Uganda Hires Firm to Burnish Image Internationally

Really? Uganda hired a firm to polish up the nation’s image around the world. Watch:

I don’t envy this firm.

Because of David Bahati and those who support him, Uganda is known around the world for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. The attention from this bill leads to considerations of corruption and other human rights abuses.

If the bill passes, I suspect pressure will be brought to bear on corporations doing business in Uganda such as Citibank, and Barclays Bank (UK). Various hotel chains doing business there will be targeted. If Starbucks still imports coffee from Uganda, I can imagine an effort to have Starbucks find coffee from somewhere else.

 

Uganda Human Rights Coalition Opposes the Anti-Homosexuality Bill

A broad coalition of human rights advocacy organizations in Uganda issued a press release late yesterday. Here is the press release in full:

Press Statement

Uganda: Parliament Should Reject Anti-Homosexuality Bill

16th February 2012

On Tuesday 7th February 2012, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (2009) was reintroduced to the Parliament of Uganda. If passed, this draft legislation would violate the human rights of all Ugandans, and should immediately be dropped, the East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), Foundation for Human Rights Initiative (FHRI), The Human Rights Centre Uganda (HRCU), and Human Rights Network-Uganda (HURINET) said today.

Hon. David Bahati’s widely condemned private member’s bill is one of ten bills saved and reintroduced from the previous Parliament. The bill had its first reading on 7th February 2012 and was referred to the Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee for scrutiny. It is understood that the bill was re-tabled in its original form but that amendments recommended by the Committee last year will be incorporated. Although Hon. Bahati is reported in the media to have said that the death penalty for ‘serial’ acts of homosexuality will be dropped, this is not yet confirmed. EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET express their concern at the lack of clarity surrounding the parliamentary process and contents of the bill, and call on Parliament to clarify on this matter.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET recall the submission by the Uganda Human Rights Commission in its 2010 annual report that “some of the provisions in the bill are unnecessary, and that most of them violate international human rights standards.” The rejection of certain international standards envisaged in the 2009 bill sets a dangerous precedent regarding Uganda’s respect for the human rights commitments it has made.

The bill contains harsh provisions which would seriously restrict the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly and would threaten the ability of some human rights organisations to continue operating. Already, on 14th February the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity, Hon. Rev. Fr. Lokodo Simon, ordered the unconstitutional shutdown of a capacity-building workshop organized by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) human rights defenders in Entebbe. The bill and such actions by government representatives reinforce the more general threats to civil society space in Uganda, such as the onerous regulation of public meetings and discussions sought to be introduced with the Public Order Management Bill.

As well as threatening the safety of LGBTI people generally, the Anti-Homosexuality Bill also jeopardizes the security of human rights defenders working on these issues. The re-tabling of the bill just days after the first anniversary of the murder of LGBTI activist and EHAHRDP founding member, David Kato, is a stark reminder of the insecurity this bill has already caused in Uganda.

More generally, the bill would have a wide-reaching and disturbing effect on the freedoms of the majority of Ugandans. If health professionals, spiritual leaders, teachers, business people, landlords, and many others in positions built upon trust and confidentiality fail to disclose to the authorities persons they suspect of being homosexual, under the provisions of this bill would also be targeted for prosecution themselves.

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET welcome the statement issued by the Minister of State for Ethics and Integrity on Wednesday 8th February that the bill “does not enjoy the support of the Prime Minister or the Cabinet.” We call on the authorities to ensure the physical safety of LGBTI community members and human rights activists and fulfill the commitment made by Uganda during the Universal Periodic Review in October 2011 to “take immediate concrete steps to stop discrimination and assaults against LGBT persons.”

EHAHRDP, FHRI, HRCU and HURINET call on the Members of Parliament, and all Ugandans, to reject this discriminatory and divisive bill and refuse to be distracted from the real pressing issues facing the country at this time, such as the debate over the exploitation of Uganda’s oil resources.

