Social Question

girlofscience's avatar

How do you feel about the American Family Association?

Asked by girlofscience (7449 points ) January 23rd, 2010

I honestly cannot understand how anyone in the universe could support this organization, and I highly doubt that anyone on Fluther supports the AFA. However, if you do, I am very interested in hearing why you support these ideals.

For those unfamiliar with the AFA’s positions, I’ll give a brief overview. As the name (unfortunately) implies, they are anti-gay, anti-choice, etc. But they’re not just anti-gay; they support the criminalization of homosexuality. And it doesn’t stop there. They extend their mission and primary lobbying efforts into additional realms that have absolutely nothing to do with “family,” namely, complete deregulation of the oil industry and opposition to the Employee Free Choice Act. Furthermore, they are not only anti-pornography but also supportive of extreme, ridiculous media censorship. While some of you may agree with that last position, what I really cannot imagine is how anyone is okay with this: The AFA opposes equal-rights and anti-hate-crime legislation!

And those are just the organization’s basic perspectives. They spend an average of $14 million annually in supporting their ideals. They’re also involved with these random gems:
– A video released after the Virginia Tech massacre in which “God” explains that this happened because he isn’t allowed to be talked about in schools anymore.
– Support of the absurd idea that AIDS patients should be quarantined.
– Anti-Semitism because Jews produce criminal children and are too supportive of gay people.
– Boycotting of every corporation that supports anything that opposes any of their views to the point that some of these organizations have bent to them because of their (somehow) enormous sway.

And that’s not all. I really wish this was a joke.

I’d like to discuss how people feel about the existence of this organization. Regardless of political and religious beliefs, how could a person support a group that is just so blatantly hateful? What, exactly, is the perspective of a person who supports this group, other than complete ignorance and hatred? Why are so many people donating money to support this terrible group?

The following companies are some of the AFA’s biggest financial supporters: Cinemark, Cracker Barrel, Domino’s Pizza, Dish Network, Exxon Mobil, Golfland Entertainment Centers, Insure, Salvation Army, Urban Outfitters, and Wal-Mart.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

58 Answers

DominicX's avatar

I find it entertaining how “family” is just a meaningless term in the conservative white Christian field. It’s used simply because most people have families and care about them, so it makes it look like they’re supportive of that. It’s a word used to grab attention when it reality, it means nothing. It is unfortunate that people associate the word “family” with “oppressive white Christian conservative values”, but hey, people like that love to use that term. They’ve poisoned it.

Might as well change “family” to “fascism”. That way, the acronym could stay. :)

There are a lot of people donating to it because there are a lot of misguided, unintelligent, mediocre people in this world. A lot of people whose lives are so meaningless that they’ll resort to anything as excuse for meaning.

nikayamo's avatar

ANTI-PORNOGRAPHY?????? That’s just taking it too far. But really, I don’t think anyone can possibly support all of this.

girlofscience's avatar

@nikayamo: I agree that an anti-pornography stance is ridiculous, but sadly, it’s more reasonable than anything else this group has to say.

nikayamo's avatar

Ugh. I don’t really know much about this group, but if this is (as the name calls it) supposed to an (ideal) American family, then screw it, im going to Canada.

lynfromnm's avatar

I value each person’s right to believe whatever he or she wishes, but criminalizing those who disagree with you is by definition un-American.

nikayamo's avatar

@lynfromnm Then I hope your one of those groups that the AFA is against, cause I wont be there to speak for you when they attack.

sndfreQ's avatar

I can understand Wal-Mart, but Urban Outfitters?!?? Their clothing lines are particularly un-conservative…too expensive for me anyways…

Mamradpivo's avatar

The AFA is a bunch if angry old closeted white men who are consumed by self-loathing and should really just hurry up and die off.

Nullo's avatar

I support ‘em.

lynfromnm's avatar

@nikoyamo: I think you misunderstood me. Everyone has the right to their opinion and beliefs. It is when they want to lock up those who disagree that they are dangerous. The American Family Association is dangerous because they want to criminalize those who disagree with them.

Since the 1st Amendment guarantees free speech for U.S. citizens, I support the right of the AFA to say their piece. I do NOT support the values of the AFA group or their attacks on those who disagree with them.

