Check your funding

The Ottawa Citizen reports

OTTAWA – An evangelical organization that describes homosexuality as a  “perversion” and a “sin” is receiving funding from the Government of Canada for its work in Uganda, where gays and lesbians face severe threats.

Well that seems like bad planning. The funding is for unrelated activities, but the government of Canada should find non-homophobic organizations to fund for unrelated activities.

The federal government has denounced virulent homophobia in that East African  country and Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird has condemned plans for an  anti-gay bill that could potentially include the death penalty for  homosexuals.

At the same time the government is providing $544,813 in funding for  Crossroads Christian Communications — an Ontario-based evangelical group that  produces television programming — to help dig wells, build latrines and promote  hygiene awareness in Uganda through 2014.

Until Tuesday, the organization’s website carried a list of “sexual sins”  deemed to be “perversion”: “Turning from the true and/or proper purpose of  sexual intercourse; misusing or abusing it, such as in pedophilia, homosexuality  and lesbianism, sadism, masochism, transvestism, and bestiality.”

Not a good fit for work in Uganda.

To be fair, the government is apparently looking into it.

Crossroads defends its position on homosexuality as grounded in  scripture.

“Crossroads’ views on sexuality are informed by our Christian faith and values,” spokeswoman Carolyn Innis told The Canadian Press in an email.

And that’s the problem with letting one’s views on sexuality be informed by one’s Christian faith and values, isn’t it. The views are shitty, and the adjective “Christian” doesn’t make them one bit less so. On the contrary, the adjective creates a halo effect for the views, which shields them from careful reasoning.


  1. jamessweet says

    Taking the long view — maybe this is a good thing.

    We’re in a situation right now where a lot of charities are religious for no particularly good reason. Historical reasons, really. Most of the time it just doesn’t matter that much, so it’s easy for charity-minded people — religious and secular alike — to take an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality. I do think there are negative consequences of having a progressive-but-religious charity vs. a truly secular charity, but those negative consequences tend most of the time to be indirect and subtle… which doesn’t exactly provide a lot of motivation to do anything about.

    So what we need are a bunch of virulently homophobic charities to inspire action on that front. These guys take the problems with mixing faith and charity, and make them direct and obvious. In a way, they are doing secularism a favor.

  2. sunny says

    Crossroads defends its position on homosexuality as grounded in scripture.

    Well, then don’t take money from the government. Fund your hate through private means. I am sure there are plenty of scripture lovers willing to donate.

  3. screechymonkey says

    The funded activities might not be so “unrelated” though. I wouldn’t put it past such an organization to interpret the “promote hygiene awareness” part of their mandate rather broadly, and I think we can imagine what some of their “hygiene” advice might be.

  4. says

    Meanwhile, Harper’s government is super careful not to fund women’s health initiatives that support access to abortion. And the notion that their position was somehow a surprise? Preposterous. Crossroads is the most well-established evangelical group in Canada, who openly campaigned against marriage equality here. I spit in Harper’s direction.

  5. johnthedrunkard says

    If their justification is ‘scriptural’ why do they object to pedophilia?

    And how many of them are divorced?

    Not even to start on blended fabrics and crop rotation.

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