Sunday, December 04, 2005

So, it's really about discrimination, isn't it?

I just caught a brief note on CBC's hourly news mentioning that James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" organization has decided to stop doing business with the Wells Fargo bank.

The reasons? It seems that Dobson's group objects to the fact that Wells Fargo has anything at all to do with the GLBT communities in the markets they serve:

The aim is to give gay and lesbian companies more business, but they don’t stop there. They are also interested in gay youth.

“They also have given money to Gay and Lesbian Youth Center; they’ve given money to Family Pride Coalition, which advocates adoption for same sex couples.”

In 2003 alone, Wells Fargo gave $2.1 million to more than 95 non-profit agencies serving the homosexual community. That brings their total giving since the 1980’s to more than $14 million. Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family.

Dear God! How could Wells Fargo be so immoral? I don't know - perhaps because they figured out that doing business visibly with marginalized communities is actually good for business in the long run. Heaven forbid that they might actually do something that might help these people.

Then, Dobson's organization goes on to say:

“We have to do business with some companies because there are no alternatives. All you can do is refuse to do business with those who are most aggressive in terms of promoting that lifestyle.”
Focus on the Family is sympathetic to the homosexual community but opposes the radical agenda by activists. The ministry will be switching all its banking to First National Bank Omaha, described as a family-friendly institution.

I see...once again we are treated to the classic "I have no problem with group X, but..." argument. To which the only response is Bullshit! - all that line of "yabbut" reasoning is doing is attempting to self-justify an otherwise untenable piece of irrational logic.

Like the recent Vatican policy on homosexuality in the Church, Focus on the Family's real intent is to restore the "old order" that puts the "Christian Family" (whatever that really is) above all others in society, and self-justifies their desire to marginalize others who are for one reason or another are "different", whether by gender, ethnic tradition or whatever.

With organizations like FOTF attempting to inject themselves into Canada's political dialogue, it's very important to recognize what they really are, and who they back politically. These are not organizations which look forward, they are organizations that look to the past and idealize it. They like the idea of being able to marginalize people based on their sexuality, gender, ethnicity or whatever other arbitrary criteria they can derive from scripture.

Now - that means if you are not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (Fundamentalist) Male, you can look forward to being marginalized by these clowns. If you are female, gay, black, whatever, you can expect to see your rights to participate fully in society withdrawn either implicitly or explicitly. Do we want a government that is being influenced by such open minds as these? In the current United States government, it's organizations like this that push "abstinence-only" sex education programs; fight tooth and nail against abortion rights (actually, reproductive rights period). Similarly, these organizations also inject themselves into the education system on matters such as science education. Really - do we want to spool the social clock all the way back to the Dark Ages after the collapse of the Roman Empire?


Lori said...

The irony is almost painful. You know, if Wells Fargo were donating money to NAMBLA or some other such organization that plausibly could be harming society (I'm really permissive, but I believe that little kids should be left out of any sort of sexual activity), then I would understand. But they are donating to legitimate, family-oriented organizations!

Some of my relatives get Focus on the Family's magazine, and I sometimes browse through it when I'm at their houses. It never fails to amaze me how all the writers there (and all the readers, apparently) just accept as a given such backward topics as the necessity of a woman submitting to her husband's authority in all (or virtually all) decisions. This is just the first example that comes to mind, but the mag is laden with this type of rubbish.

Anonymous said...

A tangential point: Companies generally don't do anything for altruistic reasons. Wells-Fargo might be courting the GBLT community for the simple reason that openly GBLT individuals tend to be well educated and childless. In other words, they would have (compared to the average) a large disposable income. They need to decide if the amount of money they lose pissing off evangelicals is offset by additional business from the GBLT community.


Anonymous said...

"First National Bank of Omaha is a family friendly bank?". Well I know they were deeply involved in the Enron Fraud, in fact gave Enron their first loan before Enron moved to Houston...(the Enron building in Omaha became First National Omaha's Visa headquarters in the 1990's). Family experience deep in the closet working in FNBO's accounting dept. taught me that the banks values were all about the money, and keeping secrets. The customers were called ;victims'.