Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas From the SFFP (San Francisco Faerie Portal)

It's one hour into Christmas Eve and I don't know why I'm writing this except for the good feeling in telling anyone, everyone that someone out there is still trying to love you.


I won't be a hypocrite even on Christmas Eve: I won't tell you how we all have the potential to love everyone. To hate everyone, yes. Hate is a man-made emotion so therefore man sets the limits on hate. Unfortunately, he hasn't set very many limits yet. Love, however, is something etched into in our souls. Love embraces humanity. But even though we are born with an endless amount of love for everyone, it is difficult to love anyone. Love itself does not have barriers, but encounters them every day: barriers to the way someone is supposed to look to us, to the way we are treated, to the way we are accepted. Skin, teeth, eyes, body shape, height, smell, clothes, environment, friends, employment, status all work to set up walls against unconditional love.

So we can only try our best to overcome these barriers. We can only try to love everyone.
Maybe the attempt is enough.

Merry Christmas to everyone!

Warren: "Uganda Have Heart!" Uganda: "Damn Yankees!"

When Exporting Homophobia Backfires

(14 hours ago) Ugandan mobs call for passing "Kill Gays" bill

Led by religious leaders, Ugandan protesters marched to demand that the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill be passed.

Several hundred people demonstrated in the Ugandan capital Kampala on Tuesday against gays and lesbians, and expressed support for the country’s impending tough anti-homosexual law.

The protesters, led by born-again clerics, cultural leaders, and university undergraduates, marched to the parliament where they presented a petition.

"Ya know, it's like you can help some guys a lot, but when YOU need something, it's like talk to the hand, ya know?"

That's my inner Chicagoland self-assessing the Rick Warren/Uganda situation. While in my inner self, I can look at everything as either black or white, but this new situation with Rick Warren and the upcoming vote for a law that puts harsher punishments on gays in Uganda is so complicated I've had to wade through it as if I were slogging through a swamp.

In terms we mere mortals can understand:

  • Rick Warren gains popularity in Uganda by assisting in obtaining AIDS medical supplies and other necessities.
  • Warren curries favor with Ugandan President Museveni and his wife. He also meets Martin Ssempe whose sole mission in life seems to be the obliteration of evil by killing as many homosexuals as possible. They strike up a friendship and for the next several years, Ssempe is invited to squeak at Warren's Saddleback Church.
  • Ssempe, of course, is overwhelmed by the whole package: a multimillion best-seller (second to his own beloved Bible), a megachurch that doesn't look like a church (unless African churches have skateboard parks), respect, prestige and money $.
  • Something happens between the two mega-personalities and Ssempe drops out of Warren's radar range.
  • The Kampala anti-gay conference begins in March.
  • Exodus, International attends the conference then later withdraws from ideologies encompassing the genocide of gays.
  • By Sept. 15, an anti-gay bill is circulating the nation. Consequently, news of the draft is leaked out of the country, at which time Rick Warren would have known about it (if not before)
  • By Nov. 15, definite sides have formed: Uganda clerics calling for quick passage of the bill, while statesmen are denouncing it. The bill's links to American evangelical groups and politicians prove that those groups are exporting homophobia.
  • Nov. 30 - Rick Warren refuses to denounce the bill.
  • Dec. 15 -Rick Warren, under pressure, finally delivers "encyclical video" denouncing he bill.Under pressure.

Martin Ssempe responds to Rick Warren's denunciation

"As you yourself have said, '..the Bible says evil has to be opposed. Evil has to be stopped. The Bible does not say negotiate with evil. It says stop it. Stop evil'. (12/2007) Since homosexuality is evil, you cannot possibly be against a law that seeks to stop it unless you have misunderstood it."

And in a letter from 20 prominent Uganda pastors:

"We note with sadness the increasing levels of accepting of the evil of homosexuality," they state. "In these increasingly dark days, we encourage you not to give into the temptation to water down what the Bible says so as not to offend people."

The text of the "Kill Gays" bill is HERE.

Now the Uganda Christofascists want an apology from Warren:

Christian Post:

"Your letter has caused great distress and the pastors are demanding that you issue a formal apology for insulting the people of Africa by your very inapropriate (sic) bully use of your church and purpose driven pulpits to coerse us into the 'evil' of Sodomy and Gaymorrah (sic)," the pastors, which include Martin Ssempa, state in a letter emailed to Warren.

From RH Reality Check

Martin Ssempe's letter to Rick Warren:

Africa101: Homosexuality is illegal, unnatural, ungodly and un-African: In Uganda as most of the global South, homosexuality is an “evil and repugnant sexual act” ...

We are harrassed by a massive invasion of rich Europeans and Americans groups who are scorning our traditional African view of marriage and family, bullying and threatening to cut off “aid” if we dont legalise the sins of Sodom and Gommorrah! We are troubled by some members western media which is obsessed with homosexuality.

When you came to Uganda on Thursday, 27 March 2008, and expressed support to the Church of Uganda’s boycott of the pro-homosexual church of England, you stated; “The Church of England is wrong, and I support the Church of Uganda”.

You are further remembered to say, “homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus (its) not a human right. We shall not tolerate this apect at all”.

Let's see Rick Warren gets out of this one! He won't. He'll offer vague platitudes to both sides, but Christianity in America ( as well as humanist/secular groups) and the Christian Right in Africa will look askance at Warren from now on: he will eventually be forgiven, but they will never forget.

"My influence in that nation has been greatly exaggerated by the media."


... belies the fact that, according to Rev. Kapya Kaoma (an Anglican pastor from Zambia and the author of a recent report on gays in Africa) Warren has immense influence among Uganda's political élite, and the First Lady. "He eats with them, he knows what goes on, they respect him," said Kaoma in a conference call.

So Rick Warren is now, as they say, between a rock and a hard place. He and the rest of the Christofascist Right gambled on a gullible public in one country and an uninformed public in another. Now they're success in exporting homophobia is coming back to bite them.

Bite hard, Uganda, bite HARD!