Exporting Hate: American Evangelicals in Uganda

If you’re like me, you’ve been keeping up with American evangelical organizations’ role in a Ugandan bill that would criminalize LGBT citizens and strip them of their rights. If you haven’t, this is an issue you might want to know something about. Either way, I think you’ll find this short video important and informative:

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When Uganda first moved to impose the death penalty on LGBTQ individuals, many of the exact same American evangelical leaders and organizations that had been actively spreading homophobia in Uganda recoiled and tried to distance themselves, insisting that that’s not what they meant. I’m not sure, though, that it makes any sense to preach that “the homosexual agenda” is out to destroy the family and prey on children and then act surprised when people respond by moving to stamp out homosexuality like some sort of scourge.

Also, it might interest you to know that this isn’t the only way American evangelicals have been exporting hate and harmful fundamentalist religious ideologies abroad. Michael Pearl’s abusive child rearing manual, To Train Up A Child, has been translated into numerous languages and sent into other countries, and the same is currently being done with Debi Pearl’s abusive marriage manual, Created To Be His Help Meet. Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute, for its part, runs orphanages in Russia. It’s really hard for me to see harmful and abusive practices not only perpetuated here in the United States, but also actively exported to other countries and regions.

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • http://republic-of-gilead.blogspot.com Ahab

    “I’m not sure, though, that it makes any sense to preach that “the homosexual agenda” is out to destroy the family and prey on children and then act surprised when people respond by moving to stamp out homosexuality like some sort of scourge.”

    Bingo. They knew what they were doing. They know the possible outcomes that may arise from promoting homophobia, including vicious oppression of LGBTQ people. I’m glad that more and more people are learning about the Religious Right’s machinations abroad and holding them accountable.

    When I hear the homophobic language of foreign Religious Right speakers, I’m struck by how similar it is to the rhetoric of the American Religious Right. The American Religious Right is sharing its ideas with a lot of people abroad, sadly.

    It’s not just homophobia, either. Look up Reinhard Bonnke of Christ for All Nations — he promotes faith healing and speaks of witchcraft in sermons all across the globe. Look up the World Conference of Families, which has the support of major American Religious Right groups and promotes an anti-choice agenda abroad. The Religious Right networks globally, and it’s unsettling.

  • Custador

    But that’s EXACTLY what they meant. They just know that if they’re honest about that they’ll lose support.

  • http://pasttensepresentprogressive.blogspot.com Latebloomer

    “Feeling they have lost the culture war at home”…. that’s really a key idea, in my opinion. These anti-gay American evangelicals are used to using extreme language for minimal “results” in the US, and I can easily believe that they were not expecting to have such an effect when using the same rhetoric in Uganda. However, even seeing what happens when they are taken seriously, they still persist in their message, so they definitely need to be held accountable for the tragic results. I’m glad that some steps have been taken to hold at least one man accountable–Scott Lively, who was involved in the same homeschooling/fundamentalist circles that I was in during my teen years, and whose kids I knew from anti-abortion activism.

    Here are two other relevant videos, one is a report from about two years ago, and the other is the recent news about Scott Lively.


  • Custador

    A friend of mine who lives in Zambia and has undertaken volunteer work all over Africa (as well as actually being from Africa) offered an insight. He said: “Rural Africans don’t really get the concept of not believing what an authority tells the. So when some rich white guy rolls into their village or town and says that he’s got a direct line to God, and God hates gays, it doesn’t occur to them that he might be wrong or lying. They just connect the dots from what the authority figure has told them, and do what they honestly think God would want them to do, based on what they’ve been told. It’s really ugly, and when you mix tribal beliefs in witchcraft in with Christianity, it’s even worse”.

  • Eliza

    ATI no longer has orphans in Russia. Or anywhere that I know of. Their website is hopelessly outdated. They no longer have a training center in Moscow, and haven’t had for a while. ATI still does have influence in some countries, though. To see what former students are saying, see http://www.recoveringgrace.org.

  • Becca

    I once knew a paster who was involved in teaching the “Biblical World View” to African officials. This was fifteen years ago, so I’m not 100% sure if it was Uganda, but I think it was. He told me they were eagerly received and making real inroads into changing the country to make it a Christian nation. It was visibly exciting to him. I mention it because he did believe and teach that homosexuals should have the death penalty – as well as those who practice witchcraft and children who do not obey their parents.

    He also taught that AIDS was created by God to help rid the earth of gays.