OFANP and Uganda

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Among the reasons to appreciate what’s been going on in the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Advisory Council is the following language from the draft report from the Inter-religious Cooperation Taskforce.

Religion is abused by extremists using religion to incite violence and hatred, by unscrupulous leaders manipulating sectarian differences for their own ends, by those seeking to exploit victims of poverty and human rights violations, and by instances where media scapegoats religion in situations of conflict.

Religious communities should be engaged to help achieve solutions for peace, security, human development, and respect for fundamental human rights that undergird these solutions.

Now apply this to the situation in Uganda. All non-crazy persons, including even conservative Republicans like Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, recognize the proposed anti-homosexuality bill as a gross violation of human rights. What the Advisory Council recognizes is that religion can be “abused” to violate human rights. (See, in this regard, the Anglican Church of Uganda’s determination to keep gay rights off the human rights agenda.) To counter that, the Council wants the federal government to encourage religious communities to promote respect for human rights–i.e. to oppose bills like Uganda’s. In a word, this could get interesting.

  • Yes, I agree. Try to review all the religions of the world, and you will see that none of them
    contains anything wrong. There are no religions that are unfair or harmful, but there are only some few people who make bad use of them to get personal profit, advantages, and power. They make use of the sincere religious feeling that most people have. Often, too often, religions—or rather, the people that exploit religion—form an alliance with civil or political power. In fact, religion should confine itself to talking to the conscience, to the hearts of people, yet it has entered into politics, and its men and women earn impressive amounts of money. How is it possible? Still, nowadays, in the greater part of the world, the two powers of religion and politics are strongly allied and in agreement.
    The book I have recently written deepens many religious issues. I want to draw it to your attention,
    as you may be interested in it. The title is “Travels of the Mind” and it is available at
    If you have any questions, I am most willing to offer my views on this topic.
    Ettore Grillo