If we do not allow those we disagree with to speak, there is no America. Period.

trailsillustrated's avatar

ewww gag I’m glad I live in the pacific nw where’s theres hardly any of this crap I couldn’t take it

SeventhSense's avatar

Well the Christian position was up until the 1960’s fairly consistent. The social difference across party lines was not as significant as it was today since the country was fairly conservative to begin with. Most of the South was Democrat by party. As the civil rights movement began in earnest in the 1960’s and social unrest continued to rise there was a backlash by entrenched positions who had resisted all integration for decades. There was a massive changing of the guard as the Old South became Republican. Few people realize the extent that Ronald Reagan himself tried to block civil rights initiatives in the 1960’s.

As the South became Republican, the Democratic party continued to stand behind forced integration under Kennedy and later the initiatives like the Great Society by Johnson that supported programs for the poor. And disenfranchised youth first found an ally in the youthful Kennedy. Kennedy and later Johnson were more in tune with the sentiment of the young people in the country which were not happy with the establishment. On one side you had Kennedy, Johnson, Martin Luther King Jr., organizations that Kennedy started like the Peace Corps, Johnson’s Great Society, anti war movement and young people who were becoming vocal and active. And on the other side there was Traditional values who deemed these youth disrespectful and rebellious. Furthermore minority voices were becoming equated with crime and poverty.probably due to a type of mass collective guilt transference
I don’t know how one can see blacks being hit with fire hoses and dogs and not feel an emotion. Nevertheless, standing at its vanguard was the Grand Old Party.

So by default the poor, voiceless, disenfranchised, peaceful and rebellious found quarter within the Democratic Party. And the Republican party began in earnest to oppose fiercely these things it deemed a threat to the American Way of life. Over time the party cemented its position further by becoming very strange bedfellows with certain Fundamentalist factions. Although the ideals of Christian Charity were now married with a slightly twisted approach to human rights because of the party line. If one side is non violent, inclusive and charitable how can one oppose that when many of the ideals that they share are supposedly the same-i.e.-charity, long suffering and patience?

As a result many strange theologies were started like a prosperity message of the Bible which started to equate wealth and well being with Godliness and degradation and disease with the “unsaved”. Which is not necessarily new, the Protestant Work ethic pre dates our immigration to America.

As a result of this strange marriage, the end result began to justify the means politically. It’s not seen by the fundamentalist as lacking compassion nor opposing the teachings of Christ but fulfilling his mandate. And although it seems intolerable (which it is) it’s only because of the intractable positions of “the lost” that stand alongside the “culturally elite intellectuals”, mainstream media and Hollywood. Again in the 1980’s there was a strong anti pornography push under Edwin Meese which looked at this titillating material as part and parcel of the left’s desire to destroy the basic values that the country had in the 1950’s. Their failure of course was inevitable but we have strong anti child pornography also as a result. Who can forget Tracy Lords.

Ultimately perhaps the most obvious stance of the two positions can be found in that the conservative, does not want the country to change but in fact wants to restore some of what it felt has been lost and the liberal embraces change. Not ironically both parties work to balance our system. One by forcing change and the other by making sure the change does not happen too fast to destabilize the country nor compromises its base. One thing is certain. Everything changes eventually and truth is ultimately self evident and always prevails. Case in point, we have an African American in the White House and we have that as a tremendous example of change in the face of what seems like impossible obstacles.

laureth's avatar

@SeventhSense – pretty ironic for a party that started out as a single-issue Abolitionist movement, eh? GA.

SeventhSense's avatar

@laureth
Right? They’ll probably switch sides again in another 100 years.

life_after_2012's avatar

im sorry but right now im drunk and didnt read the details intirely, but any body who is odivously a gay basher is a prick and fuck that, gay people are people, but not just anybodt they are bashed like black people where bashed in the early 1900’s and they’re not so bad are they. people are people and deserve to treated like humans so fuck the a.f.a.

life_after_2012's avatar

party time!!!! whoaaaaaa!!!!!

evil2's avatar

hate is a scary thing, what surprises me is that my so many people can be so closeminded and obscene in that hatred. I think if we took the stance they did and tried to criminalize christianity as a religion filled with hatred and intolerance their would be a civil war a jihad of sorts. I am truly glad i live in canada where these groups have not yet gotten a foothold like in the states.. Hopefully we can start to teach our kids about intolerance and stop these kinds of hate groups from flourishing…

augustlan's avatar

@Nullo Seriously? If so, can you tell us why?

loser's avatar

Not friends of mine!

cookieman's avatar

I would love to laugh these idiots off, but the fact that they raise so much money and have corporate support makes me sad (and a little frightened).

ucme's avatar

They make the Brady Bunch & the Ingalls life members, no?

