Four things that happened

Here are four things that happened, one after the other, over the course of the past three weeks. The sequence is undeniable. Whether that sequence means anything in terms of causality or of culpability I will leave for the reader to decide.

1. This happened: Remarks by President Obama and President Sall of the Republic of Senegal at Joint Press Conference, June 27, 2013, Dakar, Senegal

PRESIDENT OBAMA:  Well, first of all, I think the Supreme Court ruling yesterday was not simply a victory for the LGBT community, it’s a victory for American democracy. I believe at the root of who we are as a people, who we are as Americans is the basic precept that we are all equal under the law. We believe in basic fairness. And what I think yesterday’s ruling signifies is one more step towards ensuring that those basic principles apply to everybody.

… Now, this topic did not come up in the conversation that I had with President Sall in a bilateral meeting. But let me just make a general statement. The issue of gays and lesbians, and how they’re treated, has come up and has been controversial in many parts of Africa. So I want the African people just to hear what I believe, and that is that every country, every group of people, every religion have different customs, different traditions. And when it comes to people’s personal views and their religious faith, et cetera, I think we have to respect the diversity of views that are there.

But when it comes to how the state treats people, how the law treats people, I believe that everybody has to be treated equally. I don’t believe in discrimination of any sort. That’s my personal view. And I speak as somebody who obviously comes from a country in which there were times when people were not treated equally under the law, and we had to fight long and hard through a civil rights struggle to make sure that happens.

So my basic view is that regardless of race, regardless of religion, regardless of gender, regardless of sexual orientation, when it comes to how the law treats you, how the state treats you — the benefits, the rights and the responsibilities under the law — people should be treated equally. And that’s a principle that I think applies universally, and the good news is it’s an easy principle to remember.

Every world religion has this basic notion that is embodied in the Golden Rule — treat people the way you want to be treated. And I think that applies here as well.

2. And then this happened: “African religious leaders reject Obama’s call to decriminalize homosexuality

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Religious leaders in Africa strongly rebuked President Obama’s call to decriminalize homosexuality, suggesting it’s the reason why he received a less-than-warm welcome during a recent trip to the continent.

In a news conference in Senegal during his three-nation tour, just as the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on same-sex marriage, Obama said African nations must grant equal protection to all people regardless of their sexual orientation.

… But Obama’s words rubbed religious and political leaders the wrong way. In Senegal, the West African nation where Islam is the predominant religion, homosexuality is a crime.

Christianity and Islam are growing fast on the continent, and religious leaders in both faith communities responded with vehement denunciations.

Indeed, some clerics said Obama’s statements on gays spoiled the welcome religious leaders and their followers could have accorded the first African-American president.

3. And then this happened: Politically conservative Christians in America cheered African religious leaders for their rejection of Obama’s call for “equal protection to all people regardless of their sexual orientation.”

A few of many such examples:

4. And then this happened: “Cameroon’s Eric Lembembe: Gay rights activist murdered.”

Eric Lembembe

Prominent Cameroonian gay rights activist and journalist Eric Lembembe has been killed in the capital, Yaounde, a rights group says.

Mr. Lembembe’s neck and feet appeared to have been broken and his face, hands, and feet burned with an iron, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said.

The cause of the killing is not known, but Mr. Lembembe is the latest activist to be targeted in Cameroon, it added.

Homosexual acts are illegal in socially conservative Cameroon.

… Mr. Lembembe, the executive director of the Cameroonian Foundation for Aids, was a courageous activist who campaigned for equal rights, despite severe discrimination and violence, HRW said.

His friends discovered his body at his home in Yaounde on Monday, after being unable to reach him by phone for two days, it said.

This happened. And then that happened. And then that happened. And then that happened.

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  • SisterCoyote

    ow.

  • Headless Unicorn Guy

    Possible linkage, but confirmation will require some investigation and might not be definite. I DO know the dark side of American Evangelicalism is metastasizing to Africa through Christianese media — the example most often cited has to do with Prosperity Gospel and Televangelism.

  • Baby_Raptor

    For examples that support your theory, Google around about the Right Wing involvement in Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill.

  • Ima Pseudonym

    I’m sure Scott Lively is dancing a jig at the news. In private.

    In public, I’m sure he’s practicing his “sad” face, so he can tsk at the murder and express regret that such a horrible thing happened, but that really, it has nothing to do with him or any other gay-phobic fundamentalist, it’s totally not their fault and we shouldn’t hold them responsible in spite of their flamebait rhetoric, and if only poor Mr. Lembembe had chosen not to be a gay activist, he’d still be alive today, nudge nudge, wink wink. All completely regrettable and not his fault, you see.

  • Lorehead

    I remember him; he’s from these parts. Back in 1991, when a lesbian woman tried to film one of his meetings, he allegedly threw her against the wall and dragged her out by her hair. In his version of events, she’s an evil homosexual liar who was planning a lawsuit against them all along, so of course he did the only reasonable thing and used violence against her. WWJD!

    The jury believed her, and the legal fallout of their paranoia (“Judgments were granted to the plaintiff Stauffer in the amount of $30,000 each against O.C.A. and Scott Lively. Recognizing these were frivolous lawsuits designed to break an organization that was trying to stop the homosexual agenda in Oregon, neither Lively nor O.C.A. bothered to pay the judgment.”) ended up destroying the organization and sending its founder to jail.

    Lively is also the author of The Pink Swastika, a book blaming gay men for the Holocaust.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Christianity and Islam are growing fast on the continent, and religious leaders in both faith communities responded with vehement denunciations.

    What were they denouncing again?

    “Every world religion has this basic notion that is embodied in the Golden Rule — treat people the way you want to be treated. And I think that applies here as well.”

    That’s right. “Do unto others” was Obama’s “deviant demand.” Got it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    And religion poisons once again.

  • Fusina

    Mmm, no. Religion doesn’t poison things. People being people does. If every person on earth was killed, there wouldn’t be any more of this stuff. Do not even try to tell me that all atheists are perfect–we already know that christians and muslims are not.

  • Veleda_k

    “Religion poisons everything” is nice and easy to say because it absolves those of us who aren’t religious of all guilt. There’s no need to examine our inner selves. We can’t carry any cruelty or prejudice; that’s all religion. It also creates a simple fix: eliminate religion, then all the world’s problems will be solved. I think this especially useful for people who don’t want to create solutions in other ways.

