Tuesday, October 15, 2013

God Loves Uganda: New Documentary on the Evangelical spread of homophobic hate.


A startling and disturbing  new documentary on the spread of homophobic hate in Uganda by US Evangelical Christians has just opened across theaters in the US last week. Entitled, God Loves Uganda, it is well worth taking a look, for many reasons, not least for the connections with anti gay hate flourishing in the US itself. This film is a warning cry and one that needs to be heeded. The Catholic connection is one that still needs to be exposed more fully. See its' official website here. 

(The New York Times review here)


Here is just one of the many reviews already written on this significant film:


Williams’ film carefully constructs a critique of the missionary movement in Uganda using close access to a Christian organization called the International House of Prayer, or IHOP, and personal interviews with prominent Ugandan citizens. It is through the damning interviews with evangelicals, however, that we learn the most important principle facts of the documentary.
The consequences of this movement are likely several fold, reaching further than a documentary can expect to explain. For the purposes of God Loves Uganda though, the negative impact of adopted conservative Christian ideologies revolves around a repressed attitude toward sexuality.
Williams’ film does not have to work hard to raise ire, because the current landscape of prejudice in our country finds an almost elegant magnification in Uganda. Here, evangelicals take advantage of a country lacking a means of filtering their message, where even the most radical preachers can find traction where none exists in the States.
If readers were to go looking for a contemporary to God Loves Uganda, the closest may be the 2006 documentary Jesus Camp, which raises similar questions. Unlike Jesus Camp though, in God Loves Uganda the endgame of a youth based Christian indoctrination is stripped bare, and the animosity wrought in God’s name reveals itself. Some may feel the film decries the outrage in Uganda too forcefully, that it polarizes the audience into those who already feel one way or another, and lacks the ability to sway hearts and minds. For me, this would be a misread of the film. It is important to maintain a measured, rational voice in regards to religion but you had better make sure your voice is loud. Otherwise, your words just will not carry.
- Jacob Mertens, Film International

I would just add that when religion is used to foster death threatening hate, then taking a measured, reasoned approach is simply not an option. 

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