Thursday, January 27, 2011

Poor Scott Lively? Poor David Kato? Poor Uganda? No: Poor America - Our Religious Right Got Just What It Wanted!

One of my recurring rants about the extreme Religious Right is that whatever demonizing they inculcate into the minds of people, someone is going to get killed. It's happened in the past: the demonizing of GLBT people has resulted in bashings, murders and suicides. They disavow any wrongdoing, of course, going against common knowledge - and common sense - but hiding beneath the glorious cloak of religion, they feel they can get away with most anything. The latest murder simply confirms the extent to which their aspirations in Africa will go: David Kato was a dreaded "homosexual activist" (the term made pejorative by Family Research Council's Tony Perkins) in Uganda and was one of the people featured in Rolling Stone's* front page expose headlined "Hang Them!" 

David Kato was viciously bludgeoned to death last Wednesday, amidst not only the shock and horror of Uganda's LGBT community, but of the rest of the world. Kato was also an LGBT human rights activist of some reknown. Ironically, his fame reached its height when his picture was published in that (now infamous) tabloid shot. 


The name of David Kato was known by our own State Department and Hillary Clinton had this to say about the murder:
This crime is a reminder of the heroic generosity of the people who advocate for and defend human rights on behalf of the rest of us -- and the sacrifices they make. And as we reflect on his life, it is also an occasion to reaffirm that human rights apply to everyone, no exceptions, and that the human rights of LGBT individuals cannot be separated from the human rights of all persons....We honor David’s legacy by continuing the important work to which he devoted his life.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will undoubtedly receive a rhetorical slap in the face by Tony Perkins, who, if memory serves us correctly, enlisted the services of a lobbying group for $25,000 to stop the U.S. Congress from admonishing Uganda for its proposed "Kill the Gays" bill.


Let the backpedaling and disassociating rhetoric begin**: Scott Lively, co-author of The Pink Swastika has stated repeatedly that he had nothing to do with the "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda, bemoaning the fact that the bill had a death penalty. However, back in 2009, after his "successful" presentations and lectures in Kampala, Lively exuded hubris about his exploits.

I'm writing from Kampala, Uganda where I am teaching about the "gay" agenda in churches, schools colleges, community groups and in Parliament. My visit here is being treated as an international crisis by the "gay" activists and their media toadies, who are spinning lies in their usual manner, but the Ugandan response has been resoundingly positive ...
He [Stephan Langa - a "ministry partner" in Uganda] said that a respected observer of society in Kampala had told him that our campaign was like a nuclear bomb against the "gay" agenda in Uganda. I pray that this, and the predictions, are true. [emphasis and parentheses mine]
I still want to send them my remaining stock of about 100 or so copies of Seven Steps, but I didn't raise any money toward this in my last appeal. If you would like to help, please make a donation at

The "nuclear bomb" phrase has been duly noted by many LGBT rights activists, and for good reason: militaristic rhetoric has permeated the Right for a very long time.  And note that his newsletter post ends in a request for donations to support his work and his writings. Lively's seminal work The Pink Swastika was panned by historians and sales were poor  - until he started to hawk the book through churches and organizations like the Family Research Council and American Family Association. It's still being touted in the Right Wing by uber-conservative Michel Farah. The Pink Swastika is a small but steady moneymaker Lively is loathe to be rid of.

A particularly chilling video of a speaking engagement in Russia chronicled by Huffington Post's Alvin McEwen shows Lively disingenously decrying the audience not to applaud and cheer whenever he mentions bashings or (in this particular case) the manslaughter of gays.  His story concerning the incident in Sacramento turned out to be entirely false  as witnessed by the people who were on the scene. Besides this video, here is actual footage (below) of Lively speaking in Uganda about the "gay agenda" and how he, above everyone else, knows the most about it. Please be advised that this footage is included here only to emphasize the sincerity of Lively's demonizing: this is how America's Religious Right views the LGBT community and presents their view to the rest of the world.
And by no means does this demonizing view extend only to figures like Tony Perkins, James Dobson, Pat Robertson or Bryan Fischer. Think of it: "Whatever It Takes" - the motto of Pastor Rick Warren - has a chilling sound to it these days: Warren has not come across as a friend of the LGBT community, taking so very long to denounce the "Kill the Gays" bill in Uganda and doing so only under pressure from liberal evangelicals. "Whatever It Takes" may serve to underline the demonizing attempts of people to enact a kind of genocide in the name of God. 

OK, that last perception came across as a bit strident. Please forgive me for being overwhelmed by the brutal reality of the Religious Right's determination. However, I am not alone in believing that certain forces were the cause of Kato's murder. According to AP interviews, the notion that Kato's death was only the result of a theft*** is not holding any sway with the LGBT community nor with many others: "David's death is a result of the hatred planted in Uganda by U.S evangelicals in 2009," said Val Kalende, a Ugandan gay rights activist. "The Ugandan government and the so-called U.S evangelicals must take responsibility for David's blood."

Whatever the views about the murder, one thing stands out above all others: America's Religious Right has exported anti-gay sentiment to Africa - vehemently.

And some say - murderously.

*absolutely no relation to Rolling Stone Magazine. 

** Don Schmierer, who co-authored, with Lively, The Pink Swastika and accompanied him to Kampala, Uganda, has stated: “Naturally, I don’t want anyone killed but I don’t feel I had anything to do with that.”

*** Deja Vu: Does anyone remember the pronouncement of Congresswoman, Virginia Foxx when countering the proposed passage of the Hate Crimes bill? With Matthew Sheperd's mother looking on in horror, Foxx recounted the brutal bashing as "... we understood it was a robbery!"