    It, of course, is not true. People can and will find a myriad of ways to be horrible to each other without religion having anything to do with it. But that implies that there might be something unkind inside me, and that’s uncomfortable to admit.

  • http://www.ghiapet.net/ Randy Owens

    “Religion poisons everything” is nice and easy to say because it absolves those of us who aren’t religious of all guilt.

    Actually, that would only be if it were phrased as “religion and only religion poisons everything.” There’s nothing about what he said that implies that religion is the only root problem.

  • dpolicar

    Right.

    All it does is seek to focus attention on the harms caused by religion.

    Which of course has the side-effect of focusing attention away from harms caused by other things, since that’s how focusing attention works… it’s hard for most people to focus on two things at once.

    Similarly, when a stage magician focuses our attention on their left hand while they palm a coin with their right, that’s not the same as implying that they aren’t palming a coin with their right hand.

    On the other hand, it’s not clear to me that emotional absolution depends more on implications than on attention.

  • Fusina

    Except that in previous conversations he has stated that even when people who are religious do good things, they are still “fruit of the poison tree”, implying, to me at least, that he thinks that religion is the root problem.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I like your phrasing and your comment (except your last “the”)! While there are many roads to homophobia, the chief one in most places is the religious one.

  • Candy Floss

    How do you know? How can you tell a person has an inordinate fear of homosexuals and homosexuality?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Agreed with your first two sentences, but see http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/07/17/four-things-that-happened/#comment-966409019
    Of course, I don’t believe the claims of your third sentence. There are many cruel and prejudiced atheists. I certainly don’t believe that once religion is eliminated, all the problems of the world will be solved. So far, I don’t see anything wrong with me.

  • Veleda_k

    “So far, I don’t see anything wrong with me.”

    I look at my comment, then I look at your reply. I’d feel that I’d succeeded in something, but you’ve done all the work for me.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Religion does poison things. I have never claimed that all bad things caused by humans will end once religion perishes from Earth. I simply view religion as one one of many human-made problems.

  • Fusina

    Everything poisons things. Your point?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    How does everything poison things?

  • Fusina

    too much water kills. Too little water kills. Too much salt kills. Too little salt kills. People kill people over the stupidest things. The world isn’t going to hell it is hell. And I believe there is a god and I do my damnedest to not harm anyone. Then I hear you declaiming your disdain for religion. Fine, you don’t have to be, no one said you did, yes, religious people have done some damned horrid things to people, but quite frankly I am tired of your one note song. You bore me, the absolute worst sin in my world.

  • Korou

    Exactly. That’s what this story is about. You may or may not think that religion poisons everything; but this is clearly a case of religion poisoning things.

  • Candy Floss

    So all the good work that the Salvation Army does in helping the poor and needy is poisoning everything?

  • chi-chi-chimera

    Yes, because they deny that help to needy gay people or others who don’t fit their corrupt ‘moral’ code.

  • JustoneK

    Stop confusing the symptom for the source.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m not confusing it. Religion is, as far as I can see, the dominant form of homophobia in the U.S. I certainly haven’t seen as many homophobes in the atheist community (to which I am exposed far more than I am to Christian communities) than I’ve read of in Christian communities.

  • JustoneK

    You are truly naive if you think homophobia isn’t part of atheist and apatheistic groups of people, or that it wouldn’t be part of our current living structure without religions as they are.

    Religion is, like ideologies, like everything else, a tool the powerful use to maintain power.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You are truly naive if you think homophobia isn’t part of atheist and apatheistic groups of people, or that it wouldn’t be part of our current living structure without religions as they are.

    -And I don’t.

    Religion is, like ideologies, like everything else, a tool the powerful use to maintain power.

    -Do I need to write words to refute this?

  • JustoneK

    So you’re not desperately trying to keep control of this pseudo conversation and steer it toward the conclusion that supports what you already believe?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    So you’re not desperately trying to keep control of this pseudo conversation

    -You are making baseless (as far as I can see) assumptions here. Why do you think I am desperate, “trying to keep control” of anything here and that this is a “pseudo-conversation”?

    steer it toward the conclusion that supports what you already believe?

    -I think I’m right. Why wouldn’t I try to steer this conversation toward the conclusion that supports what I already believe?

  • JustoneK

    Because you keep turning every thread into your personal power struggle. Every refutation AND citation from generally reputable places is seen as a reason to defend yourself and your beliefs. You are keeping up with other details like post counts and likes in a system that is notoriously wonky and absolutely irrelevant to actual facts. Posts by Fred about horrible things done by people who claim to share his faith and/or his religion become about how right you are, and not a way to commiserate as human beings.

    But you think you are right, and that’s what apparently matters most. This is why it’s easy to dismiss you as a troll, see?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Then where do atheist homophobes come from? Are they infected by religions, no matter what they say?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Q1: Probably gut instinct-I can’t find a rational reason for homophobia.
    Q2: Maybe, but most likely not.

  • Candy Floss

    They come from the religion of atheism.

  • dpolicar

    Like you, I see homophobia in self-identified atheists less often than I do in self-identified Christians. I would not conclude from this that religion is the dominant form of homophobia in the U.S., though.

    I would expect the primary demographic characteristics that differentially predict homophobia in the U.S. population to be age and location of residence. (I wouldn’t say that age poisons everything, either, though the older I get the more tempting that conclusion becomes.)

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I see homophobia less often in atheists purely because I see less atheists than I do Christians. When only ~25% of the country self-identifies as something other than Christian and that ~25% has to include all the other religious beliefs, then it stands to reason that one won’t encounter many homophobic atheists — or all that many atheists, period. One might, however, encounter one of the millions of homosexuality-accepting protestants in the country and mistake them for an atheist simply because they don’t ascribe to the belligerent homophobic faiths commonly mistaken for “real” Christianity. If you grow up thinking Christianity = hatred of homosexuality, then anyone who accepts homosexuality isn’t going to seem very Christian to you.

    On the other hand, I was raised by a homophobic atheist.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    On the other hand, I was raised by a homophobic atheist.

    Yes, religion is not the only road to homophobia; the Soviet Union wasn’t exactly tolerant of homosexuality.

  • John (not McCain)

    The biggest homophobe I ever encountered in my life was an atheist libertarian. I still don’t understand it, anymore than I do racist Star Trek fans.

