NPR on the difference between dominionists and evangelicals

Check out this report from Fresh Air with guest Rachel Tabachnick.
There is much of interest in the report but here is some money that caught my eye:

A ‘Different’ Evangelicalism

Tabachnick, who has been researching and writing about the apostles for a decade, says her own religious background has helped her with her research. She grew up as a Southern Baptist and converted to Judaism as an adult.
“Having the Southern Baptist background and growing up in the Deep South has helped me to be able to do this research and has also helped me realize something that might not be apparent to some other people looking at the movement,” she says. “This is quite radically different than the evangelicalism of my youth. The things that we’ve been talking about are not representative of evangelicalism. They’re not representative of conservative evangelicalism. So I think that’s important to keep in mind. This is a movement that’s growing in popularity, and one of the ways they’ve been able to do that [is because] they’re not very identifiable to most people. They’re just presented as nondenominational or just Christian — but it is an identifiable movement now with an identifiable ideology.”

Recently, some evangelicals have reacted strongly against accusations of dominionism, even going so far as to deny it exists (e.g., this Christian Post op-ed). It exists for sure but as Tabachnick says, many evangelicals wouldn’t recognize it as being “them.”
What has been concerning to me is the marriage of traditional evangelicalism with the New Apostolic Reformation through right wing politics. For instance, Cindy Jacobs speaking at Liberty University’s Awakening conference was an odd combination of beliefs. The focus becomes societal change as opposed to proclaiming the religious message of the gospel.
I think Tabachnick’s critique is valuable and her distinctions helpful.

NPR's Tell Me More discusses Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Bill

David Bahati will be on at the top of the show, Tell Me More. I will be on sometime after that to discuss the recent happenings in Uganda regarding the AHB.
To listen, go to the website (or here to listen live) and find where it airs in your neck of the woods. It will be archived later today as well.
There is also an interesting article out this morning at the Daily Beast  quoting yours truly.

NPR: US evangelicals exports culture war to Uganda

This morning, Barbara Bradley Hagerty explores the connections between the US evangelical scene and Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Extensive material from Scott Lively is included with a brief comment from yours truly.  The transcript is at the link; go read and listen to the entire program but here are some segments.

The battle over the Bible and homosexuality has torn apart Christian churches and entire denominations in the United States. But what happens when that culture war is exported to other countries? Ugandans are finding out — with potentially deadly consequences.

Uganda is now considering a bill that would impose the death penalty or life in prison on gay men and lesbians for some homosexual acts.

To understand how this bill came to be, one needs to know the story of King Mwanga. In 1886, Uganda’s king ordered some two dozen male pages to have sex with him, and when they refused because of their Christian faith, he ordered that they be burned to death. Every year on June 3, Ugandans celebrate a national holiday honoring the Christian martyrs and deploring the pedophile king.

Into this climate stepped Scott Lively, an American evangelical and president of Defend The Family International. In March 2009, Lively traveled to Uganda to speak, along with two other Americans from “ex-gay communities,” about the “gay agenda.”

I agree with Jim Naughton when he said:

Jim Naughton, a former canon in the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, D.C., says their message plays one way in the U.S., but differently in a place like Uganda. And they should have known.

“If you go to countries where there’s already a great deal of suspicion and maybe animosity towards homosexuals, and begin to tell people there, ‘Well, actually these people are child abusers, they’re coming for their children, that they’re the scourge that is being deposited on you by the secular West,’ you’re gonna get a backlash.” Naughton says it’s like “showing up in rooms filled with gasoline, and throwing lighted matches around and saying, ‘Well, I never intended fire .‘ “

Spot on.

I was interviewed Tuesday for this segment. I did not know some things then that I know now, particularly about the College of Prayer.

If [Rev. Rick] Warren was slow to condemn the bill, other Christian conservatives have yet to do so, says Warren Throckmorton, who teaches psychology at Grove City College and has been monitoring U.S. evangelical response. He says some of the Christian groups most publicly tied to Uganda have been the quietest. Joyce Meyer Ministries, Oral Roberts University, the College of Prayer in Atlanta — all have close ties and declined to express reservations about the death penalty.

“Silence is often interpreted as consent,” says Throckmorton, who is himself a conservative evangelical. “So I think those kinds of responses may lead those individuals in Uganda to think that perhaps what [they’re] doing really is according to the evangelical faith.”

I have since learned that the College of Prayer wants it to be clear that for them, at least, silence should not be taken as consent. To be sure, they have been pretty silent, but Rev. Fred Hartley told me that the College of Prayer has no involvement in any way with the bill.

Here is the audio. If the player doesn’t work, try this or just go to the site.

NPR interviews Bob Hunter; repeats the Fellowship Foundation’s (aka The Family) opposition to Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Today, NPR’s Fresh Air featured an interview with former Ford and Carter administration official, Bob Hunter. An interview with Mr. Hunter was recently featured on this blog via a guest post by Jeff Sharlet.

The transcript is here and is interesting reading to say the least. Here is a little bit:

GROSS: Uganda now has anti-gay legislation before parliament that is really draconian. It would call for the death penalty for anyone who is gay who had HIV-AIDS, the death penalty for adults who have gay sex with minors, jail for anyone who fails to report a gay person within 24 hours if there’s been gay activity, life sentences for people in same-sex marriages, and this bill also calls for extraditing gay Ugandans living abroad so that they can be brought back to Uganda and be prosecuted.

What’s your opinion of that bill, being so close to the country of Uganda?

