The Curmudgeon


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Western Values

Staunchly Christian Uganda is about to pass a law to "protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sex promiscuity on the people of Uganda" by adopting a version of Margaret Thatcher's Clause 28 which makes it illegal to "promote" homosexuality and obliges citizens to denounce the objectively disordered to the authorities. There will also be a death penalty for "defilement by an adult who is homosexual"; and, since forty per cent of Uganda's people are Catholic, appropriate provisions have no doubt been made for defilements of the ephebophile variety.

Also in the Thatcherite vein, the Ugandan moralists are bleating about indigenous values being undermined while busily adopting the values of certain Americans. In this case, the Americans include some of the most charming clowns to appear in Uganda since that delightful veteran of our own King's African Rifles, Idi Amin. David Bahati, the anti-gay bill's originator, has been snuggling up to people like Scott Lively, who co-wrote a book called The Pink Swastika "claiming that leading Nazis were gay" (and thence reasoning, presumably, that leading gay people are...) and Don Schmierer, who promotes the idea that people can change their sexuality and be redeemed, much as certain persons with deeply held beliefs can change their church if the circumstances are right.

Nevertheless, Bahati's bill goes a bit far for the comfort of some, even in the American evangelical business. Rick Warren, founder of the fortuitously-named Saddleback Church, has said that the bill is "unjust, extreme and un-Christian towards homosexuals", as though there were something somehow un-Christian about injustice and extremism. Even the co-author of The Pink Swastika has called the bill "unacceptably harsh", even if it does have the potential to be "an encouraging step in the right direction". With an insight into the minds of modern Ugandans which verges on the journalistic, Lively noted that "modern Ugandans are very unhappy that homosexual political activists from Europe and the US are working aggressively to rehomosexualise their nation"; raising the intriguing question of when, and from what perversely pink polity, the nation of Uganda was last dehomosexualised.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has reacted to the issue with his usual combination of forthrightness and moral courage, by stating that the election of a lesbian bishop in the US Episcopal Church raised "serious questions".


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