For more information, please contact:

Hassan Shire, Executive Director, East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project, on executive@defenddefenders.org or +256 772 753 753

Livingstone Sewanyana, Executive Director, Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, on fhri@dmail.ug or +256 414 510 263/498

Margaret Sekaggya, Executive Director, The Human Rights Centre Uganda, on hrcug@hrcug.org or +256 414 266 186

Mohammed Ndifuna, Chief Executive Officer, Human Rights Network-Uganda, on executive@hurinet.or.ug or +256 714 419 229

Top Ten Posts – 2011

To reflect on 2011, I have listed here the ten most popular posts in terms of visits this year. Two of the posts were written in prior years but were visited frequently this year. In addition to being popular, I think they are representative of the stories and issues which I wrote about this year.

1. The Trail of Tears remembered

2. Uganda update: Anti-Homosexuality Bill on tomorrow’s agenda

3. Committee chair says Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill may not be considered

4. What would dominionists do with gays?

5. A major study of child abuse and homosexuality revisited (2009)

6. NARTH is not primarily composed of mental health professionals

7. Only the gay die young: Examining the claims of shorter life expectancy for homosexuals (2007)

8. The evangelical blackout of research on sexual orientation

9. William Penn founded the Quakers and other tall tales from David Barton

10. Was the Jefferson Bible an evangelism tool?

Finding the Seven Mountain Teaching in Unexpected Places

Since publication in 2007, I have referred many people to the book, unChristian by David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyons.  In their book, Kinnaman and Lyons report that the church is known more for what it is against than what it is for. They also document the extreme anti-gay sentiment which dominates evangelicalism. Among young people outside the church, nine out of ten viewed Christians as anti-gay.

Part of my retreat from the culture war relates to the realization that evangelicals have earned this perception. Evangelicals have not stopped with disagreement, but actively opposed equal treatment of gays. And they have not stopped with political opposition. Evangelical thought leaders blame gays for every societal evil and do so with a venom that is often shocking. When I read unChristian, it seemed that the research reported there validated my worries that Christians were largely on the wrong track.

Until recently, I had referred people to the book without knowing much about the organization which produced it. UnChristian author Gabe Lyons runs a group called Q. On the Qideas website, Lyons describes Q as:

Q Ideas

Q was birthed out of Gabe Lyons’ vision to see Christians, especially leaders, recover a vision for their historic responsibility to renew and restore cultures. Inspired by Chuck Colson’s statement, “Christians are called to redeem entire cultures, not just individuals,” Gabe set out to reintroduce Christians to what had seemed missing in recent decades from an American expression of Christian faithfulness; valuing both personal and cultural renewal, not one over the other. Re-educating Christians to this orthodox and unifying concept has become central to the vision of Q.

I was surprised by two items in this description. One, Chuck Colson, a respected evangelical figure, has done a lot to earn Christians the anti-gay reputation that Lyons seems to lament in their book. For instance, today’s column from Colson complains about the President’s recent push to promote decriminalization (more about that in a coming post).

The second element which surprised me was the embrace of the cultural mandate – the belief that Christians are called to create a Christian society. A modern version of this view is that Christians are called to dominate the seven areas of culture and thereby create a Christian society. In an article, titled Influencing Culture, Lyons lays out the program:

HOW NOW SHALL WE INFLUENCE?

The idea of culture shaping is widely debated. Most people, and until recently myself included, implicitly believe that cultures are changed from the bottom-up and that to “change our culture, we need more and more individuals possessing the right values and therefore making better choices.” The problem is that it is only part of the solution. In a widely distributed briefing that was presented to The Trinity Forum called To Change the World, James Davison Hunter asserts, “It is this view of culture that also leads some faith communities to evangelism as their primary means of changing the world. If people’s hearts and minds are converted, they will have the right values, they will make the right choices, and the culture will change in turn.” 

Hunter goes on to say, “…the renewal of our hearts and minds is not only important, it is essential, indeed a precondition for a truly just and humane society. But by itself, it will not accomplish the objectives and ideals we hope for.” This could explain why Christianity as it is practiced by many well meaning, admirable Christians in the past decades has failed to have significant traction.