  • http://www.nicolejleboeuf.com/index.php Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little

    It would really be nice if people stopped using “Religion” as a synonym for “right-wing evangelical Christianity,” or even “Christianity” or even for “Mainstream monotheism”. To say “religion is the dominant form of homophobia” may be technically true but it is misleadingly inaccurate; it paints Judaism, Buddhism and Paganism, as well as the more liberal subsets of Christianity and Islam, with the same overly broad brush of homophobia.

    Please remember that not everything defined as “religion in the U.S.” is shaped like right-wing evangelical Christianity.

    Signed,

    An adherent of a religion that has absolutely nothing to do with homophobia.

  • Candy Floss

    What a strange claim. I assume that you know which ones have an inordinate fear of homosexuals and homosexuality other than your opinion?

  • Hth

    I’ll never understand why people come onto this blog with that kind of attitude. It’s one thing to be in a space and register disagreement with your host on whatever point, but it just seems irredeemably douchey to use the opportunity provided by Fred’s hard work to fire off one line about how much you loathe everything he stands for.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I don’t loathe everything Fred stands for.

  • Boidster

    And religion poisons once again.

    A) “Religion and religious texts seed fear and hatred into adherents, poisoning society as a result.”

    B) “Religion provides a tribal structure where people with similar fears and hatreds can join together and justify/reinforce their existing fear and hatred through interpretation and/or editing of religious texts.”

    Two ways (among many) to look at it. I think B gets closer to the truth, since it seems to allow for the religion to be “innocent”, in a way, of the misuses it is put to by its adherents. And it allows for good religious folks like Fred to exist, people who claim the religion – nominally – as their own while not misusing it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I don’t think B gets closer to the truth-if it did, there would be far fewer Young Earth Creationists. Fred has, fortunately, been rather immune to the poisons of religion (which is one reason why I continue not to call him a Christian-at-heart). Since I haven’t explained what a Christian-at-heart is, I shall explain it here: a Christian-at-heart* is one who does not merely use the Bible to confirm one’s pre-existing ideas**, but, rather, accepts the Biblical text as it is (Fred has done this) and considers it not merely to be a human work that one can twist or dismiss willy-nilly for one’s beliefs to be consistent with secular knowledge***, but considers it the Word of God of which no part (even Joshua or Revelation) can be dismissed or distorted. One of the surest signs of one being a Christian-at-heart is that one finds him/herself in an inner conflict between the teachings of Jesus and one’s desires. However, Fred has rather explicitly rejected any conflict between his secular beliefs regarding what he calls “not being a jerk” and his religious beliefs- http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2013/03/02/lay-your-burden-down-god-is-not-a-jerk/ . Ergo, he is not a Christian-at-heart, by my definition of the term.

    *Many are Christians (and Fred is a Christian); few are Christians-at-heart.

    **Fred frequently uses the Bible as confirmation of obviously pre-existing humanistic ideas.

    ***Fred doesn’t twist the Bible when it’s inconvenient, he just dismisses it.

  • Lunch Meat

    I’ll be sure to write all the Christian universities, preachers, and leading theologians of our age to ensure they know about your revolutionary new categorization system. It’s brilliant and I’m sure they will all care so very, very much.

    (Just one of the problems with your definition, or rather, how you are applying it: you equate “desires” with “non-religious beliefs.”)

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    What’s wrong with my equation? Surely desires aren’t religious beliefs?

  • Lunch Meat

    Desires aren’t beliefs at all. I believe that I should forgive those who hurt me, love my enemies, and give to people who ask things of me. I believe that because of my religion. However, I very much don’t want to do that. Does this make me a “Christian-at-heart”? Or when you talk about the Bible and the teachings of Jesus, are you just talking about the parts you don’t like and pretending the parts saying “love your neighbor as yourself” and “do unto others” and “love does no harm to its neighbor” and “love is patient, love is kind, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude” don’t exist? Are you saying “Don’t be a jerk” is actually in conflict with the teachings of Jesus? Because if you actually believe that, you have no reading comprehension.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I have very much reading comprehension -behold Matthew 8:22, Matthew 10:35-37 . Also, my apologies. I changed “one of the surest signs” to “a sign” in my explanation of the term “Christian-at-heart” since the former didn’t appear to fit in context. Thank you for indirectly pointing out my error.

  • Lunch Meat

    So you are pretending the parts about love and doing good to one another don’t exist, and proof-texting too.

  • Veleda_k

    This one of the things that Fundamentalist Christians and a certain type of atheist (that I succinctly call “asshole atheists”) share. They are both completely wrapped up in a narrow understanding of “biblical literalism.” To both these groups, taking the Bible “literally” (and we should all know how much that’s actually worth) is the only proper way to read it. Anyone who believes reading the Bible in context, or focusing on the overall message isn’t a Real True Christian. (Or a Christian at heart, apparently.) Neither are Christians who consider the Bible important, but stress that they follow Jesus, not the Bible.

    Fundamentalists act this way because they believe it proves the Bible right, and asshole atheists do so because they believe it proves the Bible wrong, but it’s the same approach.

    It’s all about making the argument easy to win. If you dismiss anyone who challenges your worldview, you will never have to question yourself.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    To both these groups, taking the Bible “literally” (and we should all
    know how much that’s actually worth) is the only proper way to read it.

    -Good thing I’m not one of those “asshole atheists”.

  • phantomreader42

    So, this week it’s convenient for you to say you’re not an atheist? We all know beyond any shadow of a doubt you’re an asshole.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’ve never denied being an atheist. I just deny being an “asshole atheist” by Veleda_k’s definition.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m not “pretending the parts about love and doing good to one another don’t exist”, but I admit to proof-texting.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Also, “leading theologians”? :-) That’s a good one!
    http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/2013/07/07/wagofcon/

  • Lunch Meat

    Ah, because if you don’t care about something, it doesn’t matter. Got it.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    So you’ve finally gotten around to defining Christian-at-heart and it basically just means typical-internet-straw-Christian. What is the purpose of this? Beyond condescension, I mean?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Ultimately, to emphasize the duplicity of Fred using the Bible to buttress any of his secular positions.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    So Fred is a liar because you refuse to accept that Christianity is more than Biblical literalism?

    “Thanks for (correcting) (criticizing) (dismissing) my subjective interpretation of something by offering up your own as definitive.”

