Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family founder and chairman James Dobson is perhaps the most influential right-wing Christian leader in the country, with a huge and loyal following that he can reach easily through an impressive media empire.

Right Wing Leftovers - 3/28/14

  • Cindy Jacobs has issued an "Urgent Prophetic Warning" that is conveniently vague enough so that if anything does happen, she can claim to have prophesied it. Of course, if nothing happens, she can then just claim that her prayers prevented it.
  • FRC prays against Obamacare once again: "Heavenly Father, we appeal to you, Judge of the Universe. We know that your Eternal Law commands, "Thou shalt not kill." Please guide the thinking of our Supreme Court Justices. Move them to do right and to reaffirm the religious liberty guaranteed by our Constitution. Stir Churches across America to join this appeal! May your will be done!"
  • Lots of Religious Right infighting today, as Bryan Fischer goes after Russell Moore while both Alan Keyes and Michael Brown attack Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery.
  • The military has turned against Christians because "people in the White House [have] taken an anti-religious but particularly an anti- Christian viewpoint."
  • Finally, Jennifer LeClaire has a warning for Jon Stewart: "Propagating lies in the name of humor or an antichrist agenda is a sad way to be remembered in eternity."

Focus On The Family Spokesman: 'Organized Homosexuals' Ushering In 'New Era Of Intolerance'

The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown and Focus on the Family vice president Tim Goeglein were the guests on a webinar last week hosted by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, in which they discussed the need for young “heroes” to bring the anti-marriage equality cause to younger generations.

The two also discussed the supposed threat to religious liberty put forward by what Goeglein called “the political agenda of organized homosexuals.”

“One of the things that perhaps Christians and Jews and others have not fully internalized is that the political agenda of organized homosexuals in America is one of the great threats to our religious liberty,” Goeglein said. 

He added that gay rights are bringing about “a new era of intolerance against those of us who are men and women of faith.”

“I think that’s exactly right,” agreed Brown
 

Concerned Women For America Drops Out Of World Congress of Families Moscow Summit

As we’ve been reporting, the American Religious Right has found itself in a tough spot following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, since many Religious Right leaders have not only praised Putin’s anti-gay, anti-choice policies but are planning to attend a World Congress of Families summit at the Kremlin later this year.

Now, one such group that previously praised Putin has announced that it will pull out of the Moscow summit. Buzzfeed reported yesterday that Concerned Women for America will no longer be participating in the World Congress of Families event because, as the group’s CEO Penny Nance said, “I don’t want to appear to be giving aid and comfort to Vladimir Putin.”

CWA’s choice is especially surprising because its senior fellow, Janice Shaw Crouse, is amember of the board of the World Congress of Families and has been a vocal defender of Putin’s social policies. Last month, Crouse even appeared at a press conference promoting the Moscow summit.

Now the question becomes whether other American groups will follow Nance’s lead. An organizing meeting for the event in October included Brian Brown of the National Organization for Marriage, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, Benjamin Bull of Alliance Defending Freedom, Justin Murff of the Christian Broadcasting Network and Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute.

A draft program for the event that was obtained by Buzzfeed includes speeches by ADF president Allan Sears, Focus president Jim Daly, Mike Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association, Brown, Ruse and Murff, among others.

In addition, the World Congress of Families receives funding from “partner organizations” including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and Americans United for Life.

The World Congress of Families’ Larry Jacobs said at last month’s press conference that members of the U.S. Congress would also attend the event, though he would not specify which ones since he said their confirmations were not yet finalized. The draft program also accounts for speeches from unidentified members of Congress. to speak.

As we’ve noted, the planned summit is more than just a trip to Moscow. It’s being held at the Kremlin with funding from key Putin allies and will include a joint forum with Russia’s parliament. In addition, the World Congress of Families itself has been working to support Putin’s crackdown on LGBT rights in Russia, along with his push to keep Ukraine out of the European Union. Riling up hostility to gay rights, in particular, has become a powerful wedge issue for Russian-aligned, anti-EU activists in Ukraine.

