Dobson's election strategy: Focus on the Family Fear

2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

James Dobson and the Christian Right activists at Focus on the Family seem to have forgotten that scriptural promise.  Then again, there is a great deal of the Bible they seem to have forgotten, or chosen to blatantly ignore.  Their real “focus” is on scare tactics to frighten conservative evangelicals away from any flirtation with voting for Barack Obama, who may as well be the devil incarnate masquerading beneath a veneer of seductive charisma.

The latest instrument in this campaign of emotional intimidation is a “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America,” [download PDF at website] produced by Focus on the Family Action, the PAC arm of Dobson’s organization.  The document is so over the top that it’s garnered the usual media buzz, which is the goal of the group’s media strategy, according to Focus senior vice president Tom Minnery.  Unfortunately, the press finds such extremism more riveting than the message of a Christian political organization like Matthew 25 that supports Obama and candidates who are likely to promote the moral values expressed in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, and which takes as its scriptural mandate Jesus’ words in Matthew 25:40, “I tell you the truth, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.”

Whoever crafted the 15-page letter clearly had a creative heyday while indulging paranoia at an unprecedented level.  The letter, which is as likely to amuse as to appall most Christians who are more moderate and rational than Dobson’s devotees, outlines a world so transformed in just four years that it has become unrecognizable.  Consider these 15 (and the letter contains more) “natural” outcomes if Obama is elected, most of which are fomented after a 6-3 liberal majority takes over the U.S. Supreme Court:

• Boy Scouts disband after refusing to allow homosexual scoutmasters to sleep in the same tent as young boys

• First-graders get “compulsory training in varieties of gender identity,” and parents can no longer opt out of school-based sex ed for their kids

• Churches are declared “public accommodations” and forced to offer marriage ceremonies for homosexual couples

• Military must offer “sensitivity training” for troops forced to accept enlisted homosexuals

• The Supreme Court declares that “proselytizing speech” does not have the same protection as other speech, and Christian ministries are banned from college campuses

• Nurses who do not wish to participate in abortions will lose their jobs, and doctors who deliver babies at hospitals must perform abortions or lose their licenses

• The FCC nullifies all restrictions on obscene speech or visual portrayals on TV, and it’s now a 24-hour non-stop diet of explicit porn

• States are allowed to ban guns, and illegal gun-owners face stiff fines or prison terms

• Home-schoolers are forced to use state-approved curricula, and rather than do so, many emigrate to New Zealand or Australia where they may teach without restrictions

• The U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq prompts a take-over by Al Qaeda, which in turn has carried out terrorist attacks on four U.S. cities

• Russia reclaims most of the old Soviet bloc, including the Baltic states, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Bulgaria while UN & NATO fail to take action

• Latin America topples toward communism as the U.S.’s pro-Chavez policies give Venezuela more weight

• A single-payer national health care system has banned hospital admissions for anyone over 80

• Periodic blackouts are the norm after a moratorium is instituted on new oil drilling, nuclear plants and CO2-emitting coal power plants

• Business owners and entrepreneurs have moved overseas in droves to avoid higher taxes, with a huge loss of U.S. jobs

Wow, that’s one efficient administration.  Even when G.W. Bush had both houses of Congress, a majority of Supreme Court appointees, and two-thirds of federal judgeships in his court, the American political and cultural landscape held relatively steady.  That’s not to say that another four years of Republican control wouldn’t instigate a significant shift farther right – or that change won’t happen under Obama — but a scenario like the one Focus paints in this letter is as ridiculous as it is underhanded in its efforts to exploit the worries of religious conservatives who are beholden to fear rather than faith.

And to push the insult further, it turns out that some Christians themselves will be to blame.  As the letter’s author, “A Christian in 2012,” states in an effort to explain how all this happened, “In 2008 many evangelicals thought that Senator Obama was an opportunity for a ‘change,’ and they voted for him. They simply did not realize Obama’s far-left agenda would take away many of our freedoms as a nation, perhaps permanently…[allowing] the law, in the hands of a liberal Congress and Supreme Court, to become a great instrument of oppression.”

As a result of these naïve voters’ ignorance, the country has become a pawn in the takeover by “the agenda of the ACLU, the agenda of liberal activist judges in their dissenting opinions, the agenda of the homosexual activists, the agenda of the environmental activists, the agenda of the National Education Association, the agenda of the global warming activists, the agenda of the abortion rights activists, the agenda of the gun control activists, the agenda of the euthanasia supporters, the agenda of the one-world government pacifists, [and] the agenda of far-left groups in Canada and Europe.”  Heaven help us.  That’s a lot of agendas.

Capitalizing on fear has been a mainstay in the religious right’s persuasion tactics, just as absolutist governments have perpetuated through history.  Fear has always been the most powerful weapon tyrants have utilized to engineer consent to power, or to mobilize people into attacking other nations, races, ethnic groups or cultures. It is always fear that precedes fascism.  And it is ironic that in trumpeting the threats to freedom posed by this litany of “leftist” agendas, Focus on the Family and its ilk would seek to replace existing freedoms with a form of government that leans dangerously toward theocracy.

