In an email late this morning, American Family Association (AFA) President Tim Wildmon announced “Truth for Youth” week, which inconveniently ends today. You can see the entire email here.
I take issue with this program for several reasons, including the McEvangelism, overt paternalism, and the notch-on-my-belt measurement of success, but what really drew my attention was this part:
“The Truth For Youth” consists of the entire New Testament in the God’s Word version, along with 100 pages of powerful full color comics that are packed with “absolute truths” regarding issues young people are faced with, such as: Evolution, Sexual Purity, Homosexuality, Abortion, Pornography, Drugs, Drunkenness, Peer Pressure, School Violence, Secular Rock Music, Sorcery and Witchcraft.
Ho boy. I can get past the sing-songy name and the “hip and with it” trade dress. That’s a mistake Christians have been making for decades. I can even get past the American flag on the cover of the Bible.
What I can’t get past, though, is the comics. Obviously their purpose is not to get the Bible (New Testament only) out there, but to get the 100 pages of their version of Christianity in a “hip and with it” format that will surely fool them! Worse still, the comics come before you even get to Matthew 1, according to publisher Tim Todd’s newsletter (screencap).
I took a look over at the Truth for Youth website, and they’ve got the comics up. It’s all pretty awful. I’ll spare you the running commentary, but suffice to say they don’t like “secular music” (they actually call it that) or evolution. Go over there to have a look. The pornography one is particularly horrid. Jack Chick has nothing on this Tim Todd fellow.
In the homosexuality comic they try to play the “both sides are bad” game. The whole story is set around dueling violent protests between what looks to be a basic white trash mob (that coincidentally looks NOTHING like church-goin’ folks) and angry dyke caricatures.
This allows them to distance themselves from the loudest anti-gays while pushing an ex-gay message that helpfully sounds like the middle ground. By the end, a little boy comes out and is quickly convinced that he shouldn’t be gay. The story ends with an ad for Exodus International.
And I guess that’s what bothers me the most. This program from the AFA isn’t about getting Bibles into the hands of kids or evangelism. It’s about using children to sneak a harmful and false message into public schools.
One quick image before I close up. This is, I’m not kidding, from their comic on the evils of peer pressure.
I mean, come on. Really.