Liberrants

Welcome to Liberrants, a blog dedicated to editorials, discussions, and studies of all things libertarian. Don't let the title mislead you; it's merely my attempt to be creative in describing myself as a "hopeful curmudgeon" who embraces the goal of the free, peaceful, economically vibrant society envisioned by America's founding fathers. Jump in! Contribute! Enjoy!

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A critically thinking curmudgeon whose goal, in addition to creatively venting about the imperfect world in which we live, is to induce critical thinking in others. The ultimate goal is to help bring about a peaceful world in which we can all live in freedom.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

FoF Addresses the Issue of the Porn Star at the RNCC Fundraiser

Much to my surprise I received a reply the other day from Focus on the Family in response to my email inquiring whether or not they propose to take President Bush and the Congressional Republicans to task for inviting a porn star to the RNCC fundraiser on June 14th and for accepting campaign contributions from her employer.

While I’m delighted that FoF responded to my email, I’m still awaiting a response to my challenge to Dr. James Dobson to either fully justify or publicly refute his position in support of President Bush and the Iraq War. I’m disappointed to have not received a response, but I suppose the proverbial half a loaf is better than none. At any rate the following reply from FoF appeared in my email queue the other day:

Dear [Liberranter]:

Thank you for your recent e-mail to Focus on the Family. It’s my privilege to get back to you on behalf of our staff.


We appreciate the time you’ve taken to share your thoughts and questions regarding Mary Carey’s and Mark Kulkis’ attendance at the President’s Dinner and Salute to Freedom event that was held on June 14, 2005. We trust the following information will help shed some additional light on this story.


From what we’ve gathered, it wasn’t the White House who sent invitations for this fundraiser, but the National Republican Congressional Committee. Apparently, the RNCC rented a number of outside mailing lists to create an invitation list. Unfortunately, a handful of companies involved in producing pornography inadvertently received this mailing, and we’re aware that at least two individuals (Carey and Kulkis) paid to attend. While the White House and the RNCC did not rescind any invitations to this dinner, we understand that they’ve said that such an oversight won’t happen again. We suggest that you contact the White House if you’d like to express your comments to them directly.


On a related note, we also feel it’s important to mention that Focus on the Family and Dr. Dobson have no interest in politics per se; we do, however, care deeply and passionately about the great moral questions of our day. For this reason, we suggest that labels -- Republican and Democrat -- are, essentially, insignificant. What matters are the values one holds and how those beliefs inform one’s social conscience. Therefore, our desire is not to side with an individual or political party, but rather to serve as a voice, calling a secular society to a solid standard of righteousness and godliness.


Thanks again for taking a moment to get in touch with us, [Liberranter]. May the Lord bless you in the days ahead.


Darrell Green
Focus on the Family


My sincere thanks to Mr. Green for his prompt response to my questions and concerns. At the risk of being labeled a “nitpicker” (among other less pleasant appellations) by my neoconservative detractors, I would like to address a few of the points of Mr. Green’s response.

From what we’ve gathered, it wasn’t the White House who sent invitations for this fundraiser, but the National Republican Congressional Committee. Apparently, the RNCC rented a number of outside mailing lists to create an invitation list. Unfortunately, a handful of companies involved in producing pornography inadvertently received this mailing, and we’re aware that at least two individuals (Carey and Kulkis) paid to attend.

Mr. Green is correct that it was the RNCC and not the White House that coordinated invitations for the fundraising event. However, that’s not the point I raised in my initial inquiry, nor is it relevant to the issue at hand. While the White House almost certainly did not have had anything to do with coordinating the fundraising event, the GOP organizers should have paid infinitely more attention to who they included in their invitation lists. I have no idea what screening selection criteria the RNCC used when “renting” the mailing lists in question, but common sense would dictate that they apply some standards in selecting the names of individuals and corporations from whom to solicit contributions. After all, I have to believe that a corporation with a name like “Kick Ass Pictures” (Mr. Kulkis’ company) should have raised a few eyebrows among the leadership of a party that claims to represent traditional family values and faith. I wonder if the RNCC simply mass-mails invitations to everyone on a mailing list they think is loaded with cash. That’s the only way I can see that anyone would “inadvertently” receive an invitation to an event. It would be like me grabbing the local white pages, tearing ten pages out at random, and mailing invitations to a block party to every person listed on the torn pages. Not cost-effective, logical or smart, even if you are planning on picking their pockets. I wonder if the heads of Seagram’s distillery, Time Warner Entertainment, PlayStation, and Trojan Condoms showed up and contributed as well. (Answer: probably, or if not from these specific companies, then someone else from the same set of industries).

While the White House and the RNCC did not rescind any invitations to this dinner, we understand that they’ve said that such an oversight won’t happen again.

