Focus On The Family: Getting Acquainted
Most recent posts have been about significant or at least timely issues: Halloween, the impending election, pop music, sports.
My topic of choice, namely James Dobson and other conservative evangelical groups, can prove to be a bit less…well…relevant, at times.
I was struggling to find an angle from which I could write about these evangelicals that would seem equally as apt as these other articles, and I kept coming up short.
How to make James Dobson relevant?
Admittedly, being relevant probably isn’t high on Dobson’s priority list. But he and his crew at “Focus on the Family” have at least made the headlines again, making this job a bit easier.
Sadly, though, it is for once again offending thousands across the country with its wildly-biased political hip-checks. (Last month it was the “Pray for Rain” video where one of FOTF’s producers used his platform to entertain the idea of praying for rain here in Denver so that Obama’s open-air Invesco Field speech would be cancelled.)
And this week’s special was no less-offensive. FOTF released a 16-page fictional letter entitled, "Letter from 2012 in Obama's America."
Signed by "A Christian from 2012," this concerned American laments not being able to sing the Star-Spangled Banner anymore as he/she is so upset by the way America changed after Obama was voted into the White House. Gays, Muslims, and Pro-Rights advocates (and any of their affiliates) seem to be the three major causes in turning the U.S. into the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. And somehow, Obama is cited as letting these and other ne'er-do-wells run loose in these coming years.
First, did we not learn anything from "The Left Behind" series? Christian apocalyptic fiction writing is recipe for disaster, people!
As for commentary on the content of the letter, I defer to Jim Wallis, who was able to compose himself long enough to write an intelligible response to Dobson and his Homeboys (unlike myself – my keyboard may have started to smoke when last I attempted).
I leave you with the questions I've been struggling with as of late: What happens when an outreach ministry uses its voice in such a way? How is any person of faith who is far or even slightly left of the religious right to respond?
More generally, what happens when we turn our focus (pun intended) from sharing the love of Jesus to targeted political and social agendas? And how do we reclaim and again begin to share Jesus’ mission to seek the lost and broken?