If God Loves Uganda as the title of a new documentary airing on PBS proclaims, then surely He must weep for its people. Playing upon an already homophobic culture, American Christian Evangelical missionaries, or so the film charges, have fueled the fires of bigotry, suspicion and hatred in an African nation already ripped apart by religious, ethnic, cultural and political hatred. These missionaries, as filmmaker Roger Ross Williams reports, have made a bad situation worse – far worse, fomenting and encouraging the persecution of gays not only through the power of their church, but also through the power of the state.
God Loves Uganda is part of the Independent Lens series and will premiere on most PBS stations at 10 pm Eastern Time, Monday, May 19.
The documentary tracks how Evangelical Christian missionaries from the United States supported and help push through The Anti-Homosexuality Act in the Ugandan legislature. Not content with waging a holy war to “cleanse” the nation of the “sin” of homosexuality, those missionaries helped draft and promulgate a law that not only makes it a crime to be gay, but also makes counseling or even helping gay people an offense similarly punishable by fine and imprisonment.
The story does not end but only begins in Uganda, postulates Williams and his crew. As he shows through interviews with the persecutors and the persecuted, Uganda is a laboratory, a test case, a training ground for these men and women who claim to be doing God’s work in waging war on homosexuality. To these anti-gay crusaders, the motto they live and work by is today Uganda, tomorrow the world.
Although CPTV Connecticut Public Television has not yet scheduled an air time for God Loves Uganda, audiences in Connecticut who have access to other Public Television stations can view the show, which is part of the Independent Lens series, when it premieres on at 10 pm Eastern Time, Monday, May 19. Check local listings for date and time for later or repeat showings.
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Mark G. McLaughlin is a Connecticut-based free lance journalist and game designer with nearly 40 years of experience as a ghost-writer, columnist, historian and game designer. An author whose first published book was Battles of the American Civil War, and whose games include War and Peace, The Napoleonic Wars and the Mr. Lincoln’s War set, Mark continues to be enthralled by stories from the age of Lincoln.
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