Yesterday, the New York Times’ released an eight-minute “Op-Doc” titled “Gospel of Intolerance,” from Oscar-winning filmmaker Roger Ross Williams, exposing “how money donated by American evangelicals helps to finance a violent antigay movement in Uganda.”
The short is derived from Williams’ God Loves Uganda, which just made its world debut at the Sundance Film Festival, a documentary that builds upon Political Research Associates’ investigations into the U.S. Christian Right spreading homophobia internationally. “I discovered that some American evangelicals, feeling that they have lost the culture war here at home, are now turning to Africa. Their goal: to wipe out what they call ‘sexual immorality,’” Rev. Dr. Kapya Kaoma, PRA religion and sexuality researcher, warns in the short film, “and their efforts are having a devastating effect on countries like Uganda.”
“Gospel of Intolerance” opens with Rev. Dr. Kaoma, whom Williams characterized at the God Loves Uganda premiere as “really the person who guides you through the film.” As part of his involvement with the documentary, which also builds on his 2012 Colonizing African Values PRA report, Rev. Kaoma spent the past week at Sundance with Williams and Bishop Christopher Senyonjo, attending screenings and participating in the festival’s “Taking a Stand” panel on Sunday. Conducting this sensitive research has included risks: the op-doc references an incident in which, after traveling to Uganda for his 2009 PRA report, Globalizing the Culture Wars, Kaoma was forced to flee the country over his support for LGBTQ rights.
Rev. Dr. Kaoma explains, “Because of the money they invest, American evangelicals have a lot of influence [in Uganda]. But in a country like Uganda, what may simply seem like cultural war rhetoric in the U.S. gets ramped up to untold heights and sexual minorities pay the price.” Williams is quick to acknowledge the positive role that Christian missionaries have to play in Africa, distinguished from the “radical campaign” run by the Christian Right in Africa.
For more information on God Loves Uganda, visit the film’s website, and look out for continuing PRA research on the exportation of antigay ideology to Africa and Latin America.
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