Jay Michaelson unleashed at Cru, the evangelical Christian group formerly called Campus Crusade for Christ, in a Monday item on Daily Beast for supposedly being "involved in some of the meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa." Michaelson, who did little to hide his contempt for orthodox/traditional Christians, contended that Cru was part of a "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa and fight the culture wars on potentially winning...turf."
The author, who is a visiting scholar at Brown University, sounded a clarion call for his fellow leftists to recognize the Cru as an apparent force for "preaching hate" around the world:
...CCC—sorry, Cru—is at once better known and lesser known than these groups [the American Center for Law and Justice and the Alliance Defending Freedom]. It has a brand that far more people recognize, and a budget dwarfing the others'....At the same time, when progressives roll off the names of their usual foes—Family Research Council, Human Life International, Family Watch International, American Family Association, The Becket Fund—Campus Crusade for Christ is not usually among them. Its members are supposed to be the earnest Christians, preaching the Gospel but not fomenting hate around the world.
Michaelson led his article, "How Campus Crusade for Christ Exports Homophobia to Africa" (which was also posted on Yahoo! News), with the usual left-wing condescension towards Bible-believing Christians: "Like many a Daily Beast reader, I found Campus Crusade for Christ to be somewhere between annoying and amusing. You remember them from college: the Jesus freaks, intent on spreading the 'Good News,' somewhere between quaint and creepy."
The self-described "'BuJu' or Buddhist Jew" continued with his "meanest homophobia-for-export in Africa" line, and pointed out that the organization is " No. 20 on Forbes magazine's list of the largest charity organizations in America, with $548 million in annual receipts in 2013, $503 million of which are donations....This is an impressive achievement, to put it mildly—most of the other top 20 are household names such as United Way and the Salvation Army."
Michaelson then zeroed in on his main example of "homophobia" from Cru:
...[Cru] has a powerful international arm—there are a lot more eligible converts in Africa than at your typical college kegger, after all—which runs missionary work and conferences.
On March 22, 2013, one of those conferences, Pamoja III, attended by 300 African college students and captured on YouTube, featured Dr. Seyoum Antonios, introduced with enthusiasm by CCC’s vice president of global church movements, Bekele Shanko. Having been praised by Cru's vice president, Antonios spewed a toxic blend of U.S. anti-gay talking points, in the ironic context of fighting U.S. imperialism.
Among the takeaways from Antonios's presentation: Thirty-three percent of homosexuals are pedophiles, gay couples are coming to Africa to steal children and turn them homosexual, homosexuality is a Western plot to kill Africans, and gay people are 15 times more likely to be murderers than straight people....
Now, there are homophobes everywhere. But Antonios is a powerful homophobe. He is the head of United for Life Ethiopia, a country that was considering increasing the penalty for the "crime" of homosexuality—until it did an about-face in April after the firestorm in Uganda. Antonios, like his comrade in arms Martin Ssempa in Uganda, has called for the death penalty.
The Daily Beast writer continued with his examples of the "vast right-wing conspiracy to export homophobia to Africa," which he cited from an April 2014 publication by the far-left Political Research Associates organization.
Near the end of his article, Michaelson lamented that "most of its [Cru's] anti-gay work takes place far outside the spotlight. Consider Antonios himself. Would anyone know about his bilious speech had it not been publicized by the advocacy organization Truth Wins Out and gradually made its way through the LGBT press?...How many more such events are held without most of the world knowing?"
The Ivy League academic concluded by wildly asserting that "there is a growing myth that advances in LGBT equality here in the United States have led to a backlash overseas. But this 'backlash' has been engineered by the same far-right conservatives who have lost the culture war here in the U.S. and who find sympathetic ears among authoritarian regimes in places like Russia and Uganda. This isn't a backlash—it's a backup plan." Clearly, Michaelson has such a low opinion of African Christians that he thinks that they can't think on their own – that they're apparently the pawns of social conservatives in the U.S.