Monday, October 8, 2012

Focus on the Family sucks at predicting the future

Posted By on Mon, Oct 8, 2012 at 5:55 PM

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Shortly before the 2008 election, Focus on the Family's "family advocacy organization" CitizenLink, then called Focus on the Family Action, put out an interesting piece of work called "Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America." It's the usual list of evils and ills the grossly unimaginative folk on Explorer Drive spew on a near-daily basis, this batch supposedly set to come at the hands of then-Sen. Barack Obama. Of course, this one's hilariously self-centered. (More on that below.)

Now, you're probably thinking that the coming rage against the Focus machine is undeserved, because sometimes they act like Jesus would. But I'm fresh off reading a blog post by Jim Daly, the company's CEO, where he writes "the term 'marriage equality' is a loaded term that’s been co-opted by same-sex marriage supporters" — as if the inability of two groups of Americans to achieve the same result is anything but unequal. So I'm inclined.

Fortunately, as tipped to us by our former intern, Wyatt Miller, writer Libby Anne got there first, following up on all that fear.

In other words, the purpose of this letter is to scare evangelicals — especially younger evangelicals — out of voting for Obama and convince them to vote for [John] McCain. Here are some excerpts regarding the changes that were supposedly going to happen over the four years following 2008 if Barack Obama was elected (the things that will happen are numbered, and I have maintained that numbering):

(1) The Boy Scouts no longer exist as an organization. They chose to disband rather than be forced to obey the Supreme Court decision that they would have to hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.

That didn’t happen. The Boy Scouts still discriminate against gay people, and no one is stopping them. They also discriminate against atheists, which means my eagle scout husband will not be able to enroll our son Bobby in boy scouts.

Read on for more brilliance — like, "Nope, actually, schools are still generally unsafe places for LGBTQ youth ... committing suicide because of the abuse they face, not just from other students but sometimes even from teachers" — from Anne. In the meantime, here's Fred Clark's take:

Re-reading the Focus letter four years later, what strikes me most — besides how utterly wrong they are about everything — is how parochial their imagination is when attempting to envision a political dystopia. The horrors they predict are almost all narrowly targeted at and tailored toward them. I’ve read a ton of dystopian stories, good and bad, and this is the most cluelessly self-absorbed vision of its kind that I’ve ever seen.

Maybe my favorite part of the letter is prediction No. 18: “Pornographic magazines are openly displayed in gas stations, grocery stores and on newsstands.” I can’t figure out which is more laughably wrong — that this is what they imagine is the real secret agenda of President Obama and his party, or that anyone in 2008 was looking ahead to 2012 and predicting boom times for print media.

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