January 10th, 2010
Continuing in our quest to to understand the role of American religious conservatives in African politics, we posted yesterday a comment by Bob Hunter, an associate with the heretofore secretive religious group known as The Family. In that comment, Hunter provided a brief excerpt from a transcript which he says supports his statements made on Rachel Maddow’s program earlier last week, and which were contested a few days later by Jeff Sharlet, author of The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.
Late last night, Sharlet left this comment answering some of Hunter’s points.
I spoke to Bob Hunter this evening after this went up on Box Turtle. The bottom line is that we\’re in agreement on some central points: The bill, proposed and supported by men in relationship with the Family — David Bahati, James Nsaba Buturo, and Yoweri Museveni — is wrong and must be stopped; the Family has been too secretive, which has hindered its ability to take a stand; and Hunter is doing the right thing by going public in order to make that stand.
My use of the phrase “Jesus footing” was not derogatory. It was, as I told Bob tonight, in recognition of the Family\’s long stated goal of a “God-led government.” The particular document I had in mind — related to Senator Jim Inhofe\’s extensive work in Uganda on behalf of the Family — describes one aspect of the Africa work thusly:
“2. THE EXECUTION OF THE VISION
A. A congressman and/or Senator from the United States will befriend the leader of another country and tell him/her how Jesus and His teachings will help his country and its poor.
B. U.S. leader and foreign leader will select 5 men (mentors) from the foreign country to commit to learn about Jesus and how He will help themselves, their country and the poor.
“… We will teach the mentors to confess their sins (known or unknown) and to ask the Holy Spirit of Christ to live in them, and to teach them how to live, what to think and what to say.”
Bob says he\’s unfamiliar with this document. I believe him. There\’s a lot of paperwork in the Family. And, to be fair, Bob\’s pretty busy doing consumer advocacy work.
We also agreed that a there\’s no point in us having a pissing match here in America while Uganda burns, so to speak. So, in that spirit, I\’m going to take Bob\’s word that he was simply trying to clarify the record; accept his apology for saying that I\’ve disowned my book (a misunderstanding, he says); and leave the transcript above to speak for itself. It was an on the record conversation. “Bait” is “bait,” the use of a big name to bring people to the table behind the scenes. Whether that\’s a good approach is in the eye of the beholder. I think it\’s fair to say — and that Bob would at least in part agree – that in the case of Jim Inhofe, the fiercely anti-gay senator identified by a 2003-4 budget as responsible for maintaining relationships with leaders of 11 African nations, including Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi — the “bait” may have brought his own baggage.
But Hunter, thank God, is cut from a different cloth. The point is that Bob is trying to bring peace and human rights to Uganda. We can disagree about how to do that, we can even disagree about what constitutes “peace,” but right now, on the brink of murder, our disagreements don\’t matter as much as our common cause.
In this original BTB Investigation, we unveil the tragic story of Kirk Murphy, a four-year-old boy who was treated for “cross-gender disturbance” in 1970 by a young grad student by the name of George Rekers. This story is a stark reminder that there are severe and damaging consequences when therapists try to ensure that boys will be boys.
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In 2005, the Southern Poverty Law Center wrote that “[Paul] Cameron’s ‘science’ echoes Nazi Germany.” What the SPLC didn”t know was Cameron doesn’t just “echo” Nazi Germany. He quoted extensively from one of the Final Solution’s architects. This puts his fascination with quarantines, mandatory tattoos, and extermination being a “plausible idea” in a whole new and deeply disturbing light.
On February 10, I attended an all-day “Love Won Out” ex-gay conference in Phoenix, put on by Focus on the Family and Exodus International. In this series of reports, I talk about what I learned there: the people who go to these conferences, the things that they hear, and what this all means for them, their families and for the rest of us.
Prologue: Why I Went To “Love Won Out”
Part 1: What’s Love Got To Do With It?
Part 2: Parents Struggle With “No Exceptions”
Part 3: A Whole New Dialect
Part 4: It Depends On How The Meaning of the Word "Change" Changes
Part 5: A Candid Explanation For "Change"
Using the same research methods employed by most anti-gay political pressure groups, we examine the statistics and the case studies that dispel many of the myths about heterosexuality. Download your copy today!
And don‘t miss our companion report, How To Write An Anti-Gay Tract In Fifteen Easy Steps.
Anti-gay activists often charge that gay men and women pose a threat to children. In this report, we explore the supposed connection between homosexuality and child sexual abuse, the conclusions reached by the most knowledgeable professionals in the field, and how anti-gay activists continue to ignore their findings. This has tremendous consequences, not just for gay men and women, but more importantly for the safety of all our children.
Anti-gay activists often cite the “Dutch Study” to claim that gay unions last only about 1½ years and that the these men have an average of eight additional partners per year outside of their steady relationship. In this report, we will take you step by step into the study to see whether the claims are true.
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