LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME TO A BIGOT

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LAND OF THE FREE AND HOME TO A BIGOT

Each year the United States State Department comes with a list of nations which has very poor track record of Human Rights, freedom of speech and expression. But, what no one really talks about is the American Evangelicals who are a very powerful force when it comes to influencing domestic policyof American. They have been seriously interfering and promoting Homophobia in Africa.

Rabid Evangelical Pastor Scott Lively a co-author of the book Pink Swastika, which portraits ‘homosexuals as the guiding force behind Nazi atrocities (White Nazi supremacist are also against Homosexuals) and the rainbow flag is a symbol of the ‘end times’. This is also one of a blazing example in the spreading of hatred against gays not only in America but across the world, especially in Africa. This man has his own nonprofit organisation (NGO) – Abiding Truth Ministries- which is into Christian values and a blind loathing for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgender (LGBT) and has done exemplary work in Uganda to try and pass “Kill the Gay Bill” which sounds poetically sickening.

Some of his quotes are so inflammatory it can be equated to the hatred the Nazis had for Jews. Scott Lively once wrote this on a letter which he had sent to the Russian people. He said “Homosexuality is a personality disorder that involves various often dangerous sexual addictions and aggressive anti-social impulses.” He is only got away because he has the right to freedom of speech and expression no matter how vile and repugnant.

Now this continent is already home to so many problems like AIDS, Malnutrition, Education, Sanitation, violence against women and the list is endless. So why not add Christian dogma and of its righteous fight against homosexuality in the formally colonial African continent where people kill each other due to tribal difference (Rwanda Massacre).

If anyone outside or even Inside America calls for its destruction and killing of its citizens, the US government has absolutely no problem branding that person as a threat to America and take necessary actions, Which quite frankly is their right because every country on earth has the right to defend itself against “terrorism?”. Then why does it allow a degenerate like Scott Lively to preach hatred who spits venom every time he opens his mouth? And the answer is very simple, Freedom of Speech and Expression guaranteed under the United States Constitution which he clearly enjoys, but just not for Homosexuals.

So if someone calls the US actions in Iraq and Afghanistan unlawful and wants revenge for the killing of its citizens, is that not freedom of speech! when a man preaches, violent reprisal against America which is ok under the dogma of their respective religion, why they are branded as hate mongers and terrorist but then why Scott Lively a hater who clearly has influence and more importantly money donated by right wing businessman and politicians is nothing but a citizen with rights to spread systematic hatred persecution of homosexuals in Africa be allowed to walk freely. Is he not a terrorist for preaching and taking extreme stand against LGBT?

Dogma

Already a lot of money is being spent by not only evangelical missionaries to spread Christianity in Africa which by the way is their right. But in this process have also created lot of problems by influencing government policies. America has been a major player in combating the spread of AIDS in Africa and has spent a lot of dollars, but under the presidency of George W Bush who was accused by a United Nation senior official Stephen Lewis while talking to reporter from The Guardian Newspaper   of cutting funds for condoms was “doing damage to Africa” which is seriously affecting the fight against HIV/Aids in Uganda.

Mr. Lewis the UN secretary general’s special envoy for HIV/Aids in Africa, said US cuts in funding for condoms and an emphasis on promoting abstinence had contributed to a shortage of condoms in Uganda, one of the few African countries which has succeeded in reducing its infection rate. He also said “There is no doubt in my mind that the condom crisis in Uganda is being driven by [US policies],”

Mr Lewis in August 2005 article published in The Guardian said “To impose a dogma-driven policy that is fundamentally flawed is doing damage to Africa.” And this was back in 2005. What damage could this have caused in the last 9 years is unimaginable, because the spread of AIDS virus is still crippling Africa and to add to this homophobia is reaching “fever pitch” in Africa due to these religiously driven practices. Even after President Obama a liberal who took office in 2009, not much have changed about views on homosexuality in Africa.

Funding

A lot of funding given by the US to fight Aids is given to evangelical Christian religious groups which are against the use of condoms and money which could be used by organizations who have the right social and scientific know how are left in the lurch.  The Vatican for all the good things which it does to help communities is still against homosexuality and the use of Condoms and they use their considerable donations to teach abstinence from sex, instead abstinence from violence against people who have different sexual orientation. This does not mean the Vatican supports violence, but it does become very counterproductive.

On the other hand there are people who may still think homosexuality is wrong, but do not go about bashing them, instead try to save lives of people who were infected with the Ebola Virus and in the process almost die saving lives. It is a very paradoxical situation, on the one hand many Conscientiousness and Compassionate Missionaries have help people fight decease, promote education and fight social injustice and on the other hand in the guise of promoting the teachings of Jesus and Christianity there are people like Scott Lively who spread hatred and try to change local customs and traditions which leave many people confused.

Epilogue

It is very refreshing to see a Judge has ruled for Scott Lively to stand trial for his efforts to promote the very controversial Uganda ‘Kill The Gays bill’. This case will pave way for the protection of LGBT people under international law. It must have been very difficult to openly challenge this man in a US court by this Ugandan advocacy group Sexual Minorities Uganda, or SMUG to raise funds and fight this case in US.

It is the step in the right direction when US Federal Judge Michael Ponsor of Springfield, Massachusetts ruled, persecution of LGBT people is a crime against humanity and he said “Widespread, systematic persecution of LGBTI people constitutes a crime against humanity that unquestionably violates international norms.”In other words Scott Lively is a man who spreads hatred. Now what the eventual outcome of this trial will remain to be seen and it is quite possible Scott Lively might even win, but what this case has done is to set precedence for future.

Scott Lively travelled to Russia, a country not known for its worm feelings towards human rights and has within its law have taken several draconian steps which persecute homosexuals. And he wants the very same laws to be implemented in the US never mind other parts of the world which is contrary to the fundamental value of the US constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and expression and the “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” for every individual. But it seems Scott Lively has spent his entire life perusing his happiness to bring pain and misery into the lives of Homosexuals.

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Balaji descends from an intellectual family from South India which now resides in the capital of the largest democracy of the world, Delhi. A semi-bald-pot-bellied personality who unintentionally resembles to the younger version of Ed Harris. He has explored various business verticals in order to understand what he wants from his life. Finally, not sure whether he has found it –verbicide- discovered it, he has resorted to writing literary pieces for UtheStory. Today, the organization sees him as the most experienced person – in India experienced means who has come off age- among all the other UTSians. His grasp on political arena is firm, but movies is his interest area and writing on sports is what he loves to do. That is the only reason, the organization considers him as the ‘Experienced’. He has been writing for Digit Bazar and Digit How for some time and has created a long list of aficionados by writing sardonic and literary article pieces. Balaji loves to give ideas for the graphics of the article that he writes –depends if that is accepted or rejected by the Design team- but he loves it, truly. His article reflects the true picture of the situation that he tries to cover and is very neutral to the topic. Being neutral does not mean he is dolesome by nature. He is very passionate and jovial human creature who at times enlightens people around him with his excellent sense of humor which is the amalgam of south and north India.

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