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Monday, February 8, 2010

Focus on the Phallic - I mean Family: Thank God For All The Choices!

Change of plans. I need to drop every thing I’m doing and Focus on the Family.

This fall, the Friday James Dobson announced his retirement from his radio show, I went out and celebrated – literally – as in I had a few drinks and bonded with a formerly Christian friend. I walked home in the sleet - warmed inside by the thought of another childhood icon biting the dust. Yesterday Focus on the Family paid CBS 2.8 million dollars to allow a sweet mother and adorable son push their pro-life, anti-choice agenda world-wide.

The Christian Conservative movement does not die with Falwell or Dobson. It just gets a 2.8 million dollar makeover.

It won’t be a surprise to regular readers – but – DUH – Christine is Pro-Choice - as in blessed are the women who Choose to procreate when, why, and where they Choose to procreate and No Shame for the women who Choose not to procreate. Keep it Safe, Legal, and Rare - not Dangerous, Illegal, and More-Common-Than-You're-Willing-To-Admit. To others Christine is pro-killing-babies-in-a-slippery-slope-towards-a-heathen-communist-country-like-china-or-one-of-those-socialist-tundras-in-europe-that-kills-adults-when-they-become-a-burden-on-society-and-God-will-punish-us-mightily-for-our-inability-to-honor-the-sacredness-of-innocent-life-and WE WILL PAY!!!!

Knowing that certain family members are actively active in Minnesota’s Pro Life movement and having been righteously anti-choice once upon a time myself… needless to say – this is a touchy subject. The fact that 20 some years of my life were directly and indirectly influenced by James Dobson and Focus on the Family – I don’t know where to start.

2.8 million dollars they could have thrown at single mothers in poverty.
2.8 million dollars they could have used to lobby to end the wars that kill or internally, externally maim sons and brothers and fathers like Tebow – instead of the simulation of war in the stadiums. (I’d rather have simulation than real war – but isn’t he lucky he could afford to CHOOSE which war he wanted to play in?)
2.8 million dollars they could have thrown at any number of women and children – just for the hell of it.
2.8 million dollars they could have given to young men and women who want to explore the world before they try to teach their kids about the world.
2.8 million dollars they could have used to pay for a mother’s or child’s medical bills.
2.8 million dollars they could have used to pay Grannie's heating bills.

2.8 million dollars that is estimated to bring in 10 million dollars of awareness – or should I say – 10 million dollars Focused on the Family BRAND NAME.

How can I fight that? Why should I even try? Sometimes I really dislike my own rants. More often than not I stop myself from publishing whiny woe-is-me bullshit. But not today.

Focus on the Family played daily in my childhood home – in the car (actually the family van was more a bus) – in the mail – from the pulpit – from the kitchen (where I spent most of my family time) - in my brain. Not everything James Dobson said was unreasonable or even unwise. I learned how to be a model child and teenager right alongside my parents learning how to be model parents – the problem being – I was never a problem child – and never could have been if I tried since I didn’t know how to misbehave.

Until now.

This is me saying – Fuck You! - to Focus on the Family. ..|,

That may sound a bit immature – and will probably lose the respect of reasonable readers. All that angst. All that emotion. Obviously she needs to return to the Love of Christ.

I’ve written about the Truth Project before. But I can’t stop little children I love from being brainwashed by FOTF's Adventures in Odyssey. Will they ever have the guts to say – no thanks - much less fuck you – to the male-dominated Focus on the Family?

I suggest for their next ad they have a father hugging a little girl saying,“Because of 2.8 million dollars thrown at Anti-Choice advertising , my wife felt obligated to have another child – even though she felt she had popped out her fair share. She tried to put her foot down, but I coerced that silly little lady into sex and we conceived this beautiful Miracle of God. She would have made it to the photo shoot, but she’s knee deep in laundry. I plan to bring up this girl knowing she can be anything she wants to be with her husband's approval, but she’ll always remember, if things don’t pan out for her, she can always pop out a few charmers of her own. Just ask her mom. Who is at home fulfilling her wifely duties. Thanks James Dobson and Focus on the Phallic!… I mean Family!”

Now I like me a good Phallic now and then, but right now I’m using the next best thing – my two middle fingers to salute the 2.8 million dollars Focus on the Family donated to single, poor mothers everywhere, the maimed and dead soldiers coming back from the Middle East, the education of young men and women, widows, grandmothers who can’t afford their heating bills, the pre-natal health-care of thousands of women, day-care, and the shoveling of sidewalks.

And God forbid an unwanted baby is born and adopted by a loving homosexual couple. Lord Have Mercy.

I know, I know....the ad is SOOO Innocent. I shouldn’t get my panties in a bunch.

I’m here to guarantee 100% that ukuleles and feathery-voiced lalala jingles do NOT make this ad innocent – and that I’m not wearing panties.

Have a nice day.


Riverwolf, said...

