Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Uganda, Fundamentalists and Money

"While it is largely U.S. evangelical money displacing mainline funds supporting African churches, renewal movements within mainline U.S. churches reap the rewards by securing the alliance of Africans in fighting their battles over gay ordination and other issues at home and in international venues." - Rev. Kapya Kaomo

The New York Times finally caught up with everyone else in the world. Yesterday the Times got around to reporting what Freedom Rider, Black Agenda Report, Rev. Kapya Kaoma and many others had written about one month ago.

White, right wing American Christians are behind the proposed Ugandan legislation which calls for the execution of gay people. When I first sat down to right about this issue, I was going to expound on neocolonialism, racism, fundamentalist conservative politics and so on. But the more I thought about it, I realized that money had to be behind this story.

The Times reported that a group of anti-gay activists visited Uganda and railed against the evils of gay people. That is true, but it is only a small part of the story. As Kaoma points out, there is a much larger effort to buy African support on a variety of issues that helps fundamentalists make their case around the world.

"U.S. evangelical money is attractive because it does not come with the demands for strict accountability made by mainline churches.[19] Bishops can spend it as they like. Ironically, U.S. conservatives have always campaigned against "unrestricted" giving in U.S. mainline churches. But in Africa, they prefer unrestricted giving as another way of undermining progressives."

The only reason this story has "legs" so to speak, is that the legislation was so awful, it could not escape world wide attention. That is a good thing, but the efforts of the right wing to buy support, and the willingness of corrupt Africans to accept should not be forgotten either.