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Not necessarily a liar, just duplicitous. I understand Christianity is “more than Biblical literalism”; none of the earliest Christians would count as “Christians at heart” by my definition. Christianity is a delusion, anyway; I suspect most of the earliest Christians were relying on their gut far more than on context to interpret the Bible.

  • Lunch Meat

    The earliest Christians had Jesus to help them know what God’s will was [hint: it’s “love each other”]. They didn’t need to interpret the Bible. You seem to think that no religion is an authentic religion if it’s not bound to a book. Why does it have to be about a book? Who are you to tell me what my faith is about? Who are YOU to tell me I’m not a real Christian if my priorities don’t match up with what you think they should be so that you can feel superior to me?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • Lunch Meat

    Ooh, you can do a word search. I’m so impressed. And the word “scriptures” shows up 20 whole times, and in 18 of them it’s talking directly about how the scriptures point to Jesus. So are you saying that words that show up often are the most important? That’s a very poor method of textual analysis, but whatever.

    http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=%22jesus%22&searchtype=all&version1=49&language1=en&spanbegin=1&spanend=73

    http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/?search=%22love%22&searchtype=all&version1=49&language1=en&spanbegin=1&spanend=73

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    No, I’m not saying the words that show up most often are the most important. That would be silly. I’m just rebutting your claim that “They didn’t need to interpret the Bible”.

  • Lunch Meat

    Okay, having words in your comments other than “er” helps if you wish to communicate something. The earliest Christians–the disciples of Jesus and those they evangelized–didn’t need to interpret the Jewish scriptures (not the Bible, since the Bible hadn’t been written yet) to help them know what God’s will was. They used those scriptures basically just to prove that Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and thus more important than the law. I don’t know why this is so hard to understand.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Ah. Now I see your point.

  • Candy Floss

    >>>>> Christianity is a delusion, anyway;

    Prove it.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding
  • Candy Floss

    >>>>> I suspect most of the earliest Christians were relying on their gut far more than on context to interpret the Bible.

    It was very difficult for them to interpret the Bible as it didn’t exist. All they had was the Old Testament and what Jesus said.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    By the “Bible”, I meant the Hebrew Bible and the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible.

  • Mark Z.

    It’s to allow him to no-true-Scotsman any Christian who doesn’t act like the straw-Christian of his imagination.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Fred frequently uses the Bible as confirmation of obviously pre-existing humanistic ideas.

    How does this assertion tally with the fact that Fred has used reasoning from the Bible to change my mind away from MY pre-existing conservative ideas?

    I used to agree with Fred on matters of faith, and disagree with him on almost every political thing he said. But whenever he reasoned, from his faith in Christ, about why he, as a Christian, should support a political position, I found myself unable to fault his reasoning. So I started changing my politics, bit by bit, until I am now about to vote for a party I never DREAMED I’d vote for. Because my faith is about more than holding to my pre-existing ideas.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Which of Fred’s Bible-using posts first prompted you to doubt your conservatism? I don’t see quite how Fred’s use of the Bible could be perceived as convincing (this may be because I am an atheist and not receptive to Biblical arguments for political positions).

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Heaps. Starting many years ago now, so I have no idea which ones were the first.

    Fred’s use of the Bible might not be convincing to atheists, but it certainly can be to Christians.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    Any examples at all?

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    Given that I’ve already told you I can’t remember, why are you asking?

    I can think of two possibilities:
    1) You’re wanting to hear the specifics so you can prove to me (and to yourself) that, really, Fred didn’t argue from the Bible properly, he just used his “pre-conceived humanistic ideas” to manipulate me into thinking it was Biblical, so that he could change my politics, and actually he’s not a “Christian at heart”.
    2) You’re wanting to see Fred use an argument from the Bible to convince someone of a less conservative political position.

    In the case of (1), go screw yourself. In the case of (2), pick a political post. Any political post. You’ll soon come across an example.

  • http://deird1.dreamwidth.org Deird

    considers it the Word of God

    Also? The Word of God is Jesus. (cf John 1:1)

    Not the Bible.

  • Julie Noted

    A definition of Christian-at-heart that doesn’t even make a passing reference to Christ is a pretty shitty definition.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    You might be right.

  • Candy Floss

    What religion are you talking about?

  • Carstonio

    Imagine if I confronted a gay-basher in the US or Africa and asked, “Why do you even care whether someone else is straight or gay?” I suspect he would look at me like I was the stupidest person on the planet,

  • Jamoche

    In better news, that’s the reaction of a bunch of kids when being told that some people hate the family in the Cheerios commercial they just watched: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VifdBFp5pnw

  • Hth

    Sorry to go off topic, but is anyone else finding that all the links to the Left Behind posts and indices are broken? I was rereading a bunch of them last night and they were fine, but I went back today and everything is returning Not Found messages from Patheos. Will this correct itself?

  • P J Evans

    I just checked. Looks like someone either took them out without notice or broke them without notice.

  • Silus

    I found my old bookmark to the main page no longer worked. Had to add a ‘/posts’ at the end to have it not cause a 404 error.

  • Matthew Steele

    I severely doubt that the American leaders supporting the African leaders had anything to do with his murder, and I think it’s honestly a bit racist, or at least eurocentric, to even casually it did (Which, being a journalist, I am sure you are fully aware you did.)

    The people of Africa are not sitting around waiting for American Conservatives to support them before they do things. I suspect the majority of Africans do not read World Magazine or Charisma Magazine. The people who are to blame are the people in Africa who did it. You can also say that the same conservative strain here that lead to the solidarity, also is what lead to that. But I see no reason to believe these events might be related in any way. Except the obvious that they’re both assholes who hate gay people responding to remarks by Obama.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    No one thinks that the American homophobes are responsible for the murder. We just want to make sure everyone is clear which side they’ve thrown in with. One side is murdering gay rights advocates. They are not on the other side.

    Also, “Actually, you’re the racist for complaining about it” is just about the world’s most common derailing tactic.

  • Matthew Steele

    This was certainly phrased in a way to imply that there was a causal relationship. Fred is a smart guy, and a journalist. Anyone else, I’d think “Hey, these things happened, in this order, draw your own conclusions” might not have been trying to imply a causal relationship.

    I’m certainly not saying that I approve of people being homophobic dicks. I also do know well that the American evangelical movement is associated with some pretty homophobic things.

