Focus Blames Foley

Leave it to Focus on the Family to cast blame for Republican Congressman Mark Foley’s e-mail activities on left-wing “notions” that “obscenity is just another form of free speech.”

This logic emerged in a statement that the conservative Colorado Springs-based ministry issued in response to the eruption over the disgraced Foley’s sexually explicit e-mails sent to teenage Congressional aides, including calls that House Speaker Dennis Hastert, whom colleagues insist they previously notified about Foley’s depraved communiques, resign.

Tom Minnery, the ministry’s senior vice president of government and public policy, noted that if he is found guilty of preying on boys, Foley should be prosecuted. But then Minnery added, “the preoccupation with the political aspects of the incident [are] unfortunate.”

Focus on the Family’s entire Oct. 3 statement is pasted below:

Focus on the Family Action weighed in today on the controversy surrounding former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who was forced to resign last week after sexually explicit e-mails between him and a congressional page were made public.

The ensuing scandal has led to calls for the resignation of House Speaker Dennis Hastert, on the insinuation that he didn’t address Foley’s behavior quickly or proactively enough.

Tom Minnery, Focus Action’s senior vice president of government and public policy, said Foley “should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law” if he is guilty of preying on boys.

But he added the preoccupation with the political aspects of the incident were unfortunate.

“The lives of real families have been devastated by the conduct Mr. Foley stands accused of -so it’s sad that so much of the dialogue today is so political in nature,” Minnery said.

“Those truly interested in protecting children from online predators should spend less time calling for Speaker Hastert to step down, and more time demanding that the Justice Department enforce existing laws that would limit the proliferation of the kind of filth that leads grown men to think it’s perfectly OK to send lurid e-mails to 16-year-old boys.”

Minnery added that the public’s outraged reaction to the incident “indicates that as a society we do understand there are limits to ‘tolerance’ of our culture’s anything-goes view of sexuality.”

“If any lasting cultural good could come out of this awful incident,” he added, “it would be Americans discarding the politically correct notion fed to us by those on the left that obscenity is just another form of free speech.””

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