Obama Admin To Poor Africans: Choose Food Or Marriage

John-Henry Westen Co-Founder, LifeSiteNews.com
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This Tuesday, the American people will go to the polls to decide who will represent them in Congress during the last two years of the Obama presidency. While the economy, immigration, the Ebola virus, ISIS, abortion, and same-sex relationships have dominated many House and Senate races, voters should consider one other issue: The Obama administration’s blackmail of the poor and starving in exchange for social engineering.

Across Africa, millions of people face starvation, war, oppression, poverty, and death on a regular basis. The United States has long provided financial aid to many of the continent’s nations in order to help them survive and flourish.

Under the Obama administration, however, this worthy humanitarian effort has taken a backseat to sexual ideology by attaching aid to approval of gay marriage.

This is not a new policy. In 2011 President Obama issued a memorandum directing all U.S. embassies worldwide to promote LGBT rights, which he called “central to the United States commitment to promoting human rights.”

“Under my Administration, agencies engaged abroad have already begun taking action to promote the fundamental human rights of LGBT persons everywhere,” he said.

Likewise, prior to stepping down as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton compared same-sex relationships to race and sex in a speech that outraged African leaders. And in 2011 the administration made aid to Nigeria dependent upon its not enacting the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act.

Rather than lobby to have the bill amended to alter some of the more hard-line features, the administration insisted on the scrapping of the entire program of protection for traditional marriage.

More recently, at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington in August, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden made suggestions seen as coercive by African leaders. Asked repeatedly by African leaders what the continent’s largely war-torn, impoverished nations could do to promote economic growth and development, Obama and Biden both said African countries need to make themselves more gay-friendly if they want to attract more aid, talent, and investment from Western nations.

In other words, official U.S. policy is that kids can starve unless social engineering is forced upon Africa.

This is not just a concern among Africa’s political leaders, some of whom have questionable ethics themselves. Two weeks ago, while in Rome for the Catholic Synod on the Family, I spoke with bishops from Africa. Both Ignatius Kaigama, the Archbishop of Jos in Nigeria — whose diocese is in the heart of the area affected by terrorist organization Boko Haram — and Bishop Joseph Osei-Bonsu of Ghana told me that they were sick and tired of pressure from the Obama administration as well as the EU and UN to legalize gay marriage.

The Nigerian prelate explained, “Marriage is between a man and a woman… even outside of scriptural support, our culture tells us that, nature tells us that.”

And despite threats of denial of much-needed aid, he says, Africans will not capitulate to the demands. “These are our cultures, and we’re not going to compromise over them.”

South African Cardinal Wilfred Napier, another important figure at the Synod, dubbed such conditions on financial aid from the U.S. and wealthy nations as “cultural imperialism.”

Given the ravages of AIDS across Africa, who can blame these leaders for their refusal to promote lifestyles that, in addition to violating natural law and their region’s cultural and religious beliefs, are prone to sexually transmitted diseases?

In their final document, the Synod’s leaders showed they understood the immorality of tying food and humanitarian aid to social engineering. They decried this type of blackmail by the Obama Administration. Their final document, saying, “It is totally unacceptable that the Pastors of the Church suffer the pressures in this matter and that international bodies to condition financial aid to poor countries, the introduction of laws that establish the ‘marriage’ between persons of the same sex.”

And it’s not just U.S. social conservatives and Catholic bishops who find the Obama administration’s policy of blackmail problematic. ISIS and other terrorist groups have found these and other policies to be successful recruiting tools, as shown by the personal stories of some of their Western recruits.

The American people have always supported a compassionate approach to foreign policy. Will they refuse to cooperate with the Obama administration’s years-long policy of coercion and blackmail?

The election may tell us whether U.S. aid to Africa returns to helping those suffering from war and starvation … or acts as taxpayer-funded blackmail for food. John-Henry Westen is a co-founder of Voice of the Family, an influential worldwide coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups, which defends life and family in the media. He is also a co-founder of LifeSiteNews.com, a daily news website on life and family issues.