Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Rick Warren's AIDS Work Exposed

In the ongoing controversy over the Obama administration's selection of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration, his work with AIDS in Africa is often cited as a reason for his invite and is championed by Obama as an issue he and Warren agree on. For the most an analysis of the specifics of Warren's AIDS efforts has not been in the mainstream media.

However, an article at The Daily Beast brings unknown facts about Warren's AIDS work--such as his emphasis on abstinence-only education and aligning himself with homophobic religious leaders such as Martin Ssempa--to the surface.

Here's an excerpt from the article about Ssempa's AIDS prevention strategies and overall paranoia:

"Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them."

Dr. Helen Epstein, a public health consultant who authored the book, The Invisible Cure: Why We’re Losing The Fight Against AIDS In Africa, met Ssempa in 2005. Epstein told me the preacher seemed gripped by paranoia, warning her of a secret witches coven that met under Lake Victoria. “Ssempa also spoke to me for a very long time about his fear of homosexual men and women,” Epstein said. “He seemed very personally terrified by their presence.”

Ssempa's fear has quickly manifested into intolerant action, such as leading a march in 2007 to demand harsher government punishment on gays, or spreading old myths depicting gays as predators out to seduce and 'recruit' children.

Secret witches covens. Burning condoms in the name of Jesus. A fear of gays and lesbians so extreme that the only plausible solution is to lock all those "scary freaks" up so they can't spread the gay. Gays and lesbians and bisexuals oh my! Rick, Rick ,Rick. You gotta pick better buddies than this. I wonder if the hundred gay friends you have would approve. Read the rest of the article here.




1 comment:

ToddyEnglish said...

Okay, if that is Ssempa in that picture I can understand his irrational fear of gays and lesbians. We fear that which we are.
I know a "sistah" when I see "her". Mmmmhmmmm. Unfortunately, while he chases boy tail on the side the millions of LGBT people in the motherland will suffer.

While I do see the method behind Obama's selection of Rick Warren I still think Rick Warren's views are repulsive.
Maybe he's changed? I don't know. We shall see.

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