American Family Association Warns Christian Seniors Against Joining AARP

A well-known conservative values organization is advising Christians against joining the AARP, a nonprofit dedicated to the needs of retired people, arguing that the interest group caters to the "homosexual agenda."

Buddy Smith, executive vice president of the American Family Association, self-described Christian, pro-family nonprofit, said in a recent interview that he believes part of AARP's membership fees and profits are used to promote the legalization of same-sex marriage on a federal level, as well as same-sex couple adoption.

Smith warned retired Christians ages 50 and over who are planning to become a member of the AARP.

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"When you reach the age of a person like myself and you begin to get information from the AARP saying that they will represent you and your values and standards, you'd better be careful," Smith told OneNewsNow, a division of the AFA, in a recent interview.

"This group is a very, very powerful Washington lobby, and you just may be very surprised and disappointed to see those things that they are promoting and those things they are opposing," Smith continued.

"Be very careful that you know what your fees are going for because the AARP is not on your side," Smith said. "If you are a Christian and believe in biblical values, you can pretty much count on the fact that everything that you are in favor of, the AARP is opposing."

Although the OneNewsNow article did not specify exactly how the AARP promotes same-sex marriage, ThinkProgress blogger Zack Ford surmises that Smith is referencing AARP Pride, which caters specifically to senior citizens of the LGBT community in issues involving taxes, employment, long-term care, and retirement income.

The AARP organization describes itself as "inclusive" to the LGBT community and open to providing "resources, news, and other topics of interest to older lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, their family and friends."

The American Family Association has also recently discouraged seniors from joining the AARP, claiming that the AARP supports President Obama's Affordable Health Care Act.

The AARP has denied any official support of the Affordable Health Care Act, arguing that it is a bipartisan organization.

The AFA has encouraged seniors as an alternative to join the American Seniors Association, although it does not officially endorse this organization.

The conservative group has also spoken out on other issues relating to Christian values in American culture, such as urging Christians to boycott Gap Stores, Banana Republic, and Old Navy, arguing that the companies have refused to use the word "Christmas" during the holiday season.

 In 2008, the AFA temporarily boycotted McDonald's because the fast food corporation joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, a union which was later dissolved by McDonald's Vice President Richard Ellis.

The official website of the AFA describes the mission of the organization as being to "inform, equip, and activate individuals to strengthen the moral foundations of American culture, and give aid to the church here and abroad in its task of fulfilling the Great Commission."

"We believe in holding accountable companies that sponsor programs attacking traditional family values. We also believe in commending those companies that act responsibly regarding programs they support," the AFA website adds.

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