Ruse articulated the apparent attitude of many American groups when he told Buzzfeed that although the Ukraine invasion “muddied the water,” he had not been concerned about working so closely with the Putin regime until now, “because the Russian government has been quite good on our issues.”

Nance is aware of the message that her group’s participation in the summit would send. Will anybody else follow her lead?

Michael Medved At CPAC: States Have Never Banned Gay Marriage, 'That's A Liberal Lie!'

Right-wing talk show host Michael Medved told a CPAC panel sponsored by Focus on the Family today that same-sex marriage has never been banned. While debating the issue of marriage equality with Alexander McCobin of Students for Liberty, Medved claimed, “There’s never been a state in this country that has ever banned gay marriage, that’s a liberal lie.”

Medved seemed to be citing the Religious Right talking point that marriage bans aren’t discriminatory since a gay person could marry someone of the opposite sex, which is the same arguments once made by opponents of the legalization of interracial marriage.

Focus On The Family: Gays Are Blaming Christians For Their Own Emotional And Psychological Pain

On the most recent "CitizenLink Report" from Focus on the Family, Stuart Shepard and Bruce Hausknecht defended the recently vetoed legal discrimination bill in Arizona as nothing more than "an otherwise ordinary bill" that was badly misrepresented by gay activists.

As Shepard explained, the push for gay rights will not stop until Christian are compelled to celebrate same-sex marriages under the force of law and Hausknecht agreed, saying that what gay activists ultimately seek is the "coerced acceptance of all of their actions, behaviors, and whatnot."

"That's the direction the country is headed," Hausknecht declared. "It's a sad story to actually have to tell people."

Shepard concluded that the entire issue is rooted in the fact that gay people are in deep psychological and emotional pain but refuse to accept the fact that it is their own behavior that is causing such pain and instead lash out at Christians in order to use the law to force Christians into silence on this issue:

Will American Religious Right Groups Go Ahead With Their Kremlin Summit?

As President Obama and world leaders debate whether to go ahead with this year’s planned G-8 meeting in Sochi after Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine, American Religious Right leaders are facing a diplomatic dilemma of their own.

In September, social conservative leaders from around the globe, including representatives of several major American Religious Right groups are planning to hold the annual World Congress of Families gathering at the Kremlin. The gathering is supported by political leaders in Russian Orthodox Church and will include a joint session with the Russian parliament.

American social conservatives have rallied – with varying levels of enthusiasm – to support Russian President Vladimir Putin as his government has passed aseries of anti-gay laws and joined with the church to take up other “family values” issues. These activists, in praising Russia’s renewed push on issues such as gay rights, have largely chosen to ignore the role that social issues are playing in Putin's larger plans.

Issues such as gay rights, abortion rights, and population growth aren't a side project for Putin – they're closely entwined with his tightening grip on power and what Julia Ioffe calls his “appetite for expansion.” For instance, as Buzzfeed's Lester Feder has reported extensively, Russia and its allies in Ukraine and throughout Eastern Europe have riled up anti-gay sentiment as part of a larger agenda of fomenting distrust of the EU and the West. Putin’s anti-gay crackdown has also been useful in promoting nationalist sentiment within Russia and to provide a useful scapegoat as he tightens his grip on power.

When Larry Jacobs of the Rockford, Illinois-based World Congress of Families gushes that “the Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world” or when former Fox News producer Jack Hanick, who has been active in anti-gay causes in Russia, says that “God called on” Russia to “stand up for traditional values,” they are playing into Putin’s own narrative.

In October, leaders from major U.S. Religious Right groups including the National Organization for Marriage, Alliance Defending Freedom and Focus on the Family traveled to Moscow for a planning meeting for the upcoming conference, where they met with Yelena Mizulina, a member of parliament at the head of the Kremlin's social conservative push and coauthor of the infamous "gay propaganda" bill.

