Wednesday, November 4, 2009

American Family Association of Spokane Are Nutters

So I stumbled across this nest of crazies while looking over a list of R-71 opponents. Their website is pretty sparse, but they make the most of the crazy in the little they write.

This is what they say in their header:

  • Decency in the media
  • Sanctity of human life
  • Supporting traditional marriage
  • America’s Christian heritage

There are only two issues though where they have elucidated on their positions:

Starting with their “Protect Our Children and Families”, they basically say porn and violent material is bad for children and families. Now, not too many people are going to disagree with that, but some of their points are pretty shaky.

First they say:

“The report from the President's Commission on Obscenity and Pornography linked exposure to obscene material with sexual deviancy, promiscuity, affiliation with criminal groups and more.”

If they’re speaking of the President’s Commission on Obscenity and Pornography started by President Johnson in 1969 their statement is so false that they’re either liars or stupid. Here are the conclusions drawn by the commission (I can’t find a full copy online that I could link to):

  • That there was "no evidence to date that exposure to explicit sexual materials plays a significant role in the causation of delinquent or criminal behavior among youths or adults."
  • That "a majority of American adults believe that adults should be allowed to read or see any sexual materials they wish."
  • That "there is no reason to suppose that elimination of governmental prohibitions upon the sexual materials which may be made available to adults would adversely affect the availability to the public of other books, magazines, or films."
  • That there was no "evidence that exposure to explicit sexual materials adversely affects character or moral attitudes regarding sex and sexual conduct."
  • That "Federal, State, and Local legislation prohibiting the sale, exhibition, or distribution of sexual materials to consenting adults should be repealed."

So as you can see the findings of the report are the exact opposite of what The American Family Association of Spokane claims.

Next they say this:

“The US Constitution permits communities to regulate pornographic and indecent material, just as it regulates consumer fraud, conspiracy, libel, slander or falsely shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater.”

Communities may be allowed in public, but the Supreme Court said that states could not regulate materials kept in a private home in the case of Stanley v Georgia.

Here is a list of their facts, I haven’t listed most of them because they don’t provide any references, which makes it hard to refute their facts:

  • 86% of all rapists admit to regular use of pornography, with 75% admitting actual imitation of pornographic scenes in commission of sex crimes.

Now I can’t disprove that their numbers are correct, but I can point out that it’s hard to show a causal link. Let’s say that 80% of rapists have brown eyes, does that mean having brown eyes causes you to rape people?

  • 85% of revenue from pornographic magazines and videos goes into the pockets of organized crime, much of it untaxed.

The only other place I can find this figure is on other religious websites. The main reason I’m skeptical of this (besides that AFA doesn’t provide a reference) is that the government is pretty serious about getting their taxes. It’s hard to imagine that Uncle Sam would allow a multi-billion dollar industry to skirt paying taxes.

  • In a study of 43 pedophiles, the Los Angeles Police Department found adult or child pornography (magazines, photos, or videos) involved in 100% of the cases investigated.

Firstly that’s a very small number of people to try to find statistical significance in. Secondly, I already mentioned above about causal links.

Concerning freedom of public religious expression they say that the first amendment doesn’t specifically state “separation of church and state”, but the supreme court has consistently interpreted it to mean that. Then they just quote a lot of the founding fathers, which I will also do here to prove that quoting people is normally pointless as most people contradict themselves at one point or another throughout life.

Thomas Jefferson - “State churches that use government power to support themselves and force their views on persons of other faiths undermine all our civil rights…Erecting the ‘wall of separation between church and state,’ therefore, is absolutely essential in a free society.”

Benjamin Franklin - “The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.”

George Washington - “The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy.”

James Madison - “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”

Abraham Lincoln - “It will not do to investigate the subject of religion too closely, as it is apt to lead to infidelity.”

I think that’s enough quotes. As you can see these people are off their rockers. I hope to hear from them about why they quote that study when it so obviously leads to the opposite conclusions that they claim.


It's been over a month since I wrote to the American Family Association of Spokane and have heard nothing back from them. Can't say I'm surprised.

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