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Clearing Up Questions in the News Regarding the American Family Association

The American Family Association (AFA) has been in the news recently for two issues worthy of note. First, in a disturbing trend for politically active Christian ministries, AFA was labeled a “hate group” by a presentation by US Army personnel at Camp Shelby. The information the soldier used came from the far left Southern Poverty Law Center which has labeled AFA and other Christian ministries as “hate groups” due to their biblically-based stand against homosexuality. In many cases like these where such lies are being spread, many will hear the lie and not the retraction of that lie. As a result, we believe it is appropriate to highlight the US Army’s retraction in case any of our MinistryWatch.com users missed it. AFA has posted a copy of the US Army’s retraction on its website and it can be found here.

While AFA has certainly been known in the past for its aggressive tactics in fighting the culture wars, we at MinistryWatch.com do not believe their actions justify the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “hate group” categorization. Many Christians may not approve of AFA’s historically antagonistic approach. Indeed, we at MinsitryWatch.com have often desired AFA to offer a double dose of love for every dose of truth they highlighted in our culture. Still, any reasonable observer would be able to see that AFA and real hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan have nothing in common. MinistryWatch.com believes donors should not allow this report to negatively impact giving to AFA and should take note of the US Army’s retraction.

AFA also recently called off its three year old boycott of Home Depot claiming the company’s extensive financial support for homosexuality had been reduced due to its boycott. Groups supporting homosexuality scoffed at this claim and mocked AFA for “claiming victory where none exists”. Home Depot, as AFA predicted it would, responded to AFA’s claims of reduced support for homosexual groups by stating, “We haven’t made any changes to our policies for inclusion and respect of all people, regardless of their sexual orientation. We have not directed our associates to discontinue participation in Pride or other community events, and have no intention of doing so.”

So, what is the truth in this case? We asked the Biblically Responsible Investing Institute (www.BRIInstitute.com – an organization affiliated with MinistryWatch.com), which tracks corporate donations to homosexual and pro-abortion groups, as well as other corporate activities that might concern Christian investors, to determine if the AFA boycott had been successful or not. Based on their data, Home Depot has reduced its donations to homosexual groups over the last 18 months. Nevertheless, it remains hard to make a case that Home Depot’s support for homosexuality has been reduced in a meaningful manner as a result of the AFA boycott. Taking all the evidence together points to a continued high level of support for homosexuality at Home Depot. Like most boycotts, this one apparently failed to achieve its objective. AFA, which did not release any specific information about Home Depot’s reduced support for homosexual groups, seems to be looking for a low key, graceful exit from the Home Depot boycott as it certainly is not trumpeting its success. Still, we credit AFA for trying to get Christians to unite around what the Bible teaches regarding homosexuality and have that teaching influence not only Home Depot but also our culture.