Errol Naidoo

Christina Engela's picture

So Who Is Erroll Naidoo?

Over a number of days recently, I was engaged in an email debate with Erroll Naidoo of the Family Policy Institute based in Cape Town. The reason for the debate? Mr Naidoo is leading an attack on Cape Town Tourism over its support for the Mother City Queer Project, and the use of a catch-phrase advertising Cape Town as "the Gay Capital of South Africa". Some of us wanted to inform him that he was being an ass and making human rights abusers out of himself and all those who support his call to target entities which he frequently accuses of "promoting the homosexual agenda".
In the course of this debate, Mr Naidoo played the card which has become expected of him - that is, he pretends to be nothing more than a "concerned citizen", a "pastor" and "faithful Christian" who is nobly "standing" for "Christian biblical values" while "doing the Lord's work". He says he doesn't hate gay people, in fact he says he has a good relationship with one gay man who has been his barber for 30 years, and whom he invites to family celebrations. Right.
At the same time, he has been using his own religious views to fight against the equality and civil rights of our community since the early 1990's, and is probably the most outspoken and visceral opponent of our human and civil rights in South Africa. Well, aside from that other guy on Facebook last year who claimed to be calling for the return of the death penalty because he was a Christian and believed gay people should die for their "sin". Wow, seri-haas. Not exactly good PR material, that one.
Be that as it may, I have grown used to the periodic emails sent out by Erroll as the FPI, urging Christians to support his work in influencing government to pass laws, to turn theocratic and fundamentalist, to send emails notifying various companies of their intent to boycott them if they don't acquiesce to his ludicrous demands - and he is always "standing". What for? Surely those sexy legs of his are tired of standing by now? He is also perpetually asking people for money and favors to do it - because fighting against human rights and equality takes serious money, you know - and right now the world is in a recession and people would rather spend money on important stuff - like putting food on the table.
Christina Engela's picture

“The homosexuals are coming! The homosexuals are coming!”

Yesterday I received an incredibly long-winded and frantic response from Errol Naidoo - it seems the email campaign to demonstrate our objection to his attack on Cape Town Tourism for supporting the city as a gay and gay-friendly tourist destination must have struck a nerve somewhere. For one thing, in the space of two A4 pages, he used the word "homosexual" no less than 22 times!

In the same note, he used the word “family” a whole 6 times, most often with the word "anti-" preceding it, or "friendly" following. A pattern emerges, indicating that Mr. Naidoo seems to be obsessed with gay people and "families" – and for some unfathomable reason, views them as opponents on a chess board. Which piece he plays in this sick game of his, is anybody’s guess - but since he seems to be such an adept drama queen, your guess is as good as mine.

He might as well have called his letter “The homosexuals are coming! The homosexuals are coming!” Perhaps he imagines he is the Paul Revere of his right wing religious extremist tribe of Leviticans? Perhaps, like Paul Revere, someone will name a brand of drugs after him? Who knows? But, speaking of advertising, the advertising slant calling Cape Town the gay capital of South Africa, or even of Africa which he is waxing hysterical about, is by far nothing new. In fact, it has been called such for the better part of the last decade. It is quite strange that our friend Naidoo has suddenly got his knickers in a knot over old news – but that is hardly out of character I think.

Not once in his lengthy diatribe did he use the word "gay" – which is of because he hates gay people and would sooner bend over to pick up soap in a prison shower before he would use an inoffensive term like "gay" which we chose for ourselves. I'm not saying that he hates gay people just because I don't like him, I'm saying that because he wasquotedas saying such in a newspaper article last year. Such hateful people prefer to use the "H" word because it is precisely what riles us, and it probably rolls so nicely off the tongue when you’re foaming at the mouth in a pulpit and working up to the bit where you pass the collection plate.

As a community, we Pink folks are quite used to the slurs, insults and name-calling directed at us by those arrogant, cocky people who seem to have their underpants on too tight and a few screws loose or missing. Very often there are attempts to strip us of our human rights and dignity, and certain legal provisions which grant us equality and freedom regularly come under attack from such shallow and narrow-minded individuals who demonstrate a penchant for arm-chair criticism and abusing human rights. Unsurprisingly, it is Mr Naidoo who is most often standing out front, cheering them on, directing their otherwise futile rage at anything which they belligerently squint at through a very narrow and puritanical worldview, and pointing out “enemies” for them to vent their otherwise futile and generally pointless hatred and frustration at. As a part-time pastor, it is his self-appointed job to give his flock of sheeple a wolf to unite against, and where one does not exist, to invent one.

But who is Errol Naidoo, and why all the fuss?

Christina Engela's picture

Not Otherwise Specified

I was asked a question by a friend the other day. "How does one rid oneself of the shame surrounding sexuality as indoctrinated by church and society, and especially being different and having a secret that one cannot share?"

I think we are all influenced by the very Victorian stereotype while growing up - the whole concept that "sex is dirty and wrong and sinful" - despite it being 100 percent natural, normal and even healthy. Victorians have often been described as being too afraid to see themselves naked for fear it will lead to sinful thoughts. Ironically, it is this same Victorian concept which still haunts former Colonies with its presence in leftover so-called "morality" laws, dying a lingering death. Die already, for Pete's sake.

Even bigots would not be here if it weren't for sex - that's right - not even the high-and-mighty James Dobson. And Erroll Naidoo would not be sporting such a neat "pee-pot" hairdo in his photos all over the internet if he didn't think himself "sexy" in some way - although I have to admit, that idea actually scares me.

What is unnatural, unhealthy and even strange, is the concept that in order to be socially acceptable and viewed as "moral", people should conform to the manufactured concept of Male and Female as social ideals, and be completely celibate and totally asexual in demeanor, attitude and outlook - except within the confines of one monogamous relationship - which has been clearly defined by them for us all and called "Marriage". And of course, even when we stick to this arrogant prescription - with a partner of our own choice - we still get attacked, regardless of whether it is in the privacy of our own homes or not - even if it outlasts their own equally fragile unions.

