American Christian extremists have found a willing host in Uganda, where they have so dramatically affected the culture that average citizens now consider raping and killing gay people a duty.
Become a patron of breaking LGBTQ newsChip in $4 go
The latest episode of HBO's VICE, "A Prayer for Uganda," exposes what American Christian extremists, like Scott Lively, have done to the country of Uganda. A poor, landlocked nation of about 37 million people, Uganda has become synonymous with its "Kill The Gays" bill, that was debated for year, generating international condemnation and fear. It became law and then was tossed out by the Ugandan Supreme Court, but only on a technicality.
VICE interviews Member of Parliament David Bahati (image, top left), who authored the bill. "Homosexuality is evil," he says. Bahati is a member of the secretive Washington, D.C. based organization known as The Family, which has helped to coordinate the war against LGBT people in Uganda.
Author and professor Jeff Sharlet, also featured in the VICE episode, exposed their work and their members – several of whom are U.S. Congressmen and Senators who take up residence at a luxury C Street boarding house – in his books, The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, and C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy. Among them? U.S. Senator James Inhofe, who, VICE reports, has traveled to Uganda at least 135 times.
In the VICE episode, Bahati refuses to name any one of his American partners, but Inhofe is clearly one. Also among Bahati's supporters and partners are Scott Lively, Pastor Rick Warren, Sharon Slater, and the World Congress of Families. And Bahati makes clear he and his country support the culture these American Christian extremists have brought to Uganda – one that teaches, falsely, that gay people are all pedophiles, homosexuality is a choice, it is evil, and children must be protected from it at all costs.
VICE correspondent Isobel Yeung – that's her face in the top right image – interviewed poor, working class men. She wrote later, "I don't ever recall feeling as heartbroken as the week we spent shooting this."
The men tell her that the first thing she needs to know about their culture is "we hate is homosexuality." That is the first thing of which they are proud. Not arts, science, their families, their heritage – not even their perverted interpretation of Christianity.
"We hate that one [homosexuality] completely," one of the men tell her. "If we find a woman with a woman, we will pull out one and we will do it to her." He's of course talking about rape. "We cannot allow a woman to have sex with a fellow woman."
Yeung asks, "Have you ever raped a lesbian?"
"Yeah," the man replies. "Serious raping."
Then Yeung asks, "So what would you do if you saw a gay man?"
"Kill! Kill! You kill that one! Kill! I just kill them. Woman and woman we rape, but man and man we kill."
What the clip above does not show, but the VICE episode does, is that American Christians have brought this culture to Uganda. While the nation has never been gay friendly, the country's war on homosexuality is a direct response to the teachings of American Christians.
Scott Lively, head of Abiding Truth Ministries, which appears on the Southern Poverty Law Center's list of anti-gay hate groups, is currently on trial in America in a lawsuit for crimes against humanity. VICE offers a short profile of Lively, taken from this documentary by Political Research Associates:
Also featured in the VICE episode is Dr. Kapya Kaoma, who filmed Scott Lively's anti-gay teachings. Lively's work is believed to be what sparked Uganda's "Kill The Gays" bill.
The 15 minutes VICE spends revealing the extreme homophobic hate American Christian fundamentalist extremists have injected into Uganda is just the tip of the iceberg.
The VICE episode premiered last night, but is available on HBO On Demand and HBO GO. It's also airing again tonight. Check your listings or HBO.
Please find a way to watch it.
This is crazy. Everyone watch the Vice episode on Uganda.— Araweelo (@NaimaVibes) May 16, 2015