But the greater irony is that the “gospel” of Jesus translates to “good news,” not “be afraid.”  The Book of Matthew tells the story of the good news Jesus brings to the poor, the grieving, the hungry, the persecuted, the meek, the merciful, the pure of heart, and the peacemakers.  It is these, the scriptures say, who will be blessed, comforted, satisfied, and who shall see God.

Not once does the Jesus of the New Testament express concern over homosexuality as the greatest threat to the Kingdom of God.  Rather – as is made clear in the more than 2,000 verses in the Bible critiquing the love of money – it is being consumed with materialism and one’s own well-being at the ignorance and expense of others.

In Matthew 25:42-45, Jesus says, “For I was hungry, and you gave me no meat.  I was thirsty, and you gave me no drink.  I was a stranger, and you took me not in; naked, and you clothed me not; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit me.  Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when did we see you hungry, thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto you?  He answered them, saying, I tell you the truth: inasmuch as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.”

Imagine a letter from 2012 in which genuine Christian values – an agenda for “the least of these” – were to prevail.  Now that would be a transformed world.  In the meantime, Dobson and his supporters would do well to heed the words of David in the Psalms: “The Lord is my Shepherd, whom shall I fear?”  Indeed, the most frequently expressed command in the Bible is “be not afraid “ or “do not fear.”  Focus on the Family’s political agenda is thus neither Christian, nor right.

85 replies »

  1. Heaven help us. That’s a lot of agendas.

    You can say that again. Dobson’s gone totally off the reservation, like Hagee. He risks marginalizing himself and Focus on Fear, I mean the Family.

    Scholars & Rogues also took a look at Dobson a year ago in “James Dobson Killed God?

  2. James Dobson began alienating me 15 years ago when he went from offering sound advice on child rearing to equating whether I was a “real” Christian or not to the way I voted. The man is a disgrace to the name “Christian” and I am praying that this latest piece of slander from his xenophobic empire is rendered completely ineffective.

  3. Brilliant. And so, so necessary. And representative of far more Christians than I think we realize. Brava.

  4. Dobson, why are you so bad at beaing a Christian? Trying to scare people in order for them to vote the same way you do is immoral.

  5. This is nothing less than fear inducing propaganda. You know, Mr. Dobson, the scriptures warn us about people like you. In the end, you will have to answer for yourself. As I recall, it doesn’t go so well for hypocrites.

  6. Ok, I’m a Christian (Roman Catholic) and I’m firmly moderate (conservative on some issues, moderate on most of the others, liberal on one or two things) … but whoa, that was one of the most hateful things I have ever read. Like just… stunning.

    I read the transcript of his interview with Palin and I was pretty offended by that… but this? This is sick. I know I shouldn’t judge and I’m trying not to, but I really think Dobson needs helps. There is nothing loving or Christian about his fear tactics. I thought pastors weren’t supposed to get involved in politics. Living your life according to the rules of the Bible is one thing. Living your life in fear of people that are different from you though is not spreading kindness. Does Dobson do anything positive? Why is it everytime I hear about him he’s doing something destructive or hurtful?

  7. Why do I feel more and more over the years, that the Christian Right have become the modern day Pharisees?

  8. Home-schoolers forced to emigrate? Can’t you just see the long lines of home-schooled kids gathering, intending to walk to New Zealand?

    … I know, I know, homeschooling isn’t that bad. Unlike this list.

    I have to wonder what Dobson’s going to do when the Christian Right realizes that homosexuals really aren’t very scary people.

  9. He’s such a warm individual. No wonder so many follow his teachings. He should have added…

    -forced sodomy on religious leaders with objects the size of firehydrants.

    Now I would certainly switch my vote to Obama just to witness that!!!!

  10. The NIV says “timdity” NOT “fear” so it actually tells Christians to speak up as Dobson has done!

    When I consider WHO Obama will “owe” IF he is elected, I don’t think that it’s too far-fetched to consider the impact of Supreme Court appointments that he would make.

    Regarding marriage, courts in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and California have ALREADY demonstrated What we have to “fear”

    Regarding “hate speech” Canada has ALREADY demonstrated the muzzling effect that government that can have on pastors: link

    Regarding the Freedom of Choice Act, I expect Congress to pass it IF the Democrats get a filibuster-proof Senatorial majority.

    I could go on BUT I already have enough reasons to FEAR an Obama presidency!

  11. Tom: It takes a particular kind of … person to FEAR two gay guys who have been living together for 30 years in a state you couldn’t even find on a map getting married.

    Seriously, that is a special breed of chicken.

    Tell me, is the god you worship this big a coward, too?

  12. James Dobson started his career a pretty decent man. The sad thing is, he has been corrupted by power and cannot stand the loss of it.

    Sadly, his letter is not only patently dishonest, but it also shows none of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galatians 5. I pray he comes to know the fulness of Christ’s love. He doesn’t know it now.

  13. thank God, the number of people who take frauds like dobson seriously are dwindling. true, a lot of the loss can be attributed to circumstances such as the present economic reality, but i like to think that not a little of it is due to the fact that more and more people are picking up on the corrupt stench coming from their real ideology. it has nothing to do with salvation and everything to do with power.

  14. The Reverend Dobson sounds like a closet homosexual. He needs to walk out of that closet, for that shall set him free.

