Sunday, May 30, 2010

Religion and Homophobia

Kapya Kaoma's report on U.S. evangelicals mega-church shenanigans is worth a read, but check out his attempt to thread the needle on America's Religious Right's politics and that of African evangelicals:

Conservative missionaries focused on evangelism, while progressives became involved in social justice issues such as fighting colonialism and alleviating poverty. Today, religious conservatives in the United States misrepresent progressives as “evil” people who promote homosexuality. They exploit to maximum effect the African view that the imposition upon them of so-called western morality is imperialist.

Even so...

African evangelicals' values differ in many respects from those of the US Religious Right. They embrace theologies such as Latin America's Liberation Theology and South Africa's Black Theology, and their voting patterns on issues of social justice are progressive by US standards. They see political and economic liberation as essential parts of the Christian gospel. Thus, African evangelicals often align with left-wing political movements.

That sounds about right to me. He also goes into detail on how the evangelicals are so powerful, they dictate who these African countries get their money from to fund projects. It's funny how these U.S. evangelicals are all up in government policy in African countries and then refuse to make all the donations/projects/donors public. They'd never be able to hold on to public information in that manner were they in their own countries.

It is lazy of Western journalists to talk about homophobia in African countries without talking about the effect and power of U.S. evangelicals in African countries. Some things are just too complex to fit into a neat little soundbite.

(Image from Pew Research Survey on religion in Africa. Check it out a summary and full report here)

No comments:

Post a Comment