In addition, nearly every major Religious Right group in the country is an official paying “partner” of the World Congress of Families; groups including the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, Concerned Women for America, Alliance Defending Freedom, Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage, pay an annual $2,500 fee to support the organization, which is an offshoot of the Illinois-based Howard Center for Family, Religion and Society.

The American Right has found Putin's Russia to be an ally of convenience as they work to build an international movement opposing gay rights, choice, and religious pluralism. But how far are they willing to take the relationship?

Right Wing Round-Up - 1/24/14

Focus On The Family, Alliance Defending Freedom, NOM Leaders Reportedly Met With Author Of Russian 'Homosexual Propaganda' Bill

Last week, we reported that National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown had just gotten back from a Moscow planning meeting for the 2014 World Congress of Families gathering in Russia. Brown confirmed his participation to Rachel Maddow, telling her “we are proud to work with our allies in Russia and around the world to protect marriage as the union as one man and one woman.”

We now have a clearer idea of who those allies are. In a press release yesterday, the World Congress listed many of the participants in last week’s planning meeting. They included leaders of several major American religious right groups including Brown, Benjamin Bull of the Alliance Defending Freedom, Tom Minnery of Focus on the Family, Justin Murff of the Christian Broadcasting Network, and Austin Ruse of the Catholic Family & Human Rights Institute (C-FAM).

Also on the list is Fabrice Sorlin, the far-right French activist who led a delegation joined by Brown to testify before the Russian parliament in May in favor of a broad ban on the adoption of Russian orphans by gay couples and single people living in countries that allow same-sex marriage. Sorlin is the one who told members of the Duma that Russia’s efforts to repel advances in gay rights (or “the suicide of our civilization”) was just like its role protecting Europe from the “the Mongol hordes of Genghis Khan” in the 13th century.

Also attending the meeting was Jack Hanick, the former Fox News employee who has surfaced as an activist and “consultant” in Russia.

According to the World Congress’ press release, these activists not only discussed topics for the upcoming summit (including “declining fertility and the origins of the sexual revolution, the ideological roots of the anti-family lobby, the protection and promotion of marriage [and] countering the radical sexual rights agenda”) but also met with Russian legislator Yelena Mizulina to discuss a “WCF parliamentary forum” for September 2014.

Mizulina is the head of the Duma’s committee for family, women and children and coauthor of Russia’s new ban on speech in favor of gay rights to minors. The World Congress has been one of the most vocal international defenders of that law. The fact that the World Congress and its members are working directly with her to plan an exchange with members of the Russian parliament shows that the summit’s location in Moscow isn’t just an accident of geography.

In fact, as we have reported, WCF has built up a structure of activists in Russia to push anti-gay, anti-choice policies throughout Eastern Europe in the year’s leading up to the 2014 summit, and it was “activists working with the World Congress of Families” who invited Brown to speak to the Duma in favor of the adoption ban.

WCF’s managing director went so far as to say, shortly before Russia’s parliament passed the “gay propaganda” bill, that “the Russians might be the Christian saviors of the world.” As Political Research Associates has noted, the very idea for the World Congress of Families came from a meeting of the group's founder with Russian Orthodox activists, so the upcoming events in Moscow are something of a homecoming for the group.

Right Wing Leftovers - 9/13/13

  • Employees at Focus on the Family are facing yet another round of layoffs.
  • Meet the new, hard-line, action-oriented Heritage Foundation.
  • This is what happens when Glenn Beck tries his hand at topical comedy. This sorry spectacle literally went on for half an hour.
  • A poll commissioned by FreedomWorks found that "78 percent of Republicans and GOP-leaning independents self-identify as fiscally conservative and socially moderate." That cannot be good news for the Religious Right.
  • Rand Paul loves the peaceful Jesus
  • Finally, FRC prays that God will stir "His people to righteous action and move Congress to stop Obamacare, with its oppression, abortion, and socialistic, anti-liberty scheme!"

Among The Religious Right, David Barton's Reputation Remains Untarnished

Over the weekend, Politico ran a profile of David Barton which pointed out that he remains extremely popular with the Religious Right and members of Congress, despite the fact that he is the author of the "least credible history book in print" and his "scholarship" is laughable.

