The AFA's anti-gay conspiracy theories
author info Americablog
has been all over the disgraceful story of Ford's capitulation to the American Family Association. For those not following the sordid episode, this spring the boycott-happy AFA threatened to tell its membership to stop buying Fords due to the automaker's promotion of the "homosexual agenda." The AFA was furious both about Ford's internal policies -- such as its provision of benefits to domestic partners -- and its attempts to promote its cars to gay customers. The AFA later delayed the boycott until December, hoping that car dealers would pressure Ford to give in rather than risk hurting sales. This month, Ford caved -- after secret meetings between the carmaker and the AFA, Ford agreed to cut back on advertising in the gay media.
In the past, American Family Association boycotts have been notoriously ineffective. As The Carpetbagger Report reminds us
The AFA launched a nine-year boycott of Disney, for example, during which time none of the group's demands were met and the company enjoyed a surge in profits. The AFA also launched boycotts against Crest toothpaste, Volkswagen, Tide detergent, Clorox bleach, Pampers, MTV, Abercrombie & Fitch, K-Mart, Burger King, the Carl's Jr. hamburger chain, Kraft Foods, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Old Navy stores, NutriSystem, and American Airlines. Late last year, the AFA went after the movie "Shark Tale," because the group believed the movie was designed to brainwash children into accepting gay rights. Then, it was American Girl dolls. Then it was Target for its lack of the word "Christmas" in its advertising. The whole thing is pretty embarrassing, but the AFA just keeps doing it.
And now that they've won a significant victory, they're likely to be even more emboldened. We should hope that, if the AFA is going to get more publicity, mainstream journalists will take a closer look at just what this group stands for. Americablog has a good rundown. Here's just the beginning:
Let's look at some choice quotes from the extremist American Family Association (AFA) and its publications and see just how comfortable Ford Motor Company is with the hateful ideology its new buddy is pushing (note: AgapePress is the AFA's online "news" service):
Does a "Jewish upbringing" lead to a life of crime?
In the March issue of American Family Association Journal, a publication of Donald E. Wildmon's right-wing evangelical activist group, the American Family Association (AFA), author Randall Murphree suggested that a Jewish upbringing leads to hatred of Christians, and by extension, a criminal lifestyle.
Were gays the real evil behind the Holocaust?
Scott Lively, California chapter director of the AFA, is co-author of a book titled, The Pink Swastika: Homosexuality and the Nazi Party, in which he claims that "homosexuals [are] the true inventors of Nazism and the guiding force behind many Nazi atrocities." Lively makes explicit links between his claims about the Nazi party and the modern gay equal rights movement, claiming that "From the ashes of Nazi Germany, the homo-fascist phoenix has arisen again, this time in the United States."
Is Europe "infested" with Muslims who breed "faster than we do"?
"The problem we have with Europe is that [it] is infested with the Muslim population. The reason why is because they multiply at a much faster rate than we do," she says. "When we Christians get married, we have two, three, maybe four children -- after they're born, we start thinking about what college we're going to send them to, what education we're going to give them. The Muslims, on the other hand, are allowed to marry up to four wives at a time," she says, noting that terrorist Osama bin Laden had 27 children.
To me, one of the more sinister aspects of AFA's ideology is its association with anti-gay Holocaust revisionism -- the belief, promoted throughout the hard right, that not only were gay people not targeted by the Nazis, but that they were the primary mover behind Nazism. One of the most important proponents of this view is Scott Lively, AFA's California state director and co-author of a book called "The Pink Swastika." I quote Lively's work in my forthcoming book, "Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism" (which, in the name of self-promotion, I'm going to note is available for pre-order at Amazon.com):
"Like their Nazi predecessors, today's homosexualists lack any scruples. Homosexuality is primarily a predatory addiction striving to take the weak and unsuspecting down with it. The 'gay' agenda is a colossal fraud; a gigantic robbery of the mind. Homosexuals of the type de scribed in this book have no true idea of how to act in the best interests of their country and fellow man. Their intention is to serve none but themselves."
What's chilling here is that homophobia has mutated into a giant conspiracy theory, with gay people seen as a malign and powerful subversive force plotting to destroy the rest of society for their own gain. They've taken the place that Jews used to occupy in grand reactionary demonologies. (The chapter in my book that Lively appears in is called "Protocols of the Elders of San Francisco"). There's a grim irony that Ford, started by a man Hitler used to affectionately call Heinrich, should be negotiating with such demagogues.