a bad name, you’re just another part of the problem. In the immortal words of German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemoller:

They came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.

Then they came for the trade unions, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one to speak up.

Unless you’re speaking out against those who donate money to and support anti-gay causes, you’re complicit in their activities. Here’s Williams’ short film. Watch it, soak it up, and pass it along to your friends and family:

Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.


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