Essay:Letter from 2012 revisited

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Shortly before the 2008 elections, Focus on the Family released Letter from 2012 in Obama's America, which predicted all of the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad things that would happen if Obama won the election.

Well. Obama won. It's 2012. Let's see how their predictions panned out, shall we?

Note: In all fairness, the letter purported to come from October 22, 2012. So, perhaps things will all go downhill over the next few months and Focus on the Fambly will be proven right.

Contents

[edit] The Supreme Court

FotF predicted a massive shift in the balance of power on the Court.   It's not happened. Obama has named two justices, but they replaced centrist to liberal justices. The balance on the Court may have shifted slightly leftward, but not massively. One of the Court's most controversial decision since Obama took office, Citizens United, was praised by conservatives and loathed by liberals. The other candidate for most controversial case is probably the "ObamaCare" ruling. It was decided in favor of Obama, but the decisive vote was cast by John Roberts, appointed by George Bush the Lesser.

[edit] Same-Sex Marriage

FotF predicted that the Supreme Court would make same-sex "marriage" (their scare quotes, not mine) the law of the land.   It's not happened.

They also predicted several other Supreme decisions would follow. Despite their premise being flawed, let's take a look anyway.

[edit] The Boy Scouts

In FotF's 2012, the Boy Scouts disbanded rather than being forced to allow homosexual Scoutmasters to sleep in the same tents with young boys.   The Boy Scouts still exist, and they aren't forced to allow gay Scoutmasters.

[edit] Elementary Schools

Zomg! Christian teachers left rather than be forced to teach sexual identity to first graders!   It didn't happen.

[edit] Adoption Agencies

Church based adoption agencies were going to shut down rather than be forced to place children with gay parents.   This, to be fair, is an ongoing issue, but it began in 2006, and hasn't really changed in the horror that is Obama's America in 2012.

[edit] Businesses with Government Contracts

"All businesses that have government contracts at the national, state or local level now have to provide documentation of equal benefits for same-sex couples."   100% wrong. Obama actually refused to issue an executive order requiring Federal contractors not discriminate based on sexual orientation. Federal employees themselves do have non-discrimination protection, but spousal benefits aren't offered.

[edit] Public Broadcasting

According the FotF's prophecy, TV preachers won't be able to criticize homosexual behavior in 2012.   Focus's biggest douchebag is still on the air. (Though if you want to get technical, he's on the radio, not TV.)

[edit] Doctors and Lawyers and Counselors and Social Workers

And tigers and bears, oh my!

In their nightmare world, various professionals licensed by the state will be forced to not discriminate against gay people.

  Not happening, especially not the ones who work for churches.

[edit] Homosexual Weddings

They left out the scare quotes for this one. Must be a typo.

FotF says that churches will be forced to perform same-sex weddings or lose tax-exempt status.

  Not happening. Churches can still marry whoever they choose, just like a Catholic church can require at least one of the couple to be Catholic.

[edit] Homosexual church staff members

Churches are also forced to hire teh gheyz in their fantasy world.   Not happening.

[edit] Homosexuals in the military

FotF predicted Obama would overturn Don't Ask Don't Tell within a week, by executive order.   DADT was overturned, but it took two years and an act of Congress. There is sensitivity training, as per Focus' prediction, though there aren't any recruitment bonuses for homosexuals. It's too soon to see if there's a pattern of servicemembers who object being passed over for promotion. There is some debate over how chaplains who object to the policy will be treated.

Finally, they got one partly right.

[edit] Obsession

They're really worried about teh gheyz, aren't they? Thirty four numbered points in their letter (I'm merging a few) and the first ten are about those icky homos. And there's more to come!

[edit] Religious speech in the public square

You won't be able to praise Jesus in public anymore!   Well, except you still can.

[edit] High Schools

The nightmare continues as high schools aren't allowed to have Bible clubs and such anymore.   The legality of such clubs still comes up, but they're still legal, mostly under a policy that says essentially "you have to allow all clubs if you allow any. you can't deny based on content."
They bring gays into this too, of course: "In addition, Christian students cannot raise religious objections to curriculum material that promotes homosexual behavior."   Yeah, sure.

