Hate, Demonization, and Violence in Uganda
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sat Jan 29, 2011 at 03:25:21 PM EST
In the wake of the Tucson massacre, Chip Berlet wrote an essay at Talk to Action which opened:  
The idea that vitriolic political rhetoric can lead some people to carry out acts of political aggression or violence against the demonized targets is hardly controversial among social science scholars. The first step is to identify an enemy "Other."

Now the international media spotlight has turned to those American evangelicals, notably Scott Lively, whose demonization of gay people in Uganda has contributed to a climate of hate, violence, and possibly murder.

Political Research Associates (PRA), which published a ground breaking report on the role of American evangelicals in whipping up anti-gay hate in Uganda stated:  
David Kato, an openly gay human rights activist and advocacy officer at Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG), was attacked in his home in Uganda on January 26 and died on his way to the hospital. Kato had received death threats since October, when a local newspaper, Rolling Stone, published his photo alongside a cover story that charged homosexuals with recruiting children.

The targeting of Kato and other LGBT Ugandans follows an intense demonization campaign fostered by right-wing Christian activists from the United States.

Indeed, Rev. Kapya Kaoma's investigation for PRA highlighted the role of Christian Right activists including Lively and the serial vilifier Rick Warren. While the motive for the shocking crime has not been established, it has resulted in a firestorm of media attention as the years long hate campaign may have played a role in this high profile murder. American religion writer David Gibson even wonders if Kato is the Gabrielle Giffords of Uganda.

Giles Muhame, editor of the Rolling Stone newspaper that outed Kato and dozens of others, told Reuters that he did not want to see Kato murdered but added: "We want the government to hang people who promote homosexuality, not for the public to attack them. We said they should be hanged, not stoned or attacked."

Pastor Martin Ssempa, who was close to Rick Warren until Warren publicly split with him following the 2009 outcry against the Ugandan anti-gay bill, told the BBC that Kato's death was not the result of homophobia but instead underscored the problem of "gay-on-gay bashing."

And Member of Parliament David Bahati, who has ties to conservative Christian politicians in Washington, told Uganda media that Kato's murder was unfortunate but was likely due to thieves seeking money Kato had been sent by gay activists overseas. Bahati said police should use the occasion of Kato's killing to "dismantle the illegal networks, particularly financial, which are being used to facilitate gay activities in Uganda, especially in schools. In Uganda most people feel like vomiting when they come across gay practitioners or activists."

In the end, Kato's brutal death, like the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and the suicide of the gay college student Tyler Clementi in September, shocked the nation because it showed in vivid detail what ugly language looks like when it is embodied in actions -- whether those words inspired the deeds or not.

In the United States, at least, the shock and grief of the Arizona massacre led to the catharsis of a communal memorial service and a degree of self-examination. Uganda may have further to travel.

Here are some quotes from Lively's 2009 antigay speech in Uganda:  

"The gay movement is an evil institution that's goal is to defeat the marriage-based society and replace it with a culture of sexual promiscuity in which there's no restrictions on sexual conduct except the principle of mutual choice."

"The real danger of the gay movement is its necessary goal of the elimination of this moral system in order to achieve this [sexual freedom]"

"...That is the gay agenda...it is the recreation of society on a different moral foundation and the problem with that is that moral foundation will lead to social chaos and destruction."

Lively, best known for his book of holocaust revisionism, The Pink Swastika (which tries to blame homosexuality for Nazism), now tries to downplay his years of harsh anti-gay rhetoric and insists that his influential speech and visit to Uganda had nothing to do with Kato's murder. But his current claims ring hollow in light of his braggadocio when he was for a few moments, a big man in Uganda.  

"Stephen Langa, was overjoyed with the results of our efforts and predicted confidently that the coming weeks would see significant improvement in the moral climate of the nation, and a massive increase in pro-family activism in every social sphere. He said that a respected observer of society in Kampala had told him that our campaign was like a nuclear bomb against the "gay" agenda in Uganda. I pray that this, and the predictions, are true."



Display:

WWW Talk To Action


Real Religious Liberty is Not Oppression
This is a reposting of an op-ed I recently published at LGBTQ Nation -- FC Real Religious Liberty is not Oppression FREDERICK CLARKSON Senior......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Houston Mayor Ignites Fervor of Religious Right
The best take on Houston Mayor Annise Parker vs. the churches in her city is the story written by Marv Knox in the Baptist......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)
Four Stories
LGBTQ Nation   In my first bi-weekly column on religious liberty, I discuss how  "Religious liberty is a progressive and liberatory value, over which......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
Christian Right Voter Mobilization -- The Season Finale
One of the secrets of the success of the Christian Right over the years has been that opponents have taken the movement with insufficient......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Sins Of Omission: When Religious Right Leaders Speak, The Whole Truth Is Often Left Behind
When an individual doesn't feel like being absolutely truthful, there are a couple of things he or she can do. One is to simply......
By Rob Boston (2 comments)
Bishop Finn Under Vatican Investigation
Bishop Robert Finn, head of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Missouri has long been a symbol of the ongoing institutional intransigence in addressing......
By Frank Cocozzelli (4 comments)
"The $1-Billion-a-Year [Religious] Right-Wing Conspiracy You Haven't Heard Of"
In honor of the 2014 incarnation of the event known as The Gathering, I've given an interview with Jay Michaelson, writing for the Daily......
By Bruce Wilson (5 comments)
(Un)Fantastic Five: A Remembrance Of Values Voter Summits Past
The Religious Right's annual "Values Voter Summit" (VVS) takes place this weekend. Americans United staffers Simon Brown, Sarah Jones and I will be there.......
By Rob Boston (7 comments)
The Christian Right's Voter Mobilization Strategy for 2014
My latest post at Political Research Associates is about how this weekend's Values Voter Summit fits into the Christian Right's wider electoral strategy for......
By Frederick Clarkson (2 comments)
NYT's David Brooks to Speak at Antigay Luncheon of Billionaires Who Fund Racist Preacher
Recently, government-encouraged outbreaks of mob violence against LGBT persons in countries from Uganda to Russia, and draconian new anti-gay legislation in those countries too,......
By Bruce Wilson (2 comments)
D'Souza's Downfall: Religious Right Favorite Sentenced For Campaign Donation Violations
Yesterday conservative commentator Dinesh D'Souza was sentenced to five years of probation and a term of community service for violating federal campaign laws. He......
By Rob Boston (1 comment)
Short Takes -- Taking Action Edition
Banned Books Week is being celebrated this year from Sept. 21-27.  Yes its time for the annual celebration of the Freedom to Read, sponsored......
By Frederick Clarkson (0 comments)
Archbishop Schnurr Throws Cold Water on the Ice Bucket Challenge
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been an outstanding success in raising both awareness and research money needed to find a cure for Amyotrophic lateral......
By Frank Cocozzelli (1 comment)
The Secret Antigay U.S. Money Behind The WCF and the Global Evangelical War on LGBT Rights
[note to readers: this is an excerpt from my first installment in a Twocare.org/Center Against Religious Extremism series that will examine extensive ties -......
By Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Race as Religion
Reading Edith Beer's book, The Nazi Officer's Wife, I ran across an interesting account of her fake marriage license.  She married a Nazi officer......
By wilkyjr (2 comments)

Deconstructing the Dominionists, Part VI
This is part 6 of a series by guest front pager Mahanoy, originally dated November 15, 2007 which I had to delete and repost for technical reasons. It is referred to in this post,......
Frederick Clarkson (1 comment)
Republican infighting in Mississippi
After a bruising GOP runoff election for U.S. Senator, current MS Senator Thad Cochran has retained his position and will face Travis Childers (Democrat) in the next senate election. The MS GOP is fractured......
COinMS (2 comments)
America's Most Convenient Bank® refuses to serve Christians
Representatives of a well known faith-based charitable organization were refused a New Jersey bank’s notarization service by an atheist employee. After inquiring about the nature of the non-profit organization and the documents requiring......
Jody Lane (3 comments)
John Benefiel takes credit for GOP takeover of Oklahoma
Many of you know that Oklahoma has turned an unrecognizable shade of red in recent years.  Yesterday, one of the leading members of the New Apostolic Reformation all but declared that he was responsible......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
John Benefiel thinks America is under curse because Egyptians dedicated North America to Baal
You may remember that Rick Perry put together his "Response" prayer rallies with the help of a slew of NAR figures.  One of them was John Benefiel, an Oklahoma City-based "apostle."  He heads up......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Mississippi Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Yes, that's right. We have totally lost our religious freedom in Mississippi and it must be restored by our legislators. ......
COinMS (1 comment)
Bill Gothard accused of harassing women and failing to report child abuse
Surprised no one's mentioned this, but one of the longest-standing leaders of the religious right is in a world of trouble.  Bill Gothard has been active in the fundie movement for over half......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
Eugene Delgaudio may lose his day job as Virginia county supervisor
Surprised no one's noticed this, but one of the nation's most virulent homophobes is in a fight to keep his day job.  Eugene Delgaudio is best known as the head of Public Advocate......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents
This caught me by surprise. I guess times are a changin in Dixieland. ------------------------------------- Cross posted from the HRC blog. Starkville Becomes First City in Mississippi to Pass Resolution Recognizing LGBT Residents January 21,......
COinMS (0 comments)
Robert Knight: Running against evolution could potentially be a winner for the GOP
In one of the starkest instances yet of how far gone the religious right is, one of its leading activists thinks that he's found another potential wedge issue that could drive more people into......
Christian Dem in NC (2 comments)
First Catholic official convicted in child sex abuse scandal has conviction overturned
Last year, Monsignor William Lynn, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia's secretary for clergy, was convicted of reassigning a priest whom he knew had molested a young boy to a parish that had a school attached......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Quotes From Sarah Palin 'War on Christmas" Book v. Quotes From 1920s Anti-Jewish Propaganda
The point of this comparison is not to cast Sarah Palin as a Nazi. Rather, my intent is to underline uncomfortable similarities between contemporary "war on Christmas" talking points propagated by elements of the......
Bruce Wilson (0 comments)
Francis sets up commission on how to deal with pedophile priests
Late yesterday Pope Francis announced--apparently after some prodding--that he will set up a panel to advise him on how to deal with child abuse by priests. The announcement was a forthright acknowledgment by the......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
John Hagee: Jews will make deal with Antichrist before End Times
When John Hagee opens his mouth, you expect to hear lunacy.  An appearance earlier this month on TBN was no different.  On Friday, People for the American Way stumbled on a special prophecy-focused edition......
Christian Dem in NC (0 comments)
Doug Phillips Resigns From Vision Forum over "Inappropriate Relationship"
Doug Phillips resigned as president of Vision Forum earlier this week, citing an "inappropriate relationship."   Phillips posted an announcement on the Vision Forum website, stating, There has been serious sin in my life......
Rachel Tabachnick (2 comments)

More Diaries...




All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. Comments, posts, stories, and all other content are owned by the authors. Everything else 2005 Talk to Action, LLC.