I am not ready to start a new, long series about music just yet, so tonight we shall discuss the hate filled, venom spitting American Family Association (AFA). This is one of the most conservative, evangelical groups that exists and qualifies as being termed a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
I go back a very long time with the AFA. When I lived in Arkansas, their radio stations were everywhere (as they are now) and they had also started a website, afa.net. They also run a radical news organization, onenewsnow.com (ONN). It is interesting that this could be pronounced either "one news now", or "one new snow". I like the latter better because their "articles" are a big snow job for the most part. It is ironic that ONN is also the acronym for Onion News Network, and their stories are often more realistic that the AFA ones are. I commented on some of their news articles and drew the wrath of the son of the founder. I wish I still had the emails that he sent me; they were mean spirited and nasty.
Before we get very far into this, let me make my philosophy clear. I am not a believer in any religion, but I am not one of those "evangelical atheists" who want to make it difficult for believers. I just do not think that public funds should be expended to promote any religion, regardless of what the particular religion is. Likewise, I do not think that public funds should be expended to suppress any religion. I am a live and let live sort of person, unless someone threatens me or my loved ones. The AFA, in my estimate, threatens all of us who do not agree with them.
One News Now used to let you comment directly on their site, but stopped that because of being responsible for the comments (some of which were open threats to the President of the United States) in my opinion. Next they used Facebook for comments and then stopped that after only a couple of months. Now they use Disqus for reasons that are not clear to me.
This organization started out in 1977 as the National Federation for Decency and concentrated on content on TeeVee. They changed their name sometime later and broadened their vision. Even though they are highly active politically, they are tax exempt under the IRS 501(c)(3) clause. That should be reevaluated by IRS.
As I write this on Thursday evening, here are some of the articles currently running on ONN:
GLSEN booted from elementary classrooms, about the right wing Christian legal organization Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and its "victory" in an Illinois school district. Of course they are all for that.
Campaign against healthcare 'penalty' continues, the topic of which is obvious. Of course, if President Obama has anything to do with anything, they are all against that.
Lies = protected free speech, about the Supreme Court decision upholding the right for people to claim falsely that they are decorated military without legal penalty. They think that the First Amendment should not apply; they had better be careful.
Public opinion of Supreme Court, about how awful Chief Justice John Roberts is. Since anything President Obama is bad, Roberts is bad for voting the way he did on the Affordable Healthcare Act.
'Spit wad' case comes to a close, about a student that was expelled for firing plastic projectiles from a peashooter at fellow students. The extremely conservative Rutherford Institute is bent out of shape because the Supreme Court would not hear the case! The AFA takes the side of the Rutherford Institute.
Can you have 3 parents? Maybe in California, about SB 1476 that would allow judges to give joint parental rights to three people if the facts warrant. Of course that is bad because the bill includes both heterosexual and homosexual people to be deemed to have parental rights.
California bill could stop LGBT teachings, about the effort to rescind SB 48, the law that encourages teaching about the contributions of LBGT people to society. Of course that is bad because LGBT people are bad. By the way, anytime the word gay in the orientation sense is mentioned in a ONN article, it is represented "gay", always with quotes. Likewise, anytime marriage betwixt two people of the same gender is mentioned, it is called either same sex "marriage" or homosexual "marriage".
ADF on board with Mississippi re: abortionist requirements, about the recent injunction on the anti choice law passed in Mississippi. The AFA is thrilled that the ADF is taking on the heavy lifting to prevent women from exercising their Constitutional rights.
An opinion piece by the very nutty Dr. Paul Kengor called Supreme Court helps Obama fulfill dreams from his communist mentor. Kengor is the author of several nutty books, and this is a plug for his latest nutty book. He is a professor of political science at Grove City College, an extremely conservative Christian institution. He is also a regular contributor to Townhall.com. Need I say more?
This is what 'tabloid' journalism looks like, an attack on climate change advocates with some blurbs from someone from the Media Research Center, an extremely conservative media critic.
School choice expanded in Penn.[sic], about the conservative effort to weaken public schools by getting conservative individuals and corporations to contribute to a "scholarship" fund to pay for tuition for private and parochial schools. To the AFA, public schools are really government schools, intent on indoctrination of young people to secular humanism and the resultant evils.
