Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Moral or not

So a quick little link I threw out about ways, if one were feeling inclined, of causing mischief with a right wing religious organization with a less than tolerant view of gay people caused a bit of noise. Helmut put it on her site and then contacted Gay Orbit who also had a small racket. Most say go ahead and screw over Focus on the Family.

I confess, when I first came across this link on Warren Ellis site my initial thought was "Well, let's cause some havoc, shall we?" Then my better angels (ie. Cathy) gave me pause. Just as I was getting ready to go and order the Chronicles of Narnia, she said she didn't want me to do that.

It's not that she likes Focus on the Family. She agrees with me that they're a pretty reprehensible organization. She just doesn't think it's right. Cathy doesn't think they're worthy of her time or being paid attention to. Or, by her way of looking at things, she wouldn't teach that kind of behavior to her kids. Trying to do malicious harm to an organization, just because you dislike or disagree with their morals or politics, is something she wouldn't do. Nor would she want her kids to do it.

I understand that argument. I really do. And part of me would like to aspire to the higher ground where you can just ignore groups that are not beneath you. But too often I see the kind of harm these groups do. And that isn't it better to try and remove their ability to harm others by taking it to them first?

I mean, let's take a group of people minding their own business, just trying to get by in life under difficult circumstances. That's when an outside organization swoops in and tells them that they're amoral, horrible people and to stop what they're doing immediately. Furthermore they preach this loudly to whoever will listen and lobby politicians to do something about you. And then, just to rub salt into the wound, launch a very effective fundraising campaign using you as the villain of the piece.

Now, am I talking about Focus on the Family and the way they treat gay people, or am I talking about the International Fund for Animal Welfare and they way they treat Newfoundlanders and sealers? And really, if this was IFAW giving away free stuff, I wouldn't even be thinking twice.

So I'm trying to go and be the better person and let this group beat their own path to hell by preaching morality while espousing hate. But it's very, very hard to not want to do my part to help speed their way onto hell.


Anonymous said...

Well said.

Mireille Sampson said...

I haven't "bought" any free stuff either, but not for the same reasons. I didn't actually like Narnia (the movie).

I don't think they are going to go away, the Taliban didn't (and hasn't). But I suppose the most ethical way around all this is to support gay rights.

Way Way Up said...

Yep I know what you mean. On the one hand, they prove their own stupidity throught their actions and lack of common sense and you'd think rational people would just ignore them. Unfortunately these groups are annoying and won't go away...kinda like bird crap on your car windshield in the summer. Better to take the fight to them then to simply leave be.

J Consortium said...

I honestly don't think half the people who ordered goods are going to see them. Though their opinions aren't smart (in my opinion), they're not THIS stupid.

I put in two orders which will total around $170 and if it ever actually arrives, I ...don't know but I really, really, really doubt I'll ever see my "Modest is Hottest" t-shirt. I don't know why more people on that Livejournal comment page don't agree. It's just not...possible. They're probably "sold" out of stuff by now, too. Especially Narnia.

Also, you can't donate for less than suggested donation anymore, so they are catching on. :(

J Consortium said...

Also, I'm scared about how much I'll end up paying in shipping. I wish I had considered that a bit more before I signed up for a bunch of crap I don't want or need.

But I still maintain I won't ever see the stuff.

Clare said...

Sorry Craig but I'm with Cathy on this one. I first read about this way to annoy FOTF on Pharyngula, awhile back. They are a reprehensible bunch of that there is no doubt. I've just been along believer that the ends don't justify the means, and that the high road is the road to take. Not always the easiest road, but better to educate than well, stoop to their intolerance.

Liam O'Brien said...

I loved both the Chronicles of Narnia from C.S. Lewis and the most recent film.

One of the basic tenets of Christianity is generosity. If somebody is honestly interested in a copy of the book or film, and this group is providing it, go for it.

There is nothing illegal in this act. Moreover, this is (or was) activity that wasn't a big problem for the group. They encourage people to spread these materials.

Sometimes popular appeal does sway people. Depending on how it is framed, if more and more people are interested in buying (even if for $0) some of the regular non-crazy items in the shop, then maybe som of their decision makers will be interested in making a change in focus of their 'calling.'

I tend to believe that consumers can indeed make some changes or make their voices heard on political matters in some cases. . . that's why I purposely save all buying of Christmas gifts and other things I need for "buy nothing day" in November. It just feels good to counter the so-called "counter-culture" from time to time and get under their skin ;-)

Of course, with every decision, the "end" may not be what you expect anyway. . .