    However, in this case, the only link I can think is “They probably agree with each-other.” But I don’t think, and I will admit I might be wrong, that Fred was trying to imply “In areas where there is less strong law enforcement, this sort of sentiment leads to murder. It’s the same sentiment, just in different people.” It reads to me like “They were probably lead to it by the American evangelical reaction.”

    I think they would have done it anyway. I think that the work the guy was doing was enough to provoke homophobic bigots to want to murder him. And I think that they killed him for his work, not for an article in Charisma magazine.

  • Ross Thompson

    Just to be clear: a bunch of American homophobes go to Africa and spread around money and rhetoric encouraging African nations to keep / enact / strengthen laws criminalizing homosexuality. And then, coincidentally and without connection, those African nations pass exactly those laws. And then, civil rights workers are murdered by people who know that the authorities will (at the very least) look the other way.

    After all, we all know that lobbyists basically have no influence on political systems.

    No-one’s claiming that Scott Lively is the sole reason this happened, but it’s disingenuous to claim he didn’t contribute to it, or that it’s racist to suggest that politics in African nations might have some similarity to politics in America.

  • Matthew Steele

    I was not trying to claim that there is no connection between homophobia in America and in Africa. As I said, I may be wrong, but I did certainly read this as “These articles directly caused this thing to happen.” The order of events was emphasized, and, while Fred did not explicitly say that, he certainly primed the viewer to think of a direct, causal relationship.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I read it as a chronological progression myself, with a descending scale of tone.

    “This happened (yay!), then this happened (boo), then this happened (argh), then this happened (…)”

  • Candy Floss

    >>>>Also, “Actually, you’re the racist for complaining about it” is just about the world’s most common derailing tactic.

    I would have thought that the constant rant by the pink mafia that all churches are like Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist fame is the most common.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    You used the phrase “pink mafia” unironically, therefore your point is invalid.

  • P J Evans

    You did notice that the American fundagelicals are happy to support the homophobia movements, didn’t you? They’re providing money at least, and apparently also advice.
    That puts them squarely in the middle of the situation, and these are groups that are happy to ‘other’ anyone who disagrees with their extremely narrow views.

  • Candy Floss

    >>>>You did notice that the American fundagelicals are happy to support the homophobia movements, didn’t you?

    And I hope you noticed that the homosexual fundies are happy to support the heterophobia movements.

  • phantomreader42

    And I can see you’re too stupid, lazy, and dishonest to notice that you’re making up words for things that only exist in your delusions.

  • SisterCoyote

    I think Ross is right about that first – the point here is that the evangelicals* are throwing their lot in with the murderers, rather than the peacemakers. Humans are capable of being dicks to each other regardless of their skin color or language group or socio-economic status or country of origin; I think we all know that.

    Back when there was a petition going around to stop the death penalty for homosexuality in Uganda from happening, a friend sent me this, amid a conversation about it:

    If the discourse is “Africans cannot be trusted to run their own lives”, then anything we do is playing into it, I think. … by applying international pressure, we are saying Africans should give up their own way of seeing the world and adopt ours–just like in colonial times, with missionaries.

    So DO you wash your hands of it, say “morals are culturally relative” and walk away? Or do you say, “Africa is part of humankind, so it still concerns me”? Or “The African resistance to homosexuality is their own internalized colonialism speaking–before Christian missionaries, many African societies were tolerant of non-binary gender and sexual orientation (though we cannot be sure if all, most, or even some of Uganda counted among those)”? Or “Modern countries should abide by a set of shared human rights”? (And who gets to define those rights? Who gets to say what is good and true?)

    It is a massively complicated problem, but we cannot ignore the fact that American right-wing evangelicals are for that murder, rather than against it.

    *ETA – I mean “the certain and specific evangelicals who are doing so,” not evangelicals in general. I know that not all evangelicals are responsible for this evil.

  • Matthew Steele

    If Africans are killing people for something beyond their control, it’s bad. I’ll accept a hell of a lot under “Society is different here.”

    But I live in a gay-accepting area of Massachusetts. I like it here. It’s allowed me to be open about my sexuality. I could not be as open in a lot of other areas in this country. My boyfriend is in a bad situation, with homophobic relatives, and he claimed he’d broken up with me to them in order to appease them.

    The culture in rural areas of America is very different from the culture in urban areas. But I’m not going to say “Oh, okay, fine, well, they’re just different out there” and be happy with that. We were not fine when a part of the country argued that, “Well, our CULTURE says we keep black people as slaves here” (Which was essentially the argument behind the charming euphemism “Peculiar Institution”) even though I can say, with fair certainty, that the culture in what would become the Confederacy in the mid-19th century differed greatly from the country that would remain The United States.

    Trying to give someone a pass for rape, spousal abuse, or murder on the grounds of “It’s just their CULTURE” doesn’t become a better argument the farther away it takes place from you.

  • Marshall

    So I totally don’t understand why you don’t want to get on the people who are giving a pass to people who are murdering people like you because “physics”. Silence Kills, as we used to say.

  • Matthew Steele

    I don’t understand what I said that made you think I was giving them a pass. I was saying there was not a direct causal relationship between the third and forth events listed, and that I feel that the article was written as if there was.

  • Marshall

    “I severely doubt that the American leaders supporting the African leaders had anything to do with his murder,” … anything is a large category. OK, American leaders, you’re free to go.

    “But Fred is a reporter, and a good amount of journalism school is about learning how NOT to accidentally do that.” … Whyever would you thing Fred did it accidentally? Tut tut, Fred, you’re not being gentile in your criticisms..

    Did you check that link about apathy during the Aids learning experience?

  • Matthew Steele

    Yes, I doubt that these specific leaders were what sparked this. That was what I was trying to say. I am sorry I was not clear enough.

    And I am not apathetic. I have no idea why you seem to think that I am.

  • Marshall

    I’m getting a little overheated myself, so I apologize for my tone. In a constructive vein, rather than think of the specific PCCA links in Fred’s #3 as isolated statements, take them as representing their stream of speech. The causal link from their Word to the Event isn’t simple and direct – nobody is explicitly giving orders – and it isn’t the sole and only cause – but the link Fred is pointing to exists.

    It’s a typical apologist trick to say “you can’t consider the whole environment; you have to stick to only the exact details of this particular instance.” Proof texting, in other words.