Sure, and my two-and-a-half-year-old grandson will never throw another temper tantrum again, nor will Rodney King ever get into trouble with the law again. I would also like to know why the RNCC didn’t see fit to rescind the invitations or refuse event tickets to Ms. Carey and Mr. Kulkis. Oh, that’s right. . . that would have been the “moral” and “principled” thing to do, something that the GOP (and supporters like FoF) loves to talk about, but somehow just never gets around to actually doing. It’s not like they would have lost out on a cripplingly significant sum of money either by refusing contributions from one lone pornmonger. You’re not going to convince me that the GOP is that desperate for cash.

On a related note, we also feel it’s important to mention that Focus on the Family and Dr. Dobson have no interest in politics per se; we do, however, care deeply and passionately about the great moral questions of our day.

After cracking two ribs and blacking out from oxygen deprivation brought on by the guffaws this statement prompted, I can only utter one word in response: PLEASE! FoF and Dr. Dobson have “no interest in politics?!” I assume Mr. Green hasn’t visited this page on his own organization’s website, or this one. Granted, I’m not saying that Dr. Dobson or his FoF associates are wrong to take a political stand on issues of the day; that is their absolute right as American citizens. What I am trying to point out is that it is the height of hypocrisy for any public figure or organization, particularly a “faith-based” one, to give ringing endorsements to a political party or politician and then play duck and cover when said public figure or organization does something (or multiple things) that betrays your organization’s core principles. That is exactly what FoF is doing by making the aforementioned statement.

For this reason, we suggest that labels -- Republican and Democrat -- are, essentially, insignificant.

Again, who do you think you’re talking to, Mr. Green? It is obvious to anyone who listens to FoF programming for more than five seconds that Democrats are not welcome, nor is anyone who holds a sociopolitical opinion that dissents from Dr. Dobson’s own. I will retract that last sentence publicly and in full on the day that FoF ever speaks favorably of or endorses any candidate for public office or the initiative of any politician other than a Republican. I think I’m safe for the foreseeable future.

What matters are the values one holds and how those beliefs inform one’s social conscience. Therefore, our desire is not to side with an individual or political party, but rather to serve as a voice, calling a secular society to a solid standard of righteousness and godliness.

Indeed you are correct, Mr. Green; all that matters is the beliefs that mold one’s conscience and guide one’s actions as one lives one’s daily life. That said, can you or your boss deny that it is possible –just maybe— that a Democrat or member of a third political party (yes sir, they do exist) who lives a godly life of morals and principle will get into heaven ahead of a Republican who compromises their values for political expedience or social acceptance (as certain RNCC members appear to have done)? Dr. Dobson has never indicated that he thinks so. As for “calling a secular society to a solid standard of righteousness and godliness”, I ask again: how are your beloved Republicans, allegedly the political-spiritual saviors of what remains of our republic, doing this by inviting pornographers to their fundraisers and not admitting their mistake by publicly rescinding their invitation or publicly refusing the money that said pornographers offer as campaign contributions? The obvious answer is that the George W. Bush and the Republicans are no more “godly” than former President Bill Clinton and the Democrats you so despise. As I’ve said ad nauseum, you and the FoF have been hoodwinked by neoconservative propaganda. George W. Bush and many of his GOP cronies may say that they are God-fearing Christians, but as witnessed by the RNCC fundraiser incident with Mr. Kulkis and Ms. Carey (not to mention, among other things, the continued prosecution of the Iraq War), their actions clearly belie their words. You cannot maintain any credibility by pretending that the obvious truth doesn’t exist. America sees it clearly, and your denial of it obliterates your credibility as representatives of a faith that holds truth as one of its highest tenets.

In closing, I just want to make clear that I frankly do not care one way or another about either the RNCC fundraiser or who the Republicans invite to it. For all the substantive difference it makes to the nation as a whole, Pope Benedict XVI or Kim Jong Il could have shown up and it would have made no difference to the ultimate outcome, nor would it have given either greater or less moral sanction to the event. While as a Christian I do not subscribe to the use of pornography as part of my lifestyle, as a libertarian I would not think of using force to prevent others from doing so, regardless of their political affiliation, nor would I dream of using the force of the State to outlaw the production and sale of pornography or dictate to pornographers how they can dispose of the profits earned from their trade. My sole purpose is to point out to anyone of Christian faith who is willing to engage thought and reason that in order to remain credible to the rest of the world or effectively carry Christ’s message to skeptics and unbelievers, those who profess to represent the word of God must be consistent in their representation of it and eschew sin wherever it may be found – even if doing so is cause for embarrassment.

Anyway, I hope that puts the issue to rest. Sorry to be so long-winded on this; I’m off now to fry bigger and tastier fish.

1 Comments:

Blogger Convoluted Muse said...

You? Longwinded? Surely you jest? :-) I'm longwinded too, just ask mywife, lol.

"What I am trying to point out is that it is the height of hypocrisy for any public figure or organization, particularly a “faith-based” one, to give ringing endorsements to a political party or politician and then play duck and cover when said public figure or organization does something (or multiple things) that betrays your organization’s core principles"

Boy, you sure nailed it there! If you're giving what amounts to nothing less than a paid endorsement while these GoP candidates are on the campaign trail then be consistent across the board.

CM

7:50 PM, July 07, 2005  

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