Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wowie Malawi, Dude! Africa's Getting More American Every Day!!

And Bart Simpson May Be Right!!

So many African countries are trying to emulate America that I'm sure there's an "Afro-Disney" in the works. At most, the attempts to be like America are very palpable: 

A visitor to South Africa today can scarcely help but be struck by how American it seems. Yet few appreciate the long historical roots of the U.S. presence in South Africa, or the complex political and cultural conflicts to which it has given rise.
Dr. James Campbell, Brown University

But in some countries, the "aping of America" goes only as far as the amount of money they receive. Or the amount of aid from American faith-based charities.   And while we do not know approximately what Rick Warren's P.E.A.C.E. program in Uganda and Rwanda   dishes out, it is enough to allow it and others like it to proselytize (excuse me) evangelize whole nations.

With the encouragement of people like Lou Engle, Tony Perkins, Rick Warren and a host of evangelizers Africa has shunned the virtues of compassion and tolerance: people are scouring the villages and towns for sinful gays to report on.. Many are practicing "corrective rape" on lesbians and now... 

From The Times Online:

A court in Malawi yesterday convicted a gay couple of gross indecency and unnatural acts in a case that has highlighted the persecution of homosexuals in Africa and drawn international condemnation.

...Large crowds have jeered and pilloried the men on each occasion that they have been brought to court. At a previous court appearance Mr Chimbalanga, who was sick with malaria, was forced to return to the court room to mop up his vomit.

The Malawi Government insists that the men broke the law. Church leaders say that the West should not be allowed to use its financial power to force Malawi to accept homosexuality. Some analysts believe that the rows over homosexuality in Africa are really a proxy war in an American cultural dispute, with both evangelicals and gay rights groups in the US pouring money and support into the continent. (emphasis mine)
That last statement should be qualified because the amount of money to subsidize hatred against gays is staggering in comparison to amounts raised to save the lives of many Malawians. If the Mormon Church paid over $40 million to back California's Proposition 8, think of what they're willing to spend on a people who are ripe for conversion.

Talk of withholding financial aid to Malawi has begun in the U.S. and Europe (especially Britain), but there are some people who insist that "starving the people of Malawi into tolerance" is not the answer.

While [Dan] Savage and most of the civilized world is rightly outraged at the decision to imprison homosexuals, it doesn't mean we punish the rest of the country for the crimes of its government.
And Madonna jumped into the fray:
Today, Malawi took a giant step backward. The world is filled with pain and suffering; therefore, we must support our basic human right to love and be loved. 
But is that "basic human right" restricted to heterosexuals simply because Africans feel obligated to legislate what the evangelizing American Christians tell them to legislate? Lou Engle lied when he stated that he did not agree with Uganda's "kill the gays" bill, then appeared in Uganda at a prayer rally praising the "courage" of the proposed law's authors. And as with many right-wing actions, you can tell they have influence when they choose NOT to do something; in this case, actively intervene.  Rick Warren only stated his opposition to the Uganda bill after an enormous public outcry, and did nothing to intervene and talk to local religious leaders. 

The Christian Right is tired of today's "culture wars" and views Africa as a new place  entrench, regroup and plant the seeds of their (strictly) American Christianity in a land  rife with the problems of 3rd world chaos, 3rd world poverty 3rd world disease and 3rd world gullibility. Today's uber-Christians come to Africa with stories of their own beleaguered land, a land in which they are "persecuted", a great land which has buckled under the yolk of hedonism and sin, a land that will not listen to their pleas to make that land holy and righteous.

So, is Africa really getting Americanized? Depends. Which America are you from?

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