Cultures are shaped when networks of leaders, representing the different social institutions of a culture, work together towards a common goal: “Again and again we see that the impetus, energy and direction for changing the world were found where cultural, economic and often political resources overlapped; where networks of elites, who generated these various resources, come together in common purpose.”

Saving souls is not enough. “Networks of elites” must come together with the “common purpose” of creating a Christian culture. Then he describes the seven mountains teaching with the slightly different phrase “seven channels of cultural influence.”

The Seven Channels of Cultural Influence

What are the different social institutions of our culture that Hunter is referring to? They are the social institutions that govern any society, including business, government, media, church, arts & entertainment, education and the social sector. Their combined output of ideas, films, books, theology, websites, restaurants, investments, social work, laws, medical breakthroughs and technology drive an entire nation.

The ideas and values they perpetuate sustain the moral fiber and social conscience of the culture. The people who lead these influential institutions have the opportunity to shape the ideas, thoughts and preferences of millions of others. If Hunter is right, it doesn’t take all that many people or time to witness dramatic shifts in the convictions and aspirations of a culture.

And one of the most unique channels of cultural influence is the church. Few other institutions convene participants from so many areas of society. When Christians embrace the common goals of both redeeming cultures and individual souls, the possibilities for positive cultural influence dramatically increase.

Lyons then uses what he calls “the homosexual movement” as an example of how one may use the seven mountains teaching to change the culture. He points to an article in the Regent University Law School Journal by Paul Rondeau (a past president of the board of the Parents and Friends of Ex-gays) which claims the current acceptance of gays as people stem from a small group of gays gathered in 1988 in Warrenton, VA. According to this narrative, the ability of that small group to steer the seven channels of influence is what has triggered the social change.

Lyons wants to do the same thing via the Church.

THE CHURCH’S OPPORTUNITY TO INFLUENCE CULTURE

I believe that the church is the hope of the world and is positioned like no other channel of influence to shape culture. Its people are called to be in the world. As John Stott puts it, “we find ourselves citizens of two kingdoms, the one earthly and the one heavenly. And each citizenship lays upon us duties which we are not at liberty to evade.” Although the work of culture creation may take place outside the physical walls of a church building, the local church creates a natural space where social networks of leaders, within all seven channels of culture, can work together towards a common goal. Nowhere else does this potential for synergy exist. Unlike other channels, the church is a living organism where God’s spirit constantly moves and seeks to express Himself through a willing Body.

Sadly, by focusing on just the “spiritual” and the afterlife, the Christian church has strayed away from its potential influence in the here and now, positioning itself instead as just another subculture. Many Christians currently hold unique and influential positions throughout the seven channels of culture, but have never been supported by fellow believers.

There is nothing particularly new in this. This is an expression of a familiar controversy about the role of the church in society. Lyons says it is sad that the church has focused on the spiritual. I think the church does not focus enough on it. Especially as the 2012 election looms, it is clear to me that many in the religious right want to use the church a a tool of political organizing for the GOP.

Lyons and Kinnaman rightly complain that the church today is known more for being anti-gay than for anything else. However, in my view, the approach suggested by Lyons is part of the problem. If the church is seeking to express Christian views of spiritual life to individuals then the personal characteristics of that individual don’t matter much. However, when cultural change is your aim, then those who would be hurt by your vision of culture become your enemies.

For instance, Chuck Colson inspires Lyons to redeem cultures. Colson’s vision of a redeemed culture does not include defense of people oppressed because of their sexual orientation.  Colson is using his position as a cultural leader to oppose the decriminalization of homosexuality around the world. If Colson is doing it well, as Lyons implies, then the anti-gay attitudes Lyons documents are inevitable.

I think the Founders got it right. Religion in general can be beneficial when it supports the rights of all and freedom of conscience. However, when one religion seeks to dominate, then others who believe differently will rise up to seek protection for their beliefs.

