Bad Faith from Focus on the Family
Frederick Clarkson printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Feb 12, 2017 at 09:04:59 PM EST
Here is one from the archives, Feb 12, 2011, that serves as a reminder of how deeply disingenuous people can be. Appeals to seek common ground can sometimes be just that. Other times, as we have seen too many times, it is a tactical deception. It is always good to be both open and wary. - FC

Focus on the Family says they now want to work with abortion rights organizations to reduce the number of abortions. Taken by itself, it would appear to be a remarkable change of approach by the fiercely antiabortion house that Dobson built -- but a few minutes on the Focus on the Family web site suggests that Focus on the Family is acting in bad faith.

In terms of strategy, there is nothing new here. "Abortion reduction" via public policy and other means has been part of a two tier strategy, (the other of which is criminalization) for at least a quarter century.  

This fresh overture is more in line with the long history of "common ground" discussions that have been held under a variety of auspices over many years, none of which have produced much, except to sometimes allow the Religious Right to come to treat others better (see here and here for example).

According to the Denver Post:  

Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger said the ministry doesn't yet have the list of abortion-rights supporters it will contact, but Focus will reach out to that movement.

"It's something (Daly) is clearly very passionate about," Schneeberger said. "It's a 'Schindler's List' moment for us: How many lives can we save on the way to our goal of ending abortion? We don't know how it will be received."

Schindler's List is of course, the famous film, based on a real life story of how a German businessman saved the lives of more than a thousand Polish Jews who would have been exterminated in a concentration camp.  If this is a Schindler's List moment, then abortion is the holocaust and abortion providers such as Planned Parenthood are Nazis.  

We have seen this Religious Right script too many times. The most notorious example for me was when Rick Warren, during a nationally broadcast presidential candidate forum hosted by his church, called for people on opposing sides in public life not to demonize each other. That sounded great until he called abortion a "holocaust" -- thereby casting those with whom he disagrees as Nazis.  

Jim Daly, current honcho of Focus on the Family, told the Denver Post that he wants to have more conversations and fewer fights. It would be nice to believe that. But if he is going to convince anyone of his sincerity, his spokesman can start by stopping the Nazi analogies. But a few minutes on the Focus on the Family web site, suggests that the problem is not limited to the FoF spokesperson or to Nazi analogies.

Jim Daly blogging about this initiative on the Focus on the Family web site states:  

"We don't just talk about evil - we look at how the Lord might use us to help stop it... The Lord is on our side."
He asks readers to click over to Citizen Link, the political arm of FoF "to learn more."  When we get there, what we learn is that FoF is promoting the hoax undercover sting video produced by Live Action, and calling for readers to mobilize to get Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.  

Focus on the Family could hardly do more to suggest that they are acting in  bad faith -- than to frame their common ground outreach in terms of the Nazi holocaust, support disreputable activists like Live Action, and urge Congress to defund the very organization with whom it wants to enter a supposedly well-intentioned conversation.  

On the other hand, maybe they are sincere in wanting to find a civil way of finding some common ground and just have a funny way of showing it.

So Mr. Daly wants to converse with the pro-choice supporters, and he begins the conversation with "The Lord is on our side." I can see the conference room emptying now. "For who hath known the mind of the Lord? (Romans 11:34). Obviously, Mr. Daly claims to know. And in keeping with the Nazi analogies, the statement is reminiscent of the slogan worn on the belt buckles of German Wehrmacht soldiers in World War II: Gott mit uns (meaning God with us).

by LNF on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 08:33:31 AM EST

by trog69 on Sun Feb 13, 2011 at 11:45:22 AM EST

Just this morning 2/15, the following was posted in the Sioux Falls South Dakota newspaper:

"A bill that critics say would make killing abortion doctors a justifiable homicide is scheduled for a vote on the House floor this afternoon.

House Bill 117, sponsored by Rep. Phil Jensen-R-Rapid City, was hoghoused. But the the original bill was deleted and new material inserted in the bill now states that it is a lawful defense to kill a person who would harm an unborn child that would likely result in the unborn child's death."

by kajen on Tue Feb 15, 2011 at 01:24:59 PM EST

I'd like to hear how that all went, and would be interested in reading the news articles about it.

by ArchaeoBob on Wed Feb 16, 2011 at 10:30:50 PM EST

they would promote availability of contraceptives instead of making them more difficult to obtain.

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Maybe if they take over they set up a version of what the Nazis did to gain more children---even to giving out medals on production. Though they often would take in pregnant single women to produce children then placed in the racially and politically "right" homes. I could see a similar thing to that, maybe even a real version of the handmaids should they somehow take over as many of them want to.

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