Thursday, January 08, 2009

Rick Warren's connections in Africa with his AIDS ministry criticized as homophobic

This morning (Jan. 8), Alternet has a story about inaugural pastor Rock Warren by Max Blumenthal from “The Daily Beast”, with a strident title “Condom Burning and Anti-Gay Witch Hunts: How Rick Warren Is Undermining AIDS Prevention in Africa,” link here. The article mentions a book by Helen Epstein “The Invisible Cure: Why We Are Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa,” published in May 2008 by Picador. The article says that Rick Warren promoted a particular pastor from Uganda name Ssempa, who reportedly promoted a terror of homosexual men and women, and spoke of a witches’ coven around Lake Victoria.

First, remember that reputable science has always maintained that AIDS is Africa is primarily transmitted heterosexually, and the reason that this so may be related to the presence of lesions from other sexually transmitted diseases, leading to a kind of multiplicative effect.

But in Africa, and in economically poor cultures in general, the family as an institution becomes even more important in its own right, taking on a meaning that transcends the individual people in it, or what modern progressive societies regard as just at an individual level. This leads to homophobic statements that to a western person sound self-deprecating. Family responsibility is quite involuntary in their cultures. Older children often wind up with the responsibility for raising their siblings when parents die.

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