Claiming Space, Identity, and Justice
Edited By Gerald Walton
SECTION FIVE: Seizing Control of Politics and the Law
SECTION FIVE Seizing Control of Politics and the Law CHAPTER SEVENTEEN My "Gay Agenda": A Response to Focus on the Family Warren]. Blumenfeld We live in a paradoxical society in which loving sameness makes one differ- ent while loving difference makes one the same. -(Blumenfeld, 2013) Focus on the Family (FOF), a conservative theocratic1 mega-media Christian ministry, asserted in published accounts (Draper,, 2010) that gay rights advocates are forcing their viewpoints (their so-called gay agenda) onto schools in the guise of bullying prevention. In Draper's Denver Post article, FOF spokesperson Candi Cushman asserted that gay activists are the real schoolyard bullies while conservative Christians are the victims. According to Cushman, "We feel more and more that activists are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints, while the viewpoint of Christian students and parents are increasingly belittled." In this chapter, I argue that advancing a positive social and aca- demic climate in schools for students, faculty, staff, and administra- tors of all social identities, including sexual and gender identities, should be major priorities ("agenda" items) for all (including people at Focus on the Family) if they are truly interested in ensuring safer and more welcoming school environments. Background On its official website, FOF promotes itself as "a global Christian ministry dedicated to helping families thrive. We provide help and resources for couples to build healthy marriages that reflect God's design, and for parents to raise their children according to morals and values grounded in biblical principles." FOF...
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