NARTH features leader of international efforts to keep homosexuality illegal

This coming weekend, Sharon Slater will speak at the annual conference of the National Association for the Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH). Slater is the President of Family Watch International, an organization that lobbies the United Nations for pro-life and anti-gay causes. In January of 2011, Slater hosted a conference of over 30 United Nations delegates to promote her policy objectives. During the conference, the ex-gay message was prominent with a “the personal testimony of a patient who is successfully reorienting from homosexuality to heterosexuality” and a speech from an expert Slater refused to name.
Earlier this year, Slater claimed that she stopped using Martin Ssempa as a liaison in Africa after she learned about Ssempa’s support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Slater correctly understands that the bill requires the death penalty for HIV positive gays and she opposes that. However, she refused to condemn prison terms for gays in Uganda or any other country. In essence, her position is the same as Scott Lively’s view – oppose the death penalty but support the stance of African nations who maintain harsh prison terms for GLBT people. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is once again before Uganda’s Parliament and may be considered on the floor within the next month.
Slater has traveled to Africa several times to speak against relaxing laws on homosexuality. At a Nigerian conference in 2009 – the same year the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was introduced – Slater praised Uganda for refusing to decriminalize homosexuality. Earlier this year, also in Nigeria, Slater commended Nigeria for resisting the UN’s call for decriminalization.
Like Lively, Slater uses NARTH materials as a foundation for her policy positions. On the FWI website, Slater twice refers readers to a 2009 paper by NARTH which reviews studies of sexual orientation change efforts. She uses their materials to support her view that GLB people are not entitled to human rights because sexual orientation is not a fixed trait.
In this context, it is striking that NARTH has refused to declare opposition to criminalization of homosexuality. In December, 2009, I asked NARTH’s leadership about the organization’s position on Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. At that time, Scott Lively advocated that forced therapy for gays should be included in the bill. NARTH’s operations director, David Pruden, rejected the forced therapy as ineffective. However, NARTH past-president Dean Byrd declined to take a position on criminalization saying,

We are aware of the situation in Uganda but thank you for bringing this to our attention. I am sure that you are aware that as a scientific organization, NARTH does not take political positions; however, we are happy to provide a summary of what science can and cannot say about homosexuality for those who do.

In contrast, NARTH has taken a position on a few political issues. For instance, the organization opposes “gay advocacy in schools” and “same-sex marriage.” Since NARTH has taken a stance on some political issues, it is puzzling that the organization will not on criminalization of homosexuality. Such laws harm affirming and non-affirming GLB people alike.
In light of NARTH’s failure to oppose criminalization, it is troubling that the group invited Slater to speak at their conference.  Ms. Slater is not trained as a clinician, scientist or a researcher; she is an advocate of policies which restrict the basic liberties of GLB people around the world and would do the same in the US if possible. In absence of an official policy on decriminalization, it appears that NARTH’s invitation of Ms. Slater signals the posture of the organization on the matter.

More on The Response: Did Hitler mimic the Indian reservations?

Here is a tale of two supporters of The Response.
John Benefiel is founder of the Heartland Apostolic Prayer Network and endorser of the upcoming prayer meeting, The Response, initiated by Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) and funded by the American Family Association. Benefiel has focused on repairing relationships with Native Americans. His reasons are spiritual. For instance, he teaches that Oklahoma’s high divorce rate is due to the fact that Oklahoma was once home to the Indian Territory, a place where the government broke covenants with Native Americans. Over the years, people have been inspired by dark forces to break their marriage vows because the government broke vows with the native nations of the land. Thus, the support for making amends with native people is not simply to do the right thing, rather the big picture is to clear the land of demonic influence so that Benefiel’s version of Christianity can take hold.
Bryan Fischer is an Issues Analyst for the AFA, the group funding the event endorsed by Mr. Benefiel. Mr. Fischer has said that Native Americas were morally disqualified from ownership of their lands because of their savagry and immorality. The AFA website provides Mr. Fischer a forum to say the Indians got what they deserved because they refused to convert to Christianity. Fischer and Mr. Benefiel surely seem to disagree about this matter.
Mr. Fischer also preaches that the Nazi party was full of gays, Hitler was gay and needed gays to enforce his evil intentions. According to Fischer, gays in the Nazi military gave the world 6 million dead Jews.  
Mr. Benefiel has something to say about Hitler and the Nazi era as well. Roll the tape:

The only reference to this possibility that I can find is John Toland’s biography of Adolf Hitler, where he wrote:

If we believe Bryan Fischer (which I don’t), then Hitler was some kind of gay and his brutality was because of it. Now we hear, from Apostle Benefiel and author John Toland, that the Nazis were inspired by the cruelty of the Christian nation America toward our indigenous people. Wow.
Benefiel and President Obama have something in common according to Fischer. According to Fischer when we consider America’s treatment of Native Americans, there are two conceptual options:

The template that the left has generated is that the displacement of indigenous tribes by European colonists and settlers was irredeemably evil. All the land which now comprises the United States was stolen from its rightful owners. Our very presence on this soil is a guilty, tainted presence. 
So the question is whether that template is right, or whether the displacement of indigenous nations was consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations and history. 
A lot is at stake here. If Americans believe that the entire history of our nation rests on a horribly evil foundation, then there is nothing to be proud of in American history, and our president is correct to identify America as the source of all evil in the world and to make a career out of apologizing for her very existence. 
If, however, there is a moral and ethical basis for our displacement of native American tribes, and if our westward expansion and settlement are in fact consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations, then Americans have much to be proud of.

On the matter of native people and the evil perpetrated, Benefiel and President Obama are on the same page.   
Obviously making amends with Native Americans is a big deal to Benefiel. And to his credit, he has investigated and documented the evil treatment of indigenous people by the American government. However, given his belief in curses and apologies, it is hard for me to understand how he can endorse an event like The Response, funded by the AFA, which condones Bryan Fischer’s derogatory views of Native Americans as a race of people.   
One observation that I can make here is that Christian conservatives are not as monolithic a group as those outside the group think we are. Since I would be somewhere in there, the boundaries expand to even greater reaches.
It does raise for me a question about the intent of events like The Response. To which god are these folks praying? Are they praying to the one who demands an apology for evil done to Native Americans, or the one who empowered the Europeans to displace the indigenous people?
Well, at least The Response is bringing people of competing ideologies together.
(Thanks to Kyle Mantyla at Right Wing Watch for the tip.)
Video is derived from this sermon.

Bryan Fischer speaks with forked tongue

American Family Association Issues Analyst Brian Fischer believes that Native Americans lost their lands because they were “morally disqualified” to keep them. His first column on the subject was blasted by a Native American advocacy group, his enemies and even his co-workers – one AFA attorney called it “wrong and disturbing.” Fischer’s claimed that his readers were not mature enough to handle a discussion of his thesis and removed it from the AFA website.Then last week, Bryan Fischer, found a morally qualified Native American to write about. Fischer claimed that Jamestown’s Algonquian princess Pocahontas showed her fellow Native Americans the way to relate to the British – convert to Christianity and learn their ways. Fischer then asserts that her people did not follow her which led to their demise. On point, Fischer wrote:

It’s arresting to think of how different the history of the American settlement and expansion could have been if the other indigenous peoples had followed Pocahontas’s example. She not only recognized the superiority of the God whom the colonists worshipped over the gods of her native people, she recognized the superiority (not the perfection) of their culture and adopted its patterns and language as her own. 

In other words, she both converted and assimilated. She became both a Christian and an American (technically, of course, an Englishman). She melded into European and Christian civilization and made her identity as a Christian and an Englishman her primary identity. She was the first manifestation of what became our national slogan, “E Pluribus Unum,” “Out of many, one.” 

Had the other indigenous people followed her example, their assimilation into what became America could have been seamless and bloodless. Sadly, it was not to be. 

It is true that there was no seamless and bloodless history. But it is not true that indigenous peoples completely rejected Christianity.  

According to real historian Mark Noll, the Native Americans were responsive to Christianity after Pocahontas. Prior to 1675, pastors John Elliot and Thomas Mayhew evangelized in Massachusetts leading to converts among the Algonquians and a translation of the Bible into their tongue. 

