Saturday, October 15, 2005

The Dangers of Random Internet Surfing

Like many, I use Firefox for browsing the internet and have taken advantage of its many plugins. One of my favourites is Stumble Upon, which essentially sends you to a webpage based upon your interests. Well, one of my interests is politics, so I got sent here.

American Family Association: American Girl teams with pro-abortion, pro-lesbian group

Who is this evil pro-abortion, pro-lesbian group? Girls, Inc.

It seems that, you can buy a bracelet from "American Girl" (a doll like Barbie) that says the simple phrase, "I can." The ultimate message being to girls - you can be whatever you want and do whatever you want - that you shouldn't feel pressure or restraint because you're female. 70 cents from every bracelet purchased goes to supporting Girls, Inc.

This American Family Asshat Association insists:
... Girls Inc. has on their webpage a statement saying they particularly support abortion and a girl's right to abort an unwanted baby. They were quite clear about their support for Roe, so there is no mistake or room for confusion on that count. Additionally, Girls Inc. supports contraceptives for girls.

They also support and offer resources encouraging lesbian and bi-sexual lifestyles, actually offering resources for girls. One of their publications states, "The emergence of a lesbian identity is an ongoing process, rather than an event."
I cannot begin to argue about just how stupid this whole thing is and how angry I got just reading the above tripe.

On the abortion and contraception front, Girls, Inc says:
Girls Incorporated affirms that girls and young women should make responsible decisions about sexuality, pregnancy and parenthood.

We recognize the right of all women to choose whether, when, and under what circumstances to bear children. Reproductive freedom and responsibility are essential to other rights and opportunities, including pursuit of education, employment, financial security and a stable and fulfilling family life. Restrictions of reproductive choice are especially burdensome for young women and poor women. Girls Incorporated supports a woman’s freedom of choice, a constitutional right established by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 in Roe vs. Wade.
This is the definition of "pro-abortion"? Supporting a constitutional right and woman's right to decide whether or not she wishes to reproduce? I don't see one sentence here that says they're pro-abortion. They support a woman's right to choose which is decidedly different than being pro-abortion. I support a woman's right to choose, but I'm not "pro-abortion".

And, what about this garbage about being "pro-lesbian"?
We recognize that any sizable group of girls includes those who face issues related to their sexual orientation or that of a family member and who face discrimination based on this sexual orientation. Girls have a right to positive, supportive environments and linkages to community resources for dealing with issues of sexual orientation.
Girls Incorporated encourages all girls to develop positive sexual identities and to function comfortably as responsible sexual beings. We recognize that the family is the primary source of information about sex and we help girls and young women communicate with their families about sexuality.
I can only assume that the American Family Association opposes this - the American Family Association opposes families and ultimately wants girls to grow up isolated, in the dark, and without any access to issues affecting them.

I'm probably giving more publicity to this AFA than they deserve just by writing this.

At any rate, I encourage you to investigate this on your own, and contact Mattel, and Girls, Inc. to indicate you support them. I hope nothing as stupid as this comes up here.

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Anonymous said...

To play devil's advocate for a moment, is it not likely that any group will put the best possible face on political positions the group holds? The real question is, does Girls, Inc. act according to their spun policy statements on their website or do they act in accordance with the positions ascribed to them by the AFA?

Yes, YOU may understand pro-choice to not be the same as pro-abortion, but Girls, Inc. may not have that same undestanding. Additionally, pro-lesbian doesn't seem to be a mischaracterization at all based on what you have said here. They have clearly stated (without stating) that if a girl comes to them and tells them they don't like boys, then the group will provide them support to "dicover" their sexual identity and resources to "communicate" their sexual identity to their families.

Never mind that depending on the age or maturity of the girl, she may just not be at a stage where she is ready for relationships with boys, or she has been wounded by abuse at the hands of men. In either case, the appropriate response ISN'T to give them a bunch of "How to Be a Lesbian" books and GBLT support group phone numbers, but instead to address the real issues - that perhaps she is under peer pressure to become "sexual" before she is ready, or she needs help overcoming hurt from abuse.

Note I am not saying that these are the only options, but you can see the danger of providing materials on sexual orientation and building positive sexual self-image prematurely may in fact not be in the girl's best interests.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

Well, I tend to believe Girls, Inc over AFA simply because Girls, Inc appears to be credible - AFA does not.

I think one of the things we have to dismiss is that one's sexual orientation is not a choice (be it hetero, bi or homosexuality), and no matter how much some may think it comes about at some point by a "corrupting" influence, it simply doesn't. One doesn't become "gay" by reading "gay" literature or pamphlets, anymore than someone becomes hetero by reading "straight" pamphlets.

Girls, Inc exists as a resource for girls to receive positive messages, but is not meant as a replacement for family, faith, or friends (unless those relationships are destructive).

That said, if we represent sex to youth as a positive thing and something to be understood openly and honestly (highlighting consequences, good and bad), and not something to be shunned or avoided or ignored, we would likely find less problems.

Anonymous said...

As simple as that you reveal your biases.

You consider Girls more trustworthy than AFA why? Because you want to, and you happen to agree more with the Girls than the AFA. Who you prefer has no bearing on the truth, my friend.

Secondly, the gay issue. It's black and white for you. All gays are born that way. Anyone who says otherwise is making an excuse. The world ain't black and white my friend. Time to open your mind.

