Focus On The Family during the 2008 election issued a 34-point “Letter from 2012” that predicted how terrible America would become if Barack Obama were elected. Two examinations of each of their 34 points, many of them anti-gay, reveals that out of 34, the only ones that came true were — actually, well, none.
In total, the “Letter” mentions the word “homosexual” or some variation of it, 34 times. By contrast, it mentions “Christian” 31 times, “God” only 11, and the “Bible” only five.
The “Letter” interestingly predicts:
Many of our freedoms have been taken away by a liberal Supreme Court and a Democratic majority in both the House and the Senate, and hardly any brave citizen dares to resist the new government policies any more.
That seems ironic, because the group that is trying to take away freedoms aren’t Democrats, but Republicans — in a huge way. And frankly, many of the prophecies the “Letter” suggests, sound pretty darn good. So, in reality, “our freedoms” actually means, “how we oppress minorities.”
Focus On The Family is not technically an anti-gay hate group, although it was founded by the same man, James Dobson, who did create an anti-gay hate group, the Family Research Council. And Focus on the Family does dip its toes pretty deep into the anti-gay hate water — just not enough for the Southern Poverty Law Center to add them to their list of active anti-gay hate groups.
In 2008, “A Christian from 2012″ supposedly penned the “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America.” Some of the predictions that anonymous “Christian” made include imposition of same-sex marriage across all 50 states, the dissolution of the Boy Scouts, the expelling of Christians from the U.S. armed forces once Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed, along with the payment of special recruiting bonuses — only to homosexuals, though.
Focus on the Family’s “Letter” claimed that President Obama by 2012 had created a liberal-stacked Supreme Court with a 6-3 majority of “justices who were eager to create laws from the bench.”
But that isn’t all.
The most far-reaching transformation of American society came from the Supreme Court’s stunning affirmation, in early 2010, that homosexual “marriage” was a “constitutional” right that had to be respected by all 50 states because laws barring same-sex “marriage” violated the Equal Protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. Suddenly, homosexual “marriage” was the law of the land in all 50 states, and no state legislature, no state Supreme Court, no state Constitutional amendment, not even Congress, had any power to change it. The Supreme Court had ruled, and the discussion was over. This was a blatant example of creating law by the court, for homosexual “marriage” was mentioned nowhere in the Constitution, nor would any of the authors have imagined that same-sex “marriage” could be derived from their words. But it just followed the precedents that had been set by state supreme courts in Massachusetts (2003), California (2008) and Connecticut (2008).
President Obama repeated his declaration that he personally was against same-sex “marriage”, but he told the nation there was nothing he could do. The Supreme Court had ruled, and it was now the law of the land. The president asked the nation to support the decision.
After that decision, many other policies changed, and several previous Supreme Court cases were reversed rather quickly — raising the question, “Is America still the land of the free?”
Can’t you just taste the fear in the hearts of the Christian conservatives, the “Moral Majority,” the supposed Evangelical Christian, the radical right wing religious theocrats?
In Focus on the Family’s 2012, “many private Christian schools decided to shut down after the Supreme Court ruled that anti-discrimination laws that include sexual orientation extended to private institutions such as schools,6 and that private schools also had to obey the law and teach that homosexuality and heterosexuality are both morally good choices.”
And , yes, there’s more.
The Bible can no longer be freely preached over radio or television stations when the subject matter includes such “offensive” doctrines as criticizing homosexual behavior. The Supreme Court agreed that these could be kept off the air as prohibited “hate speech” that is likely to incite violence and discrimination. These policies followed broadcasting and print restrictions that were in place prior to 2008 in Canada and Sweden.
Fred Clark, who writes the excellent “Slacktivist” blog at Patheos, says the “‘Letter from 2012′ makes Focus on the Family look ridiculous,” but suggests, ”let’s be generous — we’ll give them half credit for prediction No. 10. That one correctly foresaw the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” — but then also incorrectly predicted a host of disastrous consequences of that repeal.
Obama did repeal DADT, but Christians have not been expelled from the military and the Pentagon isn’t paying “special bonuses” to LGBT recruits. But still, that one comes closer than the other 33 predictions, which are all utterly wrong, so let’s cut Focus some slack and say they’re 0.5-for-34.
The Boy Scouts and private Christian schools were not forced to disband by the Supreme Court; adoption agencies remain in business; religious broadcasters still broadcast; churches are not being compelled to host gay weddings or to hire lesbian clergy; Christian tribal gatherings are still permitted “at the pole” in public high schools; the Pledge of Allegiance and private gun ownership have not been outlawed.
Libby Anne’s post is long because it is impressively thorough and methodical. Here is what Focus on the Family said would happen. Here is what actually did happen instead. Over and over and over. Focus on the Family was wrong. Focus on the Family was wrong. Focus on the Family was wrong. … Thirty-four times over. Treat yourself to reading the whole thing.
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 (here’s a .pdf version) 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.
For a more extensive look, read Libby Anne’s analysis.
Hat-tip: Andrew Sullivan
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