Societies, cultures and religions far older than Christianity, long ago recognized the existence of more than two genders. Western society seems only to recognize the two extremes - what we today call the gender "binary". What? You thought there are only two genders?
Christina Engela's picture

"Family Policy Institute" - Deciding For You What You Can And Can't Have Access To.

Like me, you might not like porn - I really have other interests, and I wouldn't waste my bandwidth on it - but certainly don't place myself in the position where I think I should tell people what they should be allowed to do or watch in private and on their own time - as long as it doesn't hurt anyone, of course. Now, aside from murder, rape, pedophilia and grand theft, I can't think of any reason why adult porn could be harmful to anyone. In fact, even smoking is more harmful. However, I do know that opening the door to censorship legislation opens a whole other can of worms that may prevent you from seeing, saying or even doing other things which you take for granted now - and that you may actually WANT to. And that to me is far more harmful than anything people like Erroll Naidoo spend most of every day bitching about.

It is freedom which aggravates people like Erroll Naidoo. Freedom of choice - the freedom to choose something which he happens to disagree with. The freedom to be who we are born to be - and to embrace it instead of crawling at his feet on all fours, beating our chests in misery and begging him for forgiveness. The freedom to defy his annoying need to tell other people how to live their lives. How dare we?

As I have always said - more freedom is always a good thing - as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. I have to wonder how people like Erroll can justify his claims that granting other people the freedom to be happy can possibly be harmful, if he cannot even substantiate his claims? Oh, we know the things he says, about how "harmful" it is to be gay, and how much of a "threat" it is to "allow" gay people to be treated like equals and how much worse it is to "allow" them to be happy as well as gay or transgender.
Christina Engela's picture

How To Hoodwink Friends And Influence People

Erroll Naidoo has for years been pushing an anti-human rights agenda in South Africa, with the help of his friends in foreign radical groups based in the USA (and here in South Africa), who help fund and support his "Family Policy Institute". (Here he is shown meeting with Tony Perkins, leader of the Family Research Council - a recognized hate group in the US and mentor to his FPI) He is on record in the media as saying he hates gay people and has been closely associated with the ACDP, a fundamentalist "Christian" party, along with similar organizations such as the Cape Town based "Christian Action Network". All these groups and affiliates have been engaged in a bitter battle to oppose and remove all gay rights from the SA Constitution even before the Constitution was finalized - and right up to this very day.

In the latest JOY! Magazine, like his kindred American radicals, Naidoo has continued his attack on "liberals" and whatever media do not wish to give fundamentalists a soap-box to stand upon to peddle their hatred and incitement to intolerance to a wider public. That's right - the media is "censoring" the "Christian" message of spreading hate. Whatever, Errol.

"Too many Christians are being influenced by the liberal secular media and falling prey to political deception." Says he. "This is obvious not only in South Africa, but particularly in Obama’s America. I am concerned by the alarming levels of Biblical ignorance and deception amongst Christians. Many are more influenced by the liberal secular media than by the Word of God." - by Errol Naidoo from JOY! Magazine. Of course, this man has interesting views as you can see here, where he espouses the belief that Christians can and should rule the world and turn it into a little Christianist Utopia free of those pesky unbelievers - and of course, us nasty evil gay and trans people.
Christina Engela's picture

16 Days Of Double Standards

While I may commend the now traditional South African institution of the "16 days of activism against women & child abuse" campaign, I still see plenty of duplicity and ambiguity in it.

16 days of activism? I don't know about you folks, but I'm an activist every single day.

It is often said (to loud applause) that "real men" don't commit violence against women or children. This is all fine and well from a certain point of view - a largely traditional and 2-dimensional point of view - but exactly What is a "real" man? Anyone care to guess? A man with nuts and a ding-dong? A man who lusts after women? Does that make a "real" man?

If you castrate a man, does that change his status as a male member of society? Does having a sex change and getting rid of unwanted equipment correct a gender error and make a woman whole, or rather as some people claim - a "mutilated man"? What about an old man? Is he "past it"? Is he a lesser man than a "real" man? Is there an age limit which you pass and cease being "real"? What about those annoying beer ads on TV these days? "Keep it real" indeed.
Christina Engela's picture

False Profits

Yesterday I received a newsletter sent out the previous day by Errol Naidoo of the Family Policy Institute (FPI), a US religious-right-inspired right wing group based in Cape Town, which is trying very hard to impose religious law on the state. In it, he was careful to mention the dangers of having liberal laws which are "clearly" responsible for "moral corruption" in the country - and which also threaten his religion and of course, "the family" as if gay people and women are not a part of it. He also made the suggestion that this is perfect time to take advantage of Zuma's invitation to the religious conservatives to "work with government", whatever that means. I think you know.

"Please consider a financial contribution to the vital work of Family Policy Institute today and help keep us on the frontlines of the battle to defend the family & advance your values in society." He pleads.

Mr Naidoo and his fundamentalist little group - which has offices in Parliament street in Cape Town - have taken issue with the usual knotty problems which irritate the religious right wing - such as what people do in the privacy of their own lives for one thing, and the matter of abortion, gay rights, feminism, marriage equality, pornography and prostitution.

Of course, he had an abundance of very, very relevant scriptural quotes to - um, quote, to prove his many points.

This man with his suave words of seduction, poster-boy profile photo and bible-thumping routine is fast turning into a one-man comedy act. But behind the amusement and irritation this overgrown biblical literalist causes for those watching bemusedly from the sidelines, there is a deep-seated element of danger he and his allies pose to human rights, liberty and democracy.

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