The Ugandan Situation: Continued Monitoring Needed in 2010
William Lindsey printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jan 02, 2010 at 06:58:04 PM EST
We are delighted to welcome theologian William Lindsey as a guest front pager. This piece is cross posted from his personal blog Bilgrimage. He is a co-founder of the new progressive Catholic group blog, The Open Tabernacle: Here Comes Everybody - FC

Though mainstream media news coverage of the situation in Uganda has diminished in recent weeks, what is happening in that nation continues to deserve attention.  The movement to enact laws that may include capital punishment for gays in Uganda remains strong, and as Rev. Rick Warren's disciple in Uganda, Rev. Martin Ssempa, has recently announced, mass demonstrations in favor of the impending legislation are now being planned in Uganda.  Ssempa notes this in a video statement in which he takes Rev. Warren to task for condemning the Ugandan legislation.

Since the situation in Uganda remains volatile (and dangerous), I'd like to offer readers a list of links I've been collecting in recent weeks that discuss the role of the American religious and political right in creating the situation in Uganda.

The best comprehensive (and constantly updated) source I've seen for commentary on the Ugandan situation is Box Turtle Bulletin's "Slouching Towards Kampala."  For anyone seeking ongoing commentary about Uganda and links to abundant research tracking what has been going on there vis-à-vis gay citizens for some time now, I can't recommend this source highly enough.

What follows is a supplementary (and very selective) list of links to recent articles that probe the role of the American religious and political right in Uganda.  I offer these in the hope that they'll be useful to readers wanting to learn more about that aspect of the Ugandan situation.

(And as I offer these links, I'm struck  by the dearth of commentary among--by the total silence of--the American Catholic intellectual elite, re: the Ugandan legislation.  Shameful silence . . . . For an indicator of how desperately sane, open discussion (based in accurate information) of this issue is needed to correct malicious disinformation about queer folks circulating among African Christians, see my exchange with a commentator named Maazi N.C.O. following the recent National Catholic Reporter discussion of Uganda.)

And here's the list:

Frederick Clarkson, "The Africa Connection to the Attack on the Mainline Churches," Talk to Action, 19 Nov. 2009; and "U.S. Religious Right Stirs Up Anti-Gay Politics in Africa," Daily Kos, 23 Nov. 2009.

Frederick Clarkson, "`The Family' Behind Anti-Gay Act in Uganda,"  Talk to Action, 25 Nov. 2009.

Michelle Goldberg, "Uganda's Radical Anti-Gay Measure and the American Religious Right," Religion Dispatches, 30 Nov. 2009.

Father Jake, "Exporting Homophobia," Father Jake Stops the World, 21 Nov. 2009.

Kathryn Joyce, "The Anti-Gay Highway: New Report Details Mutually Beneficial Relationship Between US Evangelicals and African Antigay Clergy," Religion Dispatches, 19 Nov. 2009.

Steven Webster, "Cult of Conservative Christian GOPers Backs Death Penalty for Gays with HIV," Alternet, 30 Nov. 2009.

See also Bruce Wilson's extensive reporting here at Talk to Action, most recently about California Prop 8 activist Lou Engle: "Will Lou Engle take his mega-antigay The Call to Uganda?", 20 Dec. 2009.

Given the number of Roman Catholic bishops and cardinals that signed the Manhattan Declaration their silence on Uganda is not suprising.

by JerrySloan on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 05:35:00 PM EST
You're right, Jerry.  I'm not surprised (though I'm also not happy with) the silence of most Catholic church officials re: the Ugandan situation.

What does surprise me--and this is the gist of my statement about the silence of the "intellectual elite" of American Catholicism--is the virtually total silence on the part of Catholic centrist-liberals who usually speak up about issues of human rights.

When gay people and gay issues are the topic, however, it seems many members of the centrist-liberal circles of the intellectual elite in American Catholicism remain strangely silent.
William D. Lindsey
by William Lindsey on Sun Jan 03, 2010 at 09:16:15 PM EST

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