Archive - Dec 22, 2009

Lump Of Coal, In Original Dinosaur Form

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NOTE: I will happily accept photographic evidence of actual printed YAD Secular Christmas Cards in actual Christmas situations at the contact address (see left column). I have a number in my head representing the odds of it actually happening.


You know those people you barely know who send you Christmas letters every year, and they go on about what happened in their lives you don't care about? I don't really get those, in both the "receive" and "understand" meanings. Me, I get Christmas letters from my nemesis.

It's been a while since I've said anything about the Howard Center for Family, Religion, and Society, who I officially declared my nemesis years ago after they release the Natural Family Manifesto, which boils down to "straight white Christians rule, you drool". And of course I'm on their mailing list. So of course I got their special Christmas message. And is it, in the spirit of the season, an inclusive call for peace on earth and good will toward all? Like fuck it is. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"As the Year of Our Lord 2009 draws to a close, there are new signs of turmoil in the family system of Western Christian Civilization. Marriage rates are in full-scale retreat; at the same time, the proportion of children born out of wedlock soars, climbing this year over 40 percent in The United States. The protagonists of the Sexual Revolution keep the Christian Home in their gun sights; the court-driven push for “Same Sex Marriage”—a direct repudiation of the Judeo-Christian sexual ethic—claims ever more states and nations. Plummeting birthrates portend the disappearance of a once vital Christendom. Recent, conventional pro-family strategies to encourage marriage and marital childbearing have faltered."

Told you they were dicks.

I'm not sure why they can call that "new signs of turmoil". It's their standard schtick. The 60's ruined everything, and it's been downhill into sodomy ever since. Plus the whole "being out-bred by the heathens" thing. The only thing I find new and slightly troublesome is that the "conventional strategies" are faltering, which means they need to try unconventional strategies. Dare I dream? Is this the dawning of an actual, organized, radical Christian terrorist group? No such luck.

"Indeed, The Howard Center strives to be the leading source of fresh ideas and new strategies for affirmation and defense of The Natural Family, both nationally and around the globe. Toward this, we now focus on three of our projects: The Family In America, World Congress of Families, and Ground-breaking Books and Essays."

The World Congress of Families, which is basically San Diego Comicon for fundie tightasses, has been going on for longer than this column has. Plus, I don't care what you call it, getting a bunch of like-minded people together so that they can bitch about how everyone else sucks is not a "fresh idea". It's an idea that was played out thousands of years before you admit the Earth even existed.

And groundbreaking books and essays? That's another fresh idea! I'm beginning to regret my repeated assertions that these people want to go back to the 1950's. I'm thinking the 50's are a bit too modern for them. They're going to gather in groups, and try and convince people using books and essays. Maybe they think it's the Renaissance that fucked everything up?

The only thing I haven't heard about before, specifically and by that name, is "Family In America". Before looking at what it was, based on everything else, I have to admit, I was betting on a diorama. The Howard Center feels like it's ready to take a bold step forward into the "new media". The diorama, or, as it's known by the techies, "Cardboard 2.0". Luckily, I was prepared to be disappointed.

"The Family in America: A Journal of Public Policy is a new quarterly publication that will shape fresh ideas and approaches to promote the Natural Family ideal in the years and decades ahead. Building on the twenty-two year legacy of a monograph series bearing the same first name, this new periodical is designed to appeal to academics, journalists, writers, and committed activists. It continues a “New Research” component that is already the nation’s finest and most complete collection of pro-family research Abstracts in the fields of sociology, psychology, medicine, and so on."

Holy shit, it's a Christmas Comedy Miracle! A quarterly publication! A fucking newsletter! It's an exciting, fresh, bold, and new idea that they've been doing as a "monograph series" for nearly a quarter of a century! Why change now? I can only assume that their monograph broke.

In a year full of lose, nothing feels as much like win as this letter. Thank you, Howard Center, for making my fucking holiday. Not only do you freely admit, right up front, that you're losing ground fast and nothing's working, but you then come right out and confess that your New Strategy is just your old strategy in a sans serif font, on that goldenrod paper your office assistant ordered too many reams of because he was fantasizing about golden rods.

And then, after unveiling this ridiculous plan that completely redefines "stodgy", they use the last paragraph to beg for the money they need to do it! Won't you consider a year-end gift to the Howard Center? No, I won't, because the Howard Center has already given me the greatest gift they possibly can. Their inadvertent, unconditional surrender.