  15. Why has this man’s psychology degree made him an authority on Christianity? He is a hateful force in Colorado Springs. Many, many people would love to see him go away. He showed up with his followers and has sowed a divisive message ever since. Ted Haggard left in disgrace. Dobson is disgracing himself with a message of hate.

  16. Six to three liberal court?
    Who do they think is going to die, Roberts, Thomas , Alito or Scalia?

  17. Ricard @ #21:

    They don’t think anything, which is the problem. They believe it, so it must be true. It seems sometimes that the more outlandish the belief, the better. But then, it is all they have ever had…

  18. I find no trace of the gospel of Jesus Christ in anything Dobson says or does. The fact that he has seduced so many Christians into his cultish power hungry machine saddens me and I will be glad when he so overplays his hand that people everywhere see him for what he is.

  19. All those bad things in the list would almost be worth removing the “right” of the holy rollers to knock on my door, shove literature in my face and publicly inform me that I’m going to hell.

  20. Would Dr. Dobson disown one of his children for being gay? I doubt God disowns his children over their sexual orientation–and if he did I really think Christ would have warned us that homesexuality was an unforgiveable lifestyle. It’s getting hard to tell Dr. Dobson and Rush Limbaugh apart. Both are too old and too rich to take seriously.

  21. “Promotions comes not from the west, nor from the east or south, but God puts up one and takes down another.” I often wonder do evangelicals really believe in God. Your trust should be in God and not who is in office. I have not seen any Christian qualities in either of the candidates. McCain curses like a sailor but yet you throw your support behind him. You are a hypocrite and if you are prejudice also (which I suspect) you will definitely answer to God for thay too!!!

  22. If you compare Dobson’s motives, his methods and what he hopes to bring about with New Testament writ you find that Dobson is not, actually, a Christian. Being a Christian is more than just proclaiming yourself one. If Jesus were to appear on earth at nine this morning, would he feel more comfortable with Dobson, who “feeds the bread of hate” to use Dr. King’s words, or with Barack? Give this a thought: maybe it is Dobson who is the Devil incarnate.

  23. Dobson’s own results as a parent and husband might be why he strayed off the path of a fatherly author dispensing friendly, christian advice.

    His grown children live beneath his large shadow, apparently unable to navigate the real world.

    His son, now on a second marriage, made a career out of pursuits more suited to a teenager. His daughter, a 40-something who never married, has never gone much of anywhere and apparently lives off royalties from a few uninteresting books sold through her father’s organization.

    His wife Shirley remains the ultimate enigma. Her under-the-radar life as Mrs James Dobson is a story one can hardly imagine. When she surfaces to cut the ribbon at the odd conference or organize some prayer event you get a few clues. There is a perpetually sad countenance. But it’s the 1000-mile stares which seems most telling. It sort of reminds me of Pat Nixon during the darkest days of Watergate.

    You’d think the Religious Right’s premier authority on the family would have a little more to show for his efforts than a huge international organization that rakes in money and seeks to continuously expand its power and influence.

  24. Ayatollah Dobson & co are disgrace to Christianity. This shows the fraud they’re. Their guy and GOP has been in power for the last 8 years and look at where we are. This is the same Dobson who didn’t say a single word on behalf of Iraq’s or Palastine’s christians. This is the same guy who (falsely) preaches the value of the unborn life yet enthusiastically endorses the annihilation of the living. What a zealot and a low-life thug.

  25. “Business owners and entrepreneurs have moved overseas in droves to avoid higher taxes, with a huge loss of U.S. jobs”


    THAT HAS ALREADY HAPPENED under a Republican administration.

    Dobson’s off the reservation. Get him some help, please.

  26. Always remember that bro James is NOT an ordained minister, has no standing in the Universal church, has no authority in the name of Christ’s Gospel, and is a trained psychologist with little credentialing from any nation/academic psychology organization. He is a self made luny! Maybe some day he’ll read the Gospel and repent. We should all be praying for that to happen and be waiting for the Spirit to move hm Christ’s way. When he falls, as he must, let’s be waiting to hold the new to our breasts, not at arm’s length.

  27. the reason they drink the cool-aid is because its easy to use “faith” as an excuse for not being able to think on their own. Those who would believe what Dobson says are the ones who have never actually read the Bible (or if they did, they didn’t understand it) and rely on the voice of “authority” to tell them what it means and what to believe.

    and remember – “faith” and “religion” are not interchangeable terms. Faith is a belief system, Religion is a set of man made dogma and rituals.

  28. If you remove the label “Christian” from Dobb’s work, he would be nothing more than a cultist seeking to control an otherwise political objective. All you need do is attend a service of his followers on Sunday to discover the magnitude of people who would follow him off the cliff into oblivion. His organization is equal to the Klan, and simply not Christian. The presence of the Bible in the room from which he speaks does not morph the hate he spews.

  29. Matthew 6 has always been pretty explicit about people like Dobson and the late Falwell.

    So whenever you give alms, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be praised by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your alms may be done in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward. But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

    Even if you’re an atheist, I don’t think this passage is too disagreeable.

  30. I wonder what the letter would look like if McCain became President: “In March 2009, McCain’s service was conducted at Arlington National Cemetery. Upon her swearing in as President, President Palin fires his cabinet, replacing it with like minded individuals: Rove, Cheney, Dobbs, and the CEO of Exxon. In August 2009, Exxon announces its purchase of Alaska, which is now an oil producing wasteland. Should I continue?

