Focus on the Family Hub




Evangelical Campaign Says Gays are Made in the Image of God and Therefore Deserve Respect

Imago Dei, a new campaign from Focus on the Family and other evangelical groups claims to push respect for gays even though several leaders who have signed on lead organizations who have fought tirelessly in the courts to demean gay people and seek to exclude them from marriage.

TIME reports:

DalyThe leader behind the movement, Rev. Samuel Rodriguez Jr., president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coalition, says the goal is to change the narrative of evangelical engagement in the public square, especially when it comes to traditional culture war issues. Other heavy hitters have joined him. President of Focus on the Family Jim Daly (pictured), televangelist James Robison, producer of The Bible Series Roma Downey and her husband, Survivor producer Mark Burnett, and vice president of the Liberty University Mat Staver have all signed on. The launch of the website was pegged to Martin Luther King Day as a reminder that the Biblical message and justice go hand in hand.

The Imago Dei signers are not making a political statement about hot-button issues like gay marriage. But the Imago Dei campaign does mark the first time, Daly says, that Focus on the Family—a group that opposes gay marriage—has publically stated that gays are created in God’s image alongside straight individuals. “People have said love the sinner, hate the sin,” Daly explains. “So often I think that has fallen woefully short, and it certainly appears like we are hating the sinner as well as the sin. And that is the difference—you’ve got to recalibrate and say I know you are made in God’s image, and therefore you deserve my respect.”

Says the campaign on its website: "For the image of God exists in all human beings: black and white; rich and poor; straight and gay; conservative and liberal; victim and perpetrator; citizen and undocumented; believer and unbeliever."

Good As You's Jeremy Hooper notes, in the comment thread on the article:

Under the marriage section of its site, Focus on the Family continues to run the claim that homosexuality is a "particularly evil lie of Satan," in a piece penned by its senior researcher. 


AMC Theaters Hosts Screening Of Film By Focus On The Family: VIDEO

AmcOn May 6, 2014, AMC theaters across the U.S. will be showing a one-time screening of Focus On The Family's Irreplaceable as a part of their Fathom Events program. The documentary film follows one man who believes in traditional marriage and family as he consults with various "experts" - like anti-gay Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, ex-gay advocate Dr. Miriam Grossman, and Prop 8 supporter Michael Medved - to determine if his traditional marriage is "meaningful or outdated."

Coming from an independent film maker, there are a wealth of interesting opinions and issues to be explored on the topic of marriage, relationships, and family. However, since it's coming from the group that:

...it's probably safe to assume that the man's findings will be less than balanced, or even honest.

Via Joe.My.God. You can watch the trailer for Irreplaceable AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "AMC Theaters Hosts Screening Of Film By Focus On The Family: VIDEO " »


Senator Mark Kirk Bars Virulently Anti-Gay Group from Senate Meeting Room

If you've been following recent reports on American right-wingers Scott Lively and Brian Brown, you may recall that they both recently traveled to Russia to attend a meeting of a virulently anti-gay group called the World Congress of Families, which is planning a Moscow Summit in 2014.

KirkWell, the group had recently planned a meeting in D.C. and had reserved a meeting room at the Dirksen Senate Office building, until it was shut down by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL), Buzzfeed reports:

“Shame on you, Senator Kirk, for allowing vocal radical sexual minorities to drown out the voices of the natural family and faith that have made our nation free, prosperous, and stable for more than 200 years,” said Larry Jacobs, managing director of the World Congress of Families in an email to BuzzFeed. “Obviously Senator Kirk doesn’t care about families and children and freedom and has chosen to side with the policies of decline, death and disease promoted by the Sexual Radicals.”

A spokesman for Kirk, Lance Trover, told BuzzFeed on Thursday night, “Sen. Kirk doesn’t affiliate with groups that discriminate.”

The meeting planned in D.C. was billed in a WCF press release as a discussion of “what can our pro-family legislators learn — positively and negatively — by studying our colleagues’ actions abroad" according to Buzzfeed.

HRC had denounced the meeting in a press release:

These shameful individuals represent the worst of America, and it’s an outrage that they will now bring their vitriol to the United States Capitol. After spending years exporting their hate to other regions of the world and contributing to a culture of anti-LGBT violence in Russia, these zealots should be condemned by all Americans and especially by our elected leaders.”

The roundtable discussion, hosted by the World Congress of Families, will occur this Friday from 11:00 AM to 1:00PM in Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room 562. Entitled “Family Policy Lessons from Other Lands: What Should America Learn?,” the event is presented in innocent-sounding language, but the biographies of the participants reveal their malicious intent.

Three of the four panelists, Austin Ruse, Allan Carlson, and Steven Mosher, have traveled to Russia to meet with other anti-LGBT leaders during critical stages of Russia’s recent anti-LGBT crackdown. The fourth panelist, Janice Crouse, celebrated a proposed law in Uganda that would make being LGBT punishable by death. Crouse called it a, “biblical and cultural stand against the radical homosexual agenda.” For more on the panelists see this background document.


Tennessee Conservatives Want Halt Marriage Equality To Protect Children From 'Humiliation'

David-Fowler-Family-Action-Council-of-Tennessee-212x300Earlier this month, the city of Collegedale, Tennessee became the first in the state to offer any sort of benefits to same-sex couples. Despite the fact that same-sex couples have been denied marriage licenses as recently as last week, conservatives in Tennessee are still anxious that their home state will soon join the growing list of states that allow marriage equality.

Among those conservatives is David Fowler of the Family Action Council of Tennessee, who recently authored an op-ed piece for Focus on the Family's Citizenlink. In his piece, Fowler attempts to shift the burden of proof on to marriage equality advocates. More specifically, he calls for them to respond to two specific concerns of his:

"First, to the extent that same-sex couples want to bring children into their relationship, they must believe the sexual, emotional, and psychological complementariness of the two sexes and the value of that complementariness to children are irrelevant.

"Second, that belief rests upon another belief, namely, that men and women are the same, that there are no distinct characteristics apart from anatomy. If you doubt me, then you haven’t given much thought to what is behind all the gender identity arguments that have arisen since the same-sex marriage debate began...

"So, the first dilemma same-sex marriage advocates face is whether they are willing to come right out and say for all to hear that (i) they believe men and women are interchangeable when it comes to what a child needs and (ii) they believe that because they also believe there are no differences between the sexes."

6a00d8341c730253ef019104a19f05970cWhat Fowler fails to explain, however, is exactly how a parent's ability to compliment their partner is at all tied to their gender. He also fails to pinpoint any specific instance of LGBT rights advocates arguing that men and women are, in fact, interchangeable in any sense. Let's also not forget that researchers have found no significant developmental or psychological difference between children raised by gay parents and children raised by straight parents. Some even suggest that kids of same-sex couples are actually better off in certain categories. Fowler's op-ed conveniently overlooks that data.

Instead, Fowler chose to cherry-pick a word from Supreme Court Chief Justice Anthony Kennedy, claiming that same-sex parents "humiliate" children. Once again, his statements make a key omission, mainly that Justice Kennedy was referring to the humiliation inflicted on families with same-sex parents by opponents of marriage equality

It is not yet known precisely how well-founded Fowler's fears of marriage equality are. At present, the ACLU and other groups have marriage equality lawsuits pending in states such as Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Kentucky. Tennessee does not seem to be lining up at present. That said, perhaps marriage equality advocates in the state could take Fowler's comments as a good sign--since the opposition is already scared. 


'Ex-Gay Pride Month' Cancelled Due To 'Anti-Ex-Gay Extremism'

DoyleMany of you have no doubt been busy celebrating July as the first annual "Ex-Gay Pride" month sponsored by organizations such as Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council. Unfortunately, due to some apparent "anti-ex-gay extremism" causing "several security threats," it appears that the big public events planned around this month's celebrations have been either cancelled or postponed until September. A statement from Christopher Doyle (pictured right) with the anti-gay umbrella organization Voice of the Voiceless had this to say:

Due to some anti-ex-gay extremism that has occurred since we first announced Ex-Gay Pride 2013, the July 31 Lobbying Day on Capitol Hill and Evening Dinner/Reception at the Family Research Council has had to be moved and postponed to an undisclosed location in September. The harassment has caused several security threats which has forced us to change plans, and that is unfortunate.

On the bright side, this harassment and anti-ex-gay extremism has reminded us just how intolerant some individuals and organizations are about the existence of ex-gays and former homosexuals. So much so, that we believe it is necessary not only to hold events in July for Ex-Gay Pride, but also to declare September as the First Annual Ex-Gay Awareness Month. Ex-Gay Awareness Month in September will be a time to reflect on the discrimination and marginalization that former homosexuals and ex-gays experience in the public at large. 

Truth Wins Out's Wayne Besen, however, scoffed at the notion of any "extremism" or alleged "security threats" from pro-LGBT supporters:

"There was never going to be an actual 'Ex-Gay Pride Month' because ex-gays are as rare as the Dodo bird," said TWO's Executive Director Wayne Besen. "They simply could not find real 'ex-gays' to participate and had to cancel to save face. This was nothing but a desperate publicity stunt intended to revive a failing industry that has repeatedly embarrassed anti-gay organizations....we challenge Doyle to come forward and release the names of LGBT activists and organizations that allegedly jeopardize his organization's security. Until concrete allegations are made, we can only assume Doyle is making an excuse for his organization's abject failure to produce a viable Ex-Gay Pride Month event."

Be sure and mark your September calendars for all the exciting 'ex-gay' events that are sure to be cancelled or rescheduled once again! 


'Ex-Gay' Poster Boy John Paulk Apologizes for the Pain and Harm He Caused at Focus on the Family

John Paulk, the longtime leader of Focus on the Family's 'Love Won Out' 'ex-gay' ministry and former Exodus International chair has apologized for the pain and harm he caused. Paulk recently said he no longer supports the "ex-gay" movement but this is his first real apology.

PaulkSays Paulk in a post on Skipping to the Piccolo, in part:

Please allow me to be clear: I do not believe that reparative therapy changes sexual orientation; in fact, it does great harm to many people.

I know that countless people were harmed by things I said and did in the past,

Parents, families, and their loved ones were negatively impacted by the notion of reparative therapy and the message of change. I am truly, truly sorry for the pain I have caused.

From the bottom of my heart I wish I could take back my words and actions that caused anger, depression, guilt and hopelessness. In their place I want to extend love, hope, tenderness, joy and the truth that gay people are loved by God.

Today, I see LGBT people for who they are–beloved, cherished children of God. I offer my most sincere and heartfelt apology to men, women, and especially children and teens who felt unlovable, unworthy, shamed or thrown away by God or the church.

I want to offer my sincere thanks to everyone who encouraged me to take this initial step of transparency. Even while promoting “ex-gay” programs, there were those who called me on my own words and actions. I’m sure I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but they have helped me to realize this truth about who I am.


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