[edit] Church use of school property

And churches won't be able to rent school space anymore, either?   Drive by any school with decent sized function space on Sunday morning and see how wrong they are.

[edit] Campus ministries

College ministries still exist, FotF's fear-mongering notwithstanding.

[edit] Pledge of Allegiance

No, Focus, you can still pledge allegiance to the flag in public schools.

[edit] Abortion

Oh, here we go. If there's one thing to get the religious right up in arms other than gays being treated like human beings, it's abortion.

[edit] Freedom of Choice Act

FotF predicted that Obama would fulfill his promise and sign the Freedom of Choice Act, and that abortions would be as common as having lunch.   Obama broke his promise, and did not sign the act.

[edit] Medical Personnel and Abortions

FotF predicts that nurses and doctors will either perform abortion or be fired.   The closest we've come to my knowledge is pharmacists refusing to provide birth control or the "morning after pill".

[edit] Pornography

Deep paranoia here, as FotF predicts the Supreme Court would nullify "all Federal Communications Commission restrictions on obscene speech or visual content in radio and television broadcasts."   Not even close, not even proposed. There's some debate over relaxing rules about indecent speech over the airwaves, but that's no where near what they envisioned.

[edit] Gun ownership

They predict here that states would start banning private ownership of guns.   It's not happening, at all.

[edit] Education

Any surprise that they predict home schooling will be banned?   They did, but it's still quite legal.

[edit] President Obama’s response to the Supreme Court

I have to quote this one in it's entirety.
After many of these decisions, especially those that restricted religious speech in public places, President Obama publicly expressed strong personal disapproval of the decision and said that the Supreme Court had gone far beyond what he ever expected. But he has also stated repeatedly that he had sworn to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” and, now that the Supreme Court had ruled, he had no choice but to uphold the law, for these decisions were the law of the land.


  So, they apparently don't want the President to follow the law.

[edit] Military policy

And the standard Obama's a wuss right wing line.


  I have one initial response.

Osama bin Laden is dead.

[edit] Iraq

They predict that Obama would pull troops out of Iraq as promised.   He did, completing the pull-out... on a timetable agreed to by the Bush administration.
Focus predicts disaster afterwards, which has not happened.   It could conceivably be argued it's too soon to tell what would become of Iraq, but again, the timetable was agreed to by the Bush administration.

[edit] Terrorist Attacks

Several predictions here, starting that Obama would order the "intelligence services to cease all wiretapping of alleged terrorist phone calls unless they first obtained a warrant for each case."   Hasn't happened, and, in fact, Obama has continued the Bush administration's domestic wiretapping policy. They're not only wrong, they're 180 degrees off.
The second claim is, "Terrorists captured overseas, instead of being tried in military tribunals, are given full trials in the U.S. court system, and they have to be allowed access to a number of government secrets to prepare their defense. "   The debate over where to try terrorists is ongoing. I'll give them credit for that one.
Claim number three is, "Since 2009, terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing hundreds, and the entire country is fearful, for no place seems safe. President Obama in each case has vowed 'to pursue and arrest and prosecute those responsible, but no arrests have been made. "   No terrorist attacks have occurred in the US under the Obama administration.
As fas as pursuing and arresting those responsible...   Osama bin Laden is dead.
Claim number four spring from the third one, "However, he has challenged the nation to increase foreign aid to the poorer nations that were the breeding grounds for terrorism, so people could have an opportunity to escape from the cycles of poverty and violence in which generations had been trapped."   Yes, Focus, how unChristian to help the poor. We're supposed to be making war on them, right?
And one more time, in case Focus missed the story:   Osama bin Laden is dead.

[edit] Russia

FotF gets into a serious dose of what-the-fuckery here, predicting Russia would attempt to retake by force some of the now-independent nations that were once part of the USSR.   Russia is rather a mess now, but they've not launched into any major military adventurousness.

[edit] Latin America

Basically, Focus goes into fear of Castro and Chavez here, claiming that Obama would "deepen U.S. ties and U.S. trade with communist regimes in Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia."   Not really.

[edit] Israel

They saved this for last? Wow, hardly standard fundie obsession with Israel. They predicted Iran would nuke Tel Aviv.   Now, it's possible I've missed the news story, but I don't remember that happening. Correct me if I'm wrong.

[edit] Health care

[edit] Health care systems

They base their prediction that "single payer" was passed.   Didn't happen.

[edit] Limited care for older Americans

Old people are being forced to die in Obama's America.   Well, no. They're not.

[edit] Taxes, the economy and the poor

They start by predicting Obama would not provide a middle-class tax cut as promised, but would instead raise taxes.   The stimulus, hated by the right, included tax cuts for the middle class.

[edit] Taxes

They predict all sorts of taxes would go up.   In fact, they have not, though Obama and other Democrats are still calling for tax increases on the wealthy.

[edit] Budget Deficit

They predict the deficit would grow under Obama.   To be fair, it has, so they get credit for this one. Why didn't they raise this concern under Bush, though?

[edit] Union organizing

They predict that Obama and Congress would implement "card check" and unions would grow in power massively.   Card check has not become law, and unions, at best, have kept their power levels stable under Obama. Most would argue they have continued to weaken.

[edit] Energy

They claim gas would hit $7/gallon.   Try $4, at most. In fact, AAA reports the record highest gas prices occurred under George Bush.
They predict no new nuclear plants would be approved.   In fact, one has been. For the first time since 1978. Focus, I'll spell that out for you: Reagan didn't approve one. Bush the Elder didn't. Clinton didn't. Bush the Lesser didn't. Obama did. Put that in Focus' pipe and smoke it.
They also predict strict new regulations of carbon emissions would be enacted.   New regulations have been implemented. I'm sure Focus considers them strict, but they'd consider anything other than "you have the right to pollute all you want, because this is Christian America!" too strict. It's too soon to evaluate the effect, but because I'm a nice guy, I'll give them credit for that.

[edit] Talk radio

[edit] Fairness Doctrine

Aaaaaiiiiieeeee!!!!! The Fairness Doctrine! It's coming back, and worse than ever!


  It didn't. They at least seem to get Obama opposed resuming the Fairness Doctrine, though they don't acknowledge it, just claiming it was due to the Democratic majority on the FCC and Democratic congressional leaders. It has, in fact, not been re-enacted, nor has it even been seriously proposed.

[edit] Christian publishers

Wild paranoia here, as they predict "homosexual activists" would protest bookstores that sold "arguing that homosexual conduct was wrong based on the teachings of the Bible."   Hasn't even come close to happening, much less the demise of Christian publishers as bookstores caved in.

[edit] Prosecution of Bush administration officials

They claim here that huge numbers of Bush admistration officials would be prosecuted and jailed due to the Iraq War.   Obama. in fact, specifically ruled out such prosecutions.

[edit] Conclusion

Focus had around forty predictions in their list, depending on how you divide up their bulletized points. I'm giving them credit for getting four right, and that's being generous. That's just ten percent. Epic fail.

[edit] What Must Be Done?

Deuteronomy 18:20-22 says clearly what should be done with false prophets, and that's that they should be put to death.

And it tells how to recognize a false prophet: "If the prophet speaks in the Lord’s name but his prediction does not happen or come true, you will know that the Lord did not give that message." Since Focus clearly presents themselves as speaking for God, and their prophecy failed to come true, they are, therefore, false prophets.

Now, I realize that under the liberal tyranny of Obama's America, we cannot take the entirety of Focus on the Family out and stone them to death. (Can't you just imagine how the ACLU would respond to that?) I do, however, expect that Focus will do the honorable, Biblical thing and disband completely, since they have clearly violated a major Biblical rule. Your move, Focus.

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