Factotum's avatar

I personally support at least some deregulation of the oil industry.

I oppose the the Employee Free Choice Act as it removes the secret ballot from the process which leaves employees open to pressure from the union people – much as I would oppose making people vote for the President of the US by declaring their choice in public. We have ballot booths for a reason.

Some equal-rights laws are good. Some aren’t.

Anti-hate-crime legislation is crap as far as I’m concerned as it is a subjective crime glued onto an objective crime designed for more jail time. More than that, it doesn’t provide equal protection under the law since those who apply it assume only certain groups will suffer from hate crimes. It is always a mistake to criminalize feelings or thoughts or words.

In no way do I support the things I haven’t mentioned and in no way do I support the AFA except that they have the same right to exist as the KKK, and Act-Up.

Nullo's avatar

@augustlan
Short answer is that they stand for a conservative worldview, and we conservative types need all the support we can get in this hostile, liberal-dominated culture. They are one of the fortresses (and occasional victims) in the Great Culture War.

I’m saving up my alertness to provide a longer answer.

DominicX's avatar

@Nullo

Yes, and they also stand for anti-Semitism. The president of the AFA is quoted as saying the “media is controlled by Jews”. You don’t really buy into an organization without knowing everything about them, do you?

Nullo's avatar

@DominicX
The president can talk about the media being run by Jews until he turns purple from anoxia, but if he’s reliable on actual conservative points (and I’ve never heard of an AFA action against Jews) the organization is a better ally than enemy. We all have our shortcomings, do we not?

The AFA’s approach is to control symptoms rather than to change minds; a more defensive strategy. Whatever the president’s notions about who runs the media, the actual focus is on getting the objectionable content off the air.

I could not find your quote anywhere, but some enterprising soul on Wikipedia synthesized a number of sources into this:

“Wildmon has stated that he believes obscene content on television and in movies is a result of the media being controlled by Jews, who intentionally place anti-Christian messages and activities into their programming to undermine Christianity.”

Given past behavior, the AFA won’t do anything about the supposed Jews that supposedly run the media, either because of inclination or inability to act. But they will ask people to make life miserable for the various television stations.

augustlan's avatar

Conservative need not equal hatred. This group seems pretty damn hateful, to me.

DominicX's avatar

But God hates fags, @augustlan :)

@Nullo

Of course there’s nothing wrong with conservative values (despite the fact that I may never agree with them; I will do everything I can to fight against groups such as these that wish to make my love for my boyfriend a crime), but groups like this just come off to me as the typical “right wing wacko” group. Why can’t a group support Christian values without anti-Semitism and crap like that? (They also claimed raising children in the Jewish faith leads to criminal lifestyles). Why do groups such as these always want to censor and control other people? Why can’t they just let other people live their own life? I may support liberalism, but I don’t want to censor conservative media nor do I want to make going to church a crime or something like that. Nor do I want to make it illegal for groups like these to exist.

Groups like these are about control (fascism) and since we all do not agree on everything, there are going to be people who resist being controlled and I say more power to them.

Nullo's avatar

@augustlan
They’re not actually all that hateful; a lot of it is your perspective and the fact that your judgment may be colored from the various “conservatives are teh eeeeevil!” messages that crop up now and then.
@DominicX
As I said, the antisemitism seems to be a personal quirk of the president, and not reflected by the organization as a whole. The AFA, like every single other activist group, wants to make a better environment for its fellows.

So government (or people!) as a concept is fascistic? They want control too, you know. It’s the rare vegetable that doesn’t want control over someone, if only to improve his own lot.

