Most of us are familiar with James Dobson's Focus on the Family outfit, since they've played a major role in promoting the religious right's positions
Most of us are familiar with James Dobson's Focus on the Family outfit, since they've played a major role in promoting the religious right's positions for the past decade and more nationally: "The group supports the teaching of "traditional family values". It advocates school sponsored prayer and supports corporal punishment. It strongly opposes abortion, so-called militant feminism, homosexuality, pornography, and pre-marital and extramarital sexual activity."
Now, Michael Reynolds at JulyDogs has a series of posts detailing how FoF's influence is spreading south of the border too -- and it isn't pretty:
On Saturday an internal intelligence report on La Familia from the Mexican justice department surfaced in Milenio, bringing the news that the faith-based cartel grounds its indoctrination program on the writings of macho Christian author and veteran Focus On The Family senior fellow John Eldredge, who now heads Ransomed Hearts Ministries in Colorado Springs.
There are four separate references to Eldredge in the Mexican intelligence memo on La Familia. The cartel has conducted a three-year recruitment and PR campaign across Michoacan featuring thousands of billboards and banderas carrying their evangelical message and warnings. La Familia is known for tagging its executions and other mayhem as “la divina justica”–divine justice.
The report says La Familia leader, Nazario Gonzalez Moreno aka El Loco o More Chayo (”The Craziest”) has made Eldredge’s books required reading for La Familia and has paid rural teachers and National Development Education members to circulate the Colorado-based evangelical’s writings throughout the Michoacan countryside.
Reynolds goes on to cite Christian blogger Tim Challies:
John Eldredge became a major player in the evangelical world with the release of The Sacred Romance which he co-authored with Brent Curtis (who has since died). Following The Sacred Romance he wrote Wild at Heart, Waking The Dead, The Journey of Desire and more recently, Epic. I have read all of these except for Waking The Dead and The Journey of Desire. Eldredge’s books are targeted primarily at men and his writings have great appeal for men, many of whom feel that society has forced them to be like Mr. Rogers – harmless and just a little effeminate. Eldredge encourages men to be real men – to head to the wilderness and be the rugged warriors we all want to be if we look deep inside ourselves. Eldredge continually writes about William Wallace of Braveheart or Maximus, the main character in Gladiator – real manly men.”
As Reynolds explores in twofollow-up posts, the way this has translated on the ground in Mexico is a wave of violence directed against not merely rival drug gangs, but also anyone who fails to live up to its version of "masculine Christianity":
“La Familia doesn’t kill for money, doesn’t kill women, doesn’t kill innocent people. It only kills those who deserve to die. Everyone should know this: Divine justice.”–message left with five severed heads on the dance floor of the Sol y Sombra nightclub in Uruacan, Michoacan, September 6, 2006.
... From all available information so far, it appears that La Familia has developed into a faith-based right-wing populist social movement emanating from and orchestrated by an organization that happens to be a well-armed, well-financed violent criminal enterprise.
... La Familia is strongly pro-family (and all that that implies) and requires its members to abstain from alcohol and drugs. There is an indoctrination program all La Familia recruits must go through that inculcates “ personal values, ethical and morlal principles consistent with the purposes of the organization.” Last year La Familia brought in two motivational speakers to lecture its members. The group is hierarchic and maintains a strict top-down emotional control of its members.
Think of Jim Jones’ People’s Temple, only with more money and firepower and you get the idea.