Members of Chattanooga's GLBT community are starting to circulate some blog links tracking the connections between the Fellowship/the Family and Uganda's horrid anti-gay bill. And why would Chattanoogans care particularly about this piece of legislation in a country far away? Well, Congressman Zach Wamp, who represents the area, has lived in The Fellowship/The Family's housing for years.
Guilt by association isn't real guilt. It only raises questions. But it's worth asking the question of whether Congressman Wamp was one of the Members of Congress who may have prayed with Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni. Here's the meat of one of the blog posts at Truth Wins Out that makes the question relevant:
Sadly, this witch-hunt has the blood stained fingerprints of leading American evangelicals. The Fellowship, (aka The Family) one of America’s most powerful and secretive fundamentalist organization’s, converted Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni (pictured top) to its anti-gay brand of Christianity, which is the “intellectual” impetus behind the anti-gay crackdown. The clandestine organization’s leader, Doug Coe, calls Museveni The Fellowship’s “key man” in Africa. Jeff Sharlet, author of “The Family”, writes of the African strongman’s conversion:
“So,” Doug Coe told us, “my friend said to the president, ‘why don’t you come and pray with me in America? I have a good group of friends—senators, congressmen—who I like to pray with, and they’d like to pray with you.’ And that president came to the Cedars (a religious retreat), and he met Jesus. And his name is Yoweri Museveni…And he is a good friend of the Family.”
I think the people of Tennessee have a right to know whether the Congressman has met with Museveni and what he thinks about legislation that criminalizes and punishes homosexuality to such an amazingly harsh extent. After all, the Congressman has publicly branded homosexuality a "sickness" and a "sin."
I know that some people will call these "charges unfair." I'm just pointing out what citizens of the Chattanooga area are pointing out and asking, "What's the deal?" I'm not charging the Congressman with anything other than being found frequently around sources of hate and discrimination. I would like for him to articulate his own views in his own words about these events.
A hat tip to Andy Pyburn for some of these links.