I knew going in that this one was going to make me mad, which is why I planned to see something relaxing and enjoyable right after, but this presentation at Hot Docs left me infuriated, and left me with no doubt in my mind that the evangelical Christian right has blood on their hands, as they continue to preach their questionable message of love – love and compassion as long as you share their values.
It was right there in the title card for all to see… God Loves Uganda… the text for god is all in white, pure, clean… love is grey as if it’s murky at best over whom can love whom and who has the right to pass judgment on it… and Uganda is in red, soaked in the blood, not of their martyr but in the blood of the innocents which is spilled due to the hate mongering, fear and instigation provided by the extreme conservative ‘christian’ right.
The International House of Prayer (not pancakes) sends young missionaries to Uganda, young folk who see this nothing more as an adventure, and a chance to spread the Good Word, without even thinking about the ramifications of what they are doing. They are promoting the Christian message but their support is coming from extremists who continue to pick and choose the things they wish to follow in the bible. They also went after the parents in Uganda, stating that the gay agenda was to recruit their children and force them into gay relationships.
WHAT?!?!? I’m so glad I walked away from church at a young age, because I think even then I was beginning to question some of the absurdities and contradictory nature of it. I also couldn’t help noticing that it was all these white people coming to help out and give guidance to all these Africans… enforcing their values and beliefs on another culture… and I couldn’t help but wonder if there were some racial overtones to everything…
Now before I come off as railing against the Christian religion, the film attempts to counter balance this look by including other Christians, one, a former Bishop, Christopher, preaches the message of love and acceptance, and was excommunicated because he would not speak out against the LGBT community.
So much for love and acceptance for all.
Yet he continues to go around, preaching a positive message, one I feel more in keeping with the true heart of what that religion should be instead of holding too strictly to a 3000 year old book which would still have us beating our wives and selling our daughters into slavery, and killing one another over adultery if we followed it as strictly as the extremists seem to want to follow the anti-gay message they are promoting.
There is also the AIDS epidemic to deal with in Uganda… Under Clinton the U.S. created and helped implement a condom program for Uganda which they did in conjunction with the government, when good ole boy Bush came in, he came at it from the religious angle, using the religious leaders to promote abstinence (proven not to work) and promised there would be no aid funding unless the country got on side with them, Obama takes office and tries to promote the condom program again, and is blatantly vilified by the Christian right.
Uganda is a battleground, with hate-mongers helping to craft the 2009 Anti-Homosexuality Bill which is still being debated in the Uganda parliament, with the threat of it being passed into law, which would allow for the death penalty of ‘serial homosexuals.’
They say people fear what they don’t understand, but what’s so hard about people wanting love, even if it’s with someone of the same-sex? I’ve never understood the hoopla over that.
Christopher preaches it best, if you teach you’re children to love, they will love, and pass that on. If you teach them to hate, then they will learn that, and pass it on. Which one sounds more preferable to you?
Roger Ross Williams has crafted an amazing film, though I realize I’ve barely talked about it but simply mounted a soapbox for some 700 odd words… What can I say, this one made me mad, because close-minded, small-minded people who seem to want to live in fear and spread it are doing their best to promote an agenda which, in all honesty, just seems moronic to me.
Moronic, cowardly, and decidedly un-Christian, at least with the version I knew when I was a child.
But don’t take my word for it. Hit their website, and arrange to host a screening!!
Check it out here.
And so ends my time at this year’s Hot Docs!
What did you see? What did you love? What did you hate?