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Uganda set to begin reign of terror.

I hope my title turns out to be hyperbole, but only time will tell. Uganda is apparently going to pass the “Kill the Gays” bill. They’re calling it a “Christmas Present”. Personally, I wouldn’t want a stocking full of injustice for the holidays.

Box Turtle Bulletin has the text of the bill as submitted in 2009 and a summary of its revisions, should you feel like reading it, but it was this post about the 19th clause that inspired my title. The image of a jackbooted corps or queer-hunters led by a man who’s part Robespierre & part Torquemada is a striking one, and sadly sounds far too plausible to me.

In the 1950’s, United States Senator Joseph McCarthy ran a series of witch-hunts which destroyed careers and even lives trying to find communists. Being a communist is not a crime in the United States, and was not at the time, either, yet McCarthy was able to hound people about it anyways with the fear of Soviet spies.

By comparison, this is a law that will imprison people for three years for the crime of not turning in suspected gays within 24 hours. Advocating for gay rights would be a crime, trying to repeal the law might even count. Hell, I’m pretty sure this very blog has enough posts “promoting homosexuality” that I’d be subject to five to seven years imprisonment if I ever went to Uganda.

People convicted of homosexuality itself seem to only have life imprisonment or death as possible sentences, though I may have missed something in there. The death sentence is limited to “aggravated homosexuality”, which requires additional crimes such as “being HIV-positive”.

This is a terrible bill, with terrible purposes, and it sounds like it’s pretty much going to pass. I don’t see what it can possibly accomplish except for an awful lot of human misery. I suppose those in power can use it against their enemies, just call them gay and hang them.

It never ceases to amaze me how much work people will put into causing needless suffering.

Preaching Hate

Preachers have been really hard on the gays lately. Our featured asshole today is Curtis Knapp. He’s pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Seneca, Kansas, and made headlines with his sermon Sunday in which he said this on what to do with those pesky homosexuals:

They should be put to death. That’s what happened in Israel. That’s why homosexuality wouldn’t have grown in Israel. It tends to limit conversations. It tends to limit people coming out of the closet.

So, you’re saying we should go out and start killing them? No. I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.

Just so we’re clear here, this man is saying he wants a government mass-murder program. To nobody’s surprise, this caused a bit of a shitstorm. But he’s not backing down.

“We punish pedophilia. We punish incest. We punish polygamy and various things,” Knapp told KTKA. “It’s only homosexuality that is lifted out as an exemption.”

Knapp argued that his sermon was rooted in Biblical verse.

“‘If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act,’” he quoted from Leviticus 20:12. “‘They shall surely be put to death.’”

Just to keep things confusing, in the King James Bible that should be 20:13, Leviticus 20:12 is about not having sex with your daughter in law. I thought this was a typo until I got confused by some old language and noticed that it is 20:12 in the New International Version.

Anyway, I disagree with the “good” pastor, I can come up with a few more exemptions from that very book. Read the rest of this entry

Unearthing another old horror from the Catholic Church

You know, if any organization could properly be called “evil”, it must be the Catholic Church. It’s rare that a month goes by without some new atrocity coming to light, usually something related to covering up, enabling, or blaming the victims of child rape, but occasionally it’s something different, like telling Africans that condoms spread AIDS, or excommunicating a doctor for saving a little girl’s life, or ordering hospitals to let women die rather than terminate a lethal pregnancy.

This is bad even by those standards. Read the rest of this entry

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