Soulforce Day 4
Jul 21, 2006
Decided I'd better make a visit to the Focus On The Family headquarters.
Our hotel this week is across the street from Focus on the Family. As I walk the short journey I talk to my head.
"Stay open to a way forward."
Smiling Josh greets me at the door of the welcome center. I shake his hand. After introductions I tell him I'm with Soulforce, and here to learn what I can about Focus On The Family. I ask if I can talk with someone from the gender issues group.
"I'll call." he says. Come back to this desk in five minutes." Wandering around I see the displays for Children's ministries, Parent ministries, Military ministries, International ministries.
In one area I see a TV playing an interview between Larry King and James Dobson. It's the only news piece in the whole huge welcome centerm and it focuses on homosexuality. Larry King is asking Dobson about marriage. Dobson says homosexuals can't be a family. Then he says that marriage is about commitment, and homosexuals can't be committed, don't want to be committed. Cites a statistic that homosexuals have between 300 to 1000 sexual partners. Claims that homosexuals want to get rid of marriage. King asks him, "Then why are gay and lesbian people asking for marriage if they don't want marriage and they don't want commitment?"
Dobson reiterates that gays want to do away with marriage. He says that now that gay marriage is in site, gay activists are changing the goal to getting rid of marriage entirely, and then redefine it without commitment.
This clip wouldn't pass a seventh grade speech class for consistency, but it's the showcase piece that Focus chooses to show. Shows how differently that different groups can look at the same event and interpret it so very differently.
Josh tells me that the entire gender issues group is gathered in a staff meeting. Could I call tomorrow? I can call tomorrow.
Bookstore: 4 books on homosexuality.
- Two are on reparative therapy, how gayness is caused by bad parenting and the steps to turn heterosexual again. One book for men. One for women
- Two are on the gay agenda. I take AGENDA, the one by Louis P. Sheldon off the shelf and see it starts with gay bathhouses and then says that bathhouse sex is the goal of the gay agenda movement. It drips with fear.
"Keep the mind open," I tell myself, but I feel it shutting down on me. How do you talk to an ideology? Ideology can't encounter humanity. Ideology can only check whether something does or doesn't fit in the box that's been constructed.
That's the brilliance of this Soulforce March. Day after day, under nature's hot sun, alongside of trucks and cars, we take steps toward a destination and weave stories together. Understanding grows from shared tales.
Perhaps this is hope. To keep telling stories. To keep trusting the Word. To keep open to the possibility that freedom may some day unravel the bondage of ideology and step us forward to justice.
We march for one more day on Friday. I will miss the road when this march is finished. It's been filled with a gentle unfolding of treasure.
And yes, I'll call Josh back tomorrow. Another day, another story. Stay open, dear head, stay open.
Soulforce has created two documents relating to Focus On The Family.
32-Page free PDF Booklet: A FALSE FOCUS ON MY FAMILY
Free Online Video: DEAR DR. DOBSON: AN OPEN VIDEO LETTER TO FOCUS ON THE FAMILY