Report: 'Significant decline' in giving, lamenting how giving to religious organizations is down and what can be done to increase it.
The high cost of children's healthcare, about how the cost for that demographic is increasing faster than for adults. However, very thinly disguised in the article is the attack on mental health treatment issues for children. Not explicitly stated in the article is that more corporal punishment and Bible study is the real answer. At least that is my opinion of what they are really saying.
University shows respect for 1st Amendment, about UCLA buckling to the ADF threat to sue if the university enforced its policy that forbade posting of flyers demeaning people for "demeaning social stereotypes based on race, ethnicity, culture, gender or sexual orientation." But it is OK to forbid people from claiming falsely that they are decorated military folks.
Bill to quicken dismissal of abusive teachers goes nowhere, a thinly disguised tirade against public schools and teacher's unions. Remember, government schools are bad and teacher's unions are even worse.
Will Mexico go soft on cartels?, a lament from The Heritage Foundation about the newly elected president of Mexico. I was beginning to wonder where the piece related to The Heritage Foundation was tonight.
Without religious freedom ..., a fluff piece for Liberty Institute, another wingnut organization. It is beyond me why parts of the First Amendment are good, whilst other parts are bad.
RI protects memorials, religious symbols, another Liberty Institute tribute about the new law in Rhode Island that allows religions symbols to reside on public property if they have "secular value". Who decides THAT? By the way, my personal opinion is that it is fine for crosses, stars of David, crescent moons, pentagrams, or other religions symbols to be on public property. I am NOT a radical when it comes to things like that. I am more of a live and let live person. On the other hand, with the single exception of military grave markers, I do not think that public funds should be used for any of them, and I suspect that the costs are about the same to engrave any of those or other symbols.
Focus: 'We need to band together', about the effort that Focus on the Family is making to raise money for those in Colorado who have been devastated by the unprecedented (and possibly cause by climate change) wildfires. I have nothing negative to say about FOF trying to help people.
Opportunity seen in Stolen Valor Act defeat, another article about military decorations claimed falsely and a new effort to pass a different unconstitutional law to ban it.
Anti-SB 48 coalition 'not going to go away', another article similar to the one above about the new law in California that encourages public schools to teach about the contributions of LGBT people to society.
Unique 9-11 film in the works, about an upcoming motion picture about, you guessed it, the attack those years ago being produced by a Christian production company. Not enough information was provided to know if this is a propaganda piece or legitimate. Not providing key facts is a hallmark of ONN and AFA.
Pastors: Obama doesn't understand 'civil rights', about a black pastors' group who dislike the President's stand on same sex marriage. Remember, if our President has anything to do with anything, it must be bad.
Appreciating Andy Griffith's positive influence, a tribute to a truly great person who, like all of us, had his flaws. I was shocked that the article mentioned his first film, the brilliant motion picture that was directed by Elia Kazan called A Face in the Crowd. If you have not seen it, get it. I saw it for the first time only a few weeks ago and understand why Keith Olbermann often referred to Glen Beck as "Lonesome Rhodes". Griffith was excellent at comedy, but he was also a truly gifted dramatic actor. I guess that wholesomeness won out over politics for this one, since Griffith was a lifelong Democrat and worked with his protoge, Ron Howard, to produce pro Obama adverts for the 2008 election.
Pro-aborts respond with vandalism, a piece about some anti choice folks having their homes vandalized, which I abhor. There is no excuse for such behavior. The interesting thing is some of the comments, and I copy and paste withing the Fair Use doctrine.
A commenter called William says:
James Blue: Name one incident done by pro-lifers that equates to physical assault resulting in hospitalization, or home invasion and graffiti on a personal home please. Just one will do. With references to the article or police report.James Blue just demolishes William with this:
discuss doesn't allow links, let's see if this worksThose are just the articles in their main area tonight. Usually Michele Malkin has an opinion piece on ONN, but not tonight.
In the U.S., violence directed towards abortion providers has killed
at least eight people, including four doctors, two clinic employees, a
security guard, and a clinic escort.