  31. A wiser person than me noted that for any group like Dobson’s, it’s usually a good idea to substitute the word “Family” for “Patriarchy.” It usually turns out to be pretty accurate.

    Mr. Dobson is a perfect example of my definition of a false Christian: Someone who tries to use the cross to shield their bigotry. It’s still bigotry, and it should be called out.

  32. I always find it interesting (even if it has been happening for 1800 years or so) how “Christians” spend more time pouring through the Old Testament than the New. Hell, almost 1800 years ago Marcion wrote an interesting piece wherein he made one column exemplifying the Hebrew God and one column exemplifying the Christian God (both from scriptural sources). His point was glaringly evident because of the format he chose. The former is, at best, a just God wile the latter is a good God.

    A lot of the confusion stems from the Christian reasoning that Christ was the Hebrew messiah of Old Testament prophecy. Unfortunately, that’s hardly the case. The Hebrew messiah was not a divine being but a prince/lord who would restore the glory of Israel the state, not Judaism the religion.

    Would that the Christian tradition not have aligned itself with the secular power of Constantinople or that Simon the Magus had ‘won’ the debate with Peter. Simon was much more like Christ himself, and their connection with John the Baptist is revealing. It seems that those who were initiated by John the Baptist shared some interesting similarities in their missions. The most interesting is their emphasis on gnosis (revealed knowledge as opposed to given knowledge in Greek), but the second most interesting is their incorporation of the feminine principle. Christ had Mary Magdalene and Simon had Helen. There is Hebrew precedent for the feminine principle. Inscriptions dating to the eight century B.C. refer to the Lord God’s wife: Ashera, which is feminine form of of one of the Hebrew names for God.

    The Alexandrian Jews used the Hebrew word/name Chokmah, Wisdom, and described it a spiritual outflowing of the highest Godhead. It translated to Greek as Sophia, a feminine noun. Amongst the Gnostics, in particular, the feminine principle was elevated above what we think of as God; He was the ruler of Earth but She was, to some extent, the ruler of God. Some traces of this can even be seen in the Old Eastern Orthodox church. They named their central building the House of Wisdom. Faint traces can be seen in Catholicism of the lay people with their focus on Mary…though it is generally channeled through Mother Mary, rather than Mary Magdalene. The latter has been reviled as a prostitute whom Jesus lifted up, but there is strong scriptural evidence that she was in fact his spiritual consort…together they are the earthly manifestation of the united monad of divinity. (and i’m not talking DaVinci code here) Simon, undiluted by centuries of dogma, makes this abundantly clear when he speaks of Helen…his earthly, yet also divine consort. He used the terms World Soul and World Mind.

    My point, aside from a Sunday morning dissident theology lesson, is that Dobson, et. al. are probably missing the whole point of Christianity. They are perverting a perversion.

  33. Dobson is one of those collection of fundies that might be referred to as Chrislamic. He gets his turban at the same store the ayatollahs and clerics get theirs. Extreme right is the same as extreme left.

  34. Children have love in their heart, but if you have lost your way and need tobe born again as a child it is written in the scriptures:

    “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.” John 15:12

    “And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion;”.” Romans 30.21

  35. Why is it that the right-wing (Dobsons and Reagens alike) loves to say “if you don’t let companies molest you financially, they will leave!”?

    Say Ford decided to lift up it’s roots and move to Spain. Ford would no longer be employing Americans in America since it became a Spanish company and our “far left” nation doesn’t let foreign countries run plants in the U.S. that aren’t subjected to the same “strict import/export” taxes and laws that we have. Chevy does the same, as does Chrysler.

    Ok.. They pack up and leave, and the Government takes over those buildings left behind under eminent domain (what, you think the Government should let some “company” keep things this nation allowed them to create, even when they shit on that same country?).

    Now we don’t have any American car companies and imports are fairly expensive (those damn import taxes).

    You don’t think some American is going to talk with the Government about getting access to that/those factories and hiring some Americans and start producing cars? Start building the components they need for those cars, netting MORE jobs in America?

    If we have a strict minimum wage and some small businesses don’t think they can cover all of their wages and still live high on the hog, does that mean someone else won’t be willing to do the work? Does that mean that small businesses would have to fold up shop and America would die out? You mean, if those providing services decided to stop, you don’t think someone else might start providing them?

    If AT&T decided to move to China, do you think they would get to walk off with all of their infrastructure that was subsidized by the Government? So someone else comes in and takes over. AT&T takes a huge punch in the face since their business in America would all but disappear, and the NEW company that takes over on its old infrastructure would be making profits instead. Not as “big” of profits as AT&T was while they were abusing us, but profits none the less.

    The threat to “leave” is pretty unfounded. Its not practical, and it certainly can’t happen without MASSIVE pain to the companies. The threat is based on the premise that the companies get to leave and still do business in America like they do today. That seems a flawed premise to me. You don’t let companies leave your nation and still have free trade with them, duh?

    Many countries are starting to see that Globalization is a nation killer. No one wants that to happen to them, so we need to find a balance between moving resources around and moving products around. Final products are what create wealth, and in America, we have less and less ability to add value to resources so we can create real wealth. No industry means no jobs means no wealth creation, and that’s where we are today. Threatening to move the remaining businesses offshore implies that our Government wouldn’t change anything else about how we do things, and clearly that won’t be the case.

