Thursday, June 3, 2010

If you want to know what palpable evil looks like, check this out

This guy believes that Uganda's anti-homosexuality laws are both Christian and "more American than America."

Note that nowhere does he go into what it is the law actually says. According to the Uganda anti-homosexual law:

  • Any free speech or anyone that rallies in defense of homosexuality is punished with 5-7 years in prison;
  • Anyone that knows anyone that is homosexual and does not report it within 24 hours receives up to 3 years in prison, including friends and family;
  • A conviction of homosexuality receives a life sentence in prison;
  • It redefines homosexuality to include "any touching with homosexual intent;"
  • Provides the death penalty for any homosexual that engages in relationships with anyone under 18 or the disabled;
  • Creates an extradition provision, meaning that any Ugandan convicted of homosexuality living abroad can be returned to Uganda to face trial. This includes non-citizens, so an American that speaks out on gay rights can be extradited to face trial in Uganda.

Whatever a person's feelings on homosexuality, it is obvious the law is monstrously inhuman. To defend it - in the sanctimonious name of Americanism, Christianity and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a perversion of the American spirit and the Christian ethos of compassion.

The great evil of this video is made possible by the belief that morality is determined by authority instead of by reason and examination. Why is homosexuality wrong? Because the Founding Fathers and the Bible don't like it. Nowhere is the natural follow-up question asked...why is it that the Founding Fathers and the Bible didn't like the gay?

What's more, the culty veneration surrounding the Founding Fathers has gone entirely too far. Sure, George Washington didn't like gay sex, but he also didn't believe in women voting and owned slaves. He was a man of his time who believed in many just and unjust things alike. Central to an understanding of history is a sense of moral progress: the notion that as a civilization moves forward our moral understanding increases and immoral practices fall by the wayside (prohibition of mixed-race marriages, slavery, colonialism, child labor, etc.).

Also, I am particularly ticked off by various distorted and untrue things mentioned in his video. For example, his mention of King Mwanga made me very curious about the history of Uganda, and so I decided to look him up. Turns out he had seventeen wives, and the 22 Catholic Martyrs died....not for refusing his gay advances but for their religious beliefs (Mwana was anti-Catholic and the martyrs refused to renounce their faith on pain of death).

His mention of how liberals believe in multiculturalism offends me at a personal level, because there are many occasions where those on the left have spoken against attitudes that should be changed in other cultures. Feminists are always the first to speak out against machismo and anti-female sentiment in Latino, Middle Eastern and Asian cultures, for example, and against the horrific practice of female genital mutilation. Just because a culture believes something is moral does not mean it is or that it is worthy of being defended, or that it is immune to attack.

Finally, his mention of Pastor Rick Warren brings up the role that American evangelicals (even so called moderate evangelicals) played as enablers of this horrific and savage law, and the subsequent cowardice and desire to distance themselves from the savage history their influence helped create. Rick Warren's book, the "Purpose-Driven Life" is read widely in Uganda; according to one Ugandan, almost every Pastor in the country had a copy inside the book. Rick Warren, in Uganda gave many anti-homosexual comments. In other words, he had a great influence.

Here's another example: non-licensed "therapist" Richard Cohen's book, which claims homosexuality can be cured (something no true psychologist believes), is widely quoted by Ugandans. He was brought to task by Rachel Maddow here for producing junk science that Ugandans take seriously.

A traditional tactic of the Right is to enable and empower crazies and then run away from the Frankenstein they created. The textbook example would be the McCain campaign, who featured staffers and used innuendoes that Obama was a stealth Muslim plant with the middle name "Hussein." It was a perfect strategy: McCain stays classy and's just staffers on the campaign that McCain hired that bring up the Muslim and birth certificate rumors. It's a real crying shame that McCain, towards the end, got desperate and fought dirty.

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