All in the Family 

Street Smarts

Focus on the Family has been in town for about 20 years. Though the organization does some admirable work, like its "Wait No More" initiative to help encourage adoption of foster children, its contributions to public discourse have tested the patience of many.

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Riley Calvert from the Broadmoor area is a restaurant employee

When you hear "Focus on the Family," what comes to mind? Not good things. I don't know if I really like what they promote. I'm not a big fan of the whole religious thing, and I think they're a bit extreme and a little hypocritical.

How do you think its presence benefits the community, if at all? The only thing I can say is they have a nice facility where families can go. That's really about it.

What would you say is the best family environment for a foster child? Obviously supporting and loving. I don't know if religion necessarily needs to be in it, especially if they're promoting stuff like gay-bashing.

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Cindy Brown Bair from Briargate is an artist

How do you think Focus on the Family is benefiting the community? I'm sure they're providing employment.

What do you think about its anti-gay stance on marriage? I've been a Christian all my life, and my reading of the Bible is that Jesus talked a lot about love, and that Christianity is a whole lot about loving and taking care of people. They apparently read something different.

What do you think the best family environment is for a foster child? I think the best environment for a foster-care child is going to be someplace where the parent loves them and wants to do what's best for the child.

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Natalie Rahhal from downtown is a restaurant employee

When you hear "Focus on the Family," what comes to mind? It just seemed a little bit like it pressured people into holding certain values, and it seemed pretty strict to me.

How do you think Focus benefits the community? For people who are of the Christian faith and who are looking for an education that's holistic for the whole family, I can definitely see how it benefits that kind of individual or group.

How do you feel about its anti-gay-marriage stance? It's preventing a lot of progression. It's a well-respected organization in the circles that follow it, and it's just a shame that they have such a scope of influence in that negative way. I hate to see something that could be used for good go to supporting a cause that's just taking us back in time, frankly.


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