    Why is it that in the 60s and 70s when the middle class was doing well we still had industry? When did that start to change on a large scale and America start this downward spiral into a massively debtor nation? .. Oh.. right.. with that “trickle down (your back)” era that started moving product creation overseas and lowered taxes on businesses in the process.

    The only reason those threats hold any water is because we’ve been brainwashed into wanting more and more crap on less and less money. Return to only buying what you need with a few toys tossed in now and again, and we’d be doing much better overall. The greed and entitlement mindset has to stop if we’re to survive. .. if the planet is to survive.

  36. Dobson needs to adjust his medication. The voices in his head are becoming more delusional. Also, any man who obsesses about anal sex 24/7 is gay.

  37. Chrislamic leader. When you are right wing as he is, any rightwing religious description will do.

  38. Jesus said, “If those who lead you say to you, ‘See, the kingdom is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”

    Verse 3 of the Gospel of Thomas (Lambdin Translation)

  39. Savanster,

    Companies can “Leave” the country on paper, yet still keep their infrastructure here. It happens all the time.

    Despite the fact that I’m a persona non grata around here, I would like to go on record that I agree with the whole group at S&R that Dobson is very misguided at the minimum(that’s a first). He does not reflect the views of mainstream evangelicals, at least according to my evangelical friends. As a Freemason, I’m disturbed to find that many conspiratorial minded people are trying to link Dobson to our most noble and ancient craft. I find this very disturbing, but then again, Masons have been accused of everything from JFK’s assassination to the global financial crisis . Here’s an interesting, whacked article that even y’all will agree with me is crap.


  40. Lex:

    Thanks for quoting Thomas. Personally, I think that Thomas is the most authentic of the Gospels, even if it’s not an official one. It has the ring of authenticity and, if you can believe the experts, is probably older than any of the official four.

  41. Wow. Not only is Dobson and Focus on the Family Action all about fear, they have started predicting the future with absurd fantasy stories.

    2 Timothy 1:7: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

    Not so much.

  42. Dr. S, i’ve always been heretical.

    Jeff, i didn’t know you were a Freemason. You won’t get any guff from me about that. Most of the founders were Freemason (not “good Christians”) and for good reason. Freemasonry is one of the places that Gnostic traditions ended up, based on the connection between the Gnostics and the Cathars; the Cathars and the Templars; and the Templars and the Masons. I could go on for a while on this whole train of thought, but i’ve already written one dissertation on this thread.

    I didn’t make it past the first couple of sentences of the link as it seemed to have the same tone as that which ignited the Albigensian Crusade in Languedoc.

  43. I remember James Dobson when he had something intelligent to say. Sadly, those times are long gone! I feel sorry for his wife, having to live with a person like him.

  44. Lex,

    Freemasonry is one constant in my life, never changing with the times, and never needing to change. Unlike a church based in Rome, Freemasonry actually gives to the community……although figures vary, Masonic charities give about 3-5 million dollars a day in the USA alone….Those Shriners hospitals are really expensive….and totally free for the kids. One interesting tidbit about Masonry….our entire tradition and ritual is completely oral, passed from mouth to ear. It took me about a year to learn all the degree work, as it’s about 50 pages worth of very quaint English written in code(as no ritual or obligation is allowed to ever be decipherable). Tough to master, but worth it.



  45. If you think Dobson’s a nut but still intend to vote for McCain, just remember that McCain and Palin’s first stop after the GOP Convention was Colorado Springs to kiss Dobson’s ring…

  46. I am a homosexual! I am powerful! I have the power to change the world. I have the power to rule the world! I am invincible! Jeezus creebus but the man is mad. And not in the angry sense of the word. There are, conservatively speaking, about 6% of any population that are homosexual. In the United States, figuring about 300 million people, there are 18,000,000 of us. There are 282,000,000 that are NOT homosexual. To ascribe the kind of power to a statistically minuscule number of people that Dobson and his ilk assigns is ludicrous and borders on the insane.

  47. I believe that the election of Obama will lead to more promiscuous and ungodly miscegenation in this country. The end is nigh.

    What is that guy, an octaroon or sumfin?

    Cleanliness is next to godliness and racial purity is the highest form of godliness. Thank you Mohammed, Allah, and Obama bin Laden.

  48. I agree with many in this blog that Dobson is wrong in this piece put out by the Focus on the Family PAC — but it is also wrong to spew venom back into his face, calling him all sorts of names and making jokes about his wife, his medication, His orientation, etc.

    It makes us the same as those whom we are protesting. We need to make sure that we are not “over the top” in our response.

    Romans 3:23 — “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” — is good for us all to remember.

  49. I think Jack’s more on unwarranted venom-spewing, like jokes about the wife, calling him a closet homosexual, and so forth. Now, warranted venom spewing, like calling him an irrational fearmonger, nothing wrong with that. Christian doctrine just says to forgive your trespassers, it doesn’t prevent you from recognizing them as such.

  50. jeff, you missed my point entirely.

    The only reason foreign companies have plants in America is because we let them. It’s part of the free trade mentality, and a way to circumvent various taxes (or so I suspect). That means we also have the ability to modify our agreements, our tax policies, etc.

