At New America Media, Edwin Okong’o suggests that the U.S. Christian Right has been successful in influencing the Ugandan anti-gay agenda because Africans “staunchly believe in the supremacy of the white man. Ill-informed Christians […] place the white man immediately below the Holy Trinity, a belief with its roots in the colonial era”:
As I ponder over this issue I’m reminded of the 1980s, when Reinhard Bonnke, a German evangelist who claimed to have healing powers, visited Kenya. Business came to a halt, as people with all kinds of ailments traveled to Nairobi to seek his miracles. Kenyans flocked Bonnke’s sermons because they believed that as a white man, he was closer to Jesus Christ than were black evangelists.
If Archbishop Manassas Kuria, who at the time was the Anglican primate of the Church of Kenya, had called a press conference to announce that he had healing powers, they would have laughed at him, and perhaps accuse him of blasphemy. Black clergymen do not perform miracles.
The belief that black people can only speak to God through white men is illustrated in the same interview Sen. Inhofe gave to Faith and Action. Inhofe describes the Family’s work in a “miserable” village in Benin. The hamlet’s name translates to “Village of Darkness,” he says, and children “drink mud and die of dysentery.” The evangelicals rescue the village by providing sanitary water.
When residents ask why the evangelicals have decided to shine light on the village, the Americans say, “Because we love you.” And when they ask, “Why do you love us?” they answer, “Because Jesus loves us.”
No one asks why Jesus didn’t send love directly to Africa without going through middlemen. Inhofe says today the village has changed its name to “The Village of Jesus”, thanks to the Savior’s “miracles.”
Now imagine telling such people that the “force behind homosexuality” threatens to corrupt their children and anger Jesus. They will “stand firm to fight” this “evil.” Enacting laws allows them to hide the blood in their hands.