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07/21/2011

Video: But Focus on the Family, it's what you 'still are' that matters

by Jeremy Hooper

If Focus on the Family wants to humanize the mission, it's probably not all that smart to directly liken being gay to being an orphan or an alcoholic:

Okay, first off: So tired of the far-right's "they call us mean names" meme. We're talking about online and political worlds where all kinds of people say all kinds of things for all kinds of reasons. Any of us who engage in the public realm could isolate comments to "prove" how nasty it can sometimes get. So while yes, an organization that calls homosexuality a "particularly evil lie of Satan" (to name but one of tens-of-thousands of slights that they've put out about LGBT people in their decades of existence) might get a little more passionate pushback than others (for fairly obvious reasons), it's not like any of us are immune. People have lots things to say and increasingly easy access to say them.

That out of the way: The truth is that most people don't stand against Focus on the Family because of who its employees are or what those employees personally might have been/currently are. The reason people oppose Focus on the Family is BECAUSE. OF. WHAT. THEY. DO. Because of what they fund. Because of how they advocate and who they advocate against. And their advocacy, particularly on (but not exclusive to) LGBT issues if far from "agree to disagree" type stuff. At least for our "side," where merely saying you're standing for values rings hollow, considering you are in fact undermining our families in very real, tangible, and hurtful ways.

Just look at the flippant claim central to this video. The "ex-gay" Jeff Johnston is positioned alongside the the "used to be" alcoholic (Gary Schneeberger) and "used to be" orphan (president Jim Daly), as if all three things are universally accepted struggles or hardships. Do they even realize how unbelievably offensive this is to so many people?! And not just gay people either: The idea that LGB people are in need of some sort of "redemption" is seen as deeply out-of-line by anyone who supports the credible science as it applies to our world and its spectrum of normalcy.

And the whole thing is so damn smug, too. I mean even without the junk science, false victimization, responsibility-shirking, and indefatigable war against certain citizens' equal rights, the whole "we totally get why you hate us because we too 'used to be' this or that not-so-awesome thing" conceit is just so incredibly "ugh." This is the very mentality, coupled with the hurtful advocacy and judgements, that's earned groups like Focus on the Family the reputation that they have. Yet to challenge this impression, they ratchet it up? So obtuse!

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