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02/22/2010

Focus on the Family is an anti-gay, pro-'ex-gay' organization. Even if it wears DSquared2

by Jeremy Hooper

We've told you about Esther Fleece in the past. She's the person who Focus on the Family has hired for the sole purpose of reaching the so-called millennial generation. Because believe it or not, James Dobson doesn't rival the Black Eyed Peas in terms of holding young person interest. I know you're shocked by that.

So anyway, FOF has hired young Esther to talk and talk about talk about the diverse millennials and there desire to do better in the world. She seems quite nice. Capable. Relatable. But what we find interesting about Esther is that she never, ever, EVER talks about the gay-hostile, anti-progressive policies on which Focus on the Family has built its reputation -- policies that young people resist in real and growing numbers. With Esther, there's never the same forthrightness on the social issues that we hear from the rest of FOF's stable. Esther's message is always built with platitudes, obviously meant to co-opt "hope" and "change" and repurpose it for the conservative cause.

This weekend at CPAC there was a parallel event called XPAC. Here's a taste of Esther and FOF's outreach:



See what we mean? No talk of the heart that makes FOF tick. No talk of what the policies mean for their friends and loved ones. No talk of trying to turn the wildly pro-gay younger set into anti-equality activists. This even though Focus on the Family's Gary Schneeberger said in the very Mother Jones article that Esther references in clip 2:

"The things we stand for, especially in the policy realm, are things that are rooted in our understanding of the Scripture," says Schneeberger. "So when we say we think we believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, that's not going to change."
grand old party [Mother Jones]

Gary's right to say what he said. Because here's the bottom line: Focus on the Family's policies either are what they are or they are not! Yes, young people came out for Barack Obama in huge numbers. But it wasn't because he was a celebrity candidate that made them turnout -- it was his policies and the major young person support that made him so famous in the first place. In fact, the most common criticism from young people now is that he hasn't been progressive enough! So it's not like the vast majority of Obama voters under 35 are sitting around wishing they had pinned their hopes on a Sen. who can't even support basic military fairness and a governor who abruptly quit her job for Fox News fame. Instead, a major portion want to see more of the progress that they thought they were supporting on 11/04/08!

Focus on the Family knows that the "culture war" is a losing meme with young people, so they are trying desperately to redress it. But they want to do so without changing the fundamental (and fundamentalist) parts. So the machine remains the same one that Dobson built, just with a more fashionable Fleece coat. Unfortunately for Esther and FOF, that extra layer will never be able to warm up anti-equality policies that are cold at their core!

**EARLIER: To adapt an old edict: You can't attach a hashtag to a turd! [G-A-Y]
FOF hopes '80s/'90s-born voters were also born yesterday [G-A-Y]

**SEE ALSO: Here's another XPACer. This one "didn't go to any" of the actual CPAC speeches, because they were given by "boring snoozers":

So essentially, if the GOP plans to run on the "playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare" platform, then 2020 is looking great for them!

**SEE ALSO, ALSO: While Esther was trying to dupe young people, her colleague Tom Minnery was at CPAC giving a more readily presentation of Focus on the Family's heart:

space gay-comment gay-G-A-Y-post gay-email gay-writer-jeremy-hooper


Your thoughts

What would it look like if FOF ever became honest about who they are? They might redesign their website home-page to include a new tag line:

Welcome to FOCUS ON THE FAMILY . . .
. . . now celebrating 33 years of bigotry delivered with a friendly smile.

Posted by: Richard Rush | Feb 22, 2010 4:34:00 PM

The near-complete absence of anything mentioning any specific issues whatsoever is notable. I think they make an offhand reference to abortion once, and mention God a couple of times, but otherwise it's all so vaguely nonspecific that it's impossible to tell what political agenda it's connected to. It's all "We're the young, hip crowd; we don't like long boring speeches; we hang out with our friends and play video games. Oh, yeah, we'd like to get involved in social issues too, but don't bother us with the specifics of what they actually are, since that could get divisive and break up our friendship... and, anyway, didn't I say I don't like dull speeches?"

Posted by: Dan T. | Feb 23, 2010 9:28:00 AM

Oh btw: @EstherFleece classified this post as "hatin" against her. Even though the post is personally quite nice to her, she has turned our criticism of FOF's agenda as "hate." Typical. FOF has trained her well:

http://twitter.com/estherfleece

Posted by: G-A-Y | Feb 23, 2010 9:30:17 AM

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