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The Christian Right's African Culture War

YYW
Posts: 36,389
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1/23/2013 2:13:29 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
http://www.nytimes.com...

I am a liberal Christian, and for those of you who know me, you might well imagine this is something that turns my stomach.

Here is what is going on:

In the United States, because the Christian right feels it has lost the culture war at home, it has turned its exports to Africa where sexual minorities are oppressed in the name of a loving god. The idea that "homosexuals have no place in God's kingdom," translated into Ugandan law, would mean a penalty of death for "repeat offenders."

To be fair, missionaries do a great deal of good. They feed the hungry, clothe the poor and give medical treatment to dying children -but this incestuous relationship between religion and Ugandan politics places us at a critical juncture. When international human rights advocates have to intervene on behalf of American religious fundamentalists in sub-Saharan Africa, there are genuine questions that must be answered and problems that must be addressed.

As a bit of context, this is the same lot -the Christian right- that during the Reagan administration opposed sending condoms to Africa to stop the spread of AIDS because doing so would promote sexually immoral behavior. This is the same lot that revived the debate about contraception. This is still the same lot that philosophically takes no issue with not only constitutionally restricting gay rights in sum, but which furthermore would criminalize homosexuality all together.

The problem with the radicalized American New Right is that (1) they have fundamentally missed the impetus of Christianity in the effort to advance a neo-victorian moralized position against homosexuality because (2) they are incapable of reconciling with the prospect of our understanding of the church's changing role in the world. What's worse is when I see kids (14 to 19 year olds or so) who so viscerally stand against something they know essentially nothing about, because that is what they were taught, and so that is what they believe is correct.

It's human nature to fear the unknown, to resist the novel, to be trepidatious about change as much as it is characteristic of our nature to wish to believe in the untenable rightness of our own convictions. We believe only those things that we believe, because we hold them to be true. What is consistently remarkable to me is that these beliefs are based, not on any personal or immediate experience with the identity that some would even wish death upon, but rather predicated upon the ideas and fantasies that entirely too many have been taught to believe are true.

This isn't a judgement of the individual, make no mistake. As a wise congressman I once knew would always say when faced with irrational opposition, "There but for the grace of God go I." Rather, it's a call to realize that while the word of God itself is not to be questioned, man's interpretation of it not only is suspect, but properly ought to be so, granted man's inherent fallibility. We work towards a better understanding because we have the capacity to do so, and that means that the way we think about things is subject to change over time.

John 16:12-14

"I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you."

There are so many passages that receive a great deal of attention in modern political discourse from ministers on the right these days, most of them from the book of Leviticus. We all know what they are, and perhaps even why they are used, but so too are many other acts condemned with equal ferocity. As a race, humanity has progressed beyond that.

The answer, however, is not to revert to biblical law as some -in Africa- or Islamic law as others -in the Middle East- favor. The answer is to seek the truth with open hearts and minds, as best we are able. The answer is not to judge others, to radicalize religion in our culture or those around the world or to manipulate political figures in Africa to advance unrequited prejudice.
Tsar of DDO
MouthWash
Posts: 2,607
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1/24/2013 7:36:15 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
"Well, that gives whole new meaning to my assassination. If I was going to die anyway, perhaps I should leave the Bolsheviks' descendants some Christmas cookies instead of breaking their dishes and vodka bottles in their sleep." -Tsar Nicholas II (YYW)
YYW
Posts: 36,389
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1/25/2013 2:27:45 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/24/2013 7:54:52 PM, popculturepooka wrote:
At 1/24/2013 7:36:15 PM, MouthWash wrote:


So you both agree, then?
Tsar of DDO
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
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1/25/2013 2:34:32 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/23/2013 2:13:29 AM, YYW wrote:
I am a liberal Christian,

Probably a heretic.

As a bit of context, this is the same lot -the Christian right- that during the Reagan administration opposed sending condoms to Africa to stop the spread of AIDS because doing so would promote sexually immoral behavior.

Good for them.

This is the same lot that revived the debate about contraception.

Top-notch work.

That's all I have to say.
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
YYW
Posts: 36,389
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1/25/2013 2:37:20 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/25/2013 2:34:32 AM, AlwaysMoreThanYou wrote:
At 1/23/2013 2:13:29 AM, YYW wrote:
I am a liberal Christian,

Probably a heretic.

Really? Like... really? That's it?

As a bit of context, this is the same lot -the Christian right- that during the Reagan administration opposed sending condoms to Africa to stop the spread of AIDS because doing so would promote sexually immoral behavior.

Good for them.

This is the same lot that revived the debate about contraception.

Top-notch work.

That's all I have to say.

Boring.
Tsar of DDO
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
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1/25/2013 2:40:22 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/25/2013 2:37:20 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/25/2013 2:34:32 AM, AlwaysMoreThanYou wrote:
At 1/23/2013 2:13:29 AM, YYW wrote:
I am a liberal Christian,

Probably a heretic.

Really? Like... really? That's it?

Yup.

As a bit of context, this is the same lot -the Christian right- that during the Reagan administration opposed sending condoms to Africa to stop the spread of AIDS because doing so would promote sexually immoral behavior.

Good for them.

This is the same lot that revived the debate about contraception.

Top-notch work.

That's all I have to say.

Boring.

You're making me regret my restraint already.
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
YYW
Posts: 36,389
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1/25/2013 2:43:21 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/25/2013 2:40:22 AM, AlwaysMoreThanYou wrote:
At 1/25/2013 2:37:20 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/25/2013 2:34:32 AM, AlwaysMoreThanYou wrote:
At 1/23/2013 2:13:29 AM, YYW wrote:
I am a liberal Christian,

Probably a heretic.

Really? Like... really? That's it?

Yup.

As a bit of context, this is the same lot -the Christian right- that during the Reagan administration opposed sending condoms to Africa to stop the spread of AIDS because doing so would promote sexually immoral behavior.

Good for them.

This is the same lot that revived the debate about contraception.

Top-notch work.

That's all I have to say.

Boring.

You're making me regret my restraint already.

Feel free to not restrain yourself, lol.
Tsar of DDO
AlwaysMoreThanYou
Posts: 2,900
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1/25/2013 2:51:53 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/25/2013 2:43:21 AM, YYW wrote:
Feel free to not restrain yourself, lol.

I missed the boat already.
'When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.' - John 16:13
YYW
Posts: 36,389
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1/25/2013 3:20:04 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/25/2013 2:51:53 AM, AlwaysMoreThanYou wrote:
At 1/25/2013 2:43:21 AM, YYW wrote:
Feel free to not restrain yourself, lol.

I missed the boat already.

Oh.
Tsar of DDO
YYW
Posts: 36,389
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1/26/2013 2:17:15 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/25/2013 7:36:43 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
From one heretic to another, you have my kudos, YYW.

I appreciate it, PCP.

In other news, AlwaysMoreThanYou's response, calling me a heretic, has made it into the signature of NurAlSab.

So it was written... lol
Tsar of DDO
Illegalcombatant
Posts: 4,008
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1/26/2013 3:35:49 AM
Posted: 3 years ago
It's sh*t like this which makes me think, ok maybe I would be willing to kill people.

There are people who seem quite intent to bring hell on earth, they bring suffering where ever they go, if there are two options, one will decrease suffering the other one will increase it, time after time they go with the increase of suffering. I don't think this is an accident.

These people don't suffer a consequence, its a free pass on their side, they are untouchable..............well until they become touched.
"Seems like another attempt to insert God into areas our knowledge has yet to penetrate. You figure God would be bigger than the gaps of our ignorance." Drafterman 19/5/12
tulle
Posts: 4,445
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1/26/2013 3:13:27 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
@ The OP. I've been aware of this problem for a long time and it's absolutely disgusting. It's why I'll likely never go back to Nigeria.
yang.
Stephen_Hawkins
Posts: 5,316
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1/26/2013 3:19:23 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/25/2013 2:34:32 AM, AlwaysMoreThanYou wrote:
At 1/23/2013 2:13:29 AM, YYW wrote:
I am a liberal Christian,

Probably a heretic

Reminds me of a joke.

A journalist, researching for an article on the complex political situation in Northern Ireland, was in a pub in a war-torn area of Belfast. One of his potential informants leaned over his pint of Guinness and suspiciously cross-examined the journalist: "Are you a Catholic or a Protestant?" the Irishman asked.
"Neither," replied the journalist; "I'm an atheist."
The Irishman, not content with this answer, put a further question: "Ah, but are you a Catholic atheist or a Protestant atheist?"
Give a man a fish, he'll eat for a day. Teach him how to be Gay, he'll positively influence the GDP.

Social Contract Theory debate: http://www.debate.org...
Nur-Ab-Sal
Posts: 1,637
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1/26/2013 3:20:51 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 2:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/25/2013 7:36:43 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
From one heretic to another, you have my kudos, YYW.

I appreciate it, PCP.

In other news, AlwaysMoreThanYou's response, calling me a heretic, has made it into the signature of NurAlSab.

So it was written... lol

It was funny.
Genesis I. And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
YYW
Posts: 36,389
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1/26/2013 3:44:20 PM
Posted: 3 years ago
At 1/26/2013 3:20:51 PM, Nur-Ab-Sal wrote:
At 1/26/2013 2:17:15 AM, YYW wrote:
At 1/25/2013 7:36:43 AM, popculturepooka wrote:
From one heretic to another, you have my kudos, YYW.

I appreciate it, PCP.

In other news, AlwaysMoreThanYou's response, calling me a heretic, has made it into the signature of NurAlSab.

So it was written... lol

It was funny.

Indeed.
Tsar of DDO