DominicX's avatar

@Nullo

The difference is that the AFA wants control over aspects of people’s personal lives that don’t infringe on another person’s freedom.

evil2's avatar

it amazes me that people’s thoughts are still controlled by an imaginary being in the sky…talk about my nightmares coming true…zombies are among us

lonelydragon's avatar

As others have said, the AFA doesn’t live up to its name, since it is focusing more on religious and political issues and less on strictly family related issues. The name is kind of presumptuous, anyway, because it implies that the group speaks for all families. It doesn’t.

@Nullo

I don’t know about the statement that they’re not hateful. If the story about the Virginia Tech video is true, then I’d say that’s a good example of hate (or at least a lack of compassion towards the victims and their families).

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
An organization and its president are pretty synonymous. I would not support an organization if its leader held views diametrically opposed to mine or if they were against its supposed spirit.

SeventhSense's avatar

I remember back in the late eighties when I happened to read Wildmon’s newsletter. In one issue, addressed of course to mainly conservative sincere folks, many who are elderly, he commented about the utter degradation of NBC and the use of the word penis being used like 50 times one night. The irony is that he framed it like they were filming gang bangs at NBC when in fact it was a skit from Saturday Night Live. from the late eighties. Of course the show didn’t even show nudity and was quite innocent. But he uses such inflammatory methods for political gain and to get financial support for the organization not unlike Bill Reilly or Glenn Beck.

And there is an animosity between some groups and Jewish filmmakers which goes back to the time of the first ratings groups in the early 20th century. They were naturally at odds, being that one wanted free reign of creative expression and one wanted to prevent an erosion to their values at the hands of a much more alluring alternative.

But if one truly believes in something they must be able to hold those beliefs in the face of temptation and antipathy, not by eradicating it. ”be in the world but not of the world” as the man said.

The Amish are perhaps the most conservative in the country and they are quite content in their beliefs. But rather than force their children the choice of following the world’s ways or theirs, they give them the option. And that is really what it’s all about. The freedom to choose. For without choice in religious views or political ones, there really is no difference in the spirit of the two sides but simply different weapons of choice.

Nullo's avatar

Running a search for “AFA, criminalization of homosexuality” turns up the Wikipedia article about the AFA and articles quoting the Wikipedia entry. Nowhere on the AFA website is this an expressed goal.
Checking the citation on the Wikipedia entry yields one working result: the American Family Association filed a brief of amicus curiae for the court case of Lawrence v. Texas, arguing that the court should not strike down an existing statute that prohibited sodomy. It shared company with similar letters from Attorneys General of various states.

@DominicX
There is an expression: give them an inch, and they’ll walk all over you. The AFA seems to want to prevent conventional values – and their adherents – from being dragged through the mud by supporting them at every opportunity.

@SeventhSense
Behold! An AFA Press Release!
Poking around a bit more, I got the impression that the president is not anti-semitic in the general sense.

@lonelydragon
Faith and politics have a direct and immediate impact on family. Hence their concern.

lonelydragon's avatar

@Nullo By faith, I assume you mean the Christian faith, correct? Not all American families are Christian (or even religious). So, it would seem, the organization can’t claim to represent families as a whole.

evil2's avatar

it amazes me that “christians” quote old testament to back themselves up on attacks on homosexuality as a former christian i am well aware that Jesus came to teach love and acceptance but where is that in the christian reform movement?

Nullo's avatar

@lonelydragon
I was indeed using faith to refer to Christianity. I felt it appropriate in the case of the AFA.

@evil2
The “love” part is easy enough to source, but where do you get “acceptance”? We’re supposed to turn from sin, after all, not accept it.
In Matthew 5:17, Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill.” The Old Testament – specifically, the Law – is useful for determining what things are sins to be turned from, and what things are not.

evil2's avatar

@Nullo for sure hate the sin but he indeed accepted matthew who was the worst of the worst
or of timothy

15Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 16But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his unlimited patience as an example for those who would believe on him and receive eternal life.

laureth's avatar

I know it’s off topic, but there’s that pesky problem of choosing to hate some sinners (gay people) but not all the others mentioned in the OT. Is the AFA also against the eating of shrimp and mixed fiber clothes, for example? I mean, really, if the OT is useful for determining what things are sins to be turned from, you might as well use it to the fullest extent, as God intended.

