As a Christian woman, Focus on the Family is an organization that I deeply wish would fall off the face of the planet. Nothing that they do supports family or exemplifies Christian values as far as I am concerned. In their latest attempt to create yet another generation of bigots, they are offering eight week leadership classes at a cost of almost 10, 000 dollars.
To ensure that parents are aware of the hate mongering their children will be taught, they will have to sign a policy statement which includes the following.
That's a lot of hate packed into one paragraph isn't it. Just like any other group, Focus on the Family is using a divide and conquer strategy to justify its ongoing hatred and attacks against the GLBT community. They are absolutely right when the claim that the BLGT community is not like the African-American community or Latino's (I won't use Hispanic as they did because that is a colonizers term) but that does not mean that the TLBG community does not represent a historically oppressed group. No two isms are identical to each other and demanding that the LGBT fulfill this standard when we don't expect it of any other marginalized group is homophobic and ridiculous. Their approach further preys upon the ongoing distrust between some straight Blacks and some White members of the GLBT community. There is no such thing as a good oppression and this is why historically marginalized people should stand side by side, rather than allowing ourselves to be divided from one another. We only validate the masters truth when we allow them to convince us that our path to liberation lies in oppressing others as we have been oppressed.Since the heart of God’s plan for the family is the marriage of a man and a woman for life, and since families are the basic building blocks of society, then it follows that societies will only be as strong as the relationships between men and women. Heterosexuality is fundamental to the vitality and even the existence of any society. Scripture is very clear in its condemnation of homosexual conduct, for such sin is a deviation from God’s creation and design. But Focus on the Family is quick to add that God loves the homosexual as much as any other person. Focus on the Family calls all Christians to sincerely love and understand those involved in the homosexual life, remembering that Jesus demonstrated far greater compassion for people caught up in sexual immorality than for religious hypocrites. Meanwhile, homosexuals are entitled to the same basic rights as other citizens. Focus on the Family stands against any movement to rob them of those rights, persecute them, deprive them of employment or housing, or harass them in any way. Nevertheless, Focus does take strong exception to the activist movement that seeks to gain special privileges and protected minority status for the homosexual community. There is no evidence that homosexuals, as a class, are discriminated against in the present society. They are not like African-Americans, Hispanics or other historically disadvantaged groups, for they have a far higher average income than most Americans, a higher level of education than most Americans and significant political influence. Focus on the Family also opposes the efforts of radical homosexual “social reformers” who wish to redefine the family, permit homosexual “marriages,” be able to adopt children and recruit the young. This and other elements of the more radical homosexual agenda must be vigorously opposed. Further, there is no established scientific evidence that sexual orientation is genetically determined by brain structure. Recent attempts to establish such a connection have been unscientific and biased. Focus on the Family recognizes that physiological and environmental factors may have significance within the complex amalgam of circumstances that contribute to a homosexual orientation; yet we cannot subscribe to a determinism that holds human beings to be mere biological machines. Moral choice is real, and it is central to our identity as men and women. The sin of homosexual behavior, like all sins, can be forgiven and healed by the grace revealed in the life and death of Christ. All sexual sin affects the human personality like no other sin, for sexual issues run deep in our character, and change is slow and uphill, but change is possible. Focus on the Family has seen that, by God’s grace and through compassionate counseling, it is sometimes possible, although always difficult, for a person to move from a homosexual to a heterosexual orientation. When that change appears impossible in an individual case, such a person is in the same position as the heterosexual single who has no prospects of marriage. They are both called by Scripture to a life of sexual abstinence. These are difficult words; yet no one has the authority to change the biblical prescription on sexuality outside of marriage.
Are the Christian fundamentalist ever going to stop with the whole gay agenda routine and the claim that GLBT people are seeking special rights? Honestly, how is it a special right to adopt and to marry when these events happen on a regular basis to straight people? All that they are asking for is a seat at the table, not that special privileges be granted to them. If BLGT people were so powerful, homophobia and transphobia would not exist. Trans people can't even pee in peace for heaven's sake. Yet given the systemic transphobia and homophobia, Focus on the Family refuses to acknowledge the oppression because it bolsters heterosexual privilege.
I think one of the things that enrages me about these Christian fundamentalist is their absolute fixation on sexuality to the exclusion of everything else. If most Christians are honest, there are a lot of so-called guides to living in the bible that we ignore every damn day. If we stick just to the topic of sex, adultery is without question the most ignored guideline. Adultery in the purest Christian definition is not solely about the act of sleeping with someone that you are not married to, it also includes lust. Mathew 5:28 "But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart." There is also Job 31: 11-12 "For lust is a shameful sin, a crime that should be punished. It is a devastating fire that destroys to hell. It would wipe out everything I own." You will never convince me that these fundamentalist don't experience lust for someone who is not their lawful wedded partner, and furthermore, you don't hear them self flagellating about their sins, nor do you hear them taking responsibility for the lustful feelings they experience. Nope, some evil woman caused them to have an erection. So it would seem that inappropriate sexual behaviour only constitutes a problem for them when it involves others.
Other laws that these fundamentalist are probably not following:
The prohibition from wearing mixed fibers. "Neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee." -- Leviticus 19:19Since all sin is equal in the eyes of God, and no man without sin should cast the first stone, honestly, the persecution of the GLBT community by fundamentalist Christians is anything but Christian. This is about their desire to oppress a group and religion is nothing but a prop for them to justify their bigoty. What they should be doing is begging God's forgiveness for the perversion that they engage in, in the name of Christianity.
Growing beards. "Ye shall not round the corners of your heads." -- Leviticus 19:27
Having sex during menstruation:"When a woman has a discharge of blood, which is her regular discharge from her body, she shall be in her impurity for seven days, and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening." -- Leviticus 15:19-20
The cock block heard around the world: "When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand." -- Deuteronomy 25:11-12
No Dirty talk:"Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place...." -- Ephesians 5:4
No Lying:"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" -- Exodus 20:16
No Gossiping: "Do not go around as a gossiper among your people..." -- Leviticus 19:16
Stoning: "They shall be stoned with stones, their blood shall be upon them." -- Leviticus 20:27 for the crime of "Homosexuality, adultery, astrology, being a disrespectful child, being a drunken son, blasphemy, breaking the Sabbath, perjury, incest, bestiality and witchcraft."
They actually have the nerve to suggest that they desire equality for the BLGT community while working on a daily basis to continue the legal second class citizenship that they currently exist with. In short, with friends like this, who need enemies?
They are not content to simply carry their hatred and privilege in their heart, they are promoting transfering this to yet another generation. It is my belief that teaching a child to hate is abuse. These supposed seminars not only teach straight children to protect their privilege, but they potentially teach TLBG children to hate themselves. When you tell impressionable children that their very soul depends on their ability to hate, and that your love for them is conditional upon accepting these horrendous values, you leave the child little choice but to conform. This kind of indoctrination does not encourage a child to think critically about the world around them, or see injustice for what it is. Ironically, it was Jesus who walked amongst societies undesirables, preaching love and tolerance, but it seems for these fundamentalists, the very man to whom they have invested in and committed their belief in, is not a good enough example to follow. Furthermore, for all their investment in being born again Christians, they seem more than willing to ignore that Jesus had not one word to say about homosexuality.
I think that most readers know that though I am not perfect, to the best of my ability, I try to confront my straight privilege and advocate against homophobia. I do so not only because I believe it is the right thing to do, but because I believe it is my responsibility as a Christian woman to speak out against injustice and oppression. I don't believe for one moment that Jesus would recognize his message in the bigotry commonly promoted by groups like Focus on the Family. There is a tendency to lump all Christians into one big group, because Christianity as an institution has harmed, and continues to harm so many people and this is specifically why I feel that those of us who do believe in God and take on the label of Christian, have a responsibility to speak out against these false prophets. We may never be able to undo the damage that has been done, but perhaps we may provide a shelter from the storm.
Edmund Burke said, "Those who have been once intoxicated with power, and have derived any kind of emolument from it, even though but for one year, never can willingly abandon it. They may be distressed in the midst of all their power; but they will never look to any thing but power for their relief. Never doubt for one moment that this is about power and not about religious belief.
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.