by Charles S. Garabedian
The American Family Association (AFA) is a Christian fundamentalist parachurch organization associated with the so-called Religious Right in the United States. This organization is famous for its vicious, foaming-at-the-mouth bigotry against American citizens who are LGBTQ. Their bigotry is so bad that the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has officially designated the AFA as a hate group. The SPLC, located in Montgomery, Alabama, is one of the most famous and legitimate civil rights organizations in the United States—an organization widely known for its faithfulness and integrity in monitoring and fighting against the Ku Klux Klan, Skinheads, American Nazi Party, and other similar hate organizations. The AFA has spent time on the list with these other “charming organizations” for a number of years now and will no doubt continue to do so in the future.
One famous creation of the SPLC is an interactive electronic map of the United States showing the names and locations of their designated hate groups. Got a Ku Klux Klan klavern in your city or county? Go to the SPLC Hate Map and check it out. Since its creation, this hate group map has really turned up the heat on the AFA, and it is scorching them too. I read a lot of articles in periodicals, and I have been noticing that numerous articles mention the full name of the AFA and follow it with a parenthetical note about its hate group status. It appears the heat in the kitchen is getting to them badly, so much so that they felt compelled to fight back by creating an AFA map showing the locations of organizations dealing in “bigotry” against Christian fundamentalists—as if anyone but fundies really care (roll of the eyes).
You may read a new article about the AFA and its Anti-Christian Bigotry Map by clicking on the following safe link:
However, before you do, look again at the title of their map. Here is that Christian fundamentalist code language issue cropping up again. The most appropriate and accurate map title should have been Anti-Christian Fundamentalist Bigotry Map. But no. They used the word “Christian” alone. Why would they do that? Remember our previous discussions on fundie code language? Use of the word Christian alone is an element of fundie deceit that gives the false impression that all other American Christians and Christian denominations outside of Fundieville have somehow settled their differences with the fundies and united with them in support of this map. Sure. Regularly spit on the Mainline Christians, call them apostate, tell them they are enemies of God and are going burn in Hell—but somehow they have all united for this stupid AFA map. Want to buy some swamp land in Arizona?
Short of giving up its bigotry, I suspect the AFA would do just about anything to get itself removed from official hate group status and the SPLC Hate Groups Map. It is very bad public relations for the AFA on a national scale.
However, many nonfundie Christians like me, who are opposed to the LGBTQ bigotry of the AFA and the excesses of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism, feel differently about the AFA Anti-Christian Bigotry Map. Personally, I would consider it a high honor for this blog to be listed on their map because there is no shame in fighting for Jesus Christ against a broad-spectrum fundie belief system widely known for purveyance of hatred, the lies it tells in the name of Jesus; its historically recent and corrupt beliefs; its distortion and misuse of the Holy Bible; its sellout of the church to evil Republican politics; its dereliction of a large portion of the gospel message, and its near abandonment of those Jesus particularly loved, identified with, and called the “least of these.” If that qualifies as bigotry, then the Flee from Christian Fundamentalism blog says to the AFA: “Sign us up for a location on your stupid map.”
Note: The author of this blog article is a devout Mainline Christian who has prayed the classic Sinner’s Prayer, meant every word of it, and has had a full-dunk baptism in a Christian fundamentalist church. He is a heterosexual family man who has been married to one female wife—only—across a span of 40 years. In all of that time, he has never cheated on his wife with another woman. In addition, he has never had any homosexual or bisexual inclinations or urges. He and his wife have two very nice heterosexual children who are ages 15 and 23. The author was born in the American South; grew up there in a highly conservative small town; and has lived Down South all of his life. He was raised in the old Methodist Church and The United Methodist Church. In addition, he was once a member of a large, highly conservative Southern Baptist Convention church. At this time, he is a long-time member of the United Methodist Church.