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11/11/2010

'Day of Dialogue': Focus' latest attempt to have it both ways

by Jeremy Hooper

Exodus International is out. So now Focus on the Family is taking over the annual "Day of Truth" event:

A major Christian group will take over an annual event that challenges homosexuality, weeks after the event's main Christian sponsor pulled support for the student-focused program, saying it had become too divisive and confrontational.

Focus on the Family, an influential evangelical organization, will begin sponsoring the event known as the Day of Truth but will change the name of the happening to the Day of Dialogue, the group is set to announce Thursday.

New Christian sponsor takes over event challenging homosexuality [CNN]

"Day of Dialogue"? Of course that's what they're calling it. Because this matches perfectly with the new "nicer, softer" strategy that Focus on the Family executives have been trying to cultivate in the days post-Dobson (and that less image-focused "pro-family" peeps have been calling out ever since).

But here's the thing: Just yesterday -- JUST. YESTERDAY! -- we saw FoTF's schools official, Candi Cushman, pushing an article that called on Christian students to see their gay classmates as "messed up sexually." As embracing "sexual brokenness." As in need of "change." There is no room for dialogue there! At the end of the day, Focus on the Family is still pushing anti-scientific "ex-gay" rhetoric that wishes to put wholly unbacked, entirely faith-based teachings on the same level as credible, peer-reviewed information. In America's PUBLIC SCHOOLS, they wish to do this. They want us to "agree to disagree," in a conversation where we are we are saying that the millions of the LGBT people who make up this planet are normal parts of the world's spectrum, while they continue to say, "No, I don't think so, sorry. But I'll pray for you."

The new version of Focus on the Family is all about telling us that they are more modern and less divisive. Telling us that their new leader is less into anti-gay politicking and more into conversation. Telling the public that the controversial religious right is gone for good. That the Dobson boat has sailed, and less choppy waters are ahead.

It's all hollow. And in many ways: It's more dangerous.

***

*UPDATE: Looking at the real, undeniable, documented way that Candi misrepresents scientific opinion on "ex-gay" therapy: Candi Cushman's 'loving and respectful' dialogue: Perhaps, unless you love and respect the fair presentation of credible science [G-A-Y]

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