Focus on the Family’s Disastrous Predictions About the Obama Presidency

Back in 2008, before the elections that year, Focus on the Family put out a futuristic “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America” (PDF) detailing all the awful things that would happen if we let that horrible leftist man take office:

… every future “event” described here is based on established legal and political trends that can be abundantly documented and that only need a “tipping point” such as the election of Senator Obama and a Democratic House and Senate to begin to put them into place

Libby Anne recalled this letter and documents how Focus on the Family did.

Turns out their predictions were pretty damn awful. (Shocking!)

Well, maybe that’s not surprising given that they still think Jesus is coming back in their lifetime…

Among their worries at the time?

  • Gay marriage is declared a Constitutional right.
  • The Boy Scouts of America is forced to “hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.” They choose to disband instead of following those orders.
  • Gender identity is part of a mandatory curriculum for first graders, including the “goodness of homosexuality” as a potential personal choice.
  • The Bible can no longer be preached over the airwaves because it is considered hate speech.
  • Churches must allow gay weddings on their property or risk losing their tax-exempt status.
  • High school students are not allowed to worship at the Pole or gather for Bible studies.
  • College Christian groups are no longer allowed on university property.
  • “Under God” is removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.
  • Sexual acts are allowed to be seen on TV all hours of the day. Porn magazines are visibly displayed on newsstands everywhere.
  • Your right to own a gun is taken away.
  • Christian publishers are no longer allowed to distribute books in major bookstores.

I can’t wait for Focus’ Jim Daly to issue an apology on the group’s behalf, saying they were wrong with just about everything and they will never again make apocalyptic predictions about Democratic candidates.

Jim Daly of Focus on the Family. Will he admit this letter was full of distortions?

… of course that won’t happen.

That would require admitting they were wrong. And admitting that they made a big deal about nothing. And admitting that Obama hasn’t been too bad for Christians. And admitting that the expansion of civil rights to LGBT Americans hasn’t harmed us in the least. And admitting that Christians have as much right to express their views as they’ve ever had.

So don’t hold your breath.

Fred Clark especially enjoys the prediction about porn magazines being visibly displayed on newsstands:

I can’t figure out which is more laughably wrong — that this is what they imagine is the real secret agenda of President Obama and his party, or that anyone in 2008 was looking ahead to 2012 and predicting boom times for print media.

Well played :)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • http://www.theaunicornist.com Mike D

    And of course Focus on the Family will never publicly revisit these letters and admit to the errors of their ways. It’s a sad lesson in self-deception. And douchebaggery.

    • PietPuk

      Like the recent vid of Chuck Norris and his wife warning of “socialism, or something much worse” and “a thousand years of darkness” if Obama is re-elected.

      How people can say sh*t like that with a streight face is beyond my comprehension.
      They must be increadibly stupid, delusional, or simply lying trhough their teeth.
      Problaby all of the above.

      • Glasofruix

        If memory serves me right Chuck took too many blows to the head during his fights with Bruce Lee.

      • Dats3

        You know, I’ve been wondering the same thing for a while.  I honestly do not think that they really believe what they are saying.  I think they mimic the hyperbole that is in the politics of today.  They say these things because unfortunately there are those who will believe it and so they stoke the fear in people to manipulate their vote.  That’s the way i see it anyway.  It’s still despicable.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-De-Fleuriot/611844223 Mike De Fleuriot

    So if they will not revisit these predictions, maybe those of us who remember them, should inform the media about them and their utter failure. It seems to me to be an opportunity not to be missed. 

    Make a big deal about it, get them defending the indefensible.

    • Yotey

      Yes, this should definitely become a thing. 
      They know they can put out lists like this because at the time they scare people into supporting them, but in the future they are sure that they won’t be called out on it. 

      If the news this morning had the airtime to run a store about the latest Robert Paterson/ Kristen Stewart relationship buzz, then they should have time for this. 

      Funny, that they have used this strategy before. “Tithe to the church and act exactly as we say or after you die deamons will torture you.”

  • http://mittenatheist.blogspot.com/ Kari Lynn

    Oh. My. (Insert random deity here). Gender identity is not the same as sexual orientation. The stupid, it burns…

  • Martin

    Wow, the only one on that list that would even muster constitutional law is removing “Under God” from the pledge, and I am not sure how that hurts anyone, as it just goes back to the original pledge.  Aren’t these groups always clamoring for the good ole days anyways?

    • Gus Snarp

      You missed a couple. Gay marriage could easily pass Constitutional review. So could allowing more porn.

      Changing sexual education standards would probably fail under states’ rights, but would be fine if done state by state.

      And forcing the Boy Scouts to stop discriminating has failed to pass Constitutional review repeatedly, sadly, but pressure could be applied by removing the special status the BSA gets.

    • nakedanthropologist

      Just as an FYI, the phrase “under God” was not in the original pledge.  It was added during the 1950s as part of the Red Scare under the justification of so-called ceremonial deism.  You know, that way good honest folk could distinguish themselves from those godless commies.

  • Rory

    Worshiping at the Pole? Uh, phrasing?

    • Baby_Raptor

      I think they were referring to the national holiday called “See You At The Pole.” It’s a once a year thing where christians gather at their school’s flag pole and have a giant prayer party. 

      • Archaeopteryx1861

        Which I never understood….Does God only listen to prayers on certain days? Or is he just hard of hearing, so he only hears prayers if a LOT of people say them all at once?

      • Gus Snarp

        Can we put a sarcasm tag or some scare quotes around “national holiday”? It’s not a holiday, it’s a political demonstration, and a national holiday is something declared by the federal government, not something made up by a few preachers. I’m not mad at you, Baby_Raptor, I just don’t want anyone getting the idea that this is actually a national holiday.

      • Coyotenose

         Don’t forget the part where it’s organized by churches, but they pretend that the kids, even the youngest elementary school participants, are the ones doing it so they can lie their way around the Constitution and advertise it in school.

    • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape

      As a Pastafarian, I can assure you that my religion routinely worships at the pole,  usually with interpretive dance.   I’m assuming that dear Mr. Daley is trying to protect my religious practices too.   I mean if he was just trying protect and promote his particular religious views that would make him a hypocritical self-centered egoistical ass, and he’s not that, right? 

    • Tainda

      I was wondering the same thing.  I heard “Porn Star Dancing” playing in the background lol

    • Patterrssonn

      It’s a kind of lingam/phallic shrine thing. The flagpole represents God’s penis and the flag his semen. The raising of the flag is of course ejaculation.

  • IndyFitz

    I predict they’ll respond by saying, “Well, we said those things would happen if Obama were elected in 2008 AND the Democrats took the Senate AND the House. They didn’t take the House — thank Jesus! — so the God-fearing superhero Republicans were able to ensure the evil liberal agenda outlined in our predictions did NOT come to pass! But mark my words, ye faithful, if those three things happen in 2012… well, THEN if these don’t come to pass, it will surely be God’s divine hand making sure such evils fail! But we can’t RELY on God to bail us out… we must do the RIGHT thing now…” and so and so forth.

    • grindstone

      Bingo….fall is in the air and that means it’s goalpost moving time.

    • Dats3

      God’s giving us a second chance.  We’d better not mess it up this time. LOL! Though I wonder why god wants a mormon for president as opposed to an anti-christian muslim?  Is god selecting the lesser of two evils?  It’s hard not to laugh.

    • Philbert

      They already included plenty of wiggle room in the 2008 document. In fact they go as far as to say that their predictions aren’t really predictions. The first page is full of such disclaimers. Unfortunately none of that hedging made it into all the chain e-mails that this document probably spawned.

    • Octoberfurst

       This is just a technicality but the Democrats won BOTH the House and Senate in 2008 but lost the House in 2010.  Anyway I would guess that the Christian Right would say Obama didn’t get to impliment his “evil plans” due to their prayers to God to stop him. Or some such nonsense. But admit they were wrong? Never!
        Of course now they are making all kinds of dire predictions should he win a second term and it’s all predictably stupid.  Obama will close churches that don’t support his agenda.  Obama will install Sharia as the law of the land. Obama will make it illlegal for preachers to speak against homosexuality.  Obama will make abortion a tax-payer funded constitutional right.  And on and on and on.
        Seriously, these people are idiots & the worst part is that they vote. I have a right-wing acquaintance who, during the 2008 campaign, forwarded me an email that said Obama thought our national anthem was “too militaristic” and wanted to change it to the Coke jingle of “I want to teach the world to sing.”  She seriously thought this was true.  She’s voting for Romney this year because she is convinced Obama is the anti-Christ.  >eyes rolling<   

      • Neil

        I have some gullible derpy aunts, uncles, and cousins, but DAMN!  If I knew anyone who actually claimed to think that Obama was going to change the national anthem to the Coke song…………oh Jesus tap-dancing Christ on toast, I would never, ever let them live it down.  Never.

        From then on, every derpy conspiracy, every wingnut politcal statement, every cranky hyperbolic right-wing claim or complaint would be greeted by me singing the Coke song.  Every email would get a response with a link to the Coke song.  I would spread the story far and wide among mutual acquantances so everyone would get the joke.

        Hell, I’d pay money to get a couple dozen “coke song” musical christmas cards made, and send her one every year.  Maybe with Obama-as-anti-christ-santa artwork.

        That’s just too bloody fucking precious to let go.

        • Octoberfurst

           That’s a good idea Neil. I’m rather tempted to do that.  The acquaintence in question is a nice enough person but she is as dumb as a bag of rocks. (And a fundie Christian too of course.) I mocked her mercilessly when she forwarded that idiotic email but she didn’t respond. She finally stopped forwarding her brain-dead anti-Obama emails when I really took her to task for forwarding an email that said Obama is the anti-Christ because the book of Revelation says the anti-Christian will be a half-White, half-Black Muslim. Seriously, she sent that. I reminded the twit that the book of Revelation never describes what the anti-Christ looks like  and that Islam came into being 500+ yrs after the book of Revelation was written. So why, I asked, are you lying? I never heard from her again.  

  • Andre

    Their main purpose is to associate ideas like gay marriage being a constitutional right and removing god from the pledge of allegiance with criminalizing the bible and government forcing churches to act a certain way. This way any time any person suggests one of the reasonable taking points here, someone who has read their letter says “That was one of the things the AFA warned us about! Next they’re going to force my child to be gay!” or whatever dire bullcrap was listed next to it.

    And probably for many people who saw this letter mission accomplished. So expect more of these screeds to come out.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Owossoharpist Sherry Konkus

    It’s just as bad as creationists predicting what will happen if everyone “abandons Scripture” and embrace evolution only for those predictions to never come true.

  • Good and Godless

    Nations tried religious tolerance for a couple hundred years – and religion abused the relationship crippling politics, education and abusing the tax system. 

    No more “live and let live” time to amend the constitution and close down these dens of fraud and deceit.Freedom forever, religion never.

    “Gay marriage is declared a Constitutional right.” – Great or otherwise codified though most marriage laws are on shaky constitutional grounds already.

    “The Boy Scouts of America is forced to “hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.” They choose to disband instead of following those orders. ” –  I have a problem with the “and” part otherwise excellent.

    “Gender identity is part of a mandatory curriculum for first graders, including the “goodness of homosexuality” as a potential personal choice.” – Seems Good to me.

    “The Bible can no longer be preached over the airwaves because it is considered hate speech.” – Excellent even without the “because”.

    “Churches must allow gay weddings on their property or risk losing their tax-exempt status.”  - Perfect but it does not need the “or risk” because that should be lost as a given.

    “High school students are not allowed to worship at the Pole or gather for Bible studies. “- Perfect.

    “College Christian groups are no longer allowed on university property.” – Perfect^2

    ““Under God” is removed from the Pledge of Allegiance. “- Of course this will happen, it is silly to leave it in.

    “Sexual acts are allowed to be seen on TV all hours of the day. Porn magazines are visibly displayed on newsstands everywhere.” -WTF ??  So the internet is shut down????

    “Your right to own a gun is taken away.” – Mine isn’t, but yours might be.

    “Christian publishers are no longer allowed to distribute books in major bookstores. “- All for it, this can stop at “allowed”.

    • french egineer

      “Churches must allow gay weddings on their property or risk losing
      their tax-exempt status.”  - Perfect but it does not need the “or risk”
      because that should be lost as a given.

      I disagree. Simply take away the right of religious institutions (all of them)  to perform legal marriages. No more “by the power invested into me by the state of XXX”. Go to the town hall to get your legal marriage certificate (gay couples welcome) and demand said certificate or a photocopy thereof in order to benefit from any and all marriage perks (legal or fiscal or whatever). Then let churches discriminate however they want – none of the state’s business anymore.
       

      • Coyotenose

         I understood that couples still have to go to their town hall or justice of the peace or wherever to be *legally* married regardless of church involvement. Is that not true?

    • CanadianNihilist

       I just want to point out that scoutmasters don’t sleep in the same tent as the boys do. It doesn’t matter if they’re strait or not that’s just something that’s not done.

      -Source: I was in scouting for many years.

      • OregoniAn

        It wouldn’t matter if they did sleep in the same tent. Gays aren’t interested in children sexually any more than straights are – but you’re main point that it doesn’t matter is appreciated.

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    They forgot “Dogs and cats living together…mass hysteria!”

    • Sindigo

      “Real wrath of God type stuff.”

  • Troels Jakobsen

    Good thing steadfast Christians managed to prevent all of these things through the power of prayer. I mean, that must be the explanation, right?

  • Gary B

    Hey, 2012 isn’t over yet.  There’s still time.

  • Christy

    Someone, anyone, PLEASE explain to me why those who tell others “thou shalt not kill” are so in love with guns. 

    • John of Indiana

       Because, well, because COMMIES! Commies EVERYWHERE!
      WOLVERINES!!!!
      Funny, but I feel my right to arms is more endangered by the Dominionist theocracy the thumpers want to install, not the Democrats.

      • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

        You’re probably not far off there. Met somebody at a wedding over the weekend that responded (seriously, not kidding around) with “Oh, so you’re a communist?” when a mutual friend made a joke about me being liberal. When I just laughed and said no he proceeded to tell me all about how I must hate freedom and god. Fortunately I pleaded manners at a wedding and escaped his political stupidity by grabbing a drink and wandering off.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

        I laughed!

    • Jimmyz

      People who own guns don’t own them to kill people – over 20 million Americans went hunting last year.

      • Rubahtics

        Not ALL people who own guns use them to kill people. And not for nothing, but no one went hunting with assault rifles or concealed handguns.

      • Coyotenose

         There are 350 million firearms in the United States.

        And the primary purpose of almost all handguns is for use on humans.

        • Alex

          Primary purpose of handguns is to shoot bullets. Where you shoot them is on you, though.

      • Maria

        Columbine, VA Tech, DC sniper, Aurora CO, I could go on.

  • http://www.holytape.etsy.com Holytape
  • Gus Snarp

    I’m always amused at people who have to make up goals for their enemies. I guess they know that they’re not going to convince that many people with an honest assessment of differences, so they have to invent things. This list can be broken down into things almost no one wants or argues for and things some reasonable number of people on the left or simply who support secularism would like to see but haven’t gotten a lot of traction on. The things no one wants:

    The Boy Scouts of America is forced to … allow [homosexual adults] to sleep in tents with young boys.”

    Yeah, no one wants that. The no adults sharing quarters with youth is a good policy that has nothing to do with gay or straight.

    Gender identity is part of a mandatory curriculum for first graders, including the “goodness of homosexuality” as a potential personal choice.

    Well, in an age appropriate way this would actually be good, but they want you to assume that they’re going to be teaching first graders about homosexuality in graphic detail.

    The Bible can no longer be preached over the airwaves because it is considered hate speech.
    Churches must allow gay weddings on their property or risk losing their tax-exempt status.
    High school students are not allowed to worship at the Pole or gather for Bible studies.
    College Christian groups are no longer allowed on university property.
    Christian publishers are no longer allowed to distribute books in major bookstores.

    Why can’t these people get that we really do support separation of Church and State, not state promotion of atheism or repression of religion?  Not to mention the legal impossibility of all of this. We could elect 535 leftist, atheist Democrats to Congress and elect Dave Silverman President of the United States and this would all still be unconstitutional and the courts would still say so. Oh wait, they must think we’ll ignore the courts and implement martial law to enforce our soviet style . . . Oh crap, that really is what they think, isn’t it?

    Sexual acts are allowed to be seen on TV all hours of the day.

    I’m pretty sure every one would agree that graphic depictions of sex acts on TV is inappropriate. But the veiled references to sex acts on TV now are fine.

    Your right to own a gun is taken away.

    OK, I suppose a few people want this in such absolute terms. Not many though, and not Obama.

    Which leaves us with the very short list of these things that some of us actually want:

    Gay marriage is declared a Constitutional right.

    Soon, very soon.

    The Boy Scouts of America is forced to “hire homosexual scoutmasters…”

    Well, the BSA doesn’t “hire” scoutmasters, but yes, they should be prevented from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

    Gender identity is part of a mandatory curriculum for first graders, including the “goodness of homosexuality” as a potential personal choice.

    I put this in both categories, because when done in an age appropriate way (a point Focus on the Patriarchy wants to obscure), this is a good thing.

    “Under God” is removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Yes, hard core secularists want this. Obama doesn’t. Most Democratic politicians don’t. This may be the most unlikely thing on the list of things we’d like to see.

    Porn magazines are visibly displayed on newsstands everywhere.

    Like in Europe, where everyone is a sex crazed, violent, predatory, porn addicted maniac because of it. Seriously, this is my favorite. How out of touch can you be? Nobody is fighting for this, or would, because it just doesn’t matter. The Internet is for porn, people. A few naked women on grocery store shelves isn’t important to anyone except sex obsessed prudes and teenage boys who can’t get around the web filters on their home computers.

  • Mommiest

    Actually, he’s waiting for his second term. The first term was mostly used to brainwash us and lull the electorate into complacency. The REAL agenda is right around the corner, as soon as he is reelected.

    • Patterrssonn

      You’re right, he’s managed to turn the Republican party into a bunch of batshit crazy conspiracy theory nut jobs. He must be stopped before they collapse into complete irrelevance! Umm perhaps that should read, even more complete irrelevance.

  • Christians are Dumbasses

    I thought witchcraft and sorcery were off limits to Christians. So how can this d-bag justify predicting the future? DId he use tea leaves? A magic ball? Uri Gellar?

    Tsk tsk tsk, this idiots can’t even follow their own rules let alone the rules/laws of the NON-CHRISTIAN USA’s laws.

    • Anonymous Atheist

      God talks to him, so it’s legit, duh. ;)

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    If all those things had happened, my life would not have been materially altered.  Some radio stations would probably go broke, and I might be slightly annoyed at the more visible marketing of porn, but it might be a good trade for not being bombarded with holy nonsense.  

    Thinking about this kind of makes me want to study what happened with the hundreds of societies over the milennia that had their religions changed or removed at sword/gun point.  I suspect I’d find that most of them got on just as well after the god-ectomy.

  • RobMcCune

    My guess is that they make these predictions to justify their own set of totalitarian laws. If godless liberals are going to take away their freedoms, then harsh christian laws are the only way to impose freedom!

  • Persephone

    A hate group is spreading lies? Say it isn’t so!

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I read the letter and unfortunately Focus covered what they wrote with the following statement

    This letter is not “predicting” that all of the imaginative future “events” named in this letter will happen. But it is saying that each one of these changes could happen and also that each change would be the natural outcome

    They still are horribly paranoid and nutty. Basically the entire “letter” is one big “what-if” created by a paranoid, delusional, right-wing christian. 

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I wish this prediction had come true

    Then in August 2009, two months after Kennedy resigned, Justice Scalia unexpectedly announced his resignation due to health reasons and by October 2009 another Obama appointment took his oath and joined the court.

    I really do not like Scalia. 

  • Alex

    > The Boy Scouts of America is forced to “hire homosexual scoutmasters and
    allow them to sleep in tents with young boys.” They choose to disband
    instead of following those orders.

    Wasn’t there, like, a scandal not too long ago about child molestation being covered up by BSA? All without this horrible, no-good liberal gay agenda abound.

  • vexorian

    Some of these predictions would have made me want to vote Obama back in the day.

  • Zivnuska

    When does the thousand years of darkness start?  

  • http://twitter.com/ChelseaWalk22 Chelsea Walker

    Do you guys ever watch TV ?  Movies ?    They are full  of sexual acts , morning noon and night . 
    What are you talking about ?   America is done –   period .  Gramscian Marxists have 
    won at least in CA . 

      You can’t hold up a moral standard when it’s only humanly produced .  It’s only 
    your viewpoint against someone else’s  .  


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X