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Focus on the Family Cuts Jobs

Photo credit: Jeff Fusco (Getty Images)Businesses have surely felt the impact of the US economic crisis. This pain has also spread to the non-profit sector as well. While on the whole that is a bad thing, I cannot express dismay at news that Focus on the Family is cutting jobs and their entire operating budget.

While not a significant portion of their budget by any means, Focus spent half a million dollars campaigning against California’s Proposition 8, which, in case you have been without electricity for the last year, was the ballot initiative that passed defining marriage as strictly between one man and one woman. Perhaps that $500,000 could have been spent on better things? Hell, certificates of deposit are earning upwards of 3.5% depending on where you get them.

The majority of the Focus budget is used to spread “marriage and family advice” on the internet, in print magazines, and over the radio airwaves. How much is their 2009 budget? $138 million. That’s after the cuts. I know this is chump change for many organizations out there, but it still frightens me that there is a non-church organization whose sole purpose is to indoctrinate others and they have $138 million with which to do it.

Let’s hope the next job to be cut is Dobson’s.

An Exchange on Gay Marriage

The following text was posted on Facebook.com. I stumbled upon it through a friend of a friend, and commented appropriately. I know it is a bit lengthy, but I wanted to leave the text intact to give you the whole package. I’ve added emphasis in some of the parts that I touch on in my reply.

Well, ladies and gentlemen, we all know it’s coming: the day that you either walk down that aisle or watch that woman walk towards you. The world today has so many opinions about how to ‘officially’ define marriage (we know what the definition is) these days: gay, bi, poly, mono, etc. (it is truly rediculous). I’d like to share some ideas on this subject.

First of all, as I have stated in earlier notes, marriage is ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN– this is the definition according to God and the Holy Scriptures comprised into One Holy Bible, consisting of an Old and New Testament. Anyhow, this union is under constant attacks increasing in power and ability, as well as tactfulness. We need to stand up against these and defend what marriage is and testify that all other so called definitions are wrong.

Now for the main topic of this note (aka the title), I want to talk about the beauty of this concept of marriage. People talk about a ‘One and Only’ concept that says that there is one person that is out there for you. Agreed, the goal is to marry one man/woman and live with him/her for your entire life. I would like to disavow the ‘one and only one person for me and all other people are out of luck’ theory, which says that the person you will marry is there and no matter what you do, you will marry this person (I have to be careful when talking about this because a very thin line separates truth from fiction).

I say that the beauty of marriage is that it is a CHOICE: a CHOICE as to whom you will marry, a CHOICE to stay with them and devote yourself to them, a CHOICE to love them, etc. I will now expound on this.

The beauty of marriage is that you get to CHOOSE to marry one person and devote yourself to them for all of life. The beauty comes from “(Insert your man or woman’s name here), out of everyone on this planet God has made, I CHOOSE to marry you and to live this ONE life with YOU and YOU ALONE! I DEVOTE myself ONLY TO YOU, in sickness, health, sadness, joy, rich, poor, on the mountain tops, in the valleys, NO MATTER WHAT!!! I do not have the ‘cheat sheet’ for life; I do not know where He will lead us. I will do my best to believe in, cherish, appreciate, always make time for, and always love with the love God gives me to give to you.”

God WILL provide IF WE ASK HIM TO AND LET HIM people! So, I challenge everyone to ask of Him who gives and see where He leads you (Trust me: He can open doors which you NEVER thought possible (all you have to do is TRUST Him). I will admit, I do not know where He wants me to be or whom He wishes me to be with at this time, but that does not mean that I stop building relationships, because one of these He will allow to flourish despite ALL obstacles into a lifelong happiness.

Go forth and be blessed!

My Response:

“I say that the beauty of marriage is that it is a CHOICE: a CHOICE as to whom you will marry, a CHOICE to stay with them and devote yourself to them, a CHOICE to love them, etc.”

How can you exalt choice when you seek to deny loving couples the option to marry because it defies a 2000+ year old definition? Let us not forget that the same book of the Bible that frowns on “man laying with man as with a woman” also condemns the wearing of blended fabrics and the eating of shellfish.

The human genome has shown us where our hair color, eye color, etc is developed, and as more research is done on the X/Y chromosome, I believe that you will see that gender identity and sexual orientation are not a conscious act of abomination, but a pattern no more changeable than hair or eye color.

By urging the fight against same-sex unions, you do nothing but create a culture of fear and anger against homosexuals and create division in a world that is already full of hostility.

His Private Reply:

First off, I would like to thank you for posting on my note (I do apprecate all resonses and discussions). Can I make something clear to you please? As we know, the Bible condemns homosexual actions; it does not, however, condemn the homosexual himself or herself. We are supposed to love one another as He loves us (He does not hate you or anyone – He hates the sins). So, I do not hate people for the sins they commit (trust me man, I got a list of my own daily). I just wanted to make it clear that even though I do not advocate homosexual marriage (it is not marriage after all – I was making the point that marriage is a choice within God’s laws and the way He designed it), I do not condemn anyone, ok? Some find that hard to believe (and sometimes my human nature gets the better of me), but I try my best to not judge someone for their sins because, if I do, I am judged by the same measure which I was using to judge (aka if I judge you for your sins, then God is going to judge me for mine – I sin daily, so I would not be able to withstand judgment without the blood of Christ, which covers and erases ALL transgressions). I do apologize if I came across like I hate homosexuals (this was not the intention); I was making it clear where I personally stand on the issue and making it known what I believe. Thanks again for responding to my note and have a great weekend.

My rebuttal:

Thank you for responding. I realize the note was old and did not know if you would even see my comment.

I think where we differ is that the definition of marriage given by the Bible and the legal institution of marriage in the United States are not the same thing. While many marriages are sanctioned by and overseen by churches, other marriages take place in front of a judge or justice of the peace not for the fancy thrills, but so that the legal benefits of marriage will be recognized.

Death benefits, tax benefits, custody issues, and other legal quandaries currently present greater frustration to homosexual couples than heterosexual couples because their union is not legally recognized. Love should conquer tradition in this situation and let willing couples join in a legally binding union.

If you sin daily and Christ’s blood covers all of your transgressions, then will it not cover the daily transgressions of homosexuals? The fact that someone defines themselves as “saved” does not infer that they will cease sinning, as most would agree. How then do the transgressions of homosexuals (i.e. their acts) differ from the daily trangressions of you or I?

In 2006, there were over 2.2 million marriages. Also, since the 1980’s there have been approximately 1.2 million couples file for divorce per year. With these staggering statistics, and this large of a percentage of God-supported marriages ending in divorce, should love and the bond between humans not count for a little more than just the sex of the two people involved?

No further response from the fundie…

You see, life was all good when he had only his ancient text to refer to. Clinging to the quotes of people whose bones have long since disintegrated is a weak defense. When presented with statistics, which are easily verifiable, reproduceable, and FACTITIOUS, and logical arguments like “love > ancient scripts”, today’s sound-bite Christian has little to say.

You Gotta Be Yoking

Is this what Christians seek? Inclusion through exclusion?Whoever said, “Better to be hated for who you are than loved for who you are not,” obviously wasn’t an atheist looking for a relationship in a world full of people who think atheists are the worst scum of the earth.

In Chapter 6 of Second Corinthians, beginning with Verse 14, Paul says, “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers for what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

Thanks a ton, Paul, for creating such a vivid dichotomy 2000 years ago that continues to fuck over nice people like myself in the real world. Let’s see, what could a nonbeliever like myself possibly have in common with a Christian girl? How about mutual respect for humanity? How about a love of politics, nature, and law? Nope! None of those things matter. The fact that she believes in a supreme being and I don’t is enough to dissolve those connections.

It truly saddens me that in what I believe to be a pretty educated and reasonable age, people still put so much stock in the tall tales of men who walked the earth two millennia ago.

I don’t dislike the girls who hold these beliefs; I dislike the institution that ingrains antiquated notions of good and evil into decent people’s minds.

Subservience of Women

What better move to make when writing the bible than to include a post to keep women in submission for all of time than to include the obligatory “men are better than women” verse.

The first epistle to Timothy brings us this travesty.

In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works. Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

1 Tim 2:9-15, KJV

I’m sorry. FUCK THAT. While I agree that some girls dress like complete sluts, I don’t think that less-than-modest clothing is a sign of a lack of self respect. I also don’t think that everything from the 2nd century C.E. still applies today. Want to be subservient to your husband? Want to follow his every wish? MOVE TO IRAQ! You can be fully pious in your desires there in your burqa. Oh don’t worry about messing up and accidentally dressing like a whore. You only get one shot over there.