Patrick ASD said...

Shane: While we're talking about biases, how about considering the biases of the American Family Association who are the leaders of this campaign against Girls Inc.

AFA say 'Please tell American Girl you are disappointed that they are now aligning themselves with Girls Inc., a pro-abortion, pro-lesbian advocacy group.'

I'm going to focus on the fact that AFA are using 'pro-lesbian' as a negative label. From that we can infer that they believe lesbian = bad. From that I can infer that AFA are a group of intolerant bigots, which to me does reduce their credibility somewhat.

Christian Conservative said...

Shane, you said "From that I can infer that AFA are a group of intolerant bigots, which to me does reduce their credibility somewhat."

I actually happen to be a supporter of AFA. Their mandate always has been to promote the ideological beliefs of the Bible, and to expose various institutions or advocacy groups that are seeking to erode the moral foundations of American society. (note, we're talking the US here, not Canada) As Girls Inc. has stated that their positions differ from those supported by the Bible, the AFA would naturally be in opposition to them.

Now, as AFA believes and holds true to the Bible, that, in your view, makes them bigots? If you feel that is the case, then you make yourself an intolerant anti-religious bigot, do you not? ;-) See the inherent problem with that? Most people in society don't seem to see the problem with it, and Christianity is becoming an "evil" religion in Western society. On an interesting side note, it seems the groups that preach "tolerance" seem to be the most intolerant of Christians. Hence the establishment of groups like AFA, seeking to stem the flow of moral corruption.

Hope this helps.

Jim (Progressive Right) said...

Canadian Preacher,

Do you consider the terms "pro-abortion" and "pro-lesbian" terms of tolerance?

I still haven't heard anybody define what "pro-abortion" or "pro-lesbian" mean? Because I'm pro-choice doesn't make me pro-abortion, and because homosexuality doesn't offend me and nor should it, doesn't mean I want to convert young girls to "lesbianism", whatever that means.

What "modern" Christianity has failed to understand is that not everyone subscribes to the Christian version of morality, and far too often, people jump up and judge others based on this frame of morality that does not apply to all people.

Personally, I don't view the AFA as a particularly "moral" association. Girls, Inc, is attempting to do some good in the community, and this boycott endangers a source of donations.

Does AFA indicate "we think Girls, Inc. does not support the bible therefore do not support Girls, Inc?" No, it trots out hyperbole in the form of branding Girls, Inc, "pro-lesbian" and "pro-abortion".

Girls, Inc, may not share the same "moral" base as the AFA, but neither do I, so I am equally justified in opposing the AFA action. Their terms are misleading and misinformed (links on a website do not constitute a "pro-abortion" or "pro-lesbian" mandate" - if that were the case, Google would be "pro-abortion" and "pro-lesbian").

Christianity serves to guide your morals and your beliefs, it doesn't guide my morals or my beliefs - if you so choose not to support Girls, Inc, so be it, and if the AFA wants to start a crusade to deny it funding, I'm well within my rights to oppose that as intolerant behaviour.

And, this is not anti-Christian, either. I respect your conviction to your belief structure, but it's just that ... your belief structure.

Patrick ASD said...

Canadian Preacher: it was actually me, not Shane, who wrote 'From that I can infer that AFA are a group of intolerant bigots, which to me does reduce their credibility somewhat.'

Jim has responded to your comment better than I could already, so I won't go into too much detail

You ask 'Now, as AFA believes and holds true to the Bible, that, in your view, makes them bigots?'.

No, what makes the AFA bigots in my view is that they have ideas, which I see as harmful, and they try to impose those ideas on the rest of the world, not just those who share their world view and faith but on everyone.

Anonymous said...

I am neither Canadian nor a preacher, but applaud his effort to bring some logic and reason into the discussion.

I have a very real, personal, dedicated interest in this issue,
as a father, grandfather, Christian, and closely related to someone who manages a local Girls, Inc.

Here is a problem - how do you get someone to understand, when they have stated categorically that they do not see that pro-choice = pro-abortion? In defining "pro-choice", what is being chosen but whether or not to terminate a pregnancy? It may be convenient to just use the abbreviated form,
pro-choice, but the reality is that if you are pro-choice, you are pro-women-choosing-abortion-over-carrying-an-already-human-entity-to-term. That is true whether you wish it to be or not- it is not optional. The choice is final and irrevocable - a tiny human person dies because mommy-to-be would be just too, too inconvenienced at the moment.

On the issue of homosexuality, be it of the male or female person, that is most explicitly condemned in any reasonable interpretation of the wealth of references in the Bible. Take the word "sodomy" - comes from the city of Sodom, where for that practice, God destroyed the entire city, because, as stated by God - not even ten righteous could be found in the city. God gave one and one only punishment for men and women alike - men who had sex with men and women who had sex with women were to be stoned to death. Some think the God of the N.T. to be substantially different from the One who gave that law. However, Paul, the chief apostle and ambassador for the "good news of Jesus Christ" reaffirms the ultimate end for those who do such things.

Final point - with regard to credibility - noone improves theirs by calling other people "ignorant" or "stupid" without providing some evidence - otherwise you are merely stating your opinion (to which you are definitely entitled), but - and this is the big one - you waste bandwidth and CPU cycles by trying to tell it to anyone - when it comes to it - we are all of us from Missouri - the "show me" state.