The piece noted that even his supporters have been forced to secretly edit videos and programs posted on their websites in order to remove some of Barton's more egregious falsehoods, yet they continue to stand by him, as Barton brags that the mounting evidence of his fundamentally inaccurate history has not damaged his reputation one iota:

During their campaign to point out the errors in Barton’s work, his Christian critics asked two of the nation’s biggest evangelical advocacy groups, the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family, to stop promoting his faulty scholarship.

The FRC responded by quietly pulling from its website a popular video showcasing clips of Barton leading one of his Capitol tours. FRC Vice President Kenyn Cureton said the video was removed because of “a few historical inaccuracies.”

But the group continues to promote Barton elsewhere on its website as a “good friend” and “close ally.”

Focus on the Family, meanwhile, edited two videos on its website featuring a lengthy interview Barton gave to Focus radio. The editing deleted a segment in which Barton declares that Congress printed the first English-language Bible in America — and intended it to be used in schools. That’s one of Barton’s signature stories — it’s a highlight in his Capitol tour — but historians who have reviewed the documentation say it’s simply not true. Focus also cut an inaccurate anecdote about a contemporary legal case, which Barton cited to make the point that society today punishes people of faith.

Asked why the videos were edited, Carrie Gordon Earll, a senior director of public policy at Focus on the Family, at first said they had not been, though before-and-after footage can be publicly viewed on websites archiving Focus broadcasts. Earll then said she could not comment beyond a statement noting that Focus “has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with David Barton” and respects his “broad base of knowledge” about early American history.

In an interview with POLITICO, Barton said his remarks were sometimes taken out of context but defended his scholarship as impeccable.

And he said the controversy last summer did no damage to his standing, “not at all.”

If anyone knows anything about taking things out of context, it would be Barton, since that is a central feature of his "scholarship."

Focus On The Family Praises Ex-Gay Therapy, Wonders If Chris Christie Approves Of Adultery

Tom Minnery , head of Focus on the Family’s political arm CitizenLink, criticized Gov. Chris Christie for signing a bill barring the practice of ex-gay therapy on minors. He told Stuart Shepard that ex-gay therapy is “common and there is a history of them working well, many people have lost their confusion about sexuality as a result of them to the good.”

Minnery also feared the society is making kids think they are gay when they are not, increasing the need for the discredited pseudo-scientific practice: “As society prides itself on putting homosexuality on a pedestal you can see how more and more young people might think they are gay, might think they are lesbian, but what they are probably is just confused and need precisely the kind of help that the governor by signing this law says they cannot have and that’s a tragedy.”

Later, Shepard wondered if Christie, who said he didn’t consider homosexuality to be a sin, urged reporters to ask him “if immorality is okay, are you okay with adultery? Is that what you’re saying, what sins and which ones are out, Gov. Christie?” “Someone ought to ask that question of his wife, what about adultery,” Minnery added.

(HT: Michael Allen)

Focus on the Family Spokesman Distances Himself from Dobson While Mefferd Is Curious About Pro-Gay Group's '666' Address

Focus on the Family spokesman Glenn Stanton, who called same-sex unions satanic, ironically told virulently anti-gay talk show host Janet Mefferd in an interview yesterday that the Religious Right should move away from the polarizing rhetoric of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and James Dobson, the founder of Focus. While discussing a study pointing to greater acceptance of gay rights among evangelicals, Stanton said that people are moving away from the tactics and style of leaders like “Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, you know even speaking here from Focus, Dr. Dobson.”

Stanton said that activists who aren’t “fire breathing” conservatives are having a stronger appeal, such as the late Chuck Colson: “People aren’t reacting against that, they are reacting against certain manifestations of the culture war and in some sense we can say you know what some of those things were fine for the 70s but we are in a new age and we need to address these issues in truth and in a very different kind of way. I think Chuck Colson, who we don’t have anymore, was a wonderful example of that kind of thing.

