James Dobson

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The Two Faces of James Dobson

Is He a Traitor to American Family Values

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Bush and Wicca and Doreen Valiente

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Senator John Barrasso

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Bush and Wicca and Doreen Valiente Go to http://professionalleft.blogspot.com for a treat!!!

Question:  "Separation between Church and State."  Who coined the Phrase?  Give up?  Answer:   Thomas Jefferson - one of the founding fathers of this great Nation and a creator of the U.S. Constitution and the First Amendment to that same Constitution.  Thomas Jefferson, in 1802, wrote a Letter to the Dansbury Baptist Convention, referring to the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  In it he said:

"Believing that religion is a matter which lies solely between man and his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legislative powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their Legislature should 'make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,' thus building a wall of separation between Church and State."


Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are selfish, power hungry, hateful of the poor, disloyal to the nation and its people, dishonest, avaricious, scornful of the nation's history, the dignity of its institutions, its standards of political morality, and its vision of advancement for all the people. The Republicans love war as long as they and theirs do not have to put on helmets and carry guns into the fighting. They use lies to start wars that kill hundreds of thousands of innocents and thousands of our own military service people. They love massive war-time profits, unavailable to their rich masters if war is absent.

Those Extremist Republicans hate the rest of us, which they must, in order to pass away from themselves and onto us, the financial burdens and losses their crimes, schemes and thefts cause. They are prolific, incessant, and destructive liars. They are blasphemers for they insist that their hateful and destructive deeds are the work of God. They are apostates for they gleefully attack the poor, the immigrants, the old and the sick, of whom God has commanded all of us to be mindful.

There is no reasoning with them, for all their logic is built on false premises. There is no appealing to them for honor's sake for they have lost all sense of shame and have no honor, there is no appealing to them for the nation's sake for that it what they hate the most.

Extremist (Tea Party) Republicans are the enemy.

Go to http://www.jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com/ and find why there are MANY christian ministers who do not feel that James Dobson speaks for them.

"James Dobson is one of the great pulsars of our times: a collapsed gravity well of unblinking stare.  People innocently walking down the street, are drawn into his orbit, helplessly drawn in by how utterly dense he is.  They cannot escape the completely impenetrable mass of evil darkness surrounding his mind and become totally crushed & moronized by him."  By a Friend of Religious Freedom

ABC's Day One newsmagazine recently ran an exposť on James Dobson, a leader in the Christian Far Right, and his Focus on the Family organization.

In their lead-in to the story, they begin, "You've probably never heard of him, but ..." and go on to decribe how Dobson works behind the scenes in Washington, silently wielding tremendous power and influence. Indeed, he is apparently so succesful at keeping himself out of the public eye while politicians rush to do his bidding, that ABC quotes an expert describing him as "the ultimate stealth politician".

The story then goes on to describe Dobson's empire. He has written numerous best-selling books. His magazine has "a higher circulation than Vogue and Rolling Stone". Over 300,000 people contact his office every month. And his daily radio program is heard by "tens of millions of people".

The following article, written by Brian Elroy McKinley illustrates the danger posed by this "false messiah" of the religious right.  If you want information about the author, go to  http://elroy.net/ehr/aboutelroy.html If you wish to read other articles written by Brian, please visit http://elroy.net/ehr/

Move over George Washington.  James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, wants to take your place as father of our country.  But rather than being a true father -- one who helps us mature into individuals -- he is little more than another Pharisee, setting himself up as a religiously-based political dictator bent on getting us to support his personal view of legislated morality.

Why Focus on the Family is of the Devil in a Christians own words!

And what's even worse, Dobson goes to great length to use Scripture to support his view, and yet according to Time magazine he doesn't even have any formal theological training. In short, Dobson, using his position as a radio psychologist, has set himself up as our moral authority and asks us all to blindly follow.

But don't take my word for it. The following are quotes from Dobson and from other media reporting about Dobson's activities. In them you'll find Dobson clearly putting his ideas forth as the Gospel truth and asking all of us to act on them as if they were directly from God. The text in bold is my emphasis.

In the January 1995 Focus on the Family Newsletter Dobson writes:

"Focus on the Family immediately joined the Family Research Council and other conservative organizations in getting out the word. Using our radio program and this monthly letter, we asked for a massive response from our listeners."

"Again, Focus on the Family threw down the gauntlet, We devoted our broadcast to this danger on three separate days, almost begging our listeners to flood the White House, the attorney general, and the Congress with letters of protest."

"One issue concerned the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child, which has worried me for years. I devoted a portion of my letter in January 1993, and again in July 1994, to the threat posed by this dangerous document. More than 150 countries around the world have already adopted it within their borders."

"The state of Oregon narrowly passed the nation's first euthanasia law, which almost defies comprehension. If the courts permit it to take effect, physicians will be allowed to assist their willing patients in killing themselves. The implications of this legislation are so ominous that I will devote a future letter to that topic."

"In May, I discussed this legislation in my monthly letter and warned of the many dangers that lie ahead." 

"What ... I have called a `civil war of values' continues to rage."

"Focus on the Family will continue to fight for moral values. And we'll try to keep you informed of the threats coming against the institutions of marriage and parenthood. But we do need your financial support to get the job done."

Here Dobson clearly admits to using his newsletters and broadcasts to ask us to do his bidding. And it is clearly just that -- his bidding. He often uses phrases like, "I devoted" and "I have called" and "I discussed" to point out his moral beliefs, but in his calls for action, he presents his causes as nothing
short of God's own.  

In the March 1995 Focus on the Family Newsletter Dobson writes:

"Perhaps this explains the statement I made on the radio last month, which some of you questioned. Let me express it once more. I am committed never again to cast a vote for a politician who would kill one
innocent baby. "

"Never will I use my influence, however remotely, to support the shedding of their blood."

"These are challenging days, to be sure, and there are other issues I wish we had time to deal with."

Here is admits he has an influence, and he admits he will use it support those things he believes and to condemn those things he condemns. And to those who questions him, he simply rolls over them to reiterate his personal beliefs.

In the April 1995 Focus on the Family Newsletter Dobson writes:

"If you read my March letter, you know we have been very concerned about the Republican presidential hopefuls who, like the Democrats before them, are trying to tiptoe away from the pro-life position....I am determined that they will not do it in secret."

In this letter Dobson proclaims himself as our presidential watch dog. He is "determined" to be the one who sets the moral standards for our political leaders.

In the May 1995 Focus on the Family Newsletter Dobson writes:

"To help us prepare for the congressional battle, let me present various points of view and then propose what we at Focus on the Family think is best for or nation's children."

"Many people, myself included, believe that the deterioration of public education in recent years can be linked directly tour inability to reach values and show respect for God in the classroom."

"Speaking again for Focus on the Family, our vision is for a just and righteous society...."

Obviously, Dobson, through his Focus on the Family organization, has a personal "vision" for our country -- one he feels we should be fighting for in the United States Congress.

Speaking on religious freedom in the July 1995 Focus on the Family Newsletter Dobson writes:

"That concern led ... me to Capital Hill last week for a meeting with House Speaker Newt Gingrich."

"What is needed is a central registry through which violations of religious freedom can be reported. