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Catholic News Source: Scott Lively Blames Foreign Gays for Uganda’s “Kill Gays” Bill

Timothy Kincaid

November 28th, 2009
John-Henry Westen

John-Henry Westen

LifeSiteNews was originally launched in 1997 by Campaign Life Coalition, a Canadian national pro-life organization, as a news source for those opposed to legal abortion. Since that time it has broadened its interests to include euthanasia, cloning, homosexuality, and other social issues and currently its readership is primarily in the United States.

LifeSiteNews is generally well written (though biased) and informative and often will have stories that have not caught the attention of mainstream media, especially those which are international in scope. But it must be read with the understanding that it has a strong sectarian slant and is perhaps best viewed as an unofficial lay voice of the Roman Catholic Church.

Today, LifeSiteNews published an article that was unexpected. The Editor, John-Henry Westen, interviewed Scott Lively and echoed without question his statements about homosexuality in Uganda and the current effort underway to pass legislation to execute HIV positive gay people, incarcerate other gay people for life, and jail those family, friends, or acquaintances who do not report suspected gay people to the government. While Westen’s biases make him ready to believe the worst about gay people, however irrational, it was surprising the extent to which Lively’s word was taken as unvarnished truth.

Scott Lively is an unusual anti-gay activist. He does not stop at moral concern, cultural discomfort, or objection based in ignorance, stereotype, or unfamiliarity. Rather, Lively travels the world marketing in anti-gay lies and myths and seeking to inflame hatred and instigate outrage and social oppression of gay people on an international scale.

Lively is the author of The Pink Swastika, a book whose premise is that the Nazis were primarily a homosexual organization and that gays were responsible for the Holocaust. While this is a laughable assertion dismissed by historians and holocaust groups, it is read, believed, and treasured in countries where animus against gay people is strong and an excuse to hate gay people is welcomed without question.

Lively was also, along with Exodus International board member Don Schmierer and Caleb Lee Brundidge of Richard Cohen’s International Healing Foundation, one of the three American speakers at the conference in February which led to the current proposed legislation in Uganda.

According to the reported interview in LifeSiteNews, Lively is spinning a peculiar message. Lively says that laws against homosexuality should be on the books but only sporadically enforced. This keeps gays oppressed and support for their social inclusion forbidden.

He testified to lawmakers in the Ugandan Assembly Hall that having legislation against homosexuality on the books is important since it protects against those who would advocate in public and in schools that homosexuality is positive.

While Lively makes sure to say that the bill as proposed is “too harsh”, his primary objective in the interview was to lay the blame for any excesses in the bill on reasonable reaction to “the heavy-handed pressure from international gay-activist politicians on Uganda to accept homosexuality as normal.”

In fact, as Dr. Scott Lively, the President of Defend the Family pointed out, the preamble to the bill, and the bill itself contain numerous references to stopping international pressure on Uganda to accept Western sexual values that are abhorrent to Ugandan culture.

The bill states explicitly that it aims “at providing a comprehensive and enhanced legislation to protect the cherished culture of the people of Uganda.” The goal is to protect the “legal, religious, and traditional family values of the people of Uganda against the attempts of sexual rights activists seeking to impose their values of sexual promiscuity on the people of Uganda.”

Dr. Lively, a pro-family activist and attorney based in California was in Uganda in March to testify before Ugandan legislators now considering the legislation. In an interview with LifeSiteNews (LSN), Dr. Lively explained that the impetus for the bill was “a lot of external interference from European and American gay activists attempting to do in Uganda what they’ve done around the world – homosexualize that society.” One of their main concerns, explained Lively, “are the many male homosexuals coming in to the country and abusing boys who are on the streets.”

The Catholic Church’s position on the “Kill Gays” bill is less clearly defined. However, as LifeSiteNews summarizes, they too are taking a “blame it on the foreign gays” approach:

While the Catholic leadership in the nation has not yet responded publicly to the proposed bill, they have consistently expressed outrage at the attempts of the West to impose acceptance of homosexuality on the country. Last month at the Synod for Africa at the Vatican, bishops from all over the continent noted their grave concerns over the international anti-family pressure.

Summing up the discussions, the Cardinal Archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, Peter Turkson, said that the Synod had “described in various ways a ferocious onslaught on the family and the related fundamental institution of marriage from outside Africa and attributed it to diverse sources.” The bishops, he said, “vigorously denounced the ideology and international programs which are imposed on African countries under false pretexts or as conditions for development assistance.”

This may not be a conclusive endorsement of the bill by the Catholic Church – and indeed the death penalty goes in opposition to the position of the Vatican. However, it would appear that the Catholic Church is, in at least some venues, indicating that it will not speak out in opposition to this draconian piece of legislation.

Scott Lively has illustrated that he has no use for civil freedoms such as the right to speech or assembly, and his gross distortion of the murder of a gay man has long since revealed a lack or any moral center. One expects nothing but the most extreme and hateful from him.

But it is sad when an institution as old and influential as the Catholic Church, and one that is charged with doing good, seems to be siding with evil.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of recent anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

Timothy (TRiG)
November 28th, 2009 | LINK

If “the cherished culture of the people of Uganda” involves killing people who have done no harm to anyone, then I suggest that we should stop cherishing it.

I’m Irish, and will say that your last paragraph is merely absurd. The hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church sided with evil a long time ago.

TRiG.

Timothy Kincaid
November 28th, 2009 | LINK

TRiG,

Yes, the Catholic Church has sided with evil on many occasions. Far too many occasions.

And yet it does not always do so. Often the church chooses instead to do good, help the poor, and be a champion for the oppressed.

So it is sad when we see it happen yet again.

Jimmy Mac
November 28th, 2009 | LINK

“perhaps best viewed as an unofficial lay voice of the Roman Catholic Church.”

I challenge that statement. There are many lay voices of the RCC, and I have seen no “blessing” of LifeSite as any unofficial or official voice of anything except for its membership.

David Roberts
November 29th, 2009 | LINK

"LifeSiteNews is generally well written (though biased) and informative and often will have stories that have not caught the attention of mainstream media, especially those which are international in scope."

Wow, I would have to disagree strongly with that statement.  I have found their stories to often be way beyond bias and at times filled with egregious errors.  What is worse, they do not respond at all to any requests for correction, even the most obvious.   They seem to be accountable to no one.  I honestly find their treatment here of Lively to be quite in line with their standard operating procedure. Of course, that doesn’t make it any more excusable

Lynn David
November 29th, 2009 | LINK

This is perhaps more truthful to the Catholic line concerning Uganda at least that in North America.

Anti-gay bill in Uganda challenges Catholics to take a stand
http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/anti-gay-bill-uganda-challenges-catholics-take-stand

Scott Lively seems to be taking pot-shots when ever some news source or blog allows him to do so. He did against Dr Throckmorton a while back on the PFOX blog, saying: “Warren Throckmorton Goes to the Dark Side.”
http://pfox-exgays.blogspot.com/2009/11/warren-throckmorton-grove-city-college.html

From the LifeSite article:

Last month at the Synod for Africa at the Vatican, bishops from all over the continent noted their grave concerns over the international anti-family pressure.

Summing up the discussions, the Cardinal Archbishop of Cape Coast, Ghana, Peter Turkson, said that the Synod had “described in various ways a ferocious onslaught on the family and the related fundamental institution of marriage from outside Africa and attributed it to diverse sources.” The bishops, he said, “vigorously denounced the ideology and international programs which are imposed on African countries under false pretexts or as conditions for development assistance.”

Read the Synod for Africa’s 57 Propositions; homosexuality is no where named in them and it is possible not even alluded to. Proposition 38: The Family, doesn’t even hint at homosexuality anywhere. Proposition 55 is about the Abolition of the Death Penalty.

BCCanuck
November 29th, 2009 | LINK

Of course they’ve found a way to blame the gays. It’s always the fault of the gays. Who else could they blame? Really? They’re socially, emotionally, intellectually, economically, cognitively, politically, religiously, ethically, linguistically and conceptually incapable of any other response (see “How God Changes Your Brain” by Newberg & Waldman, for example). They’re both morally incapacitated and spiritually disoriented by their own epistemological inflexibility. Or, in other words, they’ve inflicted themselves with a collective disabling brain injury, as indeed have all fundamentalists.

“But it is sad when an institution as old and influential as the Catholic Church, and one that is charged with doing good, seems to be siding with evil.”

It’s only sad if it’s unexpected. These days, it’s just business-as-usual (emphasis on the business).

Timothy Kincaid
November 29th, 2009 | LINK

David,

I agree that the bias is pervasive. Without doubt.

I’ve not noticed the factual errors that you have. But perhaps that is because I generally use them only as a source for stories that don’t have wide circulation. If I did comparative reading I might have noticed a greater error rate.

Nevertheless, I do commend them on having stories that I have difficulty finding on mainstream media or even gay media (though presented through the lens of raging anti-gay animus).

Timothy Kincaid
November 29th, 2009 | LINK

Lynn David,

Thank you for the NCR article. A good read.

However, while the propositions may not have specifically addressed homosexuality, the NCR article seems to have the same interpretation as the LSN article of how the Synod’s positions reflect on this bill.

Elise
November 29th, 2009 | LINK

I remember reading a book on gay history (I think it might have been Out of the Past, by Neill Miller) that observed that one consistently recurring theme throughout history has been the tendency of a society to consider itself to be naturally free of homosexuality, and any homosexuality that does occur within isn’t really an organic part of their community, but was introduced by another, usually hated and feared, society for whom homosexuality is natural. So in early Judaism and Christianity, homosexuality is a Pagan thing. While in Pagan ancient Greece, you had talk about lesbianism being the invention of the Egyptians.

In 1930’s Western Europe homosexuality was the supposed domain of Jews and Bolsheviks, while Communist Europeans saw it as a vice of the Western aristocratic class. And in Victorian England, there was the famous case of the two schoolteachers accused of lesbianism by an Indian student, whose case was thrown out by a judge who felt that while lesbianism might be something that happens in dark, heathen India, two Englishwomen would never think to do such a thing.

All of which is a roundabout way of saying that the Ugandan’s government’s rhetoric of homosexuality being a foreign phenomenon forced into Uganda by Western gay activists and roving pedophiles fits into a much older pattern of scapegoating and Othering gays by associating them with an oppressive or feared society.

And by the way, I have really have to admire the chutzpah of people like Lively railling at culturally imperialist Western forces meddling in the direction of Uganda’s culture and government while he… meddles in the direction of Uganda’s culture and government.

fannie
November 30th, 2009 | LINK

“While the Catholic leadership in the nation has not yet responded publicly to the proposed bill, they have consistently expressed outrage at the attempts of the West to impose acceptance of homosexuality on the country.”

Now this is interesting.

“Sodomy” wasn’t a crime in Uganda until the British imperialists made it one in the late 19th century, as they did in most of their colonies.

I’m not saying that Uganda was a utopia for gays before then, but the criminalization of homosexuality (especially between two men) is most certainly an imposition of the values of Western colonists.