    Basically, we have the ability to punish any company that “leaves on paper and keeps facilities in America”. We don’t need those people here if their intent is to abuse the public.

    People keep forgetting that we didn’t always live under this screwed up Corpratocracy. They also forget that companies like Ford and Chevy have plants in foreign nations (like Germany) where those citizens, those WORKERS, have a much better set of protections than Americans. So, how is it that those companies can manage to protect those workers there but not here?

    do the math.

    In America, Wal-Mart shuts down stores to prevent unions from forming.. In CHINA, Wal-Mart workers have unions. .. CHINA..

    It’s our legislators that dictate how we’re treated, and under the Republican dictates, companies are more important than human beings. That bothers me.

  51. Savanster,

    I didn’t miss your point but merely wanted to illustrate the arbitrage of money, business, and jobs from high cost, high tax areas to those places with lower costs. No matter what protectionist laws are enacted, business will find a way around them. Production will always go from high cost areas to lower cost areas. As for Wal-Mart in China. Their agreement with China in order to locate stores there included the presence of a union. The unions in China are nothing like the Teamsters over here. For Wal Mart, the union is another cost of doing business in China, although those managers in Bentonville are choking on the thought. Still, the weekly wage of a union worker at Wal Mart in China is less than the daily wage of a similar full time employee in the USA, and they get to work longer shifts and 6 day weeks in China.


  52. And he follows the Prince of Peace, the Great Physician, Wonderful Counselor and the one who said turn your other cheek, and get the log out of your own eye before pointing out the splinter in sombody elses.
    WWJD Jimmy D….dang you need to read the Bibie…I’ll give you one

  53. “No matter what protectionist laws are enacted, business will find a way around them.”

    To correct your statement, no matter the laws enacted to protect the public, business favoring legislators will craft loopholes for their buddies.

    The pro-corporate mentality of the right-wing is the single biggest reason I despise them. Money over life, profit over all else. It’s pathetic and destructive. We, the people, have the ability and RIGHT to dictate to businesses exactly what they will and won’t do, can and can’t do.

    Saying businesses some how have a “power”, or ability external to human dictate is to give them way too much credit. Humans, often greedy and selfish and corrupt, allow their human friends to abuse other humans from behind the curtain of their companies. We don’t have to allow that. The Democratic party tends to get that.

  54. Dodson is not a member of any clergy or even a religious scholar just a self-constituted hack. I for one believe that religious organizations should be taxed on everything but their property. The mega-churchs could help make up the revenue short fall and their power would be substantially reduced in this great secular nation

  55. like i said to jaymarv, i know it’s meant to be inflammatory, strike righteous terror into the hearts of knock-kneed pseudochristians everywhere, et c., et c., ad absurditas…. i just find it awesomely hilarious. cannot. stop. giggling.

    i don’t understand why *anyone* takes these freaks seriously, i guess.

  56. 2012 proves to me that Dobson is not only not a Christian, but is a very evil man. McCain’s first wife and children wished McCain had focussed on them

  57. Again as usual, no one is willing to critique the concerns of the letter line by line but just yell “fear.” Christians such as myself have many of the fears brought up here. I am from Canada and the Christian message labeled as “hate speech” is a growing reality there. Matthew 25 project is a sham – what about what this nation has done “to the least of these” killed in the womb? Yep, Jesus is pleased about that. And Jesus is really pleased that “a man shall leave his father and mother and take to himself his wife and they be one flesh” “male and female in the beginning” TO Adam and Steve getting “married.” Give me a break fake christian deceived.

  58. Again as usual, no one is willing to critique the concerns of the letter line by line but just yell “fear.” Christians such as myself have many of the fears brought up here. I am from Canada and the Christian message labeled as “hate speech”

    Dear Jacob Arminius: If you think your “Christianity” and this presidential election are about my wife’s abortion or my gay neighbor’s marriage – two things that are essentially none of your business despite the preposterous nonsense that you seem to believe – you are a very confused fellow. But that’s OK. America is still a free country – despite the best efforts of good “Christians” like yourself. There is a political party that needs your vote. It’s the same party that just demonstrated that – with your support – they could, send your job to China, steal your children’s inheritance and bury your grandchildren in debt and still have NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT. So, it abortion and gay marriage are of primary important to you, go vote for John McCain & Sarah Palin. The votes will be counted on Tuesday. We’ll see how much all the hate-speech & fear mongering by a mean-spirited and deceitful lunatic-fringe of “Christianity” adds up to on Tuesday.

  59. “i don’t understand why *anyone* takes these freaks seriously…”

    Dear modchen: I would like to take that attitude myself. It is not unreasonable. Intellectually, philosophically, ethically, logically, morally… even theologically these people know NOTHING. it would seem that they could be dismissed by everyone with an IQ above room-temperature and they would just go away BUT that’s not the case.