Another example of evangelism described by Noll in his book, A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada, was the work of Moravian David Zeisberger in Pennsylvania. Beginning in 1748, Zeisberger saw the native people in central Pennsylvania converted and organized into peaceful villages. Fischer clams Native Americans were nomadic. In a way that was true of early Christian Native American converts, but not for the reasons Fischer claims. For instance, Delaware people converted through Zeisberger’s work had to relocate multiple times at the insistence of European settlers. During one move in Ohio, savagery was the downfall of a portion of Zeisberger’s colony, but the perpetrators of the atrocities were Americans who brutally murdered native men, women and children. After this tragedy, Zeisberger’s group found refuge in Ontario and thrived as a Christian settlement.

Fischer’s thesis is most clearly devastated by the experience of the Cherokees in the south after the Revolutionary War. The Cherokees signed a treaty with the federal government in 1794 and then settled into a peaceful period where they built roads and villages. They welcomed Christian missionaries which led to many converts among the Cherokee in Northern Georgia and Tennessee. In his book on American Christianity, Noll describes “a slow but steady acceptance of the Christian faith.” Noll continues the sad tale:

During the administration of President Andrew Jackson, however, the evangelism of the missionaries and the work of selective cultural adaptation by the Cherokees both received a fatal blow. After the discovery of gold in Northern Georgia about the time of Jackson’s election in 1828, the lust of the White settlers for Cherokee land grew even stronger than before. Jackson and his agents for Indian affairs were eager to give it to them. The result was a forced removal of the Cherokees from Georgia to the West. Despite the fact that the Cherokees had adapted to American ways with remarkable skill, the removal proceeded with ruthless finality. The missionaries, who had come to the Native Americans as bearers of civilization as well as of Christianity, faced a terrible dilemma. They now were forced to watch their country, supposedly the embodiment of Christian civilization, turn violently against a people that had responded to their message.

The United States, bearing the gifts of Christian faith and republican politics, destroyed a tribal people that was working to accept those gifts. Some missionary spokesmen, unlike Worcester, Butler, and the Joneses, played a signal part in that destruction. Such spokesmen were good culture Christians. The agents of Andrew Jackson’s Indian policy were democrats. Together they did the devil’s work in the name of the Lord and of his “chosen country.”

Noll’s description is haunting. He repeatedly demonstrates that the Cherokee and other native peoples followed the way of Pocahontas but they were not rewarded with Fischer’s “seamless and bloodless” assimilation. Instead, during the Trail of Tears, men, women and children were uprooted and brutally forced to march hundreds of miles, many to their deaths, because they were Native Americans. At the time, some Christians, seeing the evil, engaged in civil disobedience to try to prevent the forced relocation. In the present, why can’t the American Family Association stop revising history and acknowledge this sad and painful chapter in our history?

AFA divided over Bryan Fischer’s views on Native Americans

First, Elijah Friedeman stepped up and distanced himself from the supremacist views of Bryan Fischer about Native Americans. Friedeman’s rebuttal to Bryan Fischer’s now-removed column (you can read it here) saying Native Americans were “morally disqualified” can be read on his blog.

Now, AFA General Counsel, Patrick Vaughn has weighed in with a comment on my Crosswalk article reporting a statement from the Native American Rights Fund. There Vaughn wrote:

Bryan Fischer’s blog runs on the AFA website. His blog does not speak for AFA. His statements about Native Americans were wrong and disturbing. I am posting this as an individual, but provide my job description to illustrate that Bryan’s views were not those of AFA as a whole.

Patrick Vaughn

General Counsel

American Family Association, Inc.

The AFA does not appear to be a group that promotes diversity of viewpoints but on this issue, the organization has sought some distance from Mr. Fischer. Some organizations are known for their freedom of thought and expression (e.g., colleges and universities – academic freedom) whereas others (e.g., advocacy groups) are more often on ideological script. In this case, it appears that Mr. Fischer has found an issue which has generated genuine disagreement among his peers.

