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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 8/5/13

Stranglehold On Africa: Why Zimbabwe Matters

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Slate   (July 28, 2013)

       "Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe is once again speaking about his hatred of homosexuality as he campaigns ahead of the July 31 election. At a rally last week, Mugabe told thousands of supporters that Zimbabwe would never accept homosexuals, whom he descried as "worse than pigs, goats and birds," reports Zimbabwe's   Newsday. "If you take men and lock them in a house for five years and tell them to come up with two children and they fail to do that, then we will chop off their heads."

The elections in Zimbabwe sparked tension in Africa. Leaders in other countries wondered if the country would guard its status quo, or veer to the left in its search for the prosperity it was promised but never had under aging President Mugabe. They also feared that Prime Minister Tsvangirai might usher in a new era of tolerance for the LGBT community. 

The Christian Right leaders of America were on edge.

Now they can rest easy that "Behead them!" Mugabe will be in charge for a while.  

Of course, the country is still polarized after the election and that polarization of Zimbabwe is fascinating in its contradictions and complexity: Mugabe was considered a hero in freeing Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) from British rule. But that was 33 years ago, and the evolution of Mugabe from Marxist to Stalin-like dictator did not surprise his African neighbors. His enmity towards white farmers was acute and he famously quipped that he was indeed a "Black Hitler."  

      "Tsvangirai   earlier Saturday   rejected the results as fraudulent and called for fresh elections. He urged a peaceful response to the alleged massive rigging by Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Tsvangirai said his Movement for Democratic Change party has in its possession evidence of massive rigging by Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in the just-ended polls and will challenge results from Wednesday's voting.

There was a   high number of assisted voters   in [the provinces] Mashonaland East and Mashonaland Central including teachers, who were told they are illiterate and so they had to be assisted. And we find that very disturbing."

T he African Union has demanded a full account of the voter numbers. But in a land tightly held by a dictator such as Mugabe, even a "full account" may be considered moot.

Persecuted Nonetheless

Mugabe has evinced no doubt that Christian churches under his rule must toe the line. Zimbabwe's persecution of Christian churches has become an embarrassment to other African countries like Uganda. They are wondering, however, if Mugabe's attitude towards homosexuality is an appeasement of sorts - an agreement of ideologies so that Mugabe wouldn't look quite as anti-Christian. It is interesting to note that, like Uganda's "kill-the-gays" bill, Christian Right leaders are not coming forward to condemn such an attitude. It is possible that they see a light in Zimbabwe that beckons a new era of tolerance - and willingness to accept more "missionaries" like Scott Lively into its midst.  

Zimbabwe, Africa and Russia: All Things Anti-Gay

For all the countries that Scott Lively has visited have turned virulently anti-gay: Moldava, Latvia, Lithuania, Russia, Uganda to name a few. Russia is now smarting against its own anti-gay policies:  

       WASHINGTON, D.C.   -- Today, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (NY-10), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice, lead a bipartisan letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding the protection of LGBT athletes, staff, and spectators during the 2014 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games in Sochi, Russia.

Yet the latest news from the Kremlin is that it will hold to its draconian laws: any group or individual daring to carry a rainbow flag may be subject to arrest and imprisonment. Which is just the way the Christian Right wants it:

       "Christian conservative   Bryan Fischer   on Friday proclaimed that Russia's recently approved anti-gay laws should be celebrated by gay rights activists in the name of diversity."

Yes, you read that right. Mocking, twisted logic is still a forte of those in the Christian Right: Fischer is gloating.

Why Zimbabwe Matters

The remnants of anti-Christian sentiment in Africa are slowly disappearing, opening the gates for more proselytizing, more evangelizing ... and more LGBT persecution. Several years ago, Mike Huckabee and Pastor Rod Parsley lamented the fact that they could not effectively go to Zimbabwe. Now they can and their sights are also set on other vulnerable African nations.  

Poor Africa.


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Rev. Dan Vojir is has been writing/blogging on religion and politics for the better part of ten years. A former radio talk show host (Strictly Books €" Talk America Radio Network) and book publisher, Dan has connected with some of the most (more...)
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