Is there really a “culture war?”

If you accept that there exists a culture of bigotry that is opposed to a culture of rationalism, then the answer is yes.

About a month ago, someone signed me up for email alerts from the so-called “American Family Association.” I’m not sure if it was an atheist who thought I’d get a kick out of their “alerts,” or if it was a theist who thought I might be swayed by the “truth” of what they think is important.

Whoever it was, thank you. I’m getting good information for blog posts! And I wonder how long it’ll be before someone clues them in that I’m using their alerts to refute, berate, and ridicule their positions.

The latest alert sent by the AFA one to organize their members to complain to Campbell’s Soup for condoning homosexuality. Here’s a part of their email:

In one of the December ads, the Campbell Soup Company highlighted the lives of two lesbians (according to their website, they are married) with their son. The others feature New York City chefs. See the ads here.

Campbell Soup Company has openly begun helping homosexual activists push their agenda. Not only did the ads cost Campbell’s a chunk of money, but they also sent a message that homosexual parents constitute a family and are worthy of support. They also gave their approval to the entire homosexual agenda

These two paragraphs clearly show the bigotry and hatred that exists among those that consider themselves a Christian the AFA would approve of. In the first paragraph, these bigots subtly refuse to acknowledge the apparent marriage of two lesbians, who were able to legally marry in at least three states until recently and at least two now[1].

In the second, they accuse Campbell’s of beginning to help “homosexual activists push their agenda.” This is a logical fallacy since it implies that Campbell’s is concerned with homosexuality and not simply human rights, equal rights or just wanting to appeal to a sizeable market of sales.

Also in the second paragraph, the AFA fallaciously assumes that “family” is defined only by a married man and woman with one or more children. This bit of bigotted fallacy doesn’t follow in the least since there are plenty of examples of successful families where non-homosexuals raise children and the parental figures are of the same gender. Examples include a widowed mother and a grandmother raising children; a divorced father living with a brother and raising a son; and so on.

The entire assumption that homosexuals have an agenda beyond basic human rights and equality is simple, bigoted fear-mongering by the so-called religious right, of which the AFA and its members belong. Their ignorance is dangerous to society and the actions unpatriotic to the nation. The assumption that marriage should be only about procreation is an offense to all those married couples who chose not to have children and, especially, to those who cannot for biological reasons. Further, while the bigots are quick to claim that same-sex marriage is somehow ‘damaging’ to children, there are far more studies which reveal that children who are raised in same-sex households of gay parents are well-adjusted[2].

The AFA recommends that its members do three things to fight their side of the “culture war:”

  1. send an email to Campbell’s Soup Company asking their president Douglas Conant to “stop supporting the gay agenda.”
  2. Call Campbell’s at (800) 257-8443 as well as Swanson (800) 442-7684 and “ask the company to remain neutral in the culture war”
  3. forward the email alert to friends and family to enlist their support and “alert” them of “Campbell’s support of the gay agenda.”

I’m saying we can do the same. Use their email form, but edit it to include your own message supporting Campbell’s Soup, but don’t forget to change the subject line so it stands out. I used the word “Bravo!” in hopes that someone’s curiosity will cause them to open it. Click the link just above to see the AFA’s suggested email and copy/paste mine below if you want to send one of your own. I realize I hardly command the army of Pharyngula or The Friendly Atheist, but even if just a few people take a moment to respond with support, perhaps Campbell’s will resist the temptation to give in to the bullying tactics of a few bigots who have the ability to rally many more.

Dear President Conant:

I’m pleased to see that Campbell’s Soup is willing to stand by the patriotic and American value of freedom and equality by acknowledging that bigoted views of “family” need not be irrationally limited to unrealistic expectations of the nuclear household but, rather, a dynamic and diverse combination of people who love and cherish one another and are willing to commit their lives together in the very American pursuit of raising a family -whatever that family may ultimately consist of.

I, for one, do not depend upon the American Family Association to decide for me whether or not to continue to purchase your products. I will do so proudly knowing that I’m supporting an American company based on real American values.

Please maintain your moral integrity and resist the temptation to cater to the bigotry of a minority.

Campbell’s president, Douglas Conant’s email address is [email protected] if you want to send an email without using the AFA’s form, but I found a bit of irony in using their own site. Just be sure to use a bogus or spam-proof email or you’ll probably be signed up for AFA alerts!

  1. Same-sex marriage in the United States, [Wikipedia] []
  2. for instance, study: same-sex parents raise well-adjusted kids [WebMD] []
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