Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Ugandan "Death to Gays" Bill

American evangelists have been working hard with their counterparts in the central African nation of Uganda to create the sort of theocracy that pesky liberals in the United States won't let them establish here. Ugandan officials, faced with an AIDS crisis that, percentage-wise, dwarfs America's, are only too happy to scapegoat homosexuals.

Hence a proposed law that calls for life in prison for anyone found guilty of engaging in homosexual activity, and capital punishment for those who are HIV-positive. Anyone who fails to report gays and lesbians to the authorities would also face imprisonment.

Paul Berge
Q Syndicate
Dec 16, 2009

At first, Americans who have pushed their influence in Uganda, such as Pastor Rick Warren, Senator Chuck Grassley, "Ex-Gay Therapy" quacks, and others in the Governmental-Evangelical complex, were silent on the bill, or sloughed it off as Uganda's internal business. Under pressure, however, more of Uganda's friends are deciding that they can't reconcile "Love the sinner, hate the sin" with "Arbeit Macht Frei." Find more on this topic at Qweerty, the Rachel Maddow show, and other sites.

One word about this cartoon: As with any topic involving non-Caucasians, I had to be sensitive to perceptions of racism in drawing this cartoon -- in this case, especially because the Big Evil Bad Guy in the cartoon had to be black. It wouldn't have made any sense to make him white. In another time, most cartoons would have depicted him as a black-as-coal jungle savage, wielding shrunken heads instead of an axe.

My choice to dress him as a medieval European executioner was in part to avoid such a racist depiction, but also to convey the sense that he was acting in an official capacity, which wouldn't come across if he were a savage out of a 1940's movie or Charles Addams cartoon.

It also made sense to me for the "Joe Public" character at lower right also to be African. I also decided to make her a woman, which was a 50-50 consideration. My first efforts had her wearing a woolen headdress based on one worn by a woman in the very same issue of Time magazine with the pictures of Rick Warren I used for reference; but it was impossible to tell from the resulting sketches that I wasn't drawing her with wild hair. Thus the wrap she is wearing in the final product, modeled after one on a different woman from a different country in a different issue of Time. I beg your indulgence if it should happen that neither headdress is typical of Ugandan women.

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