Thursday, October 30, 2008

FotF response to responses

You can read the letter here. Below is the response. I find the tone to be quite measured, rational, and not overly-defensive--although faintly condescending as the basic premise seems to be that I need to read the letter again as I obviously didn't understand it properly the first time. It did not change my estimation of the 2012 letter in the least. But I was, honestly, surprised to receive acknowledgment at all, and I figure it's fair to publicize this as well. Make your own judgment about the accuracy and the goals of the 2012 letter, if you bother to read it (frankly my recommendation is that you don't bother, but my 'partisan' leanings are hanging all out there, aren't they?) and in making your judgment, include the information from the response below, as it's relevant.

All I will say in response is that the unexamined assumption that it's impossible to be a real Christian and "liberal" is at the heart of the divisive nature of this letter as well as FotF's larger cultural agenda. I am indeed a Christian. And as I concluded in my letter, I truly believe that the redemptive grace of God is enough to cover all of us. Let's preach that, shall we?

If you feel motivated to send FotF your own response, you can go through the Matthew 25 Network.

Re: Letter from 2012 from Jennifer Thweatt-Bates in Summit, NJ
Discussion Thread
Response (Jonathan Bartha)10/29/2008 02:48 PM
Thanks for your e-mail. It was good of you to offer your candid reaction to Focus on the Family Action’s "Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America."

We’ve heard from many people who found this resource helpful; some, like you, have disagreed with our approach. While critics of this document accuse us of engaging in "sensationalist fiction," it’s vital to underscore that we are not claiming to make definitive predictions on what a Barack Obama presidency would produce.

However, as the "Letter from 2012" makes evident, every scenario outlined in this piece is plausible based on recent documented events, court rulings, the Democratic Party’s stated agenda, and Senator Obama’s voting record and campaign promises. We invite you to re-read the introduction of the letter [] which clearly states that we are neither employing unfounded "fear tactics" nor speaking out with mean-spirited intent. On the contrary, we’ve posted a reasonable projection of what *could* occur with a Senator Obama presidency and a Democratic-controlled Congress. Of course, we hope and pray that none of the possible outcomes described in "Letter from 2012" come to pass.

It might be beneficial to provide some additional background on our mission to help you better understand our reasons for engaging in the public policy realm. We have no interest in partisan politics; rather, we care deeply about the sanctity of human life, the value of marriage, and the preservation of religious freedom. Dr. Dobson has espoused these crucial issues since he launched Focus on the Family in 1977 and has always encouraged people to consider them at the ballot box. Despite what the Matthew 25 Network and other pro-Obama action groups may say, we contend that Senator Obama’s record *significantly* differs from the pro-life and pro-family policies that many Christians hold dear. Some may label this "fearmongering" -- we call it a sobering, rational assessment based on actual events documented in the letter.

It might be helpful for you to read a concise summary of four key points that motivate us in our actions:

1) Senator Barack Obama’s record is well outside the mainstream. For example, he was rated the most liberal United States senator by the _National Journal_ in 2007 [].

2) A Democratic president, House and Senate has significant implications for pro-family policies. _The Wall Street Journal_ has stated that this election will usher in "one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history" if the Democrats control the White House and possess congressional majorities, including a filibuster-proof Senate []. This type of unchecked power, not seen since 1965, demands that voters critically examine the policies advocated by the Democratic Party.

3) Senator Obama’s commitment to causes championed by extreme liberal groups such as Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), both of which have endorsed him, are a source of great concern. Earlier this year, Senator Obama pledged that if elected president, he would advocate for and sign the "Freedom of Choice Act," which would repeal virtually every federal and state law regulating or limiting abortion -- including parental involvement laws for teenagers, late-term abortion bans, and limits on public funding of abortion. He has also indicated that he will make it a priority to repeal the "Defense of Marriage Act," which allows states to restrict marriage to one man and one woman. In addition, he backs other HRC-supported initiatives including the passage of "hate crimes" legislation and the "Employment Non-Discrimination Act" []. Similar legislation has penalized Christians who hold a biblical view of sexuality.

4) Senator Obama’s stated appreciation of United States Supreme Court Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and David Souter -- along with his votes against the nominations of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito -- indicate he would appoint judges with a judicial philosophy detrimental to pro-family causes.

On a final note, organizational endorsements of political candidates wed groups to their candidate in a way that may not lend itself to an honest critique of that individual’s weaknesses. As you’re likely aware, the group behind the Matthew 25 Web site endorsed Senator Obama for president.

Again, thanks for writing. We hope this response has helped clarify our perspective and explained why we feel the Matthew 25 Network’s version of "choosing hope" without a sober look at the troubling elements of Senator Obama’s candidacy is misguided. Grace and peace to you.

Jonathan Bartha
Focus on the Family Action

1 comment:

Justin Burton said...

>>This type of unchecked power, not seen since 1965, demands that voters critically examine the policies advocated by the Democratic Party.<<

Didn't the Republicans just control the White House, House, and Senate for, like, six years? Does that not qualify as unchecked power, or does FotF assume that Reps can check themselves, while Dems can't? Maybe I don't want an answer to that...

And during those six years, how much was abortion banned, and how many Constitutional amendments to ban gay marriage were passed at the national level?

I have a hard time deciding what's more ridiculous - the narrowness with which "family" is defined (and "pro," for that matter) or the inability of FotF to realize that the party that promised to carry their torch never did and never intended to...except every two years when an election rolled around.