The Moral Majority in Africa

Comments

1
Rhodesia used to be prosperous.
What changed?
2
The connection only works if poverty, religiosity, and homophobia move together in tandem. But in Africa, widespread virulent homophobia is a phenomenon of the past 15-20 years. It has grown in tandem with the spread of evangelical Christianity and reformist Islam, but not so much world religions in general. One might link them with the suffering caused by structural adjustment and the debt crisis, but not poverty itself. And certainly not with lack of (western) education or the "rural mind" (whatever that is). Some of the African peasants of my acquaintance are among the most open-minded and intelligent people I've ever met.
3
Yet another case of "Guns, God and Gays." Could we please hurry up and have the Rapture so that we, the unsaved, no longer have to put up with these fools?
5
In a recent seminar led by Peter Geschiere, a Dutch scholar who has spent many years studying African beliefs in witchcraft, one individual in his survey said:
"When will Europeans quit exporting their witchcraft to Africa, like Freemasonry, Rosicrucians, and homosexuals?"
What I can surmise from this is that, clearly, all witchcraft ultimately ends up in Cameroon via Europe. Additionally, in his lecture, I learned that witches in Africa evidentially fly invisible 747's.

6
it doesn't always go that direction, stabbycat. remember, sarah palin's pastor is an african witch doctor.
7
..." A much more realistic explanation is that Africa is in its sorry state simply because it is full of black Africans...."

And America is in the sorry homophobic state it is because it is full of White Americans?
8
The United States is also a very religious country.
More so in the past.
And, in it's more prosperous days, a majority of Americans disapproved of homosexual behaviour.

Of course, we're becoming 'enlightened' now.

We're skipping to Gomorrah, actually.

(unless we get to the poorhouse first...)
9
Ugh. Yet another reason not to visit Africa. And to lobby for no more African immigration (along with the Eastern Europeans) - unless they are fleeing because they are being persecuted for being gay, of course. We don't need that crap in this country.
10
@6 - Maybe he came in on one of those invisible 747s?

We're doomed.
11
Good Morning Charles,
Well, I believe that is a bit of harsh assessment of our African brethren. I don't disagree necessarily with the connection between poverty, homophobia and religion. Having lived there, there is nary a doubt that the people are religious. I remember sharing a cab in Maiduguri, Nigeria and a woman entering the front seat remarked upon entry "Praise be Jesus Christ!". Everyone else (except me) in the taxi responded with the same refrain. Some bush taxis stopped to pray (1 of five times daily to the observant male Muslim). I recall waiting patiently until they finished. Indeed, many Africans enjoy a display of religiosity. It is quite a norm there.

I do believe the continent as a whole is in bad shape. So not surprisingly, Africans find solace in religion. That's not an unusual human trait. Sure, Marx said "Religion is the opium of the people". I find it more of an elixir. Heck, it can bring hope and people together sometimes. I found this story regarding Zimbabwe quite poignant:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/15/opinio…

Almost brought a tear to my eye. Good on them. As for Mugabe, he can go to hell.
12
Evangelism, without fail, only has an effective life of about 25-30 years before people are no longer interested in it. Membership in evangelical sects swells and peaks about 20 years in, their influence soon after that. It happened in all three "Great Awakenings" (1730-60, 1800-1830, 1880-1910) and followed the same pattern of popular political figures, great preachers, falling off of social progress, mega-churches (well, tents in those days). It also stunted economic growth because general spending receded and went into church coffers where thrifty church officials would make an extravagant life for themselves but otherwise kept their money in a tight economic loop.

Currently we're sitting at the tail end of the most recent awakening which started, in earnest, in the late 70s and peaked in the late 90s. Regular attendance of churches peaked around the late 90s as well and has steadily fallen off at the rate of a couple of percentage points a year.

Every revival has its issue that it stunts. 1730-60 was against non-practicing christians and many lost their social standing for not going to church. 1800-30 was pretty anti-black. 1880-1910 was not kind to women. 1980-2010 is marked by anti-gay sentiment. And now it's waning and all these "the GAYS, the GAYS!" preachers are increasingly left with nothing to rail against.

As a result, we're seeing these evangelical preachers get bored and start to ship themselves off to other continents. Revivalism is a recent thing in Africa, and social attitudes reflect that. Their attitudes toward homosexuality, something previously ignored or unimportant, have shifted as more and more missionaries flood the continent.

So expect the next couple of decades to be a long string of frustration and annoyance towards africa as gays stop being an issue here in the US and are murdered en masse in the continent that evangelicals love to abuse.
13
So in other words, strict, omnipresent appearances of fire-brimstone in local society is the psycho-social balm to endure hellish life chances. OK.
14
Do you really believe that Africa is "stupid" or just poorly educated, Charles? Stupid won't benefit much from a better education.

That was a racist and ignorant word choice.
15
@8

Actually you are very much wrong. America is a much more religious place today than when it was created. Many of the "Founding Fathers" were not practicing Christians -- many of the most influential of them were Deists.

Recently, our nation is losing a bit of it's Christian identity. I only wish that it would happen faster.

http://www.newsweek.com/id/192583

http://www.infidels.org/library/modern/f…

http://skeptically.org/thinkersonreligio…

"The Treaty of Tripoli, passed by the U.S. Senate in 1797, read in part: "The government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion." The treaty was written during the Washington administration, and sent to the Senate during the Adams administration. It was read aloud to the Senate, and each Senator received a printed copy. This was the 339th time that a recorded vote was required by the Senate, but only the third time a vote was unanimous (the next time was to honor George Washington). There is no record of any debate or dissension on the treaty. It was reprinted in full in three newspapers - two in Philadelphia, one in New York City. There is no record of public outcry or complaint in subsequent editions of the papers."

John Adams: "This would be the best of all possible worlds, if there were no religion in it!"
16
@6,

He's a witch hunter, not a witch doctor, and he's been responsible for the persecution of a number of women and men in Africa.
17
15
of course America is not and has never been a religious country.
we have the homosexual cowboys to prove it....
18
sounds like Murka. good work, Murkin evangelists!
19
@7 don't feed the trolls, man.
@14 how so racist and ignorant?
20
@8: Gomorrah Man! WE'VE MISSED YOU!
...and you're spelling "Gomorrah" correctly now; you're all grown up!

What's Africa's problem? Where do I even begin?
21
Kenya, how ironic of you. I visited there in 1987, I was 16, and remarked to our local guide that there sure seemed to be a lot of gay people (we were in Nairobi at the time). She explained that holding hands was customary for friends of the same sex. I wonder if it still is?
23
What is Africa's problem?

It is full of Africans.