The effort by Peter LaBarbera and the Family Research Council to lock HIV-positive gay travelers out of the United States reminds me of a Christian song.

In 1985, conservative Christian contemporary singer Steve Taylor released a song called Lifeboat (lyrics).

Titanic lifeboatThe song is about a teacher, Mrs. Aryan, who offers her very young and impressionable public-school classroom children a lesson about something called “values clarification.” In this parody of moral relativism, the children are assigned to clarify their values with a game in which five people must fit into a lifeboat built for two. The children must clarify their values by tossing three people overboard.

The five people are:

  • an “old, old crippled grandfather”
  • “a mentally handicapped person” who “can never be a productive member of society”
  • “an overweight woman on welfare, with a sniffling, whimpering baby”
  • “a young, white doctor with blue eyes and perfect teeth,” and
  • Joan Collins.

In a clever refrain, the good little kids dutifully throw overboard the presumed refuse of society: the grandpa, the “fatty,” and the “retard” — and the baby.

That is exactly what LaBarbera and FRC want their “Christian” followers to do to foreign travelers who have tested positive for HIV: Toss them overboard, or better yet, keep them from boarding even for a temporary visit.

But in the end, Steve Taylor has a surprise for his Christian audience: The good school kids throw the teacher overboard, too.

And that’s precisely what conscientious Christians need to consider doing — not to society’s rejects, but to LaBarbera and FRC for promoting lifeboat theology in the first place.

In his article, LaBarbera claims to be “associated” with Focus on the Family — and FRC continues to serve as a Washington public-policy extension of Focus, with James Dobson serving on its board. What, then, are Focus’ responsibilities in response to this episode? Conservative Christians deserve an answer.

‘Lifeboat’ via iTunes

Categorized in: