Erroll Naidoo has for years been pushing an anti-human rights agenda in South Africa, with the help of his friends in foreign radical groups based in the USA (and here in South Africa), who help fund and support his "Family Policy Institute". (Here he is shown meeting with Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council - a recognized hate group in the US and mentor to his FPI) He is on record in the media as saying he hates gay people and has been closely associated with the ACDP, a fundamentalist "Christian" party, along with similar organizations such as the Cape Town based "Christian Action Network". All these groups and affiliates have been engaged in a bitter battle to oppose and remove all gay rights from the SA Constitution even before the Constitution was finalized - and right up to this very day.
In the latest JOY! Magazine, like his kindred American radicals, Naidoo has continued his attack on "liberals" and whatever media do not wish to give fundamentalists a soap-box to stand upon to peddle their hatred and incitement to intolerance to a wider public. That's right - the media is "censoring" the "Christian" message of spreading hate. Whatever, Errol.
"Too many Christians are being influenced by the liberal secular media and falling prey to political deception." Says he. "This is obvious not only in South Africa, but particularly in Obama’s America. I am concerned by the alarming levels of Biblical ignorance and deception amongst Christians. Many are more influenced by the liberal secular media than by the Word of God." - by Errol Naidoo from JOY! Magazine. Of course, this man has interesting views as you can see here, where he espouses the belief that Christians can and should rule the world and turn it into a little Christianist Utopia free of those pesky unbelievers - and of course, us nasty evil gay and trans people.
We all know JOY! Magazine - it is the unashamed mouthpiece of fundamentalist hatred and Christianist propaganda in Southern Africa. It is, by way of mention, part of the Christian Action Network and features the head of this group (the irreverend Peter Hammond) and also pastor Erroll Naidoo as contributing editors. Hmm. Well, at least there he is guaranteed an audience that will swallow his bovine excrement as gospel.
The ACDP has made no bones about attacking the humanity and dignity of South Africa's pink populace in the past, and even yesterday when I saw a new press statement by this group, praising the protection of human rights in the SA Constitution, I once again noted that they clearly omitted "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" from this praise. These are the two items they intend to remove from the Constitution, which came as no surprise to me - it is what they have been making war on since they were founded in 1993. Of course, they are now aware we are giving them bad press over this, so now they seem to focus on making statements which do not directly attack us, but simply affirm everything EXCEPT us. But behind the scenes, it is still business as usual.
The ACDP (and coincidentally the FPI and CAN) both subscribe to the idiot notion that human rights are a "religion" - which Hammond labels "secular humanism" and which Naidoo faithfully repeats, parrot-fashion. And let's not forget Hammond and Naidoo's attempts on the eve of last years national elections to broker a unification of all the so-called "faith" political parties into a "Republican Party for SA". Apparently they forgot one minor detail: this is not the USA, doods.
Despite this, the ACDP is somehow saying that it is firmly behind the SA Constitution and human rights (except for the human rights of gay and transgender people, of course). And of course, they think the average voter out there has already forgotten the fact that they want to make some sweeping changes to the same Constitution - to build their religious "values" into it and take out all those nagging little details they don't approve of - like us, naturally. Of course, they may be right, given the amount of interest the average Souf Efrikin seems to reserve for politics. But they have left a trail on the internet so easy to follow, you would think a herd of pink elephants had been through it. And as we should know, it isn't easy to clean all that up *wink*.
How can you trust a political party with your human rights if the party doesn't believe in human rights, has spent almost two decades breaking down the humanity of minority groups and sees it as an opposing religion? Surely this would be madness? A brief glance at the ACDP's press releases and election manifestos since 1993 should justify my comments for even a person who is half blind with all the wool that has been pulled over their eyes.
I also find it remarkable that a man who peddles a fifth grade level of misunderstanding of his own religion as "gospel truth" can stand there and talk about "ignorance" and "deception" - especially when he uses the same God that made everyone in love and equality as a tool of hatred and oppression - and as a mouthpiece for his own prejudice.
Have you ever heard the term "Christianist"? Yes, I have used it before, even in this article. It is an ideology - an assumption fundamentalists make that "because I am a Christian, this is the only true way - and because I am a Christian, everybody else should be Christian also - and if not, then I should teach them the error of their ways, and see to it that they are made to believe what I believe". You can look it up on Wikipedia or just Google it.
While you are at it, have a look at the following:
I've always seen education as the best way to address ignorance - after all, when people know who and what we are, instead of believing all the bullshit they are being spoon-fed, they realize we are not a threat to them at all. This is the REAL reason why fundamentalist parents insist on home-schooling their children - or getting in an uproar every time real facts and education are presented at schools - not because of genuine religious issues, but because they want their children to grow up being brainwashed in the same narrow-minded, two-dimensional line of thought which they place themselves. People like Peter Hammond (of CAN) and Naidoo know that if kids are shown the truth and taught the facts in school, they will stop hating gay people and stop thinking the way they do and the way they want them to keep on thinking. Of course, they think knowing the truth will suddenly turn their kids gay - which of course shows exactly how ignorant and paranoid they really are. Education in facts means no more tethered thinking - and that terrifies them. No more boundaries. No more restrictions. Nothing more to fear. Or to hate.
Peace terrifies the fundamentalist - because to them, being Christian doesn't just mean being good - it means having to be better than somebody else. And being better than others means having somebody to see as an enemy - and making war on them. This brings them in direct conflict with the central message of Christianity - and that they cannot even see this obvious fact is frightening.
In connection with this topic, I had some encouraging responses to my previous article "Will The Real Christians Please Stand Up?". It is my wish that they pass this news on to their friends, relatives and people they know everywhere. Some people posted it in various places, some posted links to it, and some invited me to post it on their discussion boards, which I did.
One lady said to me: "there are those of us who try to stand up and scream, but we are lone voices in the wilderness. The saddest part is that God never instructed us to go out and kill and wage war, He commanded that we go out and love one another, even those the world has thrown away, unfortunately it is true there are more fundamentalists out there than true children of a loving God, showing the love and trying to make a difference. They are waging a war with the banner of God soaked in innocent blood, and God is looking at them, so the day God gets up from His throne and says "I have had enough" I do not want to be them, for His wrath will take them out.
So in the meantime I scream at the top of my lungs, and love with all of my heart and hope that I reach someone, somewhere to show that He is love, even if it is only one person, then that was worth it to me ..."
I think the problem of fundamentalism and ignorance starts in Sunday school - where we are not taught to think and reason and work things out for ourselves, using scriptures as guidelines and references - instead, we are taught to stop thinking and questioning - and to just blindly accept the scriptures as a book of rules, all back & white, with no gray areas, all faultless and perfect.
The problem begins in childhood - where we are susceptible to indoctrination and are easily misled. Is it not true that free thought is discouraged in Christian educational environments? No, the world could never be so many millions of years old - it says in this book here (which is only about a thousand years old btw) that the world is beyond a doubt only about 6000 years old - and was made by God in just seven days. Right. And no, there were no dinosaurs mentioned in the bible - the ark could never have carried a brontosaurus, so obviously, evolution theory is a lot of nonsense and the devil put those fake bones in the rocks specially to fool people. Oh yes, and my favorite - "free thinkers are slaves of the devil".
If it wasn't so downright tragic, frustrating and dangerous - it would actually be funny.
"When it gets right down to it people are herd animals. If Oprah says something is good, everyone wants to buy it for no reason other than "Oprah says so". If Dominee says reading Harry Potter will get your child possessed by demons, who are we as his flock to argue? We humans love to rely on "authority figures" to do our thinking and form our opinions for us, because there's security in that. The moment you break from the herd you leave yourself wide open and vulnerable. Not everyone can hack that."
Being who we are separates us from them automatically because of their intolerance and habit of being judgmental. We are automatically in the open and have to take our chances on our own. I would like to say that makes us tougher than those who choose to follow the herd. I suppose it is a necessity that we are, because we have to be.
I also engaged a religious minister in a discussion on my article:
We must all stand together against these fundamentalists and unmask them and take away their authority. Otherwise all is lost and they will not stop until the world is united and marching in little blue uniforms under white flags with little blue crosses. It may sound kitsch and far-fetched, but I think you know what I mean.
"Not far fetched at all. In fact 'Christian' fundamentalism is a relatively new phenomenon. It only started to make its appearance around the turn of the 20th century. It has been the cause of much trouble and suffering - one of our modern day heresies."
You mean J.R. Rushdoony and the Reconstructionist Movement - aka the Transformationists, aka Kingdom Now Theology... which includes everyone from James Dobson to our own Errol Naidoo.
