Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Targeting Youth with Anti-Gay Lies: American Family Association's New Facebook Site

Another reminder that those of us who commit ourselves to challenge the religious right's assault on the foundations of our democracy must continue to be vigilant: as I noted some weeks back, in this new year we can look for the religious right to try in every way possible to present a kinder, gentler version of itself to youth, who are turning away from this political movement for more progressive forms of evangelicalism (http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2009/01/obamas-election-and-rise-of-hate-groups.html). I've been noting that I foresee the religious right to try to make inroads among youth by crafting new strategies of outreach including campus visits, campus crusades, and enhanced web technologies (http://bilgrimage.blogspot.com/2009/01/targeting-youth-with-anti-gay-lies.html).

For continued evidence that this new youth outreach is an urgent priority for the religious right now, check out this posting at Pam's House Blend blog on the weekend: www.pamshouseblend.com/showDiary.do?diaryId=9184. As it notes, the American Family Association, a leader of the religious right's anti-gay movement, has just launched a Facebook site.

The announcement of the new site spells out its political intent: "And you can network wtih like-minded people concerned about America's moral decline." Visit the AFA Facebook page (www.facebook.com/home.php#/group.php?sid=c34b8f8b0792c32225794d23e67ad881&gid=8160796407), and you'll find statements indicating that the demographic that the new site is targeting is the age group 15-34. You'll also see AFA's political agenda tricked out in Facebook format, with discussion groups on all the usual right-wing wedge issues--abortion, gay folks and gay lives, prayer in schools, etc.--which try to convince young folks that it's all about love and not about hate.

But read between the lines and see if you agree . . . .