Bahati sidesteps questions about threats to BBC reporter

Last week, BBC reporter Scott Mills said he felt threatened by Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill author, David Bahati. Mills interviewed Bahati in Uganda for the program, The World’s Worst Places to be Gay. After the interview, Mills says he revealed his gay orienation to Bahati and then according to Mills:

The 36-year-old was filming a show called The World’s Worst Place to be Gay? (on BBC3, of course), when he confessed his sexual orientation to British-educated politician David Bahati – who Scott said “went mental”.

He explained: “He was scary. He ordered us to cut the cameras then brought a security guard.

“We ran off and he rang one of our guys saying, ‘Where are they staying? What are the registration plates? I want them arrested. They won’t get far’.”

Fortunately Scott’s colleague lied about their location, and armed police arrived at the Sheraton – where they had been falsely told the team were staying.

The DJ continued: “I’d heard horror stories about people getting arrested and roughed up and who knows what. I was scared.”

I wrote David Bahati and asked for his version of the events and he sent back the following message:

…the most important thing to me at the moment is to ensure that my president and party win elections on 18th feb but not to engage in immaterial issues of a journalist trying to make ends meet.

In this interview (click the link), Bahati says he would not have done the interview for the documentary if he knew Mills was gay.

On one other occasion, MP Bahati scared a gay BBC journalist who was filming a documentary. While I cannot reveal the identity of the journalist, I have independent confirmation of the fact that Bahati considered police intervention when a reporter revealed his sexual orientation.

Here is a brief clip of Mills with Solomon Male.

 

And then his witchdoctor treatment:

As Bahati noted, Ugandan elections are this coming Friday. The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is one of many bills slated to be considered after the elections.

Bryan Fischer explains why the AFA pulled his column on Native Americans

I don’t know where the hole is going that Bryan Fischer is digging but it got a little deeper this afternoon.

As of mid-afternoon today, no decision had been made by AFA leaders to address the controversy over the column about Native Americans (you can read it here) according to Cindy Roberts, Director of Media and Public Relations.  Then late today, Mr. Fischer posted his explanation:

On Tuesday, I posted a column on the settlement of America by Europeans. The column generated so much intense, vitriolic and profane reaction that it threatened to take on a life of its own, and serve as a distraction to the fundamental mission of AFA, even though when I blog I am speaking only for myself and not for the organization. So we took it down. 

But the issue I addressed in the column is an important one, and at some point, a rational discussion and debate about it must be held. 

The template that the left has generated is that the displacement of indigenous tribes by European colonists and settlers was irredeemably evil. All the land which now comprises the United States was stolen from its rightful owners. Our very presence on this soil is a guilty, tainted presence. 

So the question is whether that template is right, or whether the displacement of indigenous nations was consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations and history. 

A lot is at stake here. If Americans believe that the entire history of our nation rests on a horribly evil foundation, then there is nothing to be proud of in American history, and our president is correct to identify America as the source of all evil in the world and to make a career out of apologizing for her very existence. 

If, however, there is a moral and ethical basis for our displacement of native American tribes, and if our westward expansion and settlement are in fact consistent with the laws of nature, nature’s God, and the law of nations, then Americans have much to be proud of.

Someone at the AFA must have determined that attacking Native Americans was out of sync with the AFA mission but that finding fault with the Medal of Honor and opining that Jesus would have allowed a home to burn down over failure to pay a fee is a part of their mission.

On the substance, it appears that shades of gray are missing from Mr. Fischer’s palette. I reject this reductionism and appeal to naturalism (“laws of nature and nature’s God?!).  In his column, Mr. Fischer tries to frame obviously evil acts as noble ones. However, evil does not become noble because the evil served an outcome that cannot now be undone.  

I disagree with the President on many issues but I don’t believe Fischer is correct in his assessment that Obama blames America for “all evil in the world.” Fischer expresses no regret for his offensive and supremacist generalizations about Native Americans and only makes things worse by engaging in all or nothing argumentation.