July 28, 2012

Africa: Playground for Christian Extremists

BumdrillerGodlessMonster brought up a great point in response to a recent post about religious affiliation declining in the U.S. Religion may be in decline here, but the reverse seems to be happening in Africa. Part of what is so unfortunate about this is that Christian extremists in the U.S. have been quite successful in exporting their noxious brand of religiously-motivated hatred to Africa. I have addressed this trend with the Catholic Church before, but it is clear that it is happening on a larger scale than just with Catholics.

According to David Smith's article in The Guardian, Political Research Associates, a liberal think tank in Boston, characterized the efforts of Christian evangelicals in the U.S. as "cultural colonisation." That seems like an appropriate description when one considers that Christian extremists have been treating Africa as a laboratory for their most extreme ideas for some time.

The primary targets of the Christian extremists include same-sex relationships and abortion. You've almost certainly heard about Uganda's "kill the gays" legislation and U.S. Pastor Rick Warren's involvement. There's also the matter of their opposition to contraception, even in regions where HIV-AIDS is epidemic.

The Guardian cites Dr. Kapaya Kaoma, an Anglican priest in Zambia, as suggesting that Christian extremists in the U.S. are increasingly turning to Africa as their efforts at home have failed.
They seem to know they are losing the battle in the US, so the best they can do is to be seen to be winning somewhere.

This gives them a reason to be fundraising in the US. Africa is a pawn in the battle they are fighting at home.
It seems that there are still plenty of people in the U.S. willing to give money to religious organizations who promise to Christianize African nations. When their hate is rejected here, it is simply repackaged and exported.

H/T to Friendly Atheist

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