Africa | AIDS/HIV | Barack Obama | Inauguration | News | Rick Warren | Uganda

Rick Warren's Anti-Gay, Anti-Condom AIDS Work in Africa Exposed

It's not pretty.

In a must-read piece in The Daily Beast, Max Blumenthal notes that, "[Rick] Warren’s defense against charges of intolerance ultimately depends upon his ace card: his heavily publicized crusade against AIDS in Africa."

Blumenthal looks deeper into Warren's activities in Africa in the name of AIDS, his ties to anti-gay Anglican religious figures, and his tacit endorsement of condom-burning and anti-gay 'witch hunts' in Uganda.

Warren_2A couple of excerpts:

"But since the Warren inauguration controversy erupted, the nature of work against AIDS in Africa has gone unexamined. Warren has not been particularly forthcoming to those who have attempted to look into it. His website contains scant information about the results of his program. However, an investigation into Warren’s involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education...Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them."


"With safe sex advocates on the run, Warren and Ssempa trained their sights on another social evil. In August 2007, Ssempa led hundreds of his followers through the streets of Kampala to demand that the government mete out harsh punishments against gays. 'Arrest all homos,' read placards. And: 'A man cannot marry a man.' Ssempa continued his crusade online, publishing the names of Ugandan gay rights activists on a website he created, along with photos and home addresses. 'Homosexual promoters,' he called them, suggesting they intended to seduce Uganda’s children into their lifestyle. Soon afterwards, two of President Yoweri Museveni’s top officials demanded the arrest of the gay activists named by Ssempa. Terrified, the activists immediately into hiding."

This is what Rick Warren stands for, embraces, and he will be blessing our nation's next presidency.

The Truth About Rick Warren in Africa [the daily beast]

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  1. The best suggestion I've heard yet for the Inaugural: When Warren speaks, queer people should turn their backs and have a kiss-in until he's done. Grab someone of the same sex and have a mini make-out party while Fatso's invoking the lord of bigotry. What a great statement that would be!

    Posted by: MWalker | Jan 7, 2009 11:04:56 AM

  2. If you could just be patient-Melissa and other Obama apologists will explain it to us.

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 7, 2009 11:12:19 AM

  3. Rather than a kiss-in, I'd prefer to make so much noise that no one would be able to hear Rick Warren. Would it be possible to get large amounts of people close enough to the podium to drown out Warren's words with boom boxes and air horns and bullhorns, etc...? I'll be in D.C. for the inauguration so if you like my idea, get in touch.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jan 7, 2009 11:21:44 AM

  4. Now don't you feel a bit silly for shilling for Obama so stridently for the last year? The guy has little to no concern for the rights of the LGBTQ community, and his infrequent gratuitous statements of support were nothing more than an effort to pander to our vote realizing that in the last analysis he never would have to actually DO anything to earn it. Think Obama will end DOMA & DADT? I bet you a quarter he won't. But I'm sure that won't prevent you and other knee-jerk Obama supporter from rallying around him in 2012. It's sad how easily the LGBTQ vote can be bought. Republican gays may be self-loathing but Democratic gays are a little self-deluded. Granted, Obama was a better choice over McCain/Palin; however, the hysteria and excitement for Obama was a tad over the top, and as gay and lesbians, we already are seeing that Obama is just another politician although more slick than the usual ones.

    Posted by: Obama's Homophobic Nation | Jan 7, 2009 11:26:35 AM

  5. One word: kazoos

    Posted by: Tony | Jan 7, 2009 11:36:20 AM

  6. Rick Warren... makes you wonder about Obama, doesn't it? Just a political message of uniting conservatives and liberals, or a open handed slap in the face to gays?

    Posted by: PY2008 | Jan 7, 2009 11:40:45 AM

  7. But he taps his feet to "Come to My Window"...he can't be anti-gay...?

    I'm very against this Warren invite and I do think it reflects badly on Obama, who warrants the strong criticism.

    But the people who keep asking if Obama supporters should be ashamed, etc., are ridiculous. NO ONE ever said, that I've heard, "Obama should be president because he is perfect and will never let me down and I'll never disagree with him!" The man is going to screw some things up and be on the wrong side of some issues. He's still far superior to [name of any Republican] and as much as I loved Hillary (I voted for her in the NY primary, then rooted for Obama shortly thereafter), can you honestly say you think she would never have done things that annoyed, offended or perplexed you?

    Face it: Obama was the best choice this year. And as with all best choices, there is unfortunately no ideal.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jan 7, 2009 11:46:45 AM

  8. Memo to Warren: "a true Christian would not be conditional about the assistance in fighting AIDS. The fact that you and your homophobic cohorts have an agenda, throws your credibility of anything truly Christian right out the window! Have the balls to own up to the fact that you are a bigot and stop acting like a pious do-gooder!"

    I would not go as far as labeling Obama as homophobic, like some here that obviously are Obama haters, but I am not happy with the choice of Warren, I must say, it did just smack of political maneuvering... 'get the right wing on board at all costs'. Not the actions of someone that is supposed to lead the Nation out of the hell of the last 8 years of bigotry and conservatism into a better place. The right need to be plainly shown that they are NOT running the show now.

    Posted by: CK | Jan 7, 2009 11:51:41 AM

  9. didn't etheridge tell us all to go out and work for warren's aids project? wonder how she'll gloss THIS one over.

    Posted by: daisy | Jan 7, 2009 11:55:41 AM

  10. "Granted, Obama was a better choice over McCain/Palin..."


    As for Rick Warren, doesn't this man have lepers' feet to wash or something?

    Posted by: David D. | Jan 7, 2009 11:57:08 AM

  11. Warren will be giving that blessing because Obama made a decision to elevate him to that position. That's the important part of the story.

    Posted by: dk | Jan 7, 2009 12:01:28 PM

  12. Makes me so mad I could spit!

    Posted by: banshiii | Jan 7, 2009 12:03:22 PM

  13. Booing can be loud my friends. I suggest we make sure it is so loud nobody can hear that anti-humanity piece of shit.

    Posted by: Chiot Moite | Jan 7, 2009 12:28:02 PM

  14. "Now don't you feel a bit silly for shilling for Obama so stridently for the last year?"

    In a word, No. It's amusing that a poster named "Obama's Homophobic Nation," who has written off the Obama presidency BEFORE it has started, accuses others of knee-jerk reactions.

    As Matthew points out, most of us who supported Obama did so with our eyes open. We didn't see him as the Messiah. We didn't think he was perfect. We plan to outspokenly criticize him when he fucks up. His judgment is choosing Warren was horrible. To predict the course of his presidency based on this choice is knee-jerk.

    I supported Obama for a number of reasons, many of them unrelated to gay issues. But if he fails on gay issues, he won't hold my support. Giving him a chance to succeed, and pressuring him to succeed, is hardly delusional. It's realism, and a whole lot more useful than hoping for Obama's failure so that you can say "I told you so" and feel better about yourself.

    Posted by: Ernie | Jan 7, 2009 12:34:56 PM

  15. Surprise, surprise. And Jeremiah Wright was the worst pastor in American because...? I'm still baffled by the decision to invite Warren. I don't believe Obama agrees with him. But the dude's got an obvious blind spot when it comes to religious figures. He could have picked a tool like Joel Osteen or someone similarly MOR but still obviously evangelical if he really wanted to "reach across."

    Posted by: Jay | Jan 7, 2009 12:37:25 PM

  16. Politics. Yes, Warren is a preaching piece of shit, but it's politics.

    And I aint giving up on President Obama. I am a Democrat, and I've waited eight ugly f...kin' years for the White House. Hell, I wouldn't care if Barack invited some damn Iranian Ayatollah to speak.

    Now, if he puts Warren on the Supreme Court--then I'd have problems with President Slim Jim....until then...

    Let's get on with it.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | Jan 7, 2009 1:04:56 PM

  17. 1. Inaugural Kiss In? The WORST kiss-in idea of all the inherently stupid kiss-in ideas.

    2. Sorry, Peter, and others, but Google pix of the size of the crowd at Clinton's inaugural and you'll see how MANY people would be required to make noise loud enough to be heard. St. Obama's flock is expected to be even bigger.

    3. NO, I refuse to believe that Hillary would be so politically tone deaf, soinsensitive to the victims of Warren's homohatred, that SHE'd give him a starring role in HER inauguration. After all, SHE never invited someone like Donnie "Gay are trying to kill our children" McClurkin to star in one of her primary fundraisers, then refuse to DISinvite him when gays, black and white, begged her to as you know who did.

    Yes, Obama MAY go on to actually DO something besides smile fuck us, but the POSSIBILITY does NOT negate the REALITY of this SECOND, even GREATER insult. The logical extension of that argument is immediately forgiving someone who just WILLFULLY ran over you with his car because he MIGHT do something good for you later.

    4. Someone, anyone, please tell me again why Amy's Joiners remain impactED and are NOT using their skills to pull thousands together for a dignified but unmissable protest at the inaugural?

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Jan 7, 2009 1:05:17 PM

  18. Cher Derrick, while obviously not being as open to giving him a THIRD chance as you, you hit upon my EXACT greater fear.

    Supreme Court appointments was my #1 reason for voting for ANY Dem running over the Repugs. While disappointed that Hillary to win, and despite my many reservations about Obama frequently detailed here before he got the nomination, I consoled myself with the belief that his likely Court nominees would be virtually identical ideologically to hers.

    But now I am SERIOUSLY afraid that might not become true. Who's to say that he won't apply the same kind of RETARDED, NAIVE litmus test to nominees as he did to choices [out of thousands] to pray at his inaugural. I can hear his similar silly justifications already: "We need to reach out and end polarization on the Court; be open to different viewpoints. Blah blah blah."

    And who's to say that the Senate would override him? After all, we've repeatedly seen from all but a handful of even liberal Dems that gay issues are NOT take as seriously as issues of gender and race. Remember the homohating cracker judge that Dianne Feinstein caused to be elevated to a federal position last year when the progressives both gay and straight were screaming "No"?

    Nevertheless, I genuinely HOPE you're right.

    Personal PS, D, look for a special Eartha remembrance in this week's "Washington Blade" by someone very close to me.

    Posted by: Leland Frances | Jan 7, 2009 1:15:55 PM

  19. No surprises here.
    Obama-Is already showing that he is a morally weak leader complicit with men who promote/encourage hatred/intolerence towards the vulnerable.
    Warren-Hateful,moneygrubbing,powerhungry,christian hypocrite who deserves to rot for denigrating his fellow human beings and promoting violence against us.
    Religious Zealots-The only sex education is abstinence-only education and yet teenage pregnancies continue on....
    Ssempa-Obvious closet case who is so afraid of himself he will literally kill his fellow man out of that fear.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Jan 7, 2009 1:54:56 PM

  20. The more we learn about this guy, the more we learn that Obama is throwing us under the bus with Bill Richardson...

    Posted by: Gaygregator | Jan 7, 2009 2:01:33 PM

  21. Glad the choir of Obama praise is changing as the mist moves away and people see him for who he is. Trash. Rick Warren is disgusting. The idea that he is being inclusive by having Warren there at the Inauguration is as absurd as if he had chosen a few Klan members or Neo-Nazis to stand just to have representation of that asinine belief system.

    I can't wait to see who he picks for the Supreme Court, since he seems so hell-bent on courting the evangelical vote. I pray he doesn't have to make that decision before 2012. All that man will be thinking about is how to get reelected in four years.

    Posted by: Lucas | Jan 7, 2009 2:12:35 PM

  22. Warren is one of many. Evangelical anti-gay proselytizing and "witch hunting" has long been a problem in the world of ecumenical relief services that inhabit most of the under-developed world, and unfortunately the HIV/AIDS epidemic (combined with lack of education and gripping poverty) has been the unwitting vehicle of this conservative religious explosion throughout Africa.

    The sadly ironic point to such rabid homophobia is that the main mode of HIV transmission in Africa is heterosexual. These homosexual witch hunts and condom burnings are a canard to divert the attention away from a more sinister agenda: the continued subversion to establishing the rule of law with Christian religious doctrine (which, when fully installed, supposedly will cure all the ills of said country -- much better than clean water and a literacy program... or so I've been told by evangelicals).

    Posted by: Foochy | Jan 7, 2009 2:17:14 PM

  23. Thanks for the continued great reporting.

    It's pointed out by another commenter that Obama has made a mistake and will not ever be on the right side all the time, but was our best option this year. Yes, I agree, but I think it is time we look beyond traditional politics in order to get our voices heard. The Democrats only have us because we have no option.

    A show of power from the 6 million money giving, voting gays might help our cause. I quit the DNC over this and unsubscribed from all the mainstream activism I'd been doing because I really feel these people are just not interested in us. I'm not sure what the answer is I am just convinced it's not with either of the political parties in existence.

    I think 6 million people quiting the DNC and ceasing giving would be a powerful statement.

    After all if our votes are in swing that makes a big difference - Obama won by 9.5 million.

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 7, 2009 2:25:03 PM

  24. I understand the outrage over Rick Warren but what I can't understand and find dumbfounding is how much outrage is being paid to a three minute prayer at a ceremony that will have no impact whatsoever on policy, legislation or the direction of the Democratic Party while there is almost deafening silence over the appointment of Tim Kaine, an anti gay, anti marriage, anti civil unions, anti-choice southern social conservative only one degree separate from James Dobson, who WILL be in a position to deeply affect policy and the future direction of the Democratic Party.

    I'm irritated by the choice of Warren but I'm outraged over the choice of Kaine.

    I think the selection of Kaine should make those who thought the selection of Warren was "no big deal" think again. I am definitely starting to see a pattern here.

    Posted by: Joe | Jan 7, 2009 2:42:02 PM

  25. Yeah, let that BITCH / has been of Melissa E. know about this.

    She'll tell you: "He bought my records. He likes me! He really likes me!"

    NO to homophobes.

    Why aren't the gay organizations continuing the pressure to get rid of HOMOPHOBE Warren?

    Posted by: FunMe | Jan 7, 2009 2:55:04 PM

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