Thursday, October 21, 2004

So Sayeth The Shepherd! So Sayeth The Skid! 

I'm holding here in my paws nothing other than the October 2004 American Family Association Journal, the monthly rag put out by the AFA. If you're not familiar with the AFA, let me just say that I envy you.

So let me tell you a story: Back in 1977 in Tupelo, Mississippi (birthplace of Elvis, and a mere 130 miles north of yours truly), a fellow named Don Wildmon decided he was fed up with the crumbling morality of society, hoping to return to the "traditional values" of yesteryear. 'Cause, you know, there was no pornography or violence in movies in the 1920s. And nobody had sex or defecated, either. Initially founded as a 501(c)(3) - ie, non-profit - organization known as the National Federation For Decency, the organization changed it's name to the American Family Association in 1988, apparently to sound less prudish and more mainstream and goal-oriented. Although they are just a bunch of uptight Jesus-lickers, make no mistake, the AFA is one of the most powerful conservative/fundamentalist Christian lobbying arms in the country. You can see their website here, which contains generous helpings of their general bullshit. Which is what I'm about to explore, myself.

With that out of the way, back to my original story: I obtained this masterpiece of investigative reporting from my mother, whose coworkers are mainly a lot of brainwashed nutjobs for JEEEEEZUS. They normally bring crap like that into the office, and my mother usually takes the opportunity to either throw it away or bring it home for a laugh. And boy, this one is a hoot and a holler.

There is no real cover to the magazine...it starts with front page text with a big color photo, like the front page of a newspaper. The first story: "November elections may determine fate of marriage", with the subscript "HOMOSEXUAL ACTIVISTS HOPE COURTS WILL SETTLE ISSUE". The article goes on to say that "traditional marriage" is at risk, and "'gay' activists" (the word "gay" is always in quotation marks) are looking to "take the issue out of voters hands". The article also quotes Don Wildmon himself: "Homosexuals and those who sympathize with their agenda are trying to take this issue out the hands of the voters, and place marriage in the hands of liberal judges." Ohhhhhh, darn those liberal judges! And what the hell is the "homosexual agenda"? Do these simps seriously think that gays want to make everyone else gay? I'm banking on yes, but if any of you AFA types out there read this and disagree, feel free to correct me on this issue.

So I open up the mag. Inside front cover: The Spencer's Gift Shop in Tupelo was charged for selling sex toys (which is illegal in Mississippi), via efforts initiated by the AFA. Naturally, the AFA is gloating about how much they're protecting the community from things that the AFA deems offensive. "A lot of children, preteens and teenagers wander through the malls. This is garbage these kids don't need to see, let alone purchase," says the very clever Joe Murray of the AFA Center for Law and Policy. Seriously, if they think there are any teenagers out there who don't know what a dildo is, they need a major reality check.

Next page is "NEWS OF INTEREST". First story: "Dating violence linked to sexually active adolescent females". FEMALES? Oh, I get it, so it's the girls' fault they're being raped and beaten. No, sexually active adolescent males have no responsibility here. What are the sexually active females having sex with, Rottweilers? In any case, what the story boils down to is that a study by the Harvard School of Public Health finds that "sexually active adolescent girls are five times more likely to be victimized by dating violence than girls who are not sexually active". Well no shit, Sherlock. That's because girls who aren't sexually active typically DON'T DATE.

The next story is in a similar light: "Teens' sex, substance abuse related". Ooooh...substance abuse! They make it sound like they're smoking crack and shooting juice. But what conclusion does the article end up at? "...teens who say most of their friends are having sex are themselves more likely to have tried marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes". Damn, is that all? So teenagers are smoking weed, cigs, and drinking. Big whoop. I thought this was something new they had come up with.

This brings me to another side rant: I'll never understand these guys and their obsession over keeping teenagers abstinent. Teenagers fuck. Period. It's just what they do. I didn't, you may not have, but not everyone has our kind of willpower. Some - nay, most - of them are going to do it, no matter if you tell them not to or not. And why shouldn't they? It calms their raging hormones, eases the frustrations of adolescence, and gives them practice for sex when they're adults. Since they're going to do it anyway, why not encourage them to wear rubbers?

Another gem in this pile of an awful lot of gems: "Pro-lifers' rights tossed by troopers". The AFA is pissed off because two pro-lifers were pulled over and detained in Connecticut for driving a truck with pictures of aborted fetuses on it, and refusing to remove the pictures. Although the police contend that the graphic pictures were causing a traffic hazard and a distraction to other motorists, the AFA Center for Law and Policy is helping the two douchebags out, contending that the troopers violated their civil rights. Oh, so NOW you care about civil rights, huh? The topping here is that they make a passing mention that one of the officers was charged for harassing a dispatcher last year and making disparaging remarks about her physical condition. Why, that cad!

Oh, and remember the article about Spencer's Gifts? We don't want children to see dildos, but they can see graphic images of aborted fetuses while out on the road. Yeah. That makes a lot of sense, you hypocritical butt nuggets.

Finally we reach the articles, of which there actually aren't that many, at least compared to the news stories. The first really interesting one is "School's Out: Will the Rainbow Bus take our kids to the Land of Diversity?". Oh no! Nothing but diversity! I mean, that could lead to respecting the culture of others! And that could lead to sex, and drugs, and laughing and dancing and merriment, and other ungodly things. This article goes on to say that Parents, Familes, and Friends of Lesbians And Gays (PFLAG, which should really have two "F"s in it when you think about it, but I digress) and the National Parent Teacher Association (PTA, which should have an "N" at the begin...oh, nevermind) are working together to "promote homosexuality". Actually, if you check out PFLAG's website, their work with the PTA over the last four years has been solely to curtail anti-gay bullying, not try to turn anyone gay. Yes, it would appear this article is quite intentionally misleading. Surprise, surprise.

The bullshit pretty much wraps up here: "Movie ratings losing value? Today's PG-13 like yesterday's R." Oh really? Try watching Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. This was the movie that the PG-13 system was invented for in 1984, and it features a rather unpleasant scene of a man getting his heart ripped out. Hell, that would probably be an "R" now. A minor sidebar in this article: "Study Affirms Liberal Bias in Media". The affirmation? That more individual members of the media voted Democrat between 1964 and 1992. And somehow this makes the media itself biased. Hey jackasses: The media is only as liberal as the conservative corporations that run it.

This is actually only the best stuff: Every word in the AFA Journal is complete hateful crap, and I've only sampled a quarter of it here. And remember when I mentioned how big of an organization they are? The American Family Association has about 2 and a half million members. By any standards, that's bleeding huge.

Our society may be moving forward, but the barbarians haven't completely evolved yet. Maybe in a few more decades.

hey, keep ranting -- your blog is very amusing

*** and don't forget that it was the atheists, pro-choice people, lesbians and secular humanists who REALLY caused 9/11

cheers :)
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