August 12, 2008

Focus on the Family thinks they're funny...

...but they are just a joke.

Case in point, this video that went up on their website today.

They have since pulled the video.

It's one thing for Rush or Hannity to make this kind of joke. Neither of them is an overtly Christian organization. This kind of humor demonstrates a pretty clear attitude that they've decided not only is their a correct "Christian candidate" but also that they'd rather you not hear what the enemy has to say.

It's not that I can't take a joke. But when it comes to FOTF, they have got a lot of work to do to be seen in this world as anything other than blindly polemical and intolerant of views (largely extra-Biblical ones at that) other than their own.

This kind of stunt doesn't help. It may play well with the Christians who are already swallowing all FOTF is dishing out, but to the rest of the world, it makes Christians look mean and arrogant.

They're praying for rain in order to get the best man for the job. I'm praying for informed voters making wise choices. I guess that's the essence of the difference.


Shannon said...

Sometimes I wonder if my Knowing Jesus Study Bible was translated by illiterate dope fiends because nowhere can I find a single instance in which Jesus was mean and yet consistently groups such as Focus on the Family tell me they're all about Jesus while denigrating me--and that feels pretty mean from my point of view.

I hope you realize, Dan Buck, that good folks like you speaking with a generous and kind voice do matter.

The Dada Drummer said...

Oh! Oh! Call on me! I know a great example of Jesus being mean in the Bible. Check out Matthew 23! Here are the highlights:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness...You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence...You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men's bones and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness...You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?"

Wow! That's mean! Jesus got REALLY hacked off at the Pharisees! They were those folks in his community who were very attached to their identity as the "right" people. They idolized their own group's interpretation of scripture, but they failed to obey the spirit of God's law. And they were too self-satisfied to really notice God when he showed up. Jesus has little patience for THAT.

See, Shannon, you were TOTALLY off the mark.


Peter T Chattaway said...

Dan, you wrote:

"They're praying for rain in order to get the best man for the job."

I'm not so sure I'd word it this way. James Dobson was pretty vocal in his opposition to John McCain during the primaries. Maybe he and his followers have decided to run with the lesser of two evils, but I don't see this as a pro-McCain move, just an anti-Obama move.

Incidentally, did you hear about the recently unearthed evidence which suggests that Obama was lying about his reasons for voting against that anti-infanticide bill? The reasons he gave in the first place were never all that good, but this, uh, makes it more difficult for pro-lifers to say he really isn't all that pro-abortion, or that he had the best intentions, etc.

Shannon said...

Dada Drummer--

The illiterate dope fiends must've redacted that section from my Bible. :)

Wow, that Jesus sure rocks!

Side note:

I have such vivid memories of being on a footsteps of Paul tour of Greece and Turkey and the Meditteranean islands during the 2000 election. We were a big group from my former church sharing a guided tour with a big Southern Baptist group from Atlanta. Out of a group of some sixty, only two of us voted for Gore. Of course, we gravitated toward each other--she being an older Southern black woman (the only African American in our group) and me being the only gay (albeit closeted amongst that crowd). The group started out just teasing us for voting for Gore as we tried to snatch tidbits of news as to just who had won the election from brief glimpses of tvs tuned to CNN here and there on our tours. The teasing turned to serious chastising for not voting "Christian." The experience was quite upsetting for us both...

Shannon said...

I wrote fast between appointments so want to super clarify that all the people I toured with were wonderful folks. Don't want it to come across as me dissing on Southern Baptists or Christians. I think the tension was heightened by the drama and uncertainty of that particular election. Just find it a weird point of view to consider voting for Gore "unchristian"...

Peter T Chattaway said...

I dunno, if people vote for a guy because their racial or sexual subcultures vote en masse for that guy, then it seems only fair that people should be able to vote for a guy because their religious subculture is voting en masse for him. I agree that tribal voting blocs are a lousy way to pick a candidate, but that argument cuts both ways. (And of course, Obama owes much of his own political success to his insistence on "unity" and his efforts to stifle disagreement among African-American politicians when he was a state senator.)

DAN BUCK said...

I suppose it's not surprising that people groups who are drawn together share values that may lead them to a similar candidate. I suppose what's so offensive about Christians is that they assume we'll all choose the same candidate even though Christendom encompasses a wide swatch of value priority sets. Ultimately, I think I'm offended when Christians assume I am just like them because I call myself a Christian, in fact, it seems some believe that to be a Christian means being just like them. And me and Dobson aren't exactly ideoligcal clones.

DAN BUCK said...

That "swatch" should be "swath"

Peter T Chattaway said...

"I suppose what's so offensive about Christians is that they assume we'll all choose the same candidate even though Christendom encompasses a wide swath of value priority sets."

Well, that's what's "so offensive about blacks", too. Or at least -- since there is more than one kind of black, just as there is more than one kind of Christian -- that's what's "so offensive about" people like Obama:

A Chicago Defender story of 1999 features a front-page picture of Obama beside the headline, "Obama: Illinois Black Caucus is broken." In the accompanying article, although Obama denies demanding that black legislators march in perfect lockstep, he expresses anger that black state senators have failed to unite for the purpose of placing a newly approved riverboat casino in a minority neighborhood. The failed casino vote, Obama argues, means that the black caucus "is broken and needs to unite for the common good of the African-American community." Obama continues, "The problem right now is that we don't have a unified agenda that's enforced back in the community and is clearly articulated. Everybody tends to be lone agents in these situations."

Speaking in reply to Obama was Mary E. Flowers, an African-American state senator who apparently broke black caucus discipline and voted to approve the casino's location in a nonminority area. Said Flowers: "The Black Caucus is from different tribes, different walks of life. I don't expect all of the whites to vote alike.  .  .  .  Why is it that all of us should walk alike, talk alike and vote alike?  .  .  .  I was chosen by my constituents to represent them, and that is what I try to do." Given Obama's supposedly post-racial politics, it is notable that he should be the one demanding enforcement of a black political agenda against "lone agents," while another black legislator appeals to Obama to leave her free to represent her constituents, black or white, as she sees fit.

DAN BUCK said...

Oh. You got me. I should have said, "I suppose what's so offensive about FOTF Christians..." or better yet, "what's so offensive is when any Christian..."

The articles you keep citing aren't worth comment.

Peter T Chattaway said...

Really? Why not?

Or would that be a "comment"? ;)

DAN BUCK said...

Well. To be honest if you picked a candidate to support it would be quite easy and just as "helpful" for me to scour the internet for anybody claiming he's been duplicitous or inconsistent.

And I'd wonder about you and your free time if you actually tried to answer every disparate claim I brought to your attenton.

Maybe that's exactly the kind of exchange that excites you or makes you believe we're getting closer to the truth. But if it is I don't feel the same way.

I respect your intellect, but the kind of fight you're trying to pick sounds as interesting to me as well... John McCain. :)

Peter T Chattaway said...

Trust me, Dan, I don't keep track of Obama's comings and goings just for your benefit. :)

I do, however, think it is better to back up opinions -- and respond to opinions -- with facts, rather than with mere opinions. I find facts a more persuasive basis for discussion, and thus for the possible changing of one's mind (assuming, of course, that one is open to changing one's mind).

So, linking to external data is always good.

DAN BUCK said...

You mean you're cheating on me and annoying other Obama supporters! :)