Mr. HUNTER: Well, my opinion is it’s a terrible bill and shouldn’t be adopted, and I believe no one that I know, in America particularly, and my close friends in Uganda, I know of no one who supports it in the Fellowship.

GROSS: Since you have so many connections in Uganda and since you know President Museveni and helped bring him to the National Prayer Breakfast in 1997, which is organized by the Fellowship – the Family – did you – have you spoken out to your connections in Uganda?

Mr. HUNTER: Oh yes. Definitely. In fact, when I first called them, and well, first was an email contact, they said, look, the guy who introduced the bill came to one of our prayer breakfasts and afterwards, in a private meeting he told us about the bill and we told him it was a bad idea. So even before the bill was introduced, members of the Fellowship had said you should reach out to other people before you do this. It’s, you know, be cautious. This is not a good idea. They did it in a very polite Ugandan way but the fact is they spoke out even before it was introduced.

Mr. Hunter then mentions Jeff Sharlet’s guest post and seems very keen to emphasize the Fellowship’s position on Uganda.

GROSS: Now, so these are statements that have been made in the United States. What about statements to Ugandans like calling up connections or calling up people who they have prayed with?

Mr. HUNTER: My understanding is there has been some connections. I know I have done it personally and talked to people who would be close to people in the decision-making process about our concerns, which is very unusual. You know, we never involve ourselves in these political things. That’s not our role. But this one became so, you know, hot that we decided – I decided that I should speak out, and then I found out they were already speaking out in Uganda.

I would say that, one other thing…

GROSS: Mm-hmm.

Mr. HUNTER: …and that is that Mr. Sharlet now recognizes that we had nothing to do with the anti-homosexual bill and has so said so in post by Warren Throckmorton.

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Author links sponsors of Anti-Homosexuality Bill to The Family

Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power was on NPR’s Fresh Air program yesterday. The main theme of the interview was to discuss The Family, a secretive Christian group who moves in political circles worldwide. For more on this group, see Sharlet’s book, and this investigative report by World magazine.

For our purpose, his investigation into the influences on the sponsors of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill are interesting and provocative. You can listen below or read the transcript here.

GROSS: This legislation has just been proposed. It hasn’t been signed into law. So it’s not in effect and it might never be in effect. But it’s on the table. It’s before parliament. So is there a direct connection between The Family and this proposed Anti-Homosexual Legislation in Uganda?

Mr. SHARLET: Well, the legislator that introduces the bill, a guy named David Bahati, is a member of The Family. He appears to be a core member of The Family. He works, he organizes their Uganda National Prayer Breakfast and oversees a African sort of student leadership program designed to create future leaders for Africa, into which The Family has poured millions of dollars working through a very convoluted chain of linkages passing the money over to Uganda.

GROSS: So you’re reporting the story for the first time today, and you found this story – this direct connection between The Family and the proposed legislation by following the money?

Mr. SHARLET: Yes, it’s – I always say that the family is secretive, but not secret. You can go and look at 990s, tax forms and follow the money through these organizations that The Family describe as invisible. But you go and you look. You follow that money. You look at their archives. You do interviews where you can. It’s not so invisible anymore. So that’s how working with some research colleagues we discovered that David Bahati, the man behind this legislation, is really deeply, deeply involved in The Family’s work in Uganda, that the ethics minister of Uganda, Museveni’s kind of right hand man, a guy named Nsaba Buturo, is also helping to organize The Family’s National Prayer Breakfast. And here’s a guy who has been the main force for this Anti-Homosexuality Act in Uganda’s executive office and has been very vocal about what he’s doing, and in a rather extreme and hateful way. But these guys are not so much under the influence of The Family. They are, in Uganda, The Family.

GROSS: So how did you find out that Bahati is directly connected to The Family? You’ve described him as a core member of The Family. And this is the person who introduced the anti-gay legislation in Uganda that calls for the death penalty for some gay people.

Mr. SHARLET: Looking at the, The Family’s 990s, where they’re moving their money to – into this African leadership academy called Cornerstone, which runs two programs: Youth Corps, which has described its in the past as an international quote, invisible family binding together world leaders, and also, an alumni organization designed to place Cornerstone grads – graduates of this sort of very elite educational program and politics and NGO’s through something called the African Youth Leadership Forum, which is run by -according to Ugandan media – which is run by David Bahati, this same legislator who introduced the Anti-Homosexuality Act.

The player sometimes doesn’t load so if it doesn’t, you can listen here:

Monday, I noted American influence via the College of Prayer and their three year partnership with the Ugandan parliament. There seem to be multiple lines of influence tied to those who have introduced the bill. What is not clear is how much, if any, the Americans directly suggested the bill.

More to come on that point…

WHYY interview with Judith Glassgold about APA task force report

Yesterday, I was on WHYY out of Philadelphia for an interview with Judith Glassgold, chair of the recently released APA Task Force report. Marty Moss-Coane is the host of Radio Times, a show broadcast over NPR as well as locally on WHYY.

You can listen to the interview here. It is long (about an hour) but the long format allowed us to unpack the report and some of the clinical issues involved.

Among other points, Dr. Glassgold affirmed my understanding and analysis of the APA task force report and the value it has for people working within a sexual identity therapy framework. There is much more of interest so if you groove on this topic, this is a good interview without pressure to create sound bites.

David Scasta talks on NPR about the APA symposium

On NPR’s Bryant Park Project, David Scasta talked about the cancelled symposium. You will need to listen to the audio to get the discussion since the article is not a transcript.
I will have some comments about this as the day goes on…