Friday, February 26, 2010

NCAA Use of FOTF Ads Still Under Consideration

I do not want to be writing about this. I was hoping it was done. I hoped that the NCAA got the message that their association with FOTF is inappropriate for a national sport governing organization that professes a commitment to non-discrimination, equity, diversity and inclusion. I crossed my fingers that an organization that represents hundreds of colleges and universities from all over the USA would understand the damage it does to its reputation and the turmoil it causes its membership by associating itself with a Christian right wing organization that has an exclusionary and divisive political agenda. I believed that the NCAA would read their own constitution and standards for accepting advertising, smack their foreheads and say, “what were we thinking, of course the FOTF ad violates our own policies.” But apparently no.

I understand that, though the ads have been taken down, there are still internal discussions going on at the NCAA about the pros and cons of using the FOTF ads in the future, like maybe for the men’s basketball tournament beginning next month. Some people take the position that the message in the FOTF ads is benign – “Celebrate Families, Celebrate Life” - and that it is possible to separate this simple message from the messenger – FOTF.

I believe this is a seriously na├»ve or seriously disingenuous perspective. Anyone who has any familiarity with FOTF knows that the families they celebrate are of only one kind – heterosexual married ones and that when they talk about celebrating life, this is code language for their opposition to a woman’s right to choose whether or not to bear a child. FOTF is a political organization that devotes significant resources to oppose civil rights for LGBT people, pray people out of their gay and oppose abortion rights.

Let’s look at another example to explore the connections between an advertising message and the organization that crafts the message. What if you saw an advertisement that said, “Celebrate Your Family, Celebrate Your Heritage. “ Let’s say the ad was for, a genealogical search web site. You might say, “Cool, this is inviting people to explore their family tree.” But what if the same ad, “Celebrate Your Family, Celebrate Your Heritage“ was for Wouldn’t you have a completely different reaction to the meaning of the ad? I sure would.

Look, if FOTF wants to buy advertising time on CBS and the ad meets CBS standards, they have a right to buy the time. I would only hope that CBS would fairly apply their standards to other advocacy ads from a different part of the political spectrum as well. But the NCAA is more than a commercial venture and their standards are and should be different. The NCAA has a responsibility to all its member schools and every student-athlete who competes in NCAA-sponsored events to avoid association with political organizations whose agendas contradict the NCAA’s stated commitment to non-discrimination, diversity and inclusion.

If this makes sense to you, please let the NCAA know. They apparently need a reminder. If this doesn’t make sense to you, please do not write me to consign me to hell or pray for my soul or call me names. You have a right to your beliefs; you just don’t have a right to associate them with the NCAA.


Anonymous said...

Pat, you're awesome. Keep up the good fight.

Sally said...

Thank you for keeping us up to date on this, Pat. I just emailed the NCAA Public Relations Dept. and encourage as many of us as possible to do the same.

Anonymous said...

I will defintely be contacting the NCAA also. Thanks Pat and know that hate always loses.

Mark said...

Your unawareness in truth and procreation precedes you. I pose this question for you to consider: If both of your parents chose your lifestyle would you be here today? An individual cannot claim that, that was the way they were born. If I were African American I would be offended by the weak minded, liberal position, “I was born this way. I was born gay."
Being gay is a choice. My African American friends do not wake up in the morning and think;” I am a Caucasian or Hispanic today." They have no choice. Not that being an African American is better or worse than the alternative races. The choice in anyone’s destiny to be African American, Caucasian, or Hispanic one cannot make. Just like someone hiding behind the daily choice that every gay person makes daily. It is a choice to be gay. For you to fight for sexual preference rights that are equal to racial rights is absurd.
I am sure you will not see the point here due to the logic that is used. The left leaning liberal intellectual elitists can never seem to argue with logic. Emotion & manipulation of the facts are the meal of the day for the liberals of today’s society.
However, ones choices start with a thought. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Sow a thought(Lust for same sex) and you reap an action(Homosexual encounter); sow an act(Multiple Homosexual encounters) and you reap a habit(Homosexual lifestyle) ; sow a habit(Homosexual lifestyle) and you reap a character(Loss of sexual identity); sow a character(Loss of sexual identity) and you reap a destiny(isolation/struggle for special rights & treatment)."
It all starts with a person’s inability to control their thoughts. This weakness of mind becomes a habit. Everyone, I repeat everyone becomes what they think about in their mind. If I think I am XYZ then I am XYZ. If I think I am LMNOP, I am LMNOP… Now this person wants special treatment for their lack of self control. Help me understand what makes a homosexual think they have the right to special rights any more than an alcoholic, meth addict, or someone with a porn addiction. It all started with a person making a choice, a bad choice. Then when the “triggering” action came along they chose to be weak and give into that action. At some point the prior mentioned person made a decision to QUIT TRYING. So now we have a group of people that quit trying that want special treatment & want to hinder the communication of truth to a world that does not even know what truth is anymore… Good job distorting the truth yet again. My hope is you will know the truth someday. It will set you free, free indeed…

Anonymous said...

Mark, it's amazing that you know the hearts and minds of entire groups of people, African-Americans, all homosexuals... what if your parents had not had you? This is about an organization actively promoting hatred. Fighting discrimination is not about seeking any kind of special rights, it's about fighting people like you who must view others as less than human, in order to feel secure.

patrickp said...

It is very interesting that groups that seem to have this propensity to "call out" conservative groups as being closed minded, are some of the most closed minded that one might find. Mark, I think you've got it right. Good word. If one believes that FOTF is promoting "hatred," then we might need to define some terms. There is clearly a disconnect between this group promoting hatred and what they actually promote. It just boggles my mind that the word for the day is "freedom" of choice. "Everyone should be entitled to making the choices they want," as Pat, you are promoting, but why is it that, freedom of choice is the great catchphrase, as long as it is a choice such as your's? When did it become PC not have a a firm opinion about something? Groups like this are not promoting hatred, they are promoting that truth and morals are not entirely subjective. "And isn't democracy's insatiable desire for what IT defines as the good also what destroys it?"-Socrates

Anonymous said...

You're on to something Pat. I don't think that your blog would get more than a few comments a post and man has this topic got people going. I think you must now be on some watch list by these right wing groups who feel the need to write you long bible excerpts,insults and threats and every time that they do, they just expose themselves for who they really are.. no surprise. Keep up the good work!

Carol Anne (aka Scamp) said...

On the Huffington Post, Lucinda Treat gives the NCAA all the credit for dropping the Focus on the Family ads. She doesn't know that they were lobbied hard by you, Pat, and many others. Still, her column will bring the issue to the attention of more people.