Sunday, October 3, 2010

Breaking the “We promote Family Values” Code

Mrs. Hump and I were sipping coffee and watching the morning news when a new car dealership commercial came on. Since car and furniture commercials are all we seem to get here, having a new one to start our day wasn’t a real attention grabber. That is until I heard the dealer proudly announce the fact that their dealership was “built on family values.”

“Family values?” The term is something of an enigma. I’m not privy to what the precise definition is, and I certainly haven’t the vaguest idea of how a business can be “built” on family values. Whatever it’s meaning apparently it is understood only by those to whom the term “family values” is like a secret handshake, a code word, a wink and a nod to some shared doctrine.

Over the past twenty-five years or so, Evangelical fundies / the Ultra-Conservative Christian Right seems to have used the term to identify who is with ‘em and who is agin ‘em. Evidently folks like defrocked Rev. Ted Haggard, soon to be defrocked Bishop Eddie Long, thrice married Newt Gingrich, playboy Rep. Mark Souder (R-Indiana), airport men’s room limbo king Larry Craig (R-Idaho), prescription druggie Rush Limbaugh and the pedophile protecting Pope endorse and promote family values. Meanwhile people like Barney Frank (D-MA), Ellen DeGeneres, President Obama, Christopher Hitchens, and everyone who supports equal rights for gays and a women’s right to choose are intent on devaluing if not destroying family values.

I’m used to seeing the term applied liberally in campaign ads run by Republican candidates. Apparently the passing of the health care bill, the recession, the unemployment rate, illegal aliens, the 911 attacks, hurricanes and floods are all attributable to the erosion of family values. Who knew?

I hear the term drip from the greasy lips of evangelical preachers and post-polygamy Mormons who have no problem crossing the line of church and state separation, and investing church millions trying to overturn laws in states in which they don’t even reside.

From what I can determine the rise of atheism, decline of religiosity, the push toward stem cell research, acceptance of evolutionary theory, inoculating children against polio, the use of birth control, aborting a fetus that was the product of rape or incest, opposition to the war in Iraq, legalization of gay marriage and rampant unrestrained masturbation has contributed to the demise of family values. Is it any wonder Christian families are divorcing in record numbers.

What the family values proponents agenda has to do with your family, my family, my son’s family, my neighbors’ families, or anyone’s family can only be conceived in the fevered minds of religionist nuts. It appears that they perceive any behavior not specifically endorsed by their ancient book of fables as an affront to their families’ very survival. It seems how they raise and discipline their kids; what they watch on the tube or view on the internet; how much time they spend together; what books they read and what fantasy they believe in, is somehow degraded, devalued, negatively impacted by those of us who do not share their politics, religious precepts, sexual practices or concept of what family values means.

I expect the family values hypocrisy mania to remain the war cry of Teabaggers, Christian theocrats and Conservative fear mongers for years to come. That it has now become a business marketing tool however comes as a complete surprise. How long before “Our chickens were raised with Family Values” becomes a KFC motto to get more god fearing Republican whackos to eat their buckets of deep fried fowl?

The next time that car dealership commercial airs, I’m going to catch its name and send them an email. I’ll ask that since their dealership was built on family values they probably don’t want contraceptive using couples, atheists, gay & women’s rights advocates or masturbators as clients lest it undermine their family’s longevity or company’s stability. I‘d hate to make a trip down there for nothing.


BathTub said...

Yeah it's long been a rule of mine 'be wary of Organizations with Family in the name'.

Luther said...

Business Family values? Look out for high priced items destined to make the owning family rich at your expense.

Or how about that Walton Family?

NewEnglandBob said...

This is just a chickenshit tactic of right wing-nuts because they are running scared. They lose battle after battle as society becomes more progressive and freedoms blossom. They control fewer and fewer people with their fear tactics and blowhard calls of doom and repentance for imagined sins.

Anonymous said...

Best blog post ever. I can only speculate as to how many people scoff at my family's values...I teach my children to think for themselves and never blindly follow anyone's ideas. We're just nutters that way!

Sue said...

Bart, I don't know about the family values angle, but I am amazed at how Xtians are not the least bit abashed at using Jeebus to sell dogs (I am a dog trainer and fan). The web sites make me ill.

But check this out!!! Rapture Rat Terriers---here's a customer for you, Bart!

Dromedary Hump said...

sue..thanks for the link to the religious dog whacko. I shall send him a special invitation for Eternal Earth-Bound Pets. :)

Rastifan said...

Looking at what I grew up with, family values takes on a different meaning when the term is uttered by die hard Christians.

Family values within the boundaries of an evil old book.

Hellbound Alleee said...

Family values=We Hate Fags.

Anonymous said...

Fantasy Land Adult Video Store - built on family values!

Yeah, it seems like it's just another cliche that's been copied from one business to the next, completely meaningless, baseless, and probably an outright lie.
I noticed that most of the businesses using this tagline are car dealerships. Doesn't surprise me. Most of them are slimeballs that would sell their own mother to sell a car....and they'd do it with a smile.
When you hear of a business touting "family values": caveat emptor.

Momma Moonbat said...

Pimping "family values" with business is nothing new here. It goes hand-in-hand withthe businesses who put their smelly fish on their logo and ads.

Anonymous said...

"Built on family values" often means that the grownup kids work in the business, receive preferential treatment, and are poised to take over someday. How unlike that Xtian value which promotes raising 'em tough and sending them out into the world to make their own way, oh well.

Anonymous said...

Slightly off-topic, I saw an ad for a frozen food product which emphasized that it contained "farm-raised vegetables (duh)." How much better if it had said "Family farm-raised vegetables."

Joan said...

Thanks for a truly great article and a great inspiration.
I truly wish the following parody were really funny
But it’s sadly becoming way too close to reality.

“Family Values Farm”

Our chickens here are raised with family values
In a coop or pen where chickens all belong
They are fed with lots of corn and rice and soybeans
Which will make them good and plump. That can’t be wrong.

Cholesterol? That’s just a liberal fable.
My grandma’s fat and lived to ninety-three.
And you’ll never find those free-range Commie chickens
Mixin’ with our Christian chickens. No sirree!

Cause we fence out all those skinny Commie roosters
Who are plotting to invade our little farm.
They will inbreed with our precious family chickens
Causing all our family values lots of harm.

Now the government inspectors tried to close us
When that last food poison outbreak came on strong
But a little old disease like salmonella
Didn’t keep our Christian chickens down for long.

So you’d best just buy your eggs from “Family Values”
Cause if free-range chicken eggs make you unwell
You’ll get sick and die and no one’s prayers will save you
And of course you will be sure to go to hell.

Devil said...

family values aka anti abortion and anti gay. what that actually means is that that family patriarch will bitch about those dam queers and then go fondle little boys. Bunch of dam hypocrites every dam one of them. If they claim to love jebus, have freaking fish on their cars, or tout their values run the other freakin way because you are about to get screwed.

Rachelle said...

LOL! Excellent post. I roll my eyes whenever I hear someone, esp. a hypocritical politician, utter the words "family values."

longhorn believer said...

Yep, it's code. It's kind of like Jeff Foxworthy's tag line "You might be a redneck if......", only in reverse. If you are caucasion, extremely religious, homophobic, more than a little racist, Tea Party supporter, sporting a t-shirt with the flag and the Bible, think women should be barefoot and pregnant, and own an assault probably believe in "family values". Oh shit, that's ninety percent of my neighbors!