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Sundance Film Explores Anti-Gay American Evangelism in Uganda: VIDEO


A new film from director Roger Ross Williams premiering today at Sundance explores the relationship between American evangelical churches, their missionaries, and anti-gay laws in Africa like Uganda’s so-called "Kill the Gays" bill.

GodlovesugandaWrites Williams in a director's statement:

I thought about following the activists-brave and admirable men and women-who were fighting against these policies. But I was more curious about the people who, in effect, wanted to kill me. (According to the provisions of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill, I could be put to death or imprisoned.) Notably, almost every evangelical I met – American or Ugandan – was polite, agreeable, even charming. Yet I knew that if the bill passed, there would be blood on the streets of Kampala.

What explains that contradiction? What explains the murderous rage and ecstatic transcendence? In the well-known trope about Africa, a white man journeys into the heart of darkness and finds the mystery of Africa and its unknowable otherness. I, a black man, made that journey and found – America.

The film's teaser on YouTube, though more thematic than explicit, has already inspired wrath from anti-gay pastor Martin "eat da poo poo" Ssempa, who left a comment on its page:

Martin_ssempaI knew all along that Roger wanted to perpetuate the myth that the "evil" well funded, American right was responsible for Uganda's resolve to fight the homosexuality agenda. He being a homosexual is biased and hates Africa and true Christianity. He wishes to get sympathy as a typical "feel sorry for me" they wanted to kill me when indeed he was living large in the protection of "Bishop" Robert Kayanja a state connected operative whose team included many machine gun wielding body guards.

The film has the support of activist group AllOut. Says its executive director Andre Banks:

“The world has never had an up-close look at how anti-gay animus is exported from the United States to places like Uganda. The film also raises urgent questions for American people of faith who care about justice and human rights. The large majority of churches in the U.S. raise money to do good in their communities and abroad.  But this film makes clear that we must each be certain that our contributions at the collection plate are not going, directly or indirectly, toward supporting laws that call for the death of gays and lesbians."

Watch the teaser, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. The fact that they get tax free status for helping kill gays is such a scandal!! who can we contact??

    Posted by: Alan Brickman | Jan 18, 2013 9:16:56 AM

  2. Uneducated and EASILY BRAINWSHED!!!

    Posted by: disgusted american | Jan 18, 2013 9:20:42 AM

  3. No one in authority in the U.S. government wants to acknowledge the incredible damage done by these patriotic American pastors.
    Rev. Warren who participated in Obama's first inaugural was in the forefront and also behind the scenes for a long time in dispensing this special brand of hate and intolerance -supposedly inconsistent to accepted Christian teaching. Some have known better for a very long time.

    Posted by: nick | Jan 18, 2013 9:51:29 AM

  4. The movie is about so important issue.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Jan 18, 2013 10:15:22 AM

  5. Sociopaths are usually charming and nice. It's how the hide their amorality and how they manage to con everyone around them to serve their needs.

    Posted by: Steve | Jan 18, 2013 11:48:22 AM

  6. Dude I hope the bill is passed.

    Posted by: matt | Jan 18, 2013 12:47:48 PM

  7. Matt, WTF?!

    Posted by: MateoM | Jan 18, 2013 1:43:52 PM

  8. As soon as it is passed, Matt, I will purchase a one-way ticket with your name on it to Uganda. I will track your sorry self down and bind and gag you and shove you on that plane. I'm sure your visit to Uganda will be an enjoyable and pleasant experience for you. Oh, one more thing. Drop us a line, right before the Ugandans swarm around you, machetes at the ready, and hack your sorry self into pieces on a Kumpala street.

    Posted by: jamal49 | Jan 19, 2013 4:14:19 PM

  9. No surprise, Rachel Maddow has done excellent work on this issue. Go to, click "lauch the video player" (middle of left hand column), select "Uganda Be Kidding" (right hand column). It's been awhile since I've listened to those segments. I think you also need to go to Youtube and enter "maddow bahati", for her interview with the sponsor of the "Kill-the-Gays" bill. (Available both in 3 parts and uncut.)

    After the Inauguration hoopla, it's time to start working again on Washington before the Kill-the-Gays bill comes back up (soon!) in Uganda.

    Posted by: Diogenes Arktos | Jan 19, 2013 10:46:51 PM

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