Anti-gay Rhetoric of the American Family Association Barbie Leach April 24, 2014 About the AFA • Formed in 1977 by Donald Wildmon • On frontlines of America’s culture war • Culture based on biblical truth best serves the well-being of our nation and our families • Personal transformation through the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest agent of biblical change in any culture http://www.afa.net/Detail.aspx?id=31 Outreach “AFA websites average over 6 million unique visitors and 44 million hits per year. AFA uses all these means to communicate an outspoken, resolute, Christian voice throughout America.” Outreach • American Family Radio • 125 stations in 33 states • Affiliates in 7 states • American Family Online • “Protect everyone in the family from Internet content that will come between you and God or you and your family. • One News Now • 1,200 broadcast , print and news affiliates in 45 states and 11 countries • Present news stories from biblical perspective • American Family Journal • Online and print publications • AFA Center for Law & Policy • Staffed by 6 full-time attorneys • Network of 400 affiliate attorneys Mouthpieces • Ed Vitagliano • News editor of AFA Journal • Columnist for AFA Journal • Bryan Fischer • Director of issue analysis for government and public policy at the AFA • Host of AFR’s Focal Point program • Buster Wilson • Former general manager of AFR • Former host of AFR’s AFA Today program Hate Speech and Fear Mongering • “In corporations where they work, some Christians who refuse to acquiesce to the reigning pro-gay environment are reprimanded or fired.” Ed Vitagliano, AFA • “But what Ezekiel 16 teaches us is this: By the time a culture accepts idolatry, abortion and homosexuality, it is already ripe for the devastation wrought by God’s wrath.” Ed Vitagliano, AFA • Fight against homosexuality “battle of our time.” Bryan Fischer, AFA • Exposing children to a gay-friendly church will "destroy them in body and soul and spirit." Bryan Fischer, AFA Hate Speech and Fear Mongering • “America's future is gonna be determined by one thing, and one thing only, and that is whether the forces of light or darkness will prevail in the battle for special rights" based on "sexually deviant behavior.“ Bryan Fischer, AFA • "Once the man-woman threshold is crossed for marriage...then there is simply no logical place to stop in the kind of sexual relationships you will support, you will embrace as a culture. We were exactly right when we said polygamy was the next domino to fall. And after this, the next domino to fall is going to be pedophilia.“ Bryan Fischer, AFA Hate Speech and Fear Mongering • "Under homosexual activists' political agenda, our children would face a future in which traditional marriage and families have been legally devalued, while state government— despite the severe threat it poses to personal and public health— not only legally endorses but uses our tax dollars to subsidize deadly homosexual behavior.“ Gary Glenn, Director of AFA Michigan • "Now the Bush Administration is opening its arms to homosexual activists who have been working diligently to overthrow the traditional views of Western Civilization regarding human sexuality, marriage and family… AFA would never support the policies of a political party which embraced the homosexual movement. Period."Don Wildmon, AFA Hate Speech and Fear Mongering • God might have sent Hurricane Isaac to New Orleans punishment to the city for hosting Southern Decadence. Buster Wilson • San Francisco may experience so many devastation earthquakes because of its large homosexual population and tolerance. Buster Wilson • “They are Nazis. Do not be under any illusions about what homosexual activists will do with your freedoms and your religion if they have the opportunity. They’ll do the same thing to you that the Nazis did to their opponents in Nazi Germany.” Bryan Fischer, AFA Nazism Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition Na·zi noun \ˈnät-sē, ˈnat-\ : a member of a German political party that controlled Germany from 1933 to 1945 under Adolf Hitler : an evil person who wants to use power to control and harm other people especially because of their race, religion, etc. Nazis? REALLY? Hate Crime Prevention • In 2009, the passage of a new law—the first significant expansion of federal criminal civil rights law since the mid1990s—gave the federal government the authority to prosecute violent hate crimes, including violence and attempted violence directed at the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, to the fullest extent of its jurisdiction. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr., Hate Crimes Prevention Act also provides funding and technical assistance to state, local, and tribal jurisdictions to help them to more effectively investigate, prosecute, and prevent hate crimes. • Goal is to battle racial and social injustice. • Maintain a hate map of active hate groups in the U.S. • Have listed AFA as a hate group since November 2010 for the "propagation of known falsehoods" and the use of "demonizing propaganda" against LGBT people. • Define hate crimes as: Can include criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing. Websites appearing to be merely the work of a single individual, rather than the publication of a group, are not included on map. http://www.splcenter.org/what-we-do The FBI’s Role As part of its responsibility to uphold the civil rights of the American people, the FBI takes a number of steps to combat the problem of hate crimes Hate Crimes Working Groups The majority of the FBI’s field offices participate in local Hate Crime Working Groups. These Working Groups combine community and law enforcement resources to develop strategies to address local hate crime problems. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/hate_crimes/overview Public Outreach The FBI has forged partnerships nationally and locally with many civil rights organizations to establish rapport, share information, address concerns, and cooperate in solving problems. These groups include such organizations as the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League, the National Asian Pacific American Legal Consortium, the National Organization for Women, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Disability Rights Network. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/investigate/civilrights/hate_crimes/overview Mea Culpa Latin for “through my fault” We’re sorry we made you get a divorce and we’re sorry we cause earthquakes, hurricanes, toronados and floods. Our bad.