lonelydragon's avatar

@laureth Great point. Whenever I’ve brought up this issue, the response is invariably, “Clothing and dietary restrictions are part of the old law. Christians don’t follow that anymore.” But in Matthew 5:17–20, Jesus said that he had not come to abolish the law. So even the Bible seems to endorse the all or nothing approach.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
And that is exactly what I am talking about. That is the type of bad reporting and rumor mill nonsense that separates little old ladies from their pensions. The whole idea of a national Islamic day of prayer was False. As can be seen by this article by snopes. In fact photographs showing him removing his shoes to pray were from a mosque in Istanbul. Any good art history major can note those arches are certainly ogival or Gothic style arches typical in an Islamic mosque. Wow. Imagine a president actually showing respect to a foreign nation’s custom. What a concept.
And for the record we have a long history in this country of presidents entertaining religious leaders from the Pope to Billy Graham. Quite honestly what they participate in according to the dictates of their own beliefs or respect is their own business but representing the nation under any creed or religion is not in the national interest. But when in Rome….

Nullo's avatar

@SeventhSense
I believe that you have managed to miss my point. An anti-semitic organization would not even care about the President supporting an anti-semitic holiday, or perhaps would be gleeful about it.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
That’s a stretch. Their purpose in that accusation was not so much to support the Jews as much as demonize the president. But either way, can they be said to have anything less than a self serving political agenda when they stoop to such levels? They will use anything at their disposal to justify their cause. They use pseudo science, pseudo religion, and unfounded accusations in their belief that the ends justify the means.

Nullo's avatar

@SeventhSense
I see that you reached for the Snopes without even reading the article. The only time that the press release mentions Barack Obama is in the header
“Will President Obama support an anti-Semitic, anti-American Islamic day of prayer?”

and the closing paragraph:
“Bryan Fischer, noted that President Obama has barely acknowledged the Christian heritage of the United States, refusing to participate in the National Day of Prayer and issuing only a perfunctory proclamation which he was required to do by law. Yet he has hosted a dinner celebrating what he called “the Holy Month of Ramadan” in the White House, and recently issued a proclamation at the end of Ramadan which concluded with an Arabic blessing.”,

and every single thing said about him in those places checks out. There are no photos attached.
The rest of the article is about the event and its organizers. The event either happened, or came very close to happening:
The Huffington Post
Fox News
The event’s webpage
factcheck.org
CNN.com
The part about Hassen Ibn Abdellah checks out. All of it, with the possible exception of the quote, whose date and location I was not able to find. It gets quoted fairly often, though. I even made sure to use notoriously liberal sources.
The imam also seems to check out, though he is unfortunately not vocal enough to merit more than one canned newspaper article. Searching for his attributed quotes yields far more information than I feel like sorting through, though you are more than welcome to do so.

@lonelydragon
@laureth
“Not under the old Law” is both simpler and varying degrees of true, hence its popularity.
But we don’t just throw the Law out altogether. “I have not come to destroy the law” and all that.
The Mosaic Law can be divided into three major interlocking categories: ceremonial, civil, and moral.
The ceremonial parts (particularly with regard to things like sacrifices) no longer applies because of Jesus’ death (a sort of infinitely big “sacrifice to end all sacrifices) and resurrection. The civil parts -things like dealing with interpersonal conflicts and how far away you go from camp to do your business, don’t have much traction outside of ancient Israel -jurisdiction and such.
The moral parts of the Law are the core from which the civil and ceremonial parts were derived, things like prohibitions of theft, blasphemy, and having unnatural relations. That part reflects God’s morality, and is the meat on the metaphorical bones of the civil and ceremonial branches.

And at no point are we told to hate the sinner. Certainly, we are to cast out the unrepentant sinner, expel the immoral brother, but not hate him. In the Old Testament, the penalty for homosexual relations was expulsion from society (but not stoned or otherwise physically wounded); in the nomadic period, it meant getting kicked out of the camp. Unchecked aberrant behavior would get Israel expelled from the Promised Land.