  • Matthew Steele

    I suppose I can try to see it that way, that’s not how it read to me. It seemed to me like a direct assigning of primary culpability on the people who said that, not on the people who actually killed him. As if the murderers were listening to the radio show and waiting for a coded ‘OK’ on it.

  • Daniel

    No one seems to have noticed that Africa is not one country and that Senegal, Kenya, Cameroon are not a) the entirety of the continent and b) different countries with different histories and different religions. If you’re capable of distinguishing between the cultures of states in your own country, then would it not be fair to suppose that there are a variety of reasons why Senegal (mostly Islamic, on the West) and Kenya (Christian, on the East) have these laws, and that these reasons may be as complex and numerous as the reasons different people in the US also object to homosexuality?

  • Lunch Meat

    I agree that the cultures, histories, and religions of these African countries are probably very different (I say probably only because I haven’t done any research and don’t want to say something too confidently without knowing). That said, “complex and numerous” reasons to object to homosexuality? I can only think of three:

    -God said not to.
    -It’s icky.
    -It’s unnatural.

  • dpolicar

    There’s also “I am invested in a particular rigid definition of gender roles in relationships, and if homosexuality is not objectionable than that definition is challenged.”

    This has numerous variants, depending on the particular gender roles being invested in.

  • Carstonio

    The third one is merely a rationalization, since “natural” can mean anything that the user wants it to mean. Most often it’s a rationalization of what Dpolicar described about gender roles.

  • Daniel

    I would agree with those three reasons, and of course the highjacked one of “it’s dangerous”.I probably was vague in my first post, but the more complex reasons I was talking about were not just about homosexuality itself but what the response to it should be. These views could be more complex than simply “we are supported by American preachers, therefore validated”.

    The reference I made to complex reasons US people (or any others really) object to being gay was also taking into account pseudo-scientific justifications that have been put forward throughout history- that it’s perverse (without the religious overtone of “sinful”) that it’s the result of abuse (extending an apparently sympathetic reason to be bigoted) or it’s a mental illness (which just…gah). These are more complex reasons than “God doesn’t like it” – they are cloaking prejudice in the language of science, to be presented as “rational” reasons to outlaw something. They also then dictate how society proceeds against transgressors- do they execute them or do they opt for medical treatments like Alan Turing’s chemical castration, where punishment is presented as a kindness? How these ideas influence the various places where homosexuality is still illegal is important to understand in order to try and overturn them.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Don’t forget the ever-present and not at all exaggerated concern that if homosexuality is tolerated, people will stop having babies and the human species will completely die out!

    Actually, I’ve heard that one more times than I care to recall.

  • Daniel

    And the people who say it just keep getting younger.

  • Carstonio

    I’ve tried sorting that one out over the years. I theorized that these folks assume open homosexuality will so repulse straights that they’ll lose interest in either heterosexuality or reproduction. Or if straights will be tempted to turn gay and cease doing their duty to continue the human race. This was way before the Proposition 8 lawyers argued that infertile straight married coupled serve as role models for “responsible” procreation.

  • dpolicar

    I generally assume that it comes from primarily-heterosexual people who are not entirely monosexual, who have embraced the idea that everyone is monosexual, and consequently find their occasional same-sex attractions extremely challenging to their heterosexual identity.

    In other words, they worry that if they allow themselves any room at all to have homosexual inclinations, it will completely overthrow their heterosexual lives. (Of course, this may be true for some of them, but it’s hardly necessary.)

    It doesn’t seem like it would take much to project that internal conflict out into the world and conclude that if we, as a society, allow ourselves any room at all for our members to have homosexual inclinations, it will completely overthrow the social order.

  • Candy Floss

    >>>>>In other words, they worry that if they allow themselves any room at all to have homosexual inclinations, it will completely overthrow their heterosexual lives. (Of course, this may be true for some of them, but it’s hardly necessary.)

    I guess you could say that was a very gentlemanly put down which is straight out of the “Book of Fiction” by the Pink Mafia.

  • dpolicar

    I don’t see how it’s a put down, and I’m not sure what the “Book of Fiction” is. The Pink Mafia I understand to be a reference to gay rights activists.

  • Candy Floss

    And I have heard the one that homosexual parents make better parents than a biological mum and dad more times than I care to remember.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    The only significant difference I can imagine there being is that a same-sex couple has enough hoops to jump through in order to have children that it’s not exactly going to happen when they’re not expecting it, as it can with a heterosexual couple.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    No you haven’t. No one has ever said that. I am calling you out right now: you are lying.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    I’ve heard it stated tentatively in the form of “It seems that children who come from lesbian parents actually seem to do better on average than other couples,” but that’s probably just small sample size throwing off the results.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I’ve heard it along the lines of ‘if the bioparents are shitty enough that the kid can’t stay with them, a gay couple can’t do worse‘. Which doesn’t have the same implications as the original statement at all.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam
  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Or that it wasn’t a great while ago that homosexuality was illegal in countries much closer to home, like Britain, and that anti-sodomy laws were only taken off the books relatively recently in the United States…

  • Daniel

    The difference, dear boy, is that One Didn’t Talk Abayt That Sort of Thing back then. We masked our bigotry as concern for the well being of the young, and chemically castrated people or made them turn treadmills in Reading Gaol. But we didn’t kill them. That would have been cruel.

    Interestingly though, during the Great Game advice was given to out intrepid spies that to win favour with the Pashtuns it was vitally important that we did not try to stop them enjoying bacha bazi. When it was good for diplomacy or in the interests of Empire we had no problem with pink patches on the map.

  • EdinburghEye

    It would be fair but it would not be historically accurate to suppose that Senegal and Kenya have very different reasons for having penal codes which make homosexuality illegal. Yes, they’re on different coasts of a continent far larger than the US. But both of them have one thing in common: their penal code was imposed on them in the 19th century by Christian colonisers from Europe (Senegal: France – Kenya: Britain) and in both instances the penal code, as European penal codes typically did at that date, made homosexuality illegal. Kenya became an independent nation in 1961, Senegal in 1960, but neither one has ever revised the Penal Code clause to decriminalise homosexuality that was imposed on them by 19th century Europe. Many nations in similiar positions never have.