That’s right, Stanton thinks that the Religious Right leader who said gay marriageinvites terrorist attacks,gravely damages children, leads to the end of democracy and a Nazi-style dictatorship and unleashes “cultural Armageddon,” and longed for the day when homosexuality was condemned as “sexually deviant” and “ shameful and embarrassing” is a figure of moderation.

Just in case you thought that anti-gay activists were toning down their rhetoric in any way, prior to the interview Mefferd discussed the lawsuit against Scott Lively over his role in Uganda’s Anti-Homosexuality Bill. She “found it interesting” that the Center for Constitutional Rights, a pro-gay group representing Sexual Minorities Uganda in the case, is located at 666 Broadway, New York, and wondered if the organization “sought out the address.” “Not that that means anything, just interesting.”

Right Wing Round-Up - 6/24/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 6/24/13

  • "Coach" Dave Daubenmire is quite proud of being a "right-wing wacko" and being featured on this blog.
  • This is the spectacle with which Glenn Beck is going to forever change the Fourth of July?
  • Of course, Muslim terrorists were responsible for the Colorado wildfires.
  • Rick Santorum is now the head of a Christian movie studio. Seriously.
  • On tomorrow's radio program, Focus on the Family president Jim Daly will interview U2's Bono.
  • Finally, Steve Deace says "We don't need an Islamist invasion. Our elites are doing a great job of destroying these United States of America just fine on their own."

Truth In Action Ministries Film Warns Gays 'Puts Boys At Serious Risk'

Truth In Action Ministries, which last year produced a film warning that the “radical homosexual agenda” will destroy America like an iceberg hitting the Titanic, is out with a new short film opposing gay members in the Boy Scouts. Featuring Religious Right leaders like Bob Knight of the American Civil Rights Union, Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the anti-gay activists warn that gays pose a physical and spiritual danger to children and do away with morality.

Watch highlights here:

Right Wing Round-Up - 4/23/13

Rep. Steve Stockman: Immigration Reform Will Destroy GOP and Help Obama 'Destroy America'

The House GOP’s resident provocateur Steve Stockman (R-TX) appeared on The Steve Deace Show yesterday to urge his fellow Republicans to oppose immigration reform because Latinos typically vote Democratic. Stockman mocked the claims of pro-reform conservatives who believe that many Latinos would back the GOP if the party backed away from its hard-line stance on immigration reform, while noting that reform efforts would only help Obama in his plan to “destroy America.”

Stockman: Their advice is: allow this to happen and they will somehow overnight turn into Republicans. I can assure you, if these people were voting Republican, the Democrats wouldn’t want a single person to be legalized, not one, and yet we are somehow fooling ourselves believing that they are magically going to go into a corner and turn into Republicans. It’s not going to happen.

Deace: Why would anybody think that Charles Schumer and Bob Menendez and John McCain, that all the sudden these people that you’re going to do this photo-op with that have already shown they have no regard for the rule of law where this issue is concerned, people like me are just looking at it from the outside in and thinking: why would I support anything they support? When David Axelrod goes on national television and says this issue is Obama’s legacy, pardon me if I’m a little skeptical of fueling the legacy of a guy—

Stockman: To destroy America

Deace: Who thinks that the Constitution is—he just puts it through a paper shredder. Exactly, I don’t get this.

He also lashed out at groups such as Focus on the Family and the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, which is led by Richard Land, for supporting the pro-reform Evangelical Immigration Table. Stockman said that such social conservative organizations are unwittingly pushing the Republican Party’s demise, imperiling the Religious Right’s political agenda and creating permanent Democratic majorities.

Stockman also accused NPR of calling undocumented immigrants “unregistered citizens,” a charge we haven’t found any evidence to back up, and said that it is like calling drug dealers “unregistered pharmacists.”

I’m upset with our own guys. I’m shocked that Focus on the Family and Richard Land, I’ve been in their camps and worked with them a long time, are coming out against us and saying they’re for legalizing twelve million unregistered Democrats, or as NPR calls them ‘unregistered citizens,’ that’s the new term they are using now. I was really appalled at NPR, government-controlled radio, says they are ‘unregistered citizens.’ I guess drug dealers now are unregistered pharmacists. It’s bizarre. I’m a little bit upset with our side so I’m taking bullets on both the right and the left for my stance. I have a dear friend, he came from Lebanon, he took fifteen years to follow our laws, he respects our laws, he is abiding by our laws, if we go and say ‘okay you guys that break the law now get to cut in front of everybody else that’s been waiting in line,’ what kind of message are we sending to the rest of the world?

Reagan allowed a million illegal immigrants at that time and after he did that two things happened: 1) they voted primarily and increasingly for the Democrats; 2) ten million more came in. The system is if we pass this it’s going to increase illegal immigration and it’s also going to turn Texas, Florida into Democrat states, we will never keep the White House and the entire agenda of Focus on the Family and Richard Land that is pro-life and all those things that we hold dear are going to be washed away because of the stupidity and the folly of granting citizenship to people who have not a clue about how our system is or the principles. They are saying here this is the rope, please put it around your neck and then jump off the tree and young hang yourself. It’s just bizarre that we’re so willingly doing that and a little bit frustrating.

NOM's 'Historic' Fail

For weeks, the National Organization for Marriage’s Brian Brown has been touting the “historic” March for Marriage, telling supporters “this is our time” to "change history." A month ago he wrote excitedly about a “game-changer,” a $500,000 matching gift from one of the major donors that keep NOM afloat. Brown had been inspired by a massive turnout for an anti-marriage-equality protest  in France, and hoped for something similar in Washington. But even with big donors and heavy-weight Religious Right co-sponsors, Brown and his allies couldn’t pull it off. Not even close.

In reality, NOM’s rally had a few, perhaps several, thousand attendees.  (NOM’s Thomas Peters claims 15,000, which seems, um, generous.) And every time one of the speakers tried to make the crowd feel like part of a larger movement by talking about the 200,000 people they said marched recently for one-man/one-woman marriage in Puerto Rico, or the hundreds of thousands or millions in France and Spain, or even the 585,000 who have signed the Manhattan Declaration or the half million who marched against legal abortion, it only served to highlight how few bothered to show up in Washington. According to various speakers, the Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia sent five busloads; anti-gay state senator Ruben Diaz claimed 32 buses from New York. Brian Brown gave a shout out to some Chinese Christians from Chicago.

The ethnically diverse speakers’ list was a mix of old and new, including some familiar faces on the anti-gay circuit, such as Harry Jackson, Gary Bauer, and Iowa’s Bob Vander Plaats. Harry Jackson led the crowd in a chant that he said was a prayer for the Supreme Court: “Let God arise and his enemies be scattered.” Bauer delivered a blustery message to the Republican Party that if they “bail” on marriage, he’ll lead as many people as he can out of the GOP (which may not be that much of a threat). Vander Plaats urged Supreme Court justices to look to the Founding Fathers, Billy Graham, and Pope Francis. Also speaking were Doug Mainwaring, now making the circuit as the anti-equality gay man the Religious Right loves to love; Frank Schubert, the mastermind of the dishonest Prop 8 campaign and every anti-equality campaign since then; and Jim Garlow, who made a name for himself among the Religious Right with his pro-Prop 8 organizing. Garlow insisted you cannot call yourself a Christian and support the Court’s “obliterating” what he called a “core aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ.” (Garlow should have seen the packed crowd at the morning’s pro-equality interfaith service at the Lutheran Church of the Reformation.) Garlow warned Supreme Court justices that they will one day stand before “the Chief Justice of the Universe” and will be held accountable if they defy His ways.

A couple of groups sent under-30 speakers to say how wrong the media is to suggest that Millennials are a lost cause on this issue.  But facts are facts, and polls show that support for marriage equality is overwhelming among under-30 Americans: 72 percent of Millennials believe same-sex couples should be able to get legally married, including 58 percent of under-30 Republicans.