    It’s not the case first because the choose their victims carefully. They say things that are attractive to the frightened, the under-educated, the untraveled and in many cases the bigoted. They do things to make their prejudice seem respectable. Anyone can research the Biblical justifications that were delineated for slavery and against woman’s suffrage… this is not a new trick; it’s an old hustle with new suckers. The other factor is that the successful demagogues (the Pat Robertsons & James Dobsons for example) are subsidized by very rich right-wingers, who believe essentially in NOTHING other than the old fact that fools can be made useful if properly organized. That makes the politics of hate, fear, division, backwardness and ignorance very powerful. Jesse Helms & Ronnie Reagan figured that out long ago (it wasn’t a new trick then)) and it has paid off like a rigged slot machine for them ever since. Anyway that’s why these vicious folks and their cruel hoaxes won’t go away if we ignore them, although, I confess, it is a pleasant thought.

  60. Lex, October 26, 2008 at 6:18 pm :

    I didn’t make it past the first couple of sentences of the link as it seemed to have the same tone as that which ignited the Albigensian Crusade in Languedoc.

    Dear Lex: That’s very interesting history there in the Languedoc. It is a perfect metaphor for what is going on in America. The Kings of France (that’s what is northern france now) got together with a Pope and got permission to launch the only crusade ever fought against Christians in l’Occitane (which is the name of the region & the language of the land across the south of France with bits in Spain & Italy) Occitane is also the language of the troubadour poetry… The made it look like a holy war against a new more Gnostic Christian sect ” The Albigensians, and there was a new religion flourishing in the more tolerant south; Jews were also tolerated even in public office, in fact, the mayor of Bezier was a Jew. There are very long great stories, but the short of it is that it was the largest successful land-grab in medieval European history. These Parisian princes could care less about this religion, they wanted the land and with the Pope’s imprimatur the succeeded in stealing it.

    The history is fascinating. Google “Cathars” – “Catharism” & “Albigensian Crusade” .

    There is one story that’s worth telling. When the Parisian Princes were laying seige to the city of Bezier (pop. about 22,000), where a couple of dozen “heretics” lived, they ordered the citizens of Bezier to turn them out and they said “NO, these are good people they are our neighbors. They have done nothing wrong.” The princes went to the Bishop and asked what to do. That bishop, whose name I have conveniently forgotten gave the final word on “Christian” fanaticism, when he said: “Kill them all. God knows his own.” Months later when those who had escaped before the siege attempted to return they could not walk on the cobble stone streets because they were still slippery with blood and fat of the 22,000 slaughtered residents of Bezier, France… I live about 15 kilometers from Bezier in the seaport city of Sete…

  61. The risk of overdetermining on these Evangelical nitwits, it that it skews our discourse.. Adlei Stevenson (1900-1965) used to say: “The Average American is a whole lot better than average.” We need to get back to talking construction positions that speak to that average american and stop pitching to the dirty-curtains of backwardness an bigotry. Let them stew in their own fears and frustrations (just watch them enough to see where they point their guns) and begin an uplifting dialogue about possible solutions to pressing problems.

    In the last post on the south of France, I dashed off the line: “I live about 15 kilometers from Bezier in the seaport city of Sete…” That’s true, in fact the only home that I own in the world that’s paid for is in France. It is also true that part of each year I work in Silicon Valley directing a small non-profit. We have a sign on my door that says:
    W.I.N. – What’s Important NOW? That’s is the question I want focused on. That is the question that our deeply damaged and troubled nation must focus on IF we are to make things better. The bitter and essentially trivial diversions that are important to these zealots only serve to divide us, drain our energy and impede our progress. They are only useful to conscienceless politicians like Pat Buchanan who find puerile “culture wars” useful for winning elections. America can’t afford this anymore.

  62. You’ve all made Dobson’s point with the hatefulness and over-reaction illustrated by your comments.

    Have any of you EVER listened to any Focus on the Family radio broadcasts (they’re available as podcasts) or read any of Dobson’s books on children or marriage?

  63. I’m sorry, but Dr. Dobson wasn’t trying to scare you but to get you to think, critically. And what he had to say is not hyperbole nor is it exaggeration solely for effect, but has been done before in history and by other men. Much of the tragedy in the church today (indeed, the world) could be avoided by two things: a thorough study of world history and an understanding of the fullness of scripture, church tradition, and an application of such. Decisions, attitudes and viewpoints based upon chronological snobbery do little to help an individual think carefully and weigh all that is presented to him or herself with wisdom. Information must be sifted, the truth, no matter how minor, extracted and given respect in one’s overall view and understanding. Our guide is the Christ and the Holy Spirit who works not in one group or one individual, but throughout the entire body of the Christ. And the Christ knows who are His own as a Shepherd knows his own sheep. Have you made sure you are listening to the Master’s voice? Do you know how to make sure? When individuals claim a party or person as having the answers to those hard conditions we were warned about, other than the Christ in his fullness, then one is apt to feel a some “messiah” has come to make life easier, which we were never promised on a stable basis in this life. To think that you or any group or any man or woman is going to make the world a better place is a very dangerous attitude, for it lulls the mind into a state ready to accept the anti-Christ who will indeed present a far “better” answer than either Mr. McCain or Mr. Obama has. If that is your entire focus, a “better life” here and now, please reread what the real Christ has already told us and find peace in Him as your focus no matter what you may endure for a short time here. Put your faith in what you already know to be true about the real Savior. So do what you can, good, toward your neighbors and put your focus on the real life as our Lord asked us to do..not on any political “messiah”. thank you for your time and your patience. God bless you.

