Focus on the Family Lays Off More Employees

Focus on the Family is laying off another 8% of its staff.

The workforce has gone from 1400 seven years ago to 860 today.

Their explanation is the recession:

“These are tough economic times,” Focus spokesman Gary Schneeberger said. “The challenges have made us take a hard look at what we do structurally and strategically so we can accomplish our mission more efficiently.”

Sure, the recession is hurting everyone — especially non-profits — but I wonder if there’s more to this story.

Does the lack of donations have anything to do with FotF’s ideas simply going out of style? Even moderate Christians and many younger ones are coming around to accept the notion that GLBT people ought to have equal rights. They’re not as tied to the Republican platform. They’re embarrassed by how the Religious Right has hijacked their faith.

I suppose the answer will be known when the economy gets better… But I wouldn’t be surprised if Focus on the Family’s revenue stream dries up quite a bit.

(Thanks to Paul for the link!)

  • beckster

    I would be happier about this if I didn’t have family members employed there who can’t afford to lose a job right now. It creates a conflict in my mind.

  • Epistaxis

    The workforce has gone from 1400 seven years ago to 860 today.

    Cry me a river. The Secular Student Alliance is barely managing to keep 2.

  • littlejohn

    Beckster: Honestly very sorry about your laid-off family members.
    Do you think there’s any possibility this experience will alter their views of Dobson and his little monarchy? I know one former top Dobson aide has already written a fairly bitter book about the organization. Apparently Dobson was hassling him for spending too much time for – you guessed it – his family.
    Apparently they only like to focus on *other* people’s families.

  • Phaz

    I find it strange that the group named Focus on the Family is so concerned about what gay people can and can’t do. I rarely hear their name involved with anything else. Most the time when I catch their radio show or check out their site it’s the same thing.

  • http://cycleninja.blogspot.com Paul Lundgren

    FOTF laid off a crap-ton of people because they spent so much money getting Proposition 8 passed in California last year, they couldn’t afford to pay their own people. This says two things: they should, indeed, be seen as simply anti-gay bigots, and they wanted to win that election very badly, indeed.

  • Valdyr

    I find it strange that the group named Focus on the Family is so concerned about what gay people can and can’t do.

    And it always seems to be gay men. You never hear them talking about predatory lesbians abducting our daughters. So their title is a little misleading.

    Suggested name changes:

    - Focus on the Penis

    - Penis on the Family

    - Penis Penis Penis

  • Staceyjw

    I hope they go away completely. I’m sorry for those that are now unemployed, but let’s face it- these people were the ones working to further the agenda of the group, I have limited sympathy for this.They spend their entire day trying to limit others rights and push their beliefs on others, so I am glad there are less people doing these things now.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    Focus on the Family is an outstanding organization which many people support.

    I think, though, that you are correct that their lack of funding is not simply due to the recession, but that they would have lost some financing anyway.

    However, Focus on the Family’s ideals are not “going out of style” with anyone who really believes in Christianity. Others, too, should realize that their values are what is best for American society.

    Unfortunately, too many people like Hemant have drunk the atheism kool-aid and no longer think straight.

  • Luther

    I’m surprised they don’t state that “this is all God’s Plan” – revealed to them only as God sends his message through donors.

    Maybe the plan is to use the tried and true television ads run in biblical times (since God obviously meant us to have TVs, he must have created them in the six days – that’s why we were able to see the Flintstones on TV):

    The Colorado Springs-based ministry is shutting down the creative division of its advertising department, accounting for 30 of the layoffs.

  • heironymous

    Unfortunately, I think it’s about the economy rather than a shift in the religious right’s attitude.

    ps Don’t feed the trolls

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    Jon, is there any particular reason you’re linking to a 403 page?

    If you want to a place to constantly vent about what a stupid silly doo-doo head someone is, get your own blog :)

  • Spurs Fan

    In the Old Testament version of this story, Focus on the Family would have brought in huge amounts of donations, doubled their staff, and praised Yahweh loudly as their “enemies” suffered the deep recession around them.

    I guess god works differently in 2009.

  • Valdyr

    @Jon

    Focus on the Penis is an outstanding organization which many people support.

    I think, though, that you are correct that their lack of funding is not simply due to the recession, but that they would have lost some financing anyway, because of gay penises.

    However, Penis on the Penis’s ideals are not “going out of style” with anyone who really believes in penises. Others, too, should realize that constantly fretting about penises going into butts is what is best for American society.

    Unfortunately, too many people like Hemant have drunk the “minding my own business” kool-aid and no longer care about the quantity and disposition of penises in American butts.

  • http://nullprogram.com Chris Wellons

    Future generations will probably look back and wonder how an organization like Focus on the Family could even exist.

  • beckster

    Unfortunately, too many people like Hemant have drunk the atheism kool-aid and no longer think straight

    Hmmm. I don’t remember drinking any atheism koolaid, but I do remember having to drink “blood” every Sunday during my youth.

  • Richard Wade

    Whenever a business sags, rebrand! Suggested new names for FOTF:

    Focus on the Faggots
    Focus on the Fundies
    Fuck Over the Freedoms
    Find Other Tithing Fools
    Friends of Tooth Faries
    Fund our Treacherous Foundation
    Fuck off Till Friday
    Fart over the Fire
    Freak Out the French
    ad infinitium
    .

    In the meantime, if you don’t give a fly any shit, it will starve to death in a few days.

  • beckster

    Do you think there’s any possibility this experience will alter their views of Dobson and his little monarchy?

    I wish this were the case. I think that ship has passed.

    I have a son and one of these family members offered to buy me his book Bringing Up Boys, which of course dedicates a large chunk of space to how to keep them from being gay. I bluntly informed them that if my son is gay, than there is nothing I could, should, or would do about it except help pay for the wedding when he falls in love with the man of his dreams.

  • http://gaytheistagenda.lavenderliberal.com/ Buffy

    Boo hoo. It’s too bad there are more people unemployed in tough economic times but really, what FOTF does is despicable so I can’t feel any pity for them. Maybe now those can go out and get honest jobs that don’t involve causing harm to and eradicating the rights of others.

  • ChameleonDave

    I would be happier about this if I didn’t have family members employed there who can’t afford to lose a job right now. It creates a conflict in my mind.

    These are the same people who vote against social security that would provide a safety net for people who are made redundant. No need to have a soft heart for them.

  • beckster

    No need to have a soft heart for them.

    Can’t help it. I love them, despite their nonsense.

  • Anon.

    @Valdyr funniest thing I read all week, thanks for the laugh.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    If you want to a place to constantly vent about what a stupid silly doo-doo head someone is

    So you agree that all hemant does is vent about how stupid other people are, rather than dealing with his own problems?

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    In the meantime, if you don’t give a fly any shit, it will starve to death in a few days

    @RichardWade – As I said previously, there is enough BS from Hemant to feed a million flies for a million years.

  • http://jonathan-keith.com Jon

    @Jon

    Focus on the Penis is an outstanding organization which many people support.

    I think, though, that you are correct that their lack of funding is not simply due to the recession, but that they would have lost some financing anyway, because of gay penises.

    However, Penis on the Penis’s ideals are not “going out of style” with anyone who really believes in penises. Others, too, should realize that constantly fretting about penises going into butts is what is best for American society.

    Unfortunately, too many people like Hemant have drunk the “minding my own business” kool-aid and no longer care about the quantity and disposition of penises in American butts

    @Vladmir – Wow, you are clever.

  • Richard Wade

    So….. you recognize yourself in a metaphor about a fly?

    Thank you for re-printing Valdyr’s parody in its entirety. It was just as hilarious the second time as the first.

  • Takma’rierah

    We should totally make atheist kool-aid, now that I think of it. Or better yet, atheist root beer! That would rock and be delicious. Yeeeaah, we so have this marketing thing down.

  • http://miketheinfidel.blogspot.com/ MikeTheInfidel

    So you agree that all hemant does is vent about how stupid other people are, rather than dealing with his own problems?

    He vents on his own blog, so he’s got a leg-up on you. Go start your own; see how relevant we think you are :)

  • AxeGrrl

    Anon. wrote:

    @Valdyr funniest thing I read all week, thanks for the laugh.

    Amen! and his/her suggested name changes for Focus on the Family made me spew my tea a little:)

    I particularly like ‘Penis Penis Penis!’….sounds like a Broadway musical:)

  • The Other Tom

    @beckster: Your family members chose to take a job working to take away my civil rights and keep me a second class citizen. I have NO sympathy for them. I hope they lose their jobs.

  • The Other Tom

    Back in the early 90′s – I think it was 1992 – “Focus on the Family” and a number of other radical right wing groups realized that their wedge issue – abortion – was losing, and that they were consequently losing influence. What’s a bigot to do? They go together and picked a new wedge issue, of course. They didn’t even make any pretense of it, they put out a press release and I saw it on the evening news. They had decided to go after gay people, and use gay rights as their new wedge issue. Clearly it did pretty well for them for a while.

    If Focus really thinks that homosexuality is a losing battle for them, and that it’s no longer working as a wedge issue, they’ll go pick a new one, and while they’ll still fight gay rights, it will become a secondary issue. Or maybe they’ll just go back to screaming about abortion, since it’s more contentious again now than it was in the early 90′s, thanks to 20 years of them working to fight reality and bring people’s thoughts on the matter around to their nonsense. But regardless, don’t count them out, they may be bigots but they’re too sharp to try to ride a dead horse for long.

  • Valdyr

    @Vladmir – Wow, you are clever.

    Thanks. Nice attempt at trying to spook me by failing to guess my real name, by the way. I’m not even Russian and neither is the word Valdyr. Somehow, people always end up dyslexicizing it and saying “Vlad”, though. Which is a pretty cool (and nominally asexual, since I’ve met at least one girl named Vladimira who went by Vlad) nickname. I’ll take it.

    edit: Please try to Google Valdyr so you can find the person who goes by a variation of that name and draws furry porn. It’ll be a good experience for you.

  • http://godlessliberalhomo.blogspot.com libhomo

    I don’t think that the economy is the only reason this fundamentalist hate group is in trouble. The AWOL Rapture has reduced the numbers of Religious Right cultists, though the remaining ones are as obnoxious as ever.

  • Twin-Skies

    However, Focus on the Family’s ideals are not “going out of style” with anyone who really believes in Christianity.
    Others, too, should realize that their values are what is best for American society.

    Jon, google Anna Wallner. See what FotF’s “values” did to her and her family. Better yet, allow me to provide a link:

    http://www.soulforce.org/article/507

    Personally, only one word comes to mind when I see what’s happening to FotF: Schadenfreude.

  • llewelly

    We should totally make atheist kool-aid, now that I think of it. Or better yet, atheist root beer!

    I helped make root beer many times as child. In many cases, this was as part of a church activity. And sometimes we prayed that the root beer would be good.
    Whenever the root beer turned out bad, it quickly became obvious we had failed to follow the directions – and when it turned out well it was clearly because we followed the directions carefully. The prayers never made any difference.
    The obvious conclusion is: Since root beer isn’t affected by prayer, all root beer must be atheist root beer.


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