…even though I love what I understand to have been the central ethical teaching of Jesus: Be kind to the weak. This view of Jesus first moved me deeply 35 years ago, as I read this book:
The Nazarene: a Novel Based on the Life of Christ
by Scholem Asch
I confess that I cried my way through much of it, I was so moved. And what I remembered of Bible School teachings of my youth did fit with the view of Christ as having been above all a teacher of a morality of gentleness and forgiveness.
But, in America at least, modern fundamentalist Christians have proven that man’s inherent meanness always wins. They have actually managed to turn the wellspring of feeling that flows from belief in Jesus’ loving gospel into an instrument for cruelty and domination. It’s like they have picked their beloved hero Jesus bodily out of the gentle New Testament and crammed him back into the Old Testament, and made him into a puppet speaking the lines of Leviticus and his ilk.
Here’s some of the “good work” that they’ve been doing in the world:
From the Inner Civilization blog
How Does This Happen?
March 2010 – Proposed anti-gay legislation in Uganda has sparked” international uproar.” Homosexuality is already illegal in Uganda, but the new bill would impose much harsher punishments, including life imprisonment and even the death penalty for some homosexual acts. It would also require people to report every LGBT individual they know or face imprisonment. There’s a lot of hostility targeting the grassroots people. There’s a lot of homophobia that has been increased because of ongoing demonstrations around the country. These demonstrations are done by religious groups. ~ Frank Murgishia, of the Sexual Minorities of Uganda Organization.
Sounds like some nutty Africans pushing their “primitive ideas” through legislation? Where would a bill like this originate? Let’s see….
The Rev. Kapya Kaoma, Anglican priest from Zambia: Currently, the forces that are supporting the bill in Uganda have all distanced themselves. For instance, we have Scott Lively saying the bill goes too far. Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback in California has also said, no, he denounces the bill. The American conservative churches, which have broken away from the Episcopal Church, are saying they are no longer part of the bill. There is no American conservative who is prepared to say that they are for this bill.
But before this bill was proposed, they were the ones who were, in fact, in the forefront preaching and using homophobia as an organizing tool. Pastor Warren was in Africa doing his so-called purpose-driven project. He has purpose-driven projects in Nigeria. He has a purpose-driven project in Rwanda. He has the same project in Uganda. And ironically, all these countries have been shamed. They have new laws against homosexuality. His friends are Archbishop Akinola of Nigeria. We have Henry Orombi of Uganda. These are the very people who are advocating for anti-gay laws in their countries. So you can see that they distance themselves now because the fire is burning. But their friends in Africa are the same people who are for this bill.
We have a group of Americans, like the Institute on Religion and Democracy, headed by Mark Tooley currently, who is their president. This is a group which has used homophobia as an organizing tool in Africa. It has misrepresented or taken the American politics of gays and lesbians in this country and used it as a reason for them to get Africans on their side. And unfortunately, when the fire now is burning against LGBT persons in Africa, these groups are silent about this bill.
How receptive would European Americans and the Congress be to Ugandan Africans proselytizing their religion in America seeking to influence American society? Why in 2010 do Black Africans think this is acceptable?
H.Q -2:11-12 “And when it is said to them, Do not make mischief in the land, they say: We are but peace-makers. Now surely they themselves are the mischief makers, but they do not perceive.”
Who, exactly did this particularly vicious bit of business in the name of Jesus? For some good information on the 70-year-old semi-secret group of America’s powerful persons that had a hand in fomenting this Ugandan awfulness, and would dearly love to foment a bunch of it here as well, see this book:
The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, by Jeff Sharlet