  64. Tom, November 4, 2008 at 6:07 am : “You’ve all made Dobson’s point with the hatefulness and over-reaction illustrated by your comments”

    I have read every word of Mr. Dobson’s attack upon reason with his peculiar brand of religious conviction. There is not one loving or affirmative statement in it. It is filled with bigotry, unjustified conviction, paranoid projections and lies. If This is your spiritual leader I feel sorry for you but, frankly, your religion is none of my business. And you have made a major mistake thinking that your fringe religion has any right to dominate the public policies of a free people. We are no longer amused by your ugly/ignorant positions; your primitive superstitions or by your anti-democratic tactics.

    As a citizen, I owe you the moral obligation to defend your right to practice your religion in your home, church and school, with my life. When you trot your religion into the public square as a pretense for bad public policy, I do not owe you the obligation to treat the preposterous nonsense that you call “Absolute Truth” with anything more than the contempt that it deserves.

    You and your Mr. Dobson managed to get your president. George Bush. He turned out to be the most inarticulate, incompetent and corrupt president in US history (with all due apologies to Mr. Harding). President Bush has bankrupted America at home while he disgraced her abroad, and all with the enthusiastic cheerleading of Evangelical Christians, who are brain-dead. There is no longer any reason to be patient with your ignorance or your bigotry. If that is the best you can find in the Bible you should stop reading. Your toxic pseudo-Christian “values” have destroyed the Republican Party. No one wants to be in the party with you because your ignorance and bigotry are an embarrassment. Every true conservative I know voted for Senator Obama, (including many others – like myself -who had voted for Senator Goldwater) because Barack Obama represented an intelligent approach to America’s problems. I have a suggestion for you “PALIN / BACHMANN IN 2012” that will make it clear that the Republican Party must flush this “base” of crypto-Christian bigots into some third party sewer if it is ever to rebuild on true conservative principles, about which you are clueless and for which there is not enough space here to explain.

  65. Ay-yi-yi, Mr. Tranchina, your rhetoric seems to spew even more vehement vitriol than those you criticize. I have one request, as the author of this post: for all your (and my) legitimate issues with the positions taken by James Dobson, et al., please be careful not to tar all evangelical Christians with the same brush. There are plenty of progressive evangelicals out there like Jim Wallis — see — or Tony Campolo, author of “Red-Letter Christians,” or even conservative evangelicals like RIchard Cizik, VP for governmental affairs for the National Association of Evangelicals, who are reasonable, thinking, caring citizens that do not share Dobson’s political views. Or, for that matter, check out the website of the group I mentioned in the post, Matthew 25. These are evangelicals, too. Nothing is more detrimental to effective political criticism than to become a different version of those whom you are critiquing.

  66. Ay-yi-yi, Wendy Redal:

    Remember what Dick Cavet said to Governor Lester Maddox, before he walked off of his television show? Cavet said: “Governor Maddox, if I have called any of your supporters “bigots,” who are, in fact, not bigots, I apologize.”

    I re-read my post and I don’t believe that my words did: “… tar all evangelical Christians with the same brush.” If I made you feel that way, I apologize. That was not the thrust of my response to the abusive politics of James Dobson. As I believe I said most explicitly: “Your religion is none of my business” This is not a theological debate it is a political one. For many years I have directed a non-profit; I work with wonderful people in Christian charities, Catholic Charities and Jewish charities; in our work in West Africa I will be working with Muslim charities as well. This is not about the role of religion in society. My comment was explicitly and I thought clearly about the disproportionate and destructive role of right-wing Fundamentalist Christian religion in US politics. Christianity is not a political party. Such untoward influence from religious fanatics is always dangerous because it can so easily be manipulated to threaten the liberty and safety of minorities. That is simply the history of the world. From my previous career, as a photojournalist, I can show you photographs of such conflicts that would give you nightmares. I have no difficulty in distinguishing the difference between Christians who carry their own cross and those who crucify others. I call that the difference between a Gospel of Love and a Gospel of Power.

    I have been pointing out the dangers of this conspiracy between right-wing political demagogues and right-wing religious demagogues, since Ronald Reagan, Jesse Helms, Richard Vigory and Paul Weyrik assembled that unholy alliance in the 80s. The one thing that has always disappointed me was the muted voice of committed Christians, who are not bigots. I have always assumed that decent Christians were a majority, but to listen to the resounding silence from these good Christians in the face of this three-decade-long right-wing jihad, has been very disheartening…. and yes I know of “Matthew 25, and I applaud their efforts and have noted the slander and other abuses to which they have been subjected, but let’s face it, Matthew 25 is a weak voice in the face of the strident choir of Liberty Media, the 700 Club (CBN); Focus on the Family; Traditional Values Coalition; Chalcedon Foundation; Institute on Religion & Democracy; Free Congress Foundation; Heritage Foundation; Alliance Defense Fund; Discovery Institute… need I go on…. Anyway, welcome to the fray

    … and yes, i will continue to raise my voice against bigotry and hate-politics even when it comes cloaked in the sheep’s clothing of Christianity.

  67. As a divorce attorney, what I find fascinating is with all the talk about family and marriage and the sanctity of the institution espoused by the far right, the divorce rate in states that have anti-gay marriage laws, or other laws protecting “the sanctity of the institution”, is far greater than in more liberal states where people like James Dobson has a far less influential role in marriage and divorce.