Saturday, February 7, 2009

Targeting Youth with Anti-Gay Lies: AFA Facebook Group Goes Closed

When I last blogged about the new American Family Association Facebook site (, I stated the following:

The AFA site is currently marketing itself as an open group site with open discussion. But that claim is belied by the administrators’ handling of the discussion board. Because it’s open, it’s receiving contributions from posters who are energetically challenging the AFA agenda—including a delightful Rev. Kris Hussein Smithleton, whose username is a cheeky response to some of the bona fide AFA members who seem to think it’s still clever to spell out the new president’s full name.

But follow the postings, and you’ll note that censorship is alive and well on the site. Discussion topics that get into the face of AFA have been disappearing from the site with notes that the posting was removed. It will be interesting to see how long the site remains open and permits posters like Rev. Kris (and other courageous souls who are also logging on to make their voices heard) to contribute to discussion at the site.

I went to the site today, and here's what I find (


When we began this page we intended the discussion board to be an open forum in which all persons with all points of view were welcome to participate. We have calculated that, out of 45,000+ members only 200 or so persons participate on the discussion board and most of these individuals are not members. We also observed that discussion often became uncivil on certain threads, particularly when homosexuality was the topic. After receiving several complaints we have decided to limit participation on the discussion boards to members.

In the future all members must be invited to join the group. Hence forth we are instituting a strict policy requiring civility on the wall and discussion board. Those who violate the policy will be removed from membership.

Can't have much discussion, can you, when one side has "the" Truth and uses it to beat the other side about the head with? It appears discussion--or pursuing the truth--is not the name of the game for these religious right groups "reaching out" to youth today, just as dialogue and shared pursuit of a truth that transcends all of us, and which none of us owns, is not the name of the game for those whom Joseph S. O'Leary calls neocaths (