"We're dealing with the modern day phenomenon where we're looking for easy answers to life's issues. This has the effect on a philosophical level when it comes to understanding the Bible of bad epistemology. Texts are read at face value without doing the thinking, hermeneutical homework around the texts to really understand them in our modern day context. Hence the heresy of fundamentalism..."
Yes, hence the phenomenon - where ignorant people think they can strip out three or four points out of a religion which is several thousand pages thick and which spans 3000 years - and claim THIS little bit here is all you need to know or stick to and believe - and to force other people to believe too.
What arrogant people they are.
"Arrogant, stupid and dangerously wrong..." (Remember, this is a minister I have been discussing this with - not just a pastor - a person actually educated in the studies and nuances of religion. And I? I am just a layman. In short and plain terms, I am just a f***ing idiot. But if he - and even I can see what is happening, why can't YOU?)
As far as I know, Christ never preached tolerating people - he told his followers to LOVE them.
The Erroll Naidoos of the world make me worry about what is going to happen in this country - with their campaign to destroy freedoms and equalities - and their war on the Constitution and on us. I worry for the community. They are focusing their attention on a broad spectrum of targets. Starting with prostitution (not related to us, but it seems to have been a practice run - and yes, there are GLBTI prostitutes too, just as there are GLBTI bankers and pastors). Then pornography - notice how they have lauded aunty Lulu for her attack on the art display two weeks ago - focusing not on the specifically gay content of the pictures - but on the "porn" aspect, as if it was even that! If they believe that was pornography, then they should also remove every nude and semi-nude painting and piece of sculpture from public display - and also from public media. This is of course, not far from what they want to do.
Yesterday, I heard with trepidation that the NILC (aka Zuma's God Squad) has started pushing to have more religious programming on TV to "increase morality" in South Africa. Right - after the right wing just opposed and effectively sunk a proposed subscriber-only porn channel on DSTV, they now have the brass balls to force their one-sided quasi-religious platitudes on the general public on all open-broadcast channels! I suppose, if we were to object to this, these people would not understand, and would launch into the typical guilt and persecution complex we have grown to expect from them. Needless to say, I find their idea of "morality" frightening.
After all, the idea that "children" could somehow manage to be exposed to "porn" on a subscriber-only channel on a decoder system with built-in security features - is somewhat ridiculous. And it obviously never occured to them that the general public couldn't care a toss for watching Pastor Ray waving a finger at them on every SABC channel on a daily basis in full surround sound and in HDTV. Yes, I can see why listening to a man preaching about morality - a man who promises to destroy my equal human rights and who has himself been divorced a few times, would be meaningful and boosting to the country's morale problems. What a hoot.
Soon, they will push to pass censorship laws supposedly "to protect the family" (remember last year the ANC minister of Home Affairs announced his intent to table this as a law?) and so they will go on, and next it will be abortion and marriage equality and then removing gay rights from the Constitution. Watch. They are already patting themselves on the back - and Naidoo is consistently bragging in his newsletters about influencing government MP's and ministers with his conservative fundamentalist - and (so he says - "Christian") stance.
In the USA, groups of crazies like the Family Policy Institute and still other "gun-nut" clubs like Christian Action Network are classified as known hate groups. In South Africa though, they are increasingly being viewed as recognized authorities on morality. Shouldn't that worry you?
Fundamentalists are in effect intent on trying to be better Jews than the Jews are by completely ignoring and invalidating the New Testament and focusing on sticking entirely to the Old Testament and the ritual laws of Leviticus. By doing this, they are in fact rubbishing the Christian New Testament and excising the nature and existence of Christ himself - the very Christ which they claim to serve and obey. I find that ironic in the extreme - and I think YOU should also.
That is why it is ESSENTIAL that Christians stand up and let it be known that people like Naidoo and his so-called "Family Policy Institute" - funded and supported by foreign groups the likes of which have ties to the appalling events in Uganda and the shockingly hateful attack on human rights and dignity in other places around the world, DO NOT SPEAK FOR THEM and are illegitimate. They have to be stopped.
I would like to close with the following scenario taken from a chat I had with a minister friend of mine last Friday:
Me: "Who wrote the bible?"
Minister: "People wrote it".
Me: "Tell me, why should God obey people's laws?" *raises eyebrows* "Hmm?"