Christian Imperialism: Update #1 Africa and USAID
Since Discernment Ministries released the new article posted on its website entitled "Dominionism and the Rise of Christian Imperialism" on Monday 12/19/05 at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/ChristianImperialism.htm, there are several new developments that underscore concerns raised in the article.
Http://www.mediatransparency.org, a website that comes from the political Left and writes critically about the political dominionists, carried an article on December 19th by Bill Berkowitz entitled "Bush Administration mining fundamentalist recruits: The former Dean of Academic Affairs at the fundamentalist Christian Patrick Henry College is appointed to oversee USAID's democracy and governance programs." According to the article,
"Paul Bonicelli, who most recently was the dean of academic affairs at Patrick Henry College, a small fundamentalist Christian college located in rural Virginia, has moved on to oversee USAID's democracy and governance programs."
The Media Transparency article explains that
"In an October 19, press release issued by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Andrew Natsios, Administrator for USAID, announced that, 'Paul J. Bonicelli, Ph.D. joined the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) as the new Deputy Assistant Administrator.' Bonicelli, the press release pointed out, 'will primarily oversee the Agency's democracy and governance programs.'
"'Bonicelli's office will focus on four primary goals of strengthening the rule of law and respect for human rights; promoting more genuine and competitive elections and political processes; increasing development of a politically active civil society; and implementing a more transparent and accountable governance. Progress in all four areas is necessary to achieve sustainable democracy.'"
This appointment is a key development because USAID has been a major player in the "transformation" of the African continent. Anne Peterson, a former missionary doctor to Zimbabwe and Zaire, was appointed by the Bush administration to head global health for the Agency for International Development (USAID). She spoke with Timothy C. Morgan, deputy managing editor of Christianity Today magazine in an interview posted 02/04/2004 at http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/002/20.25.html. Dr. Peterson was asked,
"Some prominent Christian leaders such as Bruce Wilkinson, Rick Warren, Franklin Graham, Rich Stearns from World Vision, and Clive Calver from World Relief have recently seized on this issue. What do you see as their role in addressing the HIV/AIDS problem?"
Peterson responded, "I think there's a huge role, because this is an issue that fits with the Christian message." [emphasis added]
Underscoring this is USAID's commitment to faith-based and its support of Bruce Wilkinson's failed objectives in Africa (see 12/19/05 Herescope post). A brochure posted at the www.usaid.gov website entitled "Faith-Based Partnerships" describes many of the African faith-based funding initiatives. Listed was "A few examples of USAID partnerships with faith-based organizations," including Bruce Wilkinson's Dream for Africa in Swaziland:
"Swaziland: In June 2005, more than 500 Swazi pastors participated in a USAID-funded HIV/AIDS prevention conference. The conference was led by Dr. Bruce Wilkinson, Chairman of Dream for Africa, a faith-based organization that mobilizes volunteers to work in sub-Saharan Africa on many issues, including AIDS. As a well-known pastor and author, Dr. Wilkinson has trained pastors on ways of talking appropriately and effectively to their congregations about abstinence until marriage, fidelity to one’s partner, and reducing stigma. Unequal treatment of women contributes to the spread of HIV/AIDS, so he challenged pastors to make clear to their congregations that men and women are, according to their own sacred text, created equal." [emphasis added] [ http://tinyurl.com/8tw5j ]
This new appointment to USAID, coming out of the political dominionist sect, means that there will likely be even more financial payoffs for the corporate/mission structures that are being put into place. The July/August Discernment Newsletter, in an article entitled "The Second Reformation," posted at http://www.discernment-ministries.org/NLJulyAugust_2005.htm, details how these corporate/mission partnerships are working with USAID:
"Bruce Wilkinson is connected with an organization called Bridges International Development (BID) out of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. This organization seeks to build 'an infrastructure for sustainable development' in Africa that 'includes utilizing government, NGOs [non-governmental organizations, ed.] and business.' BID’s 'spheres' include: 'Orphans, Relief & Aid, Women, Agriculture, Health Care, Environment/Energy, Economic Growth, Transportation, Communication Information Technology, Good Governance/Accountability and Education.' BID is seeking corporate partners to invest in Africa for the purpose of 'community transformation' by creating Community Empowerment Centers fitting USAID criteria. (http://www.bridgesid.org/) "
"The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision." (Psalm 2:2-4)