  • Daniel

    But the two colonisers’ approach to colonisation was very different- France tried to make every colony like France while Britain preferred to work with legal codes and governmental structures that were already in place. I’m not saying one was better than the other, just that the aims of both were different. So it was illegal in Britain from the nineteenth century whilst in Kenya a law against homosexuality only came in in 1930. Also Senegal having a legal code imposed by a (nominally) secular state does not explain why as a predominantly Islamic country would not have changed this if it weren’t something they agreed with or found resonated with their own cultural preconceptions. I’m not absolving the empires of blame, I’m just saying that there is more to it than that, and that an externally enforced law would have been overturned after independence if there wasn’t popular support for it. South Africa had no problem taking votes away from black people after it stopped being a colony.

  • EdinburghEye

    Britain preferred to work with legal codes and governmental structures that were already in place.

    To a certain extent yes: this was considered cheaper. For further discussion see:
    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=hBStJrgGvXcC&pg=PA76&lpg=PA76&dq=Kenyan+Penal+Code+of+1930&source=bl&ots=FascTLH79F&sig=Fcj4HbJIIv_9T5sIJH5B5AN1AiM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=XofuUZaoLumn0AWs94GgCg&ved=0CEYQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Kenyan%20Penal%20Code%20of%201930&f=false

    But also, no. In 1895 when the British Empire established the East Africa Protectorate (which didn’t become Kenya til 1920) they transferred the Indian Penal Code to their Protectorate. The IPC was effectively a snapshot of the English Common Law as of 1860. The British colonisers believed as strongly as the French colonisers did that they were imposing a superior law: a penal code that had already been tidied up for use in the colonies, thirty-five years earlier. It is this colonial law that the 1930 penal code is based on.

    does not explain why as a predominantly Islamic country would not have changed this

    Because once homosexuality has been made a criminal offence it creates prejudice and discrimination against LGBT people.

    South Africa had no problem taking votes away from black people after it stopped being a colony.

    Shall we discuss the Boer War? I attempted to do a brief summary of the political issues around race in South Africa – English-speaking, Afrikaans-speaking, the “Coloured” group (see Gandhi’s early political/activist career) as well as the Black African racial/language groups – but anything I could write in the space of a blog comment would be almost as much of a tremendous over-simplification as your comment.

  • http://anonsam.wordpress.com/ AnonymousSam

    Or “states’ rights,” which is certainly what I think of every single time someone says it now. Come to think of it, states’ rights seem very important nowadays to people who are hellbent on denying minorities citizen rights.

  • SisterCoyote

    Ah, sorry, let me clarify. I completely agree that there is a certain line that should be/must be drawn for cultural differences, and human rights abuses are human rights abuses.

    My issue is more that often, responses to human rights abuses overseas takes on the face of white-savior-ism, and that is gross and awful. Also it’s a case of the beam in our own eye taking a backseat to the mote in someone else’s – as if the US was not guilty of human rights abuses?

  • Matthew Steele

    The U.S. certainly is guilty of plenty of human rights abuses. And I object to them here as strongly as I object to them anywhere else. We have a frankly disgusting imprisonment rate, we torture people, we disenfranchise minority voters, we basically do some pretty awful things. I don’t work, I only go to college part time thanks to my anxiety… I have enough time in my day to care about human rights abuses at home and abroad.

    As for the fact that it does often take the face of white saviorism… Yeah, I agree on that too. I don’t think that we should be objecting to things like this because we’re better or more civilized or any other damn fool thing. I think we should be objecting because people are getting hurt for things beyond there control, and that’s objectionable wherever it happens.

  • Candy Floss

    What is beyond the control of the Africans?

  • Marshall

    There wouldn’t be any way to draw a simple line of causality, but I personally think it’s reasonable to think in terms of “a climate that encourages [whatever]”. Id est: the people who (apparently) tortured Lembembe to death were encouraged by the shitstorm from the local religious leaders, who were encouraged by the PCCA’s … in this specific case and in general, politically and financially.

    We COULD have a climate that encourages humane behavior: I believe that one such place is the “Kingdom”.

  • Matthew Steele

    And my objection is that this post is written in a way that seems to imply a line of causality. And people can do that by mistake, it’s easy to do by mistake, so I’d probably take it on the grounds “Well, in general, this theology is what leads to this violence” But Fred is a reporter, and a good amount of journalism school is about learning how NOT to accidentally do that.

  • Ross Thompson

    Here are two things that happened:

    1) American evangelicals spent time and money encouraging Africans to think of homosexuals as subhumans who should be executed.

    2) Homosexuals in Africa were murdered.

    I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think there might possibly be some connection between those two points.

  • Matthew Steele

    Of course it’s not unreasonable. You’re trying to prove to me something I never said, and that I honestly agree with. I agree that your list of things happening is correct in implying that there’s a connection. But your list is not the same as his.

  • Ross Thompson

    No, my list misses out two points that were on Fred’s list. Adding those points back in does not make the connection weaker.

  • Matthew Steele

    Fred’s list with two points would be

    1) Two articles appear in a magazine, a woman supports these things on a radio show

    2) Gay rights activist in Africa is murdered

    His list was relating to a specific incident, and had specific actions. Your list was referring to a larger trend of actions.

    I agree that american evangelicals encourage african leaders. But I do not think that the three instances he listed were an encouragement of african leaders. This read to me like it was implying that, had these two articles not appeared, and had this radio show not been broadcast, then the gay rights activist would still be alive. Like the people in Africa were waiting for a go-ahead from Charisma magazine to tell them it was alright.

  • Marshall

    There IS a line of moral responsibility. To just shrug that off, saying “*I* didn’t tell those guys to do that” seems awfully damned cold to me. And on your thinking, how is the world ever to be healed??

  • Fanraeth

    You’re either ignorant of or deliberately ignoring the fact that the only reason why Uganda keeps trying to make being LGBT punishable by law is because American right-wing evangelicals went over there and lied to them about TEH GAY AGENDA!!11!! and generally stirred the pot. They then proceeded to gloat and pat themselves on the back over it. So yes, anti-gay hysteria in Africa is actively being encouraged and stirred up by American evangelicals.

  • Matthew Steele

    Uganda has nothing to do with what I’m talking about, in any way. I am talking about the specific incidents, listed in a way that implies a direct causal relationship.

    “Anti-gay hysteria in Africa is being actively encouraged by American evangelicals.”

    I will agree to this.

    I will not agree that the SPECIFIC INCIDENTS LISTED are causally connected. I will agree that the GENERAL THEME is causally connected.