@evil2
Paul (who you seemed to have in mind when you wrote Matthew) – like all who would be saved – repented. The debt of sin is paid for you, but you must accept the conditions in order for the contract to be binding.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
Please spare me the rhetoric and SO WHAT if he acknowledged Ramadan. Is that not recognizing prayer? Oh it’s only Christian prayer.. And I’m glad he’s not acknowledging these right wing whack jobs and their pressure on the office of the President to acknowledge their deep seated prejudice. So now he hates Christians and Jews? Oh but wait can these Jews pray in the White House? How about Buddhists?

I guess Bush had a hat trick because he hated all three and he did it with a shit eatin’ ignorant grin all the while; Arabs, Jews and Americans since he killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis in an unprovoked act of carnal vengeance, jeopardized the very safety of Israel by increasing animosity between the Arab and Jewish world, sent Americans into harm’s way and we continue to reap body bags. Your flip flopping is getting tiresome in backing these ignoramuses. The nation is NOT only Christian but a melting pot of many cultures and religions. And I would concur that neither do I find any of the sentiments of the American Fucking Assholes to be in keeping with the teachings of Jesus Christ.

These hawks know nothing but bloodshed and misery and I pity them.

Nullo's avatar

@SeventhSense
You have completely wandered off-topic.
I posted a news release that indicated that the AFA wasn’t anti-semitic.
You zoom off on how zomg, the article’s based on bad information it’s false was proven false by snopes waaah!
I tell you that you missed the point, and proceed to defend the AFA news release to preserve their credibility and through that some of my own.
You mistook that for me harping on about the President and his acknowledgment of Ramadan, the National Day of Prayer, etc. and then start yapping about Bush and how eeeeeeevil he is. You seem to be venting your leftist hate, or trying to provoke some kind of response from me, or maybe you’re just doing your taxes?

What irrelevancy will you haul out next? Aliens? Wisconsin cheeses? The relative merits of salt vs. sand in improving wintertime road conditions?

SeventhSense's avatar

@Nullo
I posted a news release that indicated that the AFA wasn’t anti-semitic.
No you posted an article about the AFA’S attempt to brand the president as antisemitic. Quite a glaring difference.
In fact their first sentence is as inflammatory as any National Enquirer or NY Post headline:
“Will President Obama support an anti-Semitic, anti-American Islamic day of prayer?”
This is attempting to insinuate in a weasely way the unfounded premises that he is both anti Semitic and anti-American and sway an audience. Any lawyer would object to this type of language in a court of law in a heartbeat. And likewise any intelligent person bristles at it like a used car salesman with his arm around you..

Nullo's avatar

@SeventhSense
Don’t you think that it’s a little odd, for me to answer a challenge to the AFA’s view of semitic tolerance with an attack on the President? You and I both know that Barry is irrelevant to the discussion; are you that easily derailed? Can you not understand the implications of the article as it pertains to semitism?
Whatever the intentions of the news release, I was using its content for my own purposes: to demonstrate that the AFA is pro-semite. I had thought at the time that the context (pro- and anti-semitism) was sufficient. Of course, I’ve learned to pay particular attention to context.

The news release itself was designed to get concerned persons to watch the President, by suggesting that he would support an Islamic event when he did not support Judeo-Christian events. Watching could be itself a deterrent, which would suit the AFA’s goals; otherwise, watching would help people build their own opinions about Obama. If he were to support it, it would confirm some of their suspicions and indicate a need for a campaign, and if he ignored the event or paid it the minimal attention reserved for other religious events, no more outcry would be necessary.
Acceptance of the article has nothing to do with intelligence; the determining factor is whether you care or not. You have nothing at stake, so you can afford to be dismissive and treat the business as foolishness. But many, many others have invested a lot in their faith, and wouldn’t want to see that threatened.

crazyivan's avatar

@Nullo I admire your willingness to jump right into an argument when you know that everyone is going to be against you. That being said, I’m so against you. First of all, let’s tackle the whole “It’s the president who is anti-semetic, not the group.”

Lame, lame, lame. Sorry bro, but any organization worth its salt would expel a president who made clearly bigoted remarks unless they tacitly approved of those viewpoints. In fact, the simple fact that they did not expel the president upon uncovering those remarks is proof that they do support those extreme views.

