In the comments section, one of the readers (called BlackDog) posted a comment that I thought very accurately described the primary motivation behind the virulent homophobia being stoked by mainly Pentecostal pastors in Uganda. He wrote:
“If so, it makes them even more cynical and devious that I had previously thought. It’s one thing to support a draconian law because it supports your own misguided sense of morality. It is quite another to support and use that law in order to exploit public anti-gay animus to increase your own religious and political influence by eliminating rivals. That is truly despicable.”
It never was really about the gays, if you ask me. Oh, sure, lots of people in Africa hate gay people…this is something that mostly can be laid at the feet of American missionaries, too. But when it really comes down to it, it’s like this:
A lot of these pastors are Pentecostal. Pentecostals are often manipulative. For example, It was not uncommon to spend 58 minutes out of an hour arguing with my Pentecostal ex-wife, only to find out in the last two minutes what she really wanted…which was often only slightly related to the subject of the argument.
They tell you it’s about the gays, but it’s apparently about having a weapon they can use against their enemies (real and perceived) in their Pastor Wars. What it’s actually about is money and power. Among highly religious or uneducated people, Pentecostal pastors can live…and rule…like kings.
In a country where there’s a lot of Pentecostals and where the elite (See Janet Museveni for example) is receptive to Pentecostalism…to be the Last Man Standing in the Pastor Wars…would be like being a god walking on the Earth.
A false god, yes, but for all intents and purposes what does it matter if the masses can’t tell the difference?
That’s a prize guys like Martin Ssempa would do a lot of things to get, or even come close to. I don’t think it matters to them what the body count might be.
Talk about being spot on.
Also, certainly I would agree this is just another expression of the inquisition mentality.
Why is it, that people who want to do that sort of thing never seem to remember that it never works out for them in the long run? The medieval inquisitions led to the Reformation, and the Catholic Church lost a lot of power as a result. Witch-hunts in England led to at least one “Witchfinder General” falling victim to his own methods, the “Final Solution” while not a direct cause of the fall of Germany in WWII didn’t help matters in the end, and led to a whole new list of problems in the middle east later and the world is still dealing with that.
Why can’t people see that actions always have consequences? Are they that ignorant, or do they just not care?
If you ask me, I’d say they are ignorant, and short-sighted.
What these pastors don’t realise is that what they are doing will be the very undoing of the Pentecostal movement in Uganda. All indications are that the anti-homosexuality bill will not be passed. The Pentecostal pastors and other social conservatives behind this hateful anti-homosexuality campaign will have thereby proven themselves to be completely incapable of being the engine for ‘social change’ they had deluded themselves into thinking they’d be in this country.
Eventually, Ugandans will realise they have much better things to do than be bothered about what grown men/women do in the privacy of their bedrooms.
And in a few years, everyone will be wondering what the fuss was all about.