American evangelists' anti-gay preaching in Uganda: It's powerful proselytising.
God Loves Uganda
Director: Roger Ross Williams
Screenplay: Williams, Benjamin Gray (Will to Dance), Richard Hankin (Gotta Dance)
Runtime: 83 min.
by John DeSando
“The words of the Gospels, repeated to a child, a workman or a peasant, do not surprise him in the least. Nothing is told with a view to effect. Not a word in the Gospels is intended to startle.” Ernest Hello, Life, Science, and Art
The state of homophobia is severe in Uganda, as evidenced by God Loves Uganda, a sharp title for the influence of American conservative evangelists. These well-meaning do gooders have apparently ignited the wildfire of bigotry, so says Rev. Kapya Kaoma, a Zambian priest self-exiled from Uganda because of his support of LGBTI rights.
The documentary is an honest and effective depiction of the varied support for an anti-gay bill pending before the Ugandan legislature. Because half of Ugandans are under the age of 15 and undereducated, they are easy targets for the young acolytes of the International House of Prayer (IHOP), a Kansas City Christian group sending missionaries to underdeveloped worlds like Uganda.
The missionaries are effective because they believe what they preach and they are attractively young and American. The message is simple: Listen to what the Bible says, and if you still don’t believe, look at these gay pornographic images of men and coprophilia, nasty stuff by any measure. Of course, that activity is hardly the usual for gays, but who’s counting when it comes to recruiting?
Of those most effective proselytizers, Scott Lively is an anti-gay activist who preaches about the evil gay agenda to such an extent that some feel he is responsible for stirring up the entire population. A Ugandan preacher, Robert Kayanja, says gay activity is like murder. The preachers are legion, spouting similar Biblical passages with great lungs.
Although the arguments against the anti-gay movement seem spot-on, evidence shows extremists winning Ugandans. I am, however, grateful for IHOP giving Oscar-winning director Roger Ross Williams apparently full access to the business. Most extremists seem unaware of their flaws. Someday those excesses could bring down a country.
John DeSando co-hosts WCBE 90.5’s It’s Movie Time and Cinema Classics, which can be heard streaming and on-demand at WCBE.org. Contact him at JDeSando@Columbus.rr.com