Peter Montgomery has a painful article up at Religion Dispatches about the relationship between the nutcase wing of American Christianity and Africa. Apparently all the folks who we routinely mock, and are followed by sites like Right Wing Watch have second careers in Uganda. Montgomery reports on a new documentary called God Loves Uganda:
Dominionist Lou Engle describes Africa as a “firepot of spiritual renewal and revival,” and be believes Uganda has a special prophetic destiny. Engle has tried to distance himself somewhat from the infamous “kill the gays” bill that is pending in Uganda’s legislature, but here he is on film, at his TheCall rally in Uganda, standing with speakers calling for passage of the bill.
Engle tells the crowd he was “called” to encourage the Ugandan church for taking a stand for righteousness in the face of pressure from the United Nations and non-governmental aid organizations. Uganda, he says, is “ground zero.”
Then there’s Scott Lively, another Pentecostal figure, known and mocked in America for his “Obama is Gay” theories.
Also appearing in the film is American anti-gay activist Scott Lively, who blames homosexuals for the Nazi movement and Holocaust. In the U.S., Lively is a marginalized and discredited figure, but in Uganda, he has not only had the platform of Martin Ssempa’s TV show, he was invited to speak before the Parliament.Lively has been working for years to convince people in Uganda and other countries that gay people are out to recruit their children and destroy their societies. Lively prays that Uganda will be the first country to stop them. Many politicians and preachers have taken up that challenge. At one rally a speaker asks for a show of hands—who’s willing to go kill gay people?
These figures are marginalized in North America, but their finding new audiences in Africa. I never thought I’d say this, but can’t we keep them here?