It’s their special brand of Jesus love

Rhino loves you, now do his bidding

The CNN Religion blog has a piece up by Jim Daly, President of Focus on the Family, titled: “My Take: ‘Hate’ is too big a word to be used with such little restraint.”

You know that old saying about yelling “Fire” in a crowded theater? Well Jim does too and he tells us about it to start off his piece:

“It’s a metaphor designed to explain that while free speech is protected in our country, speaking with reckless disregard for the truth and inciting panic is, at best, irresponsibly dangerous, and, at worst, beyond the covering of the First Amendment.”

This is the setup for his main point, which is that there is a phenomena akin to “yelling fire” becoming more and more common, it is:

“yelling “hate” in a crowded public square.”

The deal is, people opposed to the work of anti-gay groups like Focus on the Family are not acting as Jim would like:

“…some individuals and organizations eager to see same-sex marriage legalized have stopped trying to win others to their point of view through reasoned argument and have turned, instead, to emotional epithets as their main rhetorical tool.”

So let’s sum up: Leader of politically powerful evangelical Christian group which promotes creationism, has an overt anti-gay rights agenda, including running “ex-gay ministries,” working against gay people’s families and even countering anti-bullying efforts, is telling us that speaking with a disregard of the truth is dangerous and that everyone should use reason rather than emotional appeals.

It’s a good thing that religious groups like Focus on the Family don’t use devastating emotional appeals, fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD), threats of eternal torture, and psychological manipulation to further their agenda. How could so many of us not see that Focus on the Family is promoting reason while spreading its message that gay people are in need of fixing, that they shouldn’t be allowed to participate fully in society, that they shouldn’t be able to get married or raise families, and that they should be denied opportunities?

These poor poor Christians are simply misunderstood:

“Gay activists, primarily through online petitions, have pressured several retailers to pull out of CGBG, alleging that the stores are helping fund “hate.”


“The simple truth is, “hate” is far too big a word to be thrown around with such little discretion. It imputes a sinister motive to what, in this case, is a widely and deeply held belief that God’s design for human sexuality lies within the lifelong context of one-man, one-woman marriage.”

Well played. I mean c’mon, what is so sinister about working against the rights, well being, and happiness of large swaths of the population? What is so sinister about making bogus claims that children are harmed by gay parents or even the mere acceptance of gay people in our society? Why in the world would anyone impute sinister motives to a movement which perpetuates and profits from the fear of outgroups and outed individuals?

Maybe Jim has a point. He’d probably tell you in all sincerity that he doesn’t hate anyone. Maybe we should take him at his word, that it’s not about hate but rather it’s about the Christian god and HIS design for all of humanity. And I’m sure Focus on the Family’s Christian God is a HIM not a HER and odds are HE is super straight too, straight in a way that no mere mortal could ever be straight. And why would anyone doubt that their Christian God loves everyone and wants the best for everybody, afterall that’s why he had his own son, who was really himself, killed. He loves everyone and doesn’t want to have to torture us forever in HIS super-dungeon.

Maybe what motivates Focus on the Family to promote the teaching of folk stories as science, to attempt to toss roadblocks in the way of so many who want to live open genuine lives, maybe the reason they convince young people that gay people are disordered but that they can change themselves into something acceptable to the oh so loving creator of the universe is not hate, but their particular Christian God inspired love.

It’s their “Family Values,” it’s their special brand of Jesus love.

Let us all be saved from it.

Greg Lammers is the American Atheists Missouri State Director. He works with freethought groups and individuals in the state and the region to promote secular values and godlessness. He lives in Columbia Missouri with his wife Katie and their young son Henry. He can be reached at
  • Jon Willis

    My family members have always been big fans of Focus on the Family and James Dobson. I find the organization repugnant, founded on hypocrisy and illogic. I long for the day when organizations like these are relegated to the dustbin of history.