March 10, 1993: Dr. David Gunn of Pensacola, Florida was fatally shot during a protest. He had been the subject of wanted-style posters distributed by Operation Rescue in the summer of 1992. Michael F. Griffin was found guilty of Gunn's murder and was sentenced to life in prison.July 29, 1994: Dr. John Britton and James Barrett, a clinic escort, were both shot to death outside another facility, the Ladies Center, in Pensacola. Rev. Paul Jennings Hill was charged with the killings. Hill received a death sentence
and was executed on September 3, 2003. The clinic in Pensacola had been
bombed before and was also bombed subsequently, in 1984 and 2012.December 30, 1994: Two receptionists, Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols, were killed in two clinic attacks in Brookline, Massachusetts. John Salvi
was arrested and confessed to the killings. He died in prison and
guards found his body under his bed with a plastic garbage bag tied
around his head. Salvi had also confessed to a non-lethal attack in Norfolk, Virginia days before the Brookline killings.January 29, 1998: Robert Sanderson, an off-duty police officer who worked as a security guard at an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama, was killed when his workplace was bombed. Eric Robert Rudolph, who was also responsible for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing, was charged with the crime and received two life sentences as a result.October 23, 1998: Dr. Barnett Slepian was shot to death with a high-powered rifle at his home in Amherst, New York.
His was the last in a series of similar shootings against providers in
Canada and northern New York state which were all likely committed by James Kopp. Kopp was convicted of Slepian's murder after finally being apprehended in France in 2001.
May 31, 2009: Dr. George Tiller was shot and killed by Scott Roeder as Tiller served as an usher at church in Wichita, Kansas.
Attempted murder, assault, and kidnapping
According to statistics gathered by the National Abortion Federation (NAF), an organization of abortion providers, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, there have been 17 attempted murders, 383 death threats, 153 incidents of assault or battery, and 3 kidnappings committed against abortion providers. Attempted murders in the U.S. included:
August 19, 1993: Dr. George Tiller was shot outside of an abortion facility in Wichita, Kansas. Shelley Shannon
was charged with the crime and received an 11-year prison sentence (20
years were later added for arson and acid attacks on clinics).July 29, 1994: June Barret was shot in the same attack which claimed the lives of James Barrett, her husband, and Dr. John Britton.December 30, 1994: Five individuals were wounded in the shootings which killed Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols.October 28, 1997: Dr. David Gandell of Rochester, New York was injured by flying glass when a shot was fired through the window of his home.January 29, 1998: Emily Lyons, a nurse, was severely injured, and lost an eye, in the bombing which also killed Robert Sanderson.
Arson, bombing, and property crime
According to NAF, since 1977 in the United States and Canada, property crimes committed against abortion providers have included 41 bombings, 173 arsons, 91 attempted bombings or arsons, 619 bomb threats, 1630 incidents of trespassing, 1264 incidents of vandalism, and 100 attacks with butyric acid ("stink bombs"). The New York Times
also cites over one hundred clinic bombings and incidents of arson,
over three hundred invasions, and over four hundred incidents of
vandalism between 1978 and 1993. The first clinic arson occurred in Oregon in March 1976 and the first bombing occurred in February 1978 in Ohio. Incidents have included:
December 25, 1984: An abortion clinic and two physicians' offices in Pensacola, Florida
were bombed in the early morning of Christmas Day by a quartet of young
people (Matt Goldsby, Jimmy Simmons, Kathy Simmons, Kaye Wiggins) who
later called the bombings "a gift to Jesus on his birthday." The clinic, the Ladies Center, would later be the site of the murder of Dr. John Britton and James Barrett in 1994 and a firebombing in 2012.May 21, 1998: Three people were injured when acid was poured at the entrances of five abortion clinics in Miami, Florida.October 1999: Martin Uphoff set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, causing US$100 worth of damage. He was later sentenced to 60 months in prison.May 28, 2000: An arson at a clinic in Concord, New Hampshire resulted in several thousand dollars' worth of damage. The case remains unsolved. This was the second arson at the clinic.September 30, 2000: John Earl, a Catholic priest, drove his
car into the Northern Illinois Health Clinic after learning that the FDA
had approved the drug RU-486.
He pulled out an ax before being forced to the ground by the owner of
the building, who fired two warning shots from a shotgun.June 11, 2001: An unsolved bombing at a clinic in Tacoma, Washington destroyed a wall, resulting in $6,000 in damages.July 4, 2005: A clinic Palm Beach, Florida was the target of an arson. The case remains open.December 12, 2005: Patricia Hughes and Jeremy Dunahoe threw a Molotov cocktail at a clinic in Shreveport, Louisiana.
The device missed the building and no damage was caused. In August
2006, Hughes was sentenced to six years in prison, and Dunahoe to one
year. Hughes claimed the bomb was a "memorial lamp" for an abortion she
had had there.September 13, 2006 David McMenemy of Rochester Hills, Michigan, crashed his car into the Edgerton Women's Care Center in Davenport,
Iowa. He then doused the lobby in gasoline and started a fire. McMenemy
committed these acts in the belief that the center was performing
abortions; however, Edgerton is not an abortion clinic. Time magazine listed the incident in a "Top 10 Inept Terrorist Plots" list.April 25, 2007: A package left at a women's health clinic in Austin, Texas,
contained an explosive device capable of inflicting serious injury or
death. A bomb squad detonated the device after evacuating the building.
Paul Ross Evans (who had a criminal record for armed robbery and theft)
was found guilty of the crime.May 9, 2007: An unidentified person deliberately set fire to a Planned Parenthood clinic in Virginia Beach, Virginia.December 6, 2007: Chad Altman and Sergio Baca were arrested
for the arson of Dr. Curtis Boyd's clinic in Albuquerque. Altman's
girlfriend had scheduled an appointment for an abortion at the clinic.January 22, 2009 Matthew L. Derosia, 32, who was reported to have had a history of mental illness rammed an SUV into the front entrance of a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Paul, Minnesota.January 1, 2012 Bobby Joe Rogers, 41, firebombed the American Family Planning Clinic in Pensacola, Florida with a Molotov cocktail;
the fire gutted the building. Rogers told investigators that he was
motivated to commit the crime by his opposition to abortion, and that
what more directly prompted the act was seeing a patient enter the
clinic during one of the frequent anti-abortion protests there. The
clinic had previously been bombed at Christmas in 1984 and was the site
of the murder of Dr. John Britton and James Barrett in 1994.
April 1, 2012 A bomb exploded on the windowsill of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Grand Chute, Wisconsin,
resulting in a fire that damaged one of the clinic's examination rooms.
No injuries were reported. On April 3, the FBI arrested 50-year-old
Francis Grady on charges of "arson of a building used in interstate
commerce" and "intentionally damaging the property of a facility that
provides reproductive health services".
The first hoax letters claiming to contain anthrax were mailed to U.S. clinics in October 1998, a few days after the Slepian shooting; since then, there have been 655 such bioterror threats made against abortion providers. None of the "anthrax" in these cases was real.
November 2001: After the genuine 2001 anthrax attacks, Clayton Waagner
mailed hoax letters containing a white powder to 554 clinics. On
December 3, 2003, Waagner was convicted of 51 charges relating to the
So let us review. Out of 26 featured pieces, only two were what I would term nonpolitical, the one about Focus on the Family doing the fundraiser and the one about Andy Griffith. Of the 24 remaining, five were concerned with opposing rights for LGBT people, at least four were very critical of our President, two were about lying about military awards, several were about public schools, one denied climate change, at least one was anti choice, and I leave it to you to categorize the others.
The point is that ONN and the AFA are sort of like the Fox "News" Channel on steroids. The difference is that Fox seems to have a bit more integrity than ONN, and here is why.
ONN and the AFA are absolutely against gay people. They always try to cover themselves with "Hate the sin; love the sinner", but they fall short. The AFA and their "news" outlet ONN are extreme anti gay bigots, and their commenters are even more so. Their overt hate speech was so extreme that late in 2010 the Southern Poverty Law Center designated the AFA as a hate group, and I believe that this was the correct designation. I have covered only the tip of the iceberg tonight.
They are liars as well. They have two splinter groups called "One Million Dads" and "One Million Moms" that have around, maybe a couple of dozen thousand members each. Those groups are supposed to be there to protect children from being victimized by the media. Their boycott of JC Penney when they hired Ellen DeGeneres sure worked, did it not?
The AFA will boycott any group or business that they perceive as being pro gay, pro choice, or "anti Christmas", amongst other reasons. They must have boycotted at least two dozen companies, including big ones like McDonald's (they had a board member who was also a board member for a gay advocacy group), Disney (for supporting benefits for same sex partners of employees), and Hallmark cards (for introducing a line of same sex wedding cards). They got more than they bargained for when they boycotted WaldonBooks.
WaldonBooks was selling Penthouse and Playboy magazines, something that the AFA just can not stand. The AFA boycotted WaldonBooks after a similar effort had been successful in making 7-Eleven stop selling those magazines. WaldonBooks (along with several cocomplainants) sued the AFA under the RICO statue arguing that they were using strongarm tactics to harass a legitimate business. The AFA settled out of court. I do not what the terms were, but the boycott stopped.
How do they have this sort of power? There is an element in society that believe in theocracy. I have not been able to get the total membership, but there at least 3.4 millions of people who have signed up for email "Action Alerts" from the AFA to boycott this or take some other action such as contacting members of Congress. This is a significant number of people. Certainly not all 3.4 million follow the action alerts, because I am sure that many are like me and subscribe (it is free) to see what is on their mind. If you do, set up a separate email account so your mailbox does not get clogged with donation requests.
To experience the true nature of the AFA, you just have to go to onenewsnow.com and read the comments after the news stories. Some of the folks there are pretty radical. The spelling, grammar, and syntax can be pretty interesting as well. A few regulars there just hate it when folks who do not agree with their point of view make statements, and some of their retorts are amusing.
Sometimes the comments can get quite threatening. Here is a response (verbatim, I copied and pasted it into a word processing program) to a comment that I actually reported to the Secret Service. By the way, the agent was very nice and genuinely happy to get the information.
YEP PAUL IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE THE HOUSE OF REPS- THE APPROPIATIONS COMMITTE- BUT AS ALWAYS WITH OBAMA HE THINKLS HE IS DICATOT SJUPREME AND IS BREAKING THE CONSTITUTION AT SUCH A RAPID RATE IN EVERYTHING HE DOES- THIS IS HIGH TREASON AND THE END RESULT IS HANGING FOR IT- HE NOT ONLY NEED TO FACE THE PUNISHMENT- HE NEEDS HIS SKIN PEELED OFF WITH A TWEZZER WHILE HANGING FOR WHAT HE HAS DONE TO AMERICANS -WHEN IS THIS DEVIL DICTATOR GOINGH TO BE OUT OF THE OVAL OFFICE HE OCCUPPIES ILLEGALLY- IT HAD BETTER BE NOV. HOPEFULLY VOTER ARE NOT THAT STPID AGAIN THIS ELECTION YEAR AND WE NEED TO WATCH FOR FRAUD IN THE VOTERS BOOTHS ALL ACROSS AMERICA- HE IS NOT BELOW ANYTHING TO GET HIS DICTATOR IDEAS!!This one has it all: horrific spelling, improperly conjugated verbs, nonsensical syntax, and am implicit threat towards the President. This was from late in February of this year, whilst they were still using Facebook for comments. By the way, I expunged the names of the person making the comment and the last name of the person to whom she addressed it.
The AFA is not a joke, although prose like that just above sounds like one. It is in fact a radical, hate filled, and dangerous organization that gets a free ride insofar as paying taxes goes. As of 20110630 the AFA had over $37.5 million in assets and only $3.3 million in liabilities. Of the assets, over $9 million was cash and $16.9 million in fixed assets (think low power radio stations; they have over 180 of them). By far the largest source of their income is donations, which amounted to almost $16.5 million in the fiscal year ended 20110630. This is not chump change.
In closing, I monitor the AFA because I believe that they are a threat to the American way of life. Their tactics are questionable and their causes suspect. They claim not to hate anyone, but judging from the comments on ONN, many of their followers do not have that reservation. I encourage people to check out onenewsnow.com from time to time and read the articles (the in house ones are usually extremely short, to accommodate the attention span of many of the readers; ones from the AP are usually longer) and in particular to read the comments. It is the comments that really give insight to this part of society, and they have been extremely illuminating to me.
Please comment freely on this important issue. I would like to know if you think that I am overreacting or if you agree that this is a dangerous outfit.
Next time we shall have a happier topic. Warmest regards,