Sunday, March 10, 2013

NYT Puff Piece on Viciously Anti-Gay Focus on the Family

The New York Times has a very disappointing puff piece on Focus on the Family that puts forth the disingenuous lie being promoted by FOTF president Jim Daly that FOTF is seeking to change its message.  While Daly may be trying to tone down the stridency with which FOTF's message has been delivered, the core message remains unchanged: hate, intolerance and religious based bigotry where FOTF seeks to force its religious vision on all citizens.  Under FOTF's world view, only its Christofascist members and followers have religious freedom and the rest of us can go to Hell literally and figuratively.  I suspect that the real motivation behind Daly's snake oil campaign is the reality that FOTF has seen sharply declining revenues and significant staff layoffs which will likely continue as the oldest generations who are most easily duped by FOTF's poisonous message dies off and the younger generations continue to walk away from FOTF's hated based version of Christianity.  The piece overall is so disingenuous that anyone who has followed and knows FOTF's agenda - and that of its affiliates such as The Family Foundation here in Virginia - could easily wonder whether or not the Times was paid to do the article.  Like most of the Christofascists, the safest rule of thumb is that if Daly's lips are moving, he's probably lying.  Here are a few excerpts:

As the president and chief executive of Focus on the Family, Mr. Daly oversees a Christian ministry with an annual budget of $98 million, a paid staff of 655 and a fervently conservative view of the Bible and American social issues.

Mr. Daly did not come to the campus here to retreat from Focus’s opposition to same-sex marriage, which was largely the topic of the event, but to turn down the rhetorical temperature on the debate. “We’ve created an animosity,” he said in one emblematic moment of self-criticism. “We’ve said we hate the sin and love the sinner. But when you peel it back, sometimes we hated the sinner, too. And that’s not the Gospel.” 

Regardless of whether his tone won over every listener, and it surely did not, Mr. Daly has succeeded in differentiating himself from an earlier generation of Christian leaders, like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Gary Bauer and Donald E .Wildmon, who made their fame and notoriety alike in the battles around abortion and homosexuality.

Such efforts have won Mr. Daly praise from unexpected quarters. The Southern Poverty Law Center, for instance, has classified the Family Research Council, another conservative Christian organization, as a hate group because of its position on homosexuality. But the law center’s senior fellow, Mark Potok, said Focus had tried to evolve with the times. 

“What we’re seeing is something that happens classically when public opinion changes dramatically,” he said. “Basically, the public’s stance has moved away from these groups. You see that with the rapidly rising acceptance of gay marriage. And when public opinion moves away, they have two choices. They can moderate and move toward the middle, as Focus on the Family has done, or they can grow more shrill and radical.” 

For all that, nobody is going to confuse Focus on the Family with the American Civil Liberties Union anytime soon. 

CitizenLink, Focus’s lobbying affiliate, lists such action items as defunding Planned Parenthood and opposing the International Violence Against Women Act. Focus’s Web site defends the legitimacy of widely criticized therapy to rectify “unwanted homosexual attractions and behavior.”

The bottom line is that FOTF is still peddling the same old lies and if one follows CitizenLink it is pushing the same agenda as Family Research Council although perhaps not quite as viciously.   As for its Virginia affiliate, The Family Foundation, its goal is to continue to keep LGBT Virginians third class citizens or worse with no employment nondiscrimination protections whatsoever and unable to adopt children.  There truly is no lie that is too big or too foul for these people.  Daly is a fraud and he and his organization want nothing more than a Christofascist theocracy.  His methods may be more subdued, but the goal hasn't changed one bit.  Shame on the Times writer who feel for Daly's bullshit.

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