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    February 16, 2010

    Next they came for the gays

    Posted by: Chris

    Rick warren uganda anti gay law
    Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker calls out U.S. evangelicals for their role in fanning the flames that resulted in legislation proposing the capital punishment and imprisonment for sexually active gay men:

    Let's assume that these missionaries have only the purest of intentions and want only to help strengthen the traditional family. Dear Sirs: Uganda isn't Connecticut. A country where gays are routinely harassed, rounded up and incarcerated doesn't need stoking by American fundamentalists on a mission from God.

    In an interview with Alan Colmes, [Scott] Lively said he was invited to the African nation because Ugandans were worried about American and European gays trying to export homosexuality to their nation. Given that Uganda was already rather unwelcoming to gays, it seems unlikely that they needed advice from American preachers. Instead, it seems more the case that Uganda has became a laboratory for zealots who have found a receptive audience for their personal cause.

    The proposed law is a case study in the unintended consequences of moral colonialism. 

    Evangelical pastor Rick Warren, who famously hosted the first joint appearance of presidential nominees John McCain and Barack Obama and enraged some activists when Obama invited him to say a prayer at his inauguration, does not escape, either. Parker points out that a video Warren made declaring the measure "unjust," "extreme" and "un-Christian" was motivated primarily by "accusations that he had helped create the bill" since his Saddleback Church has close ties with Ugandan religious leaders behind the legislation.

    In a statement to Newsweek, Warren said: "The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations."

    I'm not so sure about that. It may not be Warren's personal calling to comment on "political process." But is neutrality really an option for one of the world's most powerful Christian leaders when state genocide of a minority is proposed in the name of Christianity?

    If we decide that genocide is too political for interference, then what good is moral leadership?

    I'm of the school that religion should have no role in arguing for or against criminal prohibitions of any sort, but when your own faith is being perverted to justify imprisoning and even executing people, and your voice can be of influence, then there is absolutely a moral obligation to speak out.



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    1. cheap ugg boots on Nov 22, 2010 2:45:58 AM:

      Yes, but his political record extends beyond his positions on LGBT issues. The "enhanced techniques" moment ranks at the top of cynical political actions.

    1. cheap uggs on Nov 29, 2010 1:19:56 AM:

      @Andrew: We are supposed to lobby the president, Congress and HRC. All of them. I agree that lobbying HRC to lobby to Obama to lobby Congress is a step too far, especially given the complete absence of evidence that HRC has any influence at all with the White House. But if HRC can move the ball forward anywhere, it's in Congress, and that's why applying pressure to HRC is an effective way to leverage the political power we have as individuals on the process.

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