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3. December 2009

Why Rachel Maddow is wrong about Uganda’s anti-gay bill

Filed under: politics — admin @ 17:38

Recently, Rachel Maddow exposed what she thought was a very clear connection between Ugandan minister Martin Sempa and American religious conservatives, stating that she believes pastors in the US were indirectly responsible for an anti-gay bill in Uganda.  The bill supposedly presents an absolute ban on homosexual behavior, going so far as to give the death penalty to people involved in homosexual acts, and even punishment for those who harbor or do not disclose the homosexual acts of neighbors.  What Rachel didn’t mention, however, is that the country is suffering so badly from an AIDS crisis that 50% of the population is under the age of 15.

Now, some would say that picking on homosexuals is unfair, but these “fair people” are severely and dangerously misguided.  What we do know about AIDS is that in America, the AIDS infected population is comprised almost entirely and evenly of two minority groups: homsexuals and blacks, with the gay population being significantly smaller than the black population.  If we can successfully argue that an incredibly small population in America comprises over half our AIDS cases, something must be done to prevent the same from spreading in AIDS-devastated Uganda.  After all, your right to act upon homosexuality in the Western world is only predicated on a low correlation between your act and the probability that it will harm another person.  The higher the incidence of harm, the more right others have to ban your behavior: just like with drinking and driving.   Not every drunk driver kills someone, but just enough of them do to make people react.  The same rule should apply to homosexuals, at least if we are treating them as equals (and not as above the same rules they apply to others).

Furthermore, it must be argued that passing HIV to a person without their informed consent has the same effect as murder.  Interestingly enough, the Ugandan murder rate (in 2001) was 10.25 people killed per 100,000 (or about 3,280 people, if you consdider that 32 million people live in Uganda, and do the math).  When compared with the number of people killed by AIDS in cities, the murder rate is left in the dust, leaving the conclusion that since someone is almost always killed when they contract AIDS, and AIDS can be prevented by abstaining from sex and drugs, the penalties for sex outside of wedlock should necessarily become stiff.  This harshness should be for both homosexuals and fornicators, but getting one of the two isn’t exactly an imprudent step forward when villages are being left empty. After all, diseases among homosexual populations are far higher than in heterosexual ones, and not every homosexual refrains from spreading diseases to women.  Add the fact that AIDS is already functioning as a death penalty, and the morality of this legislation becomes very clearly visible.

So when sex and drug use are the two main reasons people contract AIDS, 1 in 10 people have AIDS in Ugandan cities, and AIDS prevelance is still increasing despite the government’s distribution of free antiretroviral drugs, you can bet that someone in the country is going to demand a new approach to sexual liberty.  AVERT (an incredibly liberal international AIDS charity) even claims that “AIDS has had a devastating impact on Uganda. It has killed approximately one million people, and significantly reduced life expectancy. AIDS has depleted the country’s labour force, reduced agricultural output and food security, and weakened educational and health services.  The large number of AIDS related deaths amongst young adults has left behind over a million orphaned children.”  A million orphaned children might not seem like much to a large country like the US, but to a tiny country with a population of only 32 million, the number is devastating. No child should have to be orphaned due to their parent’s inability to keep their pants on.

So in short, while it may be easy to say that Rachel Maddow needs to do her homework, intelligent people know that she isn’t concerned with orphaned children, or with hospitalized emaciated Ugandans, or a devastated nation: Rachel Maddow wants to engage in a dangerously unhealthy sexual perversion regardless of the cost, even if it means that others pay dearly for it.  Rachel, leave Rick Warren alone: perpetuating murder to protect sexual urges is about as morally bankrupt you can get.


  1. I’m afraid I have to disagree with you on this arguement; of course it’s simply in my opinion. Gay sex, in and of itself, does not -create- AIDS, it simply spreads it, as does any kind of sex.
    Any person aware of their state of having AIDS (as EVERY person should be checking) should be aware that it is akin to holding a gun. Sex and guns don’t kill people, people kill people. So if you are aware that you have AIDS or that you have a gun, you should know better than to use it on any other person.
    If there is a higher incidence of AIDS amongst gays, then if one is gay, they should know they walk amongst a group of likely armed men. That is their risk to take and they should be AWARE that that risk is higher. But people need to be responsible in their choices with such things, so as not to endanger others. AIDS is very testable, so there’s no excuse not to know if you have it.
    Now I know we simply differ on opinions about unwedlocked sex, but a law like this goes against my ONLY believed Right imbued to all mankind, and that is the right of choice. I will always oppose (on some level) any law that suppresses people’s right to choose for themselves, even if it allows them to make bad choices. We’ve had that discussion before.
    Anyways, just my two cents.

    Comment by Will B — 3. December 2009 @ 19:29

  2. Willy B, I do remember having that conversation with you! I’m going to have to politely (and in the friendliest way possible) disagree, particularly on the grounds that your plan for choice hasn’t been going too well in Uganda. Too many kids are getting orphaned, and they’re not just collateral damage, they’re people who had no choice in the matter, who did not choose to engage in risky behavior, whose lives are severely affected.

    Even if I were to discard Christian morality (which I am not), kids are just one very important reason that licentious Ugandans have crossed the line.

    Comment by admin — 3. December 2009 @ 19:47

  3. I have no intention of arguing your moral beliefs. :) I admire that you stick to them and they make for bad arguements because it’s just matter of personal taste. I simply was disagreeing with the logic part of the arguement. :)

    I assume then that it’s a matter of numbers for you, that the number of deaths got high enough that you felt it’s justified. So you would be in favor of a gun ban then? Guns kill children every year. No, the numbers aren’t as high as other things, but killing is killing, right?

    Of course, I don’t believe in gun banning. I LIKE guns. I believe in our right to have them. But my arguement is that owning a gun is no different than having AIDS as far as your actions go. If you draw a distinction between them it must be a matter of numbers, and THEN it starts to get gray because maybe your idea of “high enough” numbers is different than mine. Do you see where I’m coming from on this?

    Comment by Will B — 3. December 2009 @ 20:42

  4. I see exactly where you’re coming from, and I think you’re half right. Did you expect me to say that?

    Now here’s where things diverge: you are correct when you say that banning behaviors isn’t always an objective process, but you have to realize that the entire concept of western law hinges upon the probability of harm. Some things–like guns–are essential to the cause of liberty and safety while being dangerous at the same time. Butt-sex is only essential to the cause of liberty if you’re a pervert.

    But what we have to realize is that yes: actions are banned because they cause harm, otherwise we would have no law. What you and other libertarians are correct about is that the line becomes very fuzzy when chances of harm become less than 100%, but you have to remember that my line is not fuzzy ( My law is from Yahweh, and presents itself with a moral clarity those in the postmodern west cannot achieve.

    For you and everyone else, banning behaviors will almost always be a matter of opinion. For me, it’s cut and dry. I guess pretending to hide behind Mill’s Harm Principle won’t ever entirely work for me: I follow Christ, and He has boundaries I both agree with and support.

    So yes: Mills is good for discussion, but in my opinion not a foundation which will last for too much longer, regardless of what people may claim. Excellent point about the subjectivity, my friend!

    Comment by admin — 4. December 2009 @ 14:56

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