Many of the speakers were on-message to the point of being boringly redundant, repeating the message on marchers’ pre-printed signs: “Kids do best with a mom and a dad” and “Every child deserves a mom and a dad.” Sometimes this came with a strong shot of gender stereotypes: mothers provide tenderness and fathers provide protection.  Brian Brown even showed a video of the Religious Right’s newest heroine, the 11-year old who testified against marriage equality in Minnesota and asked which of her parents she did not need, her mother or father. Perhaps someone could explain that no same-sex couples seeking to get married have any desire to force her to get rid of either parent.

NOM’s backers for the marriage march included the far-far-right-wing Catholic group Tradition, Family & Property, with its scarlet banners, capes, and marching band (see Adele Stan’s reminder who TFP is), Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council, a couple of Catholic dioceses, the Knights of Columbus and the Institute on Religion and Democracy.  Brown gave special thanks to the Mormon-run GFC Foundation for providing grants for buses.

 

Focus Guest: Gays Needs to Be Told That 'Marriage is Not in the Cards for You'

Just last week, the New York Times ran a profile of a new 'kinder and gentler' Focus on the Family under current president Jim Daly who purports to be trying to change the tone of the debates over contentious issues like abortion and marriage equality while defending his conservative Christian positions on such issues.

Daly operates under the impression that so long as he approaches these debates in a gentle, thoughtful, and prayerful manner, he can open others up to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, make converts, and ultimately win people over to his side of the argument.

Today, on Focus on the Family's radio program, Daly and co-host John Fuller welcomed George Mason University Law School professor Helen Alvare onto the program to discuss "The Erosion of Marriage in America," which Alavre blamed on everything from no-fault divorce to the practice of in vitro fertilization.

And while Daly, Fuller, and Alvare were all very careful to continually insist that they were speaking out of love and respect, when it gets down to it, Alvare said, it is ridiculous to think that the Constitution contains any sort of right to marriage equality and so the state simply needs to tell gay couples that "marriage is not in the cards for you":

I don't think that the Supreme Court wants to live through another forty years of post-bad decision making like they did with Roe v. Wade. There is no question that Constitution does not textually have a right to same-sex marriage.  There is no question that it has been banned - you know, we only have a few states allowing it now.  To say that it's a constitutional right would be ridiculous and I don't think they want to be fighting over it for the next forty years.

There is a reason why, pre-Christianity as well as today, the community of citizens has always understood that there is something different about what a man and a woman do when they are romantically interested together and that naturally leads them to say I want you for my whole life.  The fact that this natural connection, older than Christianity, leads to children; the fact that children seem to need, empirically speaking, a mother and a father is why whatever the state wants to say to gay and lesbian citizens - and hopefully they say we love you and we're not going to discriminate against you - they cannot say what you do and what opposite sex couples do has the same intrinsic outcomes and therefore interest of the state.  It simply is not commensurate.

We can also say one final thing, which is when the state is tempted to say this, what you do, opposite sex couple, and what a same-sex couple does, which they can talk about a long-term emotional commitment  that we have seen if we reduce marriage to people's emotional feelings, we get more divorce, we get less marriage, we get more children outside of marriage and the poor pay more.  We don't have to speculate about this any more, we have seen it.  There has been a horrid natural experiment in our country; we know what we are talking about.

We love you.  We won't discriminate against you as gay and lesbian persons, God willing, in the future. But marriage is not in the cards for you.

This seems to pretty well sum up the new approach from Focus on the Family, which is to insist that gays are loved and respected and should not be discriminated against ... but that they just shouldn't ever be allowed to get married.

