Now Cameroon

Arrests of gays are taking place in the West African nation of Cameroon.

YAOUNDE — Cameroon authorities have charged four people aged 17 to 46 with homosexuality and remanded them in custody, their lawyer told AFP on Saturday.
“All four were remanded in custody yesterday (Friday) after having been charged the same day,” said Michel Togue.
Two of them were also charged with “indecent behaviour involving a minor”.
The lawyer said one of the accused “said he was arrested at his home on August 10” in the capital Yaounde after “somebody turned up and asked to see a ‘gay film’ in his company”.
It was “obviously a set-up because police arrived to arrest him as they were watching the film”, he added.
The three others were arrested when they visited him after his arrest.
Police were not available Saturday to comment on the arrests which take the number of those detained in less than a month to seven.
Homosexuality being outlawed in Cameroon, those arrested risk five years in prison.
Gay rights activists say the government is set to tighten anti-gay legislation further.


It is dominion we are after…

Right Wing Watch has noted a backlash among some evangelicals about the term Dominionism. Seems some evangelicals don’t like the term applied to them. I want to address this more in a future post, but for now, I want to note a key statement about dominion made by Peter Waldron’s co-author, George Grant. Recall that Waldron was key to Michele Bachmann’s straw poll win in Iowa on August 13 and is now in South Carolina attempting to line up evangelicals for Bachmann.
Grant and Waldron wrote a book called Rebuilding the Walls: A Biblical Strategy for Restoring America’s Greatness in 1987. I am looking for a copy of this book. For now, consider this passage from George Grant’s book Changing the Guard, published by Dominion Press (!) in the same year, 1987.

Christians have an obligation, a mandate, a commission, a holy responsibility to reclaim the land for Jesus Christ-to have dominion in the civil structures, just as in every other aspect of life and godliness.
But it is dominion that we are after. Not just a voice.
It is dominion we are after. Not just influence.
It is dominion we are after. Not just equal time.
It is dominion we are after.
World conquest. That’s what Christ has commissioned us to accomplish. We must win the world with the power ofthe Gospel. And we must never settle for anything less.
If Jesus Christ is indeed Lord, as the Bible says, and if our commission is to bring the land into subjection to His Lordship, as the Bible says, then all our activities, all our witnessing, all our preaching, all our craftsmanship, all our stewardship, and all our political action will aim at nothing short of that sacred purpose.
Thus, Christian politics has as its primary intent the conquest of the land – of men, families, institutions, bureaucracies, courts, and governments for the Kingdom of Christ. It is to reinstitute the authority of God’s Word as supreme over all judgments, over all legislation, over all declarations, constitutions, and confederations.
True Christian political action seeks to rein the passions of men and curb the pattern of digression under God’s rule. Fortunately, because of the theocratic orientation of our founding fathers, our nation has virtually all the apparatus extant to implement such a reclamation. Unfortunately, the enemies of the Gospel have hand-in-hand eroded the strength of those godly foundations.

Mr. Grant and Mr. Waldron would like to restore America’s greatness. Waldron’s remaining website is dedicated to this end. If you donate $25, you can get a copy of the book with Mr. Grant. Note the purpose of the book:

Rebuilding the Walls: A Biblical Strategy for Restoring America’s Greatness. I wrote this book 25-years ago. My editor, Dr. George Grant, and I pulled the precepts and principles necessary to develop a deployable strategy for Christians to restore America’s greatness.

Currently, Mr. Waldron is in South Carolina on behalf of candidate Bachmann. I wonder if he is deploying any strategies.

Uganda: Leaders give mixed signals over procedures for Anti-Homosexuality Bill

Earlier this week, gay advocacy website Behind the Mask quoted James Mukaga, a clerk assistant to the Parliament, as saying that MP David Bahati would need to get a statement of financial impact from the Minister of Finance in order to proceed with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Mukaga said that the hurdle might now be difficult to clear since Uganda’s Cabinet ministers recently declared their opposition to the bill.
However, Bahati presented such a statement to Parliament when he first introduced the bill on October 14, 2009, as noted in the official minutes.

MR DAVID BAHATI (NRM, Ndorwa County West, Kabale) I beg to move that the Bill entitled, The Anti-Homosexuality Bill, 2009 be read for the first time.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: It is seconded. Do you have the Certificate of Financial Implications?
MR BAHATI: In fulfilment of rule 102, I would like to lay on the Table the Certificate of Financial Implications duly signed by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and issued on 10 September 2009.
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The Bill is committed to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, but owing to its multifaceted nature, other committees can team up to facilitate the progress of the Bill. Thank you very much.

The bill’s immediate future hinges on what current Speaker Rebecca Kadaga requires for action on the floor. According to MP Otto Odonga, Speaker Kadaga will not require MP Bahati to reintroduce the AHB. Parliament spokesperson, Helen Kawesa, also told me that the next step for the bill is a second reading and floor debate.
If Speaker Kadaga allows the bill to be considered by Parliament without reintroduction, then the requirement for a statement from the Minister of Finance has already been satisfied. If the Speaker requires reintroduction, then Mr. Bahati might have to start from scratch with an initial motion to introduce the bill followed by the tabling of a new bill for the first of three required readings. The new bill would be assigned to a committee again with hearings and a new report prior to the second reading.
As of now, there is no indication that Speaker Kadaga will require Bahati to reintroduce the AHB. If the bill is taken up by the Parliament as is, then the next step is a second reading and floor discussion. At this point, the bill could be amended.
Behind the Mask also reported that Legal and Parliamentary Affairs committee chair Stephen Tashobya said his committee would meet September 7th to decide what bills to consider before the Christmas holiday. Tashobya declined to predict whether or not the AHB would be among those bills.

Bachmann staffer accused of mismanaging public funds in 1999

Peter Waldron, Michele Bachmann’s evangelical organizer, was accused in 1999 of “mismanagement of public funds” in connection with a youth program he founded in St. Petersburg, FL. Waldron founded Rising Stars Education and Sports Foundation in the mid-1990s and claimed to serve thousands of inner-city youth in the St. Petersburg area. However, according to reports in the St. Petersburg Times, city officials said the charity served far fewer young people than Waldron claimed, only about 400.
Waldron abruptly shut down the foundation in June, 1999 after questions surfaced about the management and financial practices of the group. According to a July 21, 1999 op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times, Waldron received over $600,000 of state and local grant money, but spent 83% of that on overall administrative costs. During his tenure with Rising Stars, Waldron purchased homes in Florida and Wyoming.
In a February 5, 1999 St. Petersburg Times editorial, Waldron was credited for his innovative program but the paper concluded:

Waldron had a good idea for helping children, one praised by participants, parents and juvenile justice officials. But his mismanagement of public funds taints that success. St. Petersburg should take over Rising Stars, and city and state officials should set up a means for overseeing the program, as they should have been doing all along.

Waldron was arrested in Uganda in 2006 and charged with illegal possession of weapons. After 37 days in jail, Waldron was released and the charges dropped. The Bachmann campaign credited him with part of the reason for their win in the Iowa straw poll on August 13.

NPR on the difference between dominionists and evangelicals

Check out this report from Fresh Air with guest Rachel Tabachnick.
There is much of interest in the report but here is some money that caught my eye:

A ‘Different’ Evangelicalism

Tabachnick, who has been researching and writing about the apostles for a decade, says her own religious background has helped her with her research. She grew up as a Southern Baptist and converted to Judaism as an adult.
“Having the Southern Baptist background and growing up in the Deep South has helped me to be able to do this research and has also helped me realize something that might not be apparent to some other people looking at the movement,” she says. “This is quite radically different than the evangelicalism of my youth. The things that we’ve been talking about are not representative of evangelicalism. They’re not representative of conservative evangelicalism. So I think that’s important to keep in mind. This is a movement that’s growing in popularity, and one of the ways they’ve been able to do that [is because] they’re not very identifiable to most people. They’re just presented as nondenominational or just Christian — but it is an identifiable movement now with an identifiable ideology.”

Recently, some evangelicals have reacted strongly against accusations of dominionism, even going so far as to deny it exists (e.g., this Christian Post op-ed). It exists for sure but as Tabachnick says, many evangelicals wouldn’t recognize it as being “them.”
What has been concerning to me is the marriage of traditional evangelicalism with the New Apostolic Reformation through right wing politics. For instance, Cindy Jacobs speaking at Liberty University’s Awakening conference was an odd combination of beliefs. The focus becomes societal change as opposed to proclaiming the religious message of the gospel.
I think Tabachnick’s critique is valuable and her distinctions helpful.