Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Last month, Rachel Maddow made a splash by verbally stomping up and down on activist Richard Cohen, who claims he can teach gays how to be straight. Her beef was not just with his philosophy, but his relationship with conservative Christians in Uganda who are behind the effort to pass a bill that includes a death penalty for "serial offender" homosexuals. Today, the Times takes an additional look at Cohen and two other American evangelical Christians who have — they claim inadvertently — helped fuel the anti-gay movement in Uganda. This stuff isn't new, but this quote from Reverend Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian who has been tracking the relationship between the American evangelicals and the African anti-gay movement from the inside, is enlightening. "What these people have done is set the fire they can’t quench," he told the Times, adding that the Americans "underestimated the homophobia in Uganda" and "what it means to Africans when you speak about a certain group trying to destroy their children and their families." He pointed out that much more than in America, that kind of hyperbole has dire consequences. "When you speak like that," he said, "Africans will fight to the death."