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Focus on the Family founder and chairman James Dobson is perhaps the most influential right-wing Christian leader in the country, with a huge and loyal following that he can reach easily through an impressive media empire. MORE >

Focus on the Family Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 03/28/2014, 5:29pm
Cindy Jacobs has issued an "Urgent Prophetic Warning" that is conveniently vague enough so that if anything does happen, she can claim to have prophesied it. Of course, if nothing happens, she can then just claim that her prayers prevented it. FRC prays against Obamacare once again: "Heavenly Father, we appeal to you, Judge of the Universe. We know that your Eternal Law commands, "Thou shalt not kill." Please guide the thinking of our Supreme Court Justices. Move them to do right and to reaffirm the religious liberty guaranteed by our Constitution. Stir... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Tuesday 03/18/2014, 3:39pm
The National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown and Focus on the Family vice president Tim Goeglein were the guests on a webinar last week hosted by the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, in which they discussed the need for young “heroes” to bring the anti-marriage equality cause to younger generations. The two also discussed the supposed threat to religious liberty put forward by what Goeglein called “the political agenda of organized homosexuals.” “One of the things that perhaps Christians and Jews and others have not fully internalized is that the... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Wednesday 03/12/2014, 10:42am
As we’ve been reporting, the American Religious Right has found itself in a tough spot following Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, since many Religious Right leaders have not only praised Putin’s anti-gay, anti-choice policies but are planning to attend a World Congress of Families summit at the Kremlin later this year. Now, one such group that previously praised Putin has announced that it will pull out of the Moscow summit. Buzzfeed reported yesterday that Concerned Women for America will no longer be participating in the World Congress of Families... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 03/07/2014, 4:15pm
Right-wing talk show host Michael Medved told a CPAC panel sponsored by Focus on the Family today that same-sex marriage has never been banned. While debating the issue of marriage equality with Alexander McCobin of Students for Liberty, Medved claimed, “There’s never been a state in this country that has ever banned gay marriage, that’s a liberal lie.” Medved seemed to be citing the Religious Right talking point that marriage bans aren’t discriminatory since a gay person could marry someone of the opposite sex, which is the same arguments once made by opponents... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 03/05/2014, 12:19pm
On the most recent "CitizenLink Report" from Focus on the Family, Stuart Shepard and Bruce Hausknecht defended the recently vetoed legal discrimination bill in Arizona as nothing more than "an otherwise ordinary bill" that was badly misrepresented by gay activists. As Shepard explained, the push for gay rights will not stop until Christian are compelled to celebrate same-sex marriages under the force of law and Hausknecht agreed, saying that what gay activists ultimately seek is the "coerced acceptance of all of their actions, behaviors, and whatnot." "That... MORE >
Miranda Blue, Monday 03/03/2014, 11:42am
As President Obama and world leaders debate whether to go ahead with this year’s planned G-8 meeting in Sochi after Russia’s military incursion into Ukraine, American Religious Right leaders are facing a diplomatic dilemma of their own. In September, social conservative leaders from around the globe, including representatives of several major American Religious Right groups are planning to hold the annual World Congress of Families gathering at the Kremlin. The gathering is supported by political leaders in Russian Orthodox Church and will include a joint session with the Russian... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 01/24/2014, 6:34pm
Jacob Fischler @ BuzzFeed: Dinesh D’Souza Charged With Election Fraud. David Ferguson @ Raw Story: Conservatives blame Dinesh D’Souza’s indictment on ‘Nazi Germany’-like conspiracy. Eric Boehlert @ Media Matters: Shorter Glenn Beck: Media Matters Was Right About Me. Steve Benen @ The Maddow Blog: Huckabee vs. Huckabee. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Focus On The Family: Nondiscrimination Protections Discriminate Against Christians. Alan Colmes: Victoria Jackson Wants To Throw Muslims Out Of The United States. MORE >
Miranda Blue, Thursday 10/24/2013, 11:04am
Last week, we reported that National Organization for Marriage president Brian Brown had just gotten back from a Moscow planning meeting for the 2014 World Congress of Families gathering in Russia. Brown confirmed his participation to Rachel Maddow, telling her “we are proud to work with our allies in Russia and around the world to protect marriage as the union as one man and one woman.” We now have a clearer idea of who those allies are. In a press release yesterday, the World Congress listed many of the participants in last week’s planning meeting. They included leaders... MORE >