  • EdinburghEye

    The American Christian Right have been evangelising in Africa for decades. Their message on LGBT people is the same in Africa as it is anywhere else they can get away with it: Being gay is either an evil choice or it’s caused by sexual molestation. Either way it can be fixed if the gay person repents or is “cured”.

    Western-style homophobia was imported into many former British colonies alongside guns, germs, and steel. The laws that allow these countries to imprison and torture gay people derive or *are* the laws that were provided for these countries by British colonisers in Victorian times. Britain as a member of the Commonwealth has an obligation to take responsibility for these actions and to note that our past evil laws which we exported to the rest of the Commonwealth nations have now been repealed.

    But modern ugly American-style homophobia, active and vicious and deadly, is a product of US Right-wing Christianity evangelising this poison.

    It’s for Africans to hold their leaders to account for spreading and doing evil.

    But Fred, as a American evangelical, can and should and does hold the American evangelicals to account for spreading their poison. And that’s what he’s doing here.

  • Carstonio

    Exactly. Holding the American evangelicals to account doesn’t automatically undermine the accountability for the African leaders. While the evangelicals aren’t the problem, they’re a big part of it.

  • Matthew Steele

    Evangelicals, in general, are a big part of the problem. I agree with you on this one. I am not talking about “Evangelicals” or “The Problem.”

    I am talking about the specific events listed.

  • Matthew Steele

    People seem to be countering an argument I didn’t make.

    You’re telling me things I already know. My issue was with listing a specific series of events in a way that implied a causal relationship, and that was not causally related. Not with a general history.

    The radio show and article in a magazine did not lead to this man’s death. Previous behavior by the evangelical movement did, behavior which shows no sign of stopping.

  • EdinburghEye

    Ah, so you don’t have a problem acknowledging that there is a horrid link between US evangelicals preaching homophobic hate and African leaders denouncing homosexuals as evil and a Cameroonian LGBT equality activist being beaten to death.

    You just have a problem with Fred Clark making that horrid link horribly clear to everyone by pointing it out in this simple yet effective way. *nods nods* I see.

  • Matthew Steele

    I have an issue with claiming that these, specific people, with these, specific actions, had a directly causal relationship with this, specific incident.

    I believe there’s a link, but I believe that this does not actually highlight it. I think that it presents events as being directly causal (although he says he isn’t, it’s very much done in a ‘nod nod, wink wink’ way) that are not directly causal. As if, if only they hadn’t published those articles, he would still be alive.

  • EdinburghEye

    I don’t know if you’ll come back and read this, but I appreciate your doing this and I’m very sorry my comments made your anxiety-levels spike. (Your comments were having a negative emotional effect on me, too.) Edited to add: No, I didn’t see your comment before you edited it, because I was trying to walk away from the conversation too.

  • dpolicar

    Self-proclaimed culture-warrior Bill Muehlenberg congratulates those African religious leaders for “falling down in subservience to [Obama’s] deviant demands.”

    I’m pretty sure there’s a “not” missing here somewhere.
    Admittedly, I couldn’t stomach Bill past the first paragraph, so I didn’t read the article.

  • Baby_Raptor

    My question is, why would he even expect them to? Obama isn’t the president of Africa, or of any of the countries therein.

    Was he thinking “Oh, they’re all black, they’ll just do what he says” and then got surprised when they didn’t? Was he thinking that everyone worships America, so surely they’d do what the president says?

    I got nothin’.

  • Fanraeth

    Pretty sure it’s the former rather than the latter. The GOP and their minions seem to think non-white people run off of a hive mind.

  • dpolicar

    Judging from the audience he seemed to be writing for (and, again, I only read the first paragraph, so I’m not definitive) I would say the intended subtext is:
    a) Africans, being black, are expected to be subservient, so when they fail to do as they’re told that is noteworthy.
    b) Obama, being black, has a closer relationship to the African nations than normal (that is, white) people, so when African religious leaders fail to align with him that is noteworthy.
    c) LGBT people, being deviants, don’t deserve the same civil rights as normal (that is, straight) people, so when someone campaigns for their equality that is noteworthy.

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    I’m sure if Obama was white, the response to his comments by the Christian Right would be exactly the same.

  • dpolicar

    You may well be correct.

  • http://www.aeryllou.tumblr.com/ Aeryl

    He’s secretly the President of All Africa. Didn’t you get the church memo? That was why they faked his birth certificate, so he could rule America FOR Africa. They elected him when he was born in Kenya, faked his birth announcement, BECAUSE THEY KNEW!!

  • Matri

    In Senegal, the West African nation where Islam is the predominant religion

    “Oh, to be Senegalese,” said Christian talk radio host Janet Mefferd.

    I wonder if they will catch that little boo-boo?

  • http://againstjebelallawz.wordpress.com/ Enopoletus Harding

    But at least those who govern Senegal have what Janet Mefferd evidently considers real faith™. To her, that’s probably even better than Christianity in name and beliefs that don’t affect the real world only.

  • Jeff

    Post hoc ergo propter hoc.

  • Matthew Steele

    There does seem to be a bit of confusion about what exactly I was trying to SAY with my comment, so I will try to reiterate in general to save people time.

    I do not believe that the specific events listed have a causal relationship. I do not believe that the people who killed him would not have done so were it not for an article in Charisma magazine and a radio show.

    However, the majority of people responding to me have not been trying to counter that argument, and I can only assume it’s a lack of clarity in my original post that lead to that. So I will attempt to restate it.

    I do agree that American evangelicals, for years, have been spreading truly vicious anti-Gay sentiment in Africa. Without that, it’s highly unlikely that Eric Lembembe would have been murdered.

    People have been trying to prove to me that the American evangelical movement, as a whole, is culpable with homophobia in Africa. You don’t need ot do that. I already believe that.

    My disagreement is not on the movement as a whole being related to homophobia as a whole. It’s not even on the movement as a whole being related to Lembembe’s death. My disagreement is that I feel the article was written in a way that implies a direct causal relationship between the specific events listed.

    I am sorry if there is confusion on what exactly I was objecting to. I will try to be more specific in the future.

  • John Alexander Harman

    I would strongly encourage every single loathesome right-wing scumbag that expressed their solidarity with the African bigots to emigrate to Africa immediately. We can turn their abandoned American homes over to any and all African LGBT people who wish to emigrate to the U.S.


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