Last night, Rachel Maddow interviewed Jeff Sharlet about his new book: C-Street. I have not seen it yet but I am aware that his reporting on his visit to Uganda takes up a chapter and will provide much detail about the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Roll the tape:
Note the intent of Bahati for his legislation as described to Sharlet. He is not trying to close any gaps in law on child abuse. He believes the government there should put Leviticus into effect. Democracy requires that you get a law in place to do it.
Regarding the Fellowship and pressure to withdraw the bill. I am aware that American Felloship members have said to Ugandan members that the bill is a mistake and should be withdrawn. However, Bahati says he feel no pressure.
Here is my view of the situation. Bahati does not feel any threat to his standing in the Fellowship as the result of differing with the Americans and other Fellowship groups around the world about the anti-gay effort. It is clear to me that the bill has caused division between the Ugandan and American members. However, as Sharlet reported, Bahati describes no consequences for his stance. He hears words of disapproval regarding his bill but business as usual continues on other matters (e.g., “like defense contracts”). No consequences mean no need for a shift in ideology or policy.
Personally, I think the Fellowship is doing a lot of good in the world. I think much of their work in poor nations is a reflection of true religion. However, with the great reach comes great responsibility. If it is true that David Bahati continues to enjoy the brotherhood and benefits he describes, then I can understand why he would dismiss the public pressure. It seems clear that the Fellowship has great reach. The question is what will they do with their great responsibility in this situation.