But that’s not my beef with the argument. I want to go back to a statement that I hear constantly from conservatives about the “Christian” founding of this nation. It’s such monumental BS. The people in this country were less religious back in the 18th century. I’d like to toss out a few quotes from our “Christian” founding fathers:

Thomas Jefferson:
“I have examined all the known superstitions of the world and I do not find
in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature. They
are all alike founded on fables and mythology. Millions of innocent men,
women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been
burnt, tortured, fined, and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this
coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites; to
support roguery and error all over the earth.”

John Adams:
“The doctrine of the divinity of Jesus is made a convenient cover for
absurdity.”

Thomas Freaking Paine:
“It is the duty of every true Diest to vindicate the moral justice of God
against the evils of the Bible.”

James Madison:
“What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on
civil society? In many instances they have been upholding the thrones of
political tyrrany. In no instance have they been seen as the guardians of
the liberties of the people. Rulers who wished to subvert the public liberty
have found in the clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government,
instituted to secure and perpetuate liberty, does not need the clergy.”

Sound like a bunch of bible-thumpers to you?

peridot's avatar

To respond to the OP: Any time I hear of a new group with the word “family” in it, I assume the behaviors you listed are going to be the meat of that group’s reason for existence. Funny how often this assumption turns out right upon investigation.

Such groups ought to be very, very proud of themselves for giving the word “family” such a negative connotation. Great work, guys!

GracieT's avatar

@crazyivan, I appreciate all of the quotes you’ve presented about the “Christian” founders of the US. My husband and I belong to an Evangelistic church. We have to bite our tongues often because we hear untruths presented many times as the “gospel truth”. One of the favorites spoken most often by one of our friends is that this nation needs to “return to it’s roots”, when the roots in question are of course that America was founded to be a Christian nation. It has gotten bad enough that we may have to find another small group within our larger church that is not so right-wing. When we lived in another town which also had a group involved in the larger church the people held views closer to our own, so we know that we are not the only ones that struggle to keep our mouths shut!

laureth's avatar

Why keep your mouth shut, in that circumstance?

augustlan's avatar

@GracieT Why not change churches?

GracieT's avatar

@augustlan, My husband and I first encountered this church back in 1996. It appealed to us because while it was evangelistic it believed in having relationships with people, with becoming part of a person’s life, of actually participating in the joys and sorrows of an individuals life instead of merely presenting the Gospel. We feel that if a person is starving the proper thing to do is feed them, work to ensure their future well being, and only then presenting the Gospel. When we first encountered this church it was in the same city that we live in now. The first HomeGroup we encountered here and then the HomeGroup in the city that we moved to both felt that a person’s political beliefs were not something that needed to be talked about, broadcast, discussed for any reason. We actually did share the views of some of the people in both groups, but we didn’t talk about them. It wasn’t part of what we did. However, upon returning back to the city in which we first encountered the church we became envolved in a HomeChurch in which the majority of the members held beliefs that were the opposite of the ones we hold. For me (the woman) the problem has not been an issue, because all of us decided that it wasn’t a problem. My husband, however, has encountered a culture in which politics is a common topic of conversation and the majority of members hold extremely biased views and are quick to isolate and vilifi people that do not share their opinions.
We do not want to leave this church because you are actually encouraged in the larger church anyway! To use the brain God gave you and to understand what it is you believe and why you believe it instead of just accepting what you are told and never examining it and understanding it. In this fellowship you are encouraged to become part of the lives of your fellow HomeGroup members, to celebrate with them as well as to stand with them in times of sorrow, to actually know each other and to become friends with them. Until this happened we (or at least I!) were happy and content and sought to be involved.

augustlan's avatar

That does seem like a reasonable church, in the larger sense. Maybe your husband can just say “no political talk”?

GracieT's avatar

He doesn’t seem able to form friendships with the men. I have a feeling that it is mainly because they are ALL (him included!) prone to talking
about how they feel regarding
the political issues of the day.
I don’t have any close friends
here that feel the same way
politically that I do, but we all
know that and do not discuss
how we feel. I am friends with
a woman that does share my
opinions, but we are on
opposite ends of the country
(the US). Now when I get annoyed with or disturbed by the feelings of my friends here, I can email or call her. She is in a similar situation and we can commiserate.

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