You're not wearing panties?! Hmmm...let's see...Nope--still gay (no offense, I'm sure your va-jay-jay is lovely).

Like you, I, too, wondered how many families in need could've been helped by that 2.8 million dollars. But, hell, we live in a free, capitalist society, and FOF has a right to run the damn ad if they want.

I also share your concern that others may never escape the influence of groups like this--but, well, "que sera sera." Some people will but we have to realize most people won't. At least that's my experience. I think most are too afraid, and they'd rather take a risk by playing it safe than actually take a risk, think for themselves and maybe get it all wrong in the end.

Outspoken former fundies are like the Marines: "the few, the proud..."

Christine Vyrnon said...

yes - Dobson & Sons can do whatever they please. It's all legal. I couldn't help bite at the hypocrisy. When it's just dangling out there like that - what's a girl to do? Sometimes I don't want to just walk away.

O yes - the faith that insures against the possibility of hell being real. Keeps people in check.

Riverwolf- if you return - how would you have felt if 2.8 dollars were spent on an ad that sugar-coated the fact that they thought you SHOULD like my female parts?

Riverwolf, said...

Christine, to answer your question: Sure, it would irritate me if some group like FOF ran an anti-gay ad. It always sends me into eye-rolling fits anytime someone blathers on about curing homosexuality. But, I guess I'm at peace about people like that having the right to be ignorant. I may not like the ads or the opinion, but I can't prevent them from saying it or believing it. And so what can you do? If you ban one group, suddenly you're having to ban everyone because someone somewhere is going to be offended.

The problem is when it all gets blown out of proportion, as happened with this Tebow ad. The ad itself wasn't shocking, but those who oppose FOF couldn't stop talking about--so, ironically, FOF received much more publicity than they deserved or, I argue, would've received if the ad had run without any "fanfare."

I'm not advocating we stick our heads in the sand. There are things worth fighting for, certainly. But an ad for the SuperBowl? The trick is knowing when to get upset. Otherwise, it's so easy to get burned out, so that when the REAL dangers come along, we're just too tired to care. That's what I'm most afraid of.

Christine Vyrnon said...

True - the trick is knowing when to get upset, yet we all choose our battles. For me - this was worthy of the expression of frustration and anger. It will blow over like all little dramas that come along - but the attention FOF gets does not necessarily have to be in their favor. I probably allow myself to React to christian patriarchal messages more than others. Not necessarily proud of this, the reacting part, but especially as a woman - won't deny that anger is part of being human.

Could it have run without any fanfare? The current drama isn't as important as how FOF will use the $ and support they get 6 months from now - 6 years from now.

This ad is the tip of the iceberg - not to be ignored - but to be respected as evidence of what lies beneath. (good god I sound paranoid - yuck) The ad was extremely deceptive. Most ads are - but once again - the deception coming from Christians just adds another layer to the ironic hypocrisy of it.

And I know you know this - but you'll be hard-pressed to find many immediate reactions to ignorant drama in this blog - rarely do I report on current drama unless it smacks me upside the head.

Thanks for coming back and continuing the discussion! I honestly appreciate your words of calm.

Seeing Eye Chick said...


There is nothing whiny about the truth. The truth is it's none of their damn business. Churches are able to dictate prerequisites for members to be in good standing, but they are not allowed to come into private homes, especially not the homes and lives of none members and tell the rest of us how to live or how to conduct our medical issues or reproductive issues.


I thought your post was rather tame. Now your more reasonable readers can see what true righteous indignation looks like complete with F* Bombs for dramatic effect, I am sure that they can now accept once again, that you are by far, not the worst that they have to contend with, in terms of minimizing the arrogance inflicted on women everywhere by these political entities that dare call themselves churches and hide under the robes of Christ knowing that they have more in common with hand washers than foot washers.

Anonymous said...

I have to say that I, for one, am not at peace with other peoples' ignorance. There are three main reasons for this, and they stem from observation that how we think determines in large part how the world turns out to be. First, we live in a democracy. Ignorance of some can have consequences for everyone. Second, if you view your everyday world through the lens of cognitive performance--how is everyone behaving according to reasonable standards of informed action, overall intelligence, reason, evidence-based perspectives, various forms of bias or lack thereof, life as creative process versus stasis, etc.--you can see how the innumerable decisions made everyday by people around you have direct and indirect effects on your life. Last but not least--how can we overcome our present world and social problems when our collective, democratic ability to imagine different futures rests on such intractable mountains of ignorance, faith and stupidity? Personally, I think ignorance in all of its manifestations, degrees, special appearances in whatever contexts, is one of humanity's greatest enemies. The sad truth is that there's tons of it out there, enough to shock the shit out of anyone who reads a lot, learns, thinks and is curious. A majority of the public believes the earth is less than 10,000 years old? 15% of the public reads at a high degree of proficiency? Teabaggers thinking Obama is a socialist who hangs a Che Guevara poster in the Lincoln Bedroom? Crikey, we have our work cut out for us.