Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration: The Christian Right Declares Global Warfare, Giving Africa The Gift Of ...Fear

The Christofascist Manifesto!
plus - As Part Of A Double Feature -
Homophobia Is Alive And Thriving In Africa

Christofascists might have a reason to celebrate the holidays very, shall we say, enthusiastically this Christmas: the anti-homosexuality bill of Uganda is still on the table before the Ugandan parliament and, despite strong opposition from human rights groups and progressive churches, looks as if it might pass. If it does, you will hear choruses of "Hallelujah" coming from strongholds of homophobia like the Southern Baptist Convention and Family Research Council, because, after all, they encouraged the bill from its very beginning.

Of course, the climate in Uganda is so thick with fear and loathing of anyone gay that whole communities are already going door-to-door to "root out" homosexuals and turn them in to authorities. Passage of the bill would create a gay genocide unparalleled in history.


U.S. conservatives have successfully recruited a significant number of prominent African religious leaders to a campaign seeking to restrict the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. The flagship issue … is the ordination of LGBT clergy by mainline Protestant denominations– particularly the Episcopal, Presbyterian, and Methodist churches– in the United States….

As a direct result of this campaign, homophobia is on the rise in Africa– from increased incidents of violence to antigay legislation that carries the death penalty….

Right Wing Watch:
"We need to stand up against the U.S. Christian Right peddling homophobia in Africa," said Kaoma, who in recent weeks asked U.S. evangelist Rick Warren to denounce the bill and distance himself from its supporters.

“Africa’s antigay campaigns are to a substantial degree made in the U.S.A.”
A progressive think tank - Political Research Associates - just declared this week in the report "Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches and Homophobia" by Rev. Kapya Kaoma, a scholar This short report is MUST READING for those who wish to keep informed about the ugly, steadfast goals of the Christian Right in Africa, especially demonizing and criminalizing homoseuality.
“Rick Warren shows one face in the United States where he says he loves gays, and another face in Africa, which is on the verge of pogroms against this community,” said Reverend Kaoma. “We need to hear his voice loud and clear on this issue that gays and lesbians are entitled to full human rights.”
Rick has souls to win and money to make (in order to win those souls). He's not going to collar Uganda, Rwanda and every other African nation to preach to them what they don't want to hear. Even though he professes "love" for everyone, that love extends just so far - as far as the grasp for a nation's wallet and as far as the clutch of a significant number of souls.

From Christianity Today

Christian leaders reaffirmed their conservative stances on abortion, same-sex marriage, and religious liberty with a 4,700-word declaration released Friday. Signed initially by 125 evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox leaders, the Manhattan Declaration calls Christians to adhere to three primary convictions, even if this requires civil disobedience. Charles Colson, who helped draft the declaration, said the statement brings Christian leaders together on the issues of abortion, marriage, and religious freedom in the face of growing pressure.
From The Manhattan Declaration:
Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

1. "equal dignity and life" do NOT include homosexuals, women, pro-choice people, leftists (commie-pinko's), socialists, or anyone the church sees fit to make an outcast.

2.) marriage as a societal institution has not been around in the same form as it exists now. This section leaves out the possibility of arranged marriages.

3. If religious liberty is "grounded in the character of God," then it is only CHRISTIAN liberty which is espoused. And that brings up the question as to WHO has signed the manifesto? Were Hindus, Muslims, Rastafarians, Shinto, Buddhists, Mormons, Jews, Zoroastrians invited to sign?

A hypocrisy creeps into the Manhattan Declaration fairly early on:

Justify Full
This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to work to end the dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of other human rights causes – from providing clean water in developing nations to providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war, disease and gender discrimination.
It is only at this juncture that the "Declaration" mentions AIDS and pointedly makes it a scourge of Africa. It conveniently jumps over the lack of compassion and dehumanization of homosexuals in regards to AIDS. That may be because, with the help of Rick Warren, they may be able to claim more converts while imprisoning more homosexuals in The Dark Continent.

The most hypocritical gag-me-with-a-spoon comment slips in later (but we all knew it was coming, didn't we?)
And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”), that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture.
OK, let's face it: this declaration is a shout against the winds of change. And it is also a threat:

"We will stand here and make your lives as miserable as possible if everyone doesn't kneel down to us and convert RIGHT NOW!" (It says, with the stamp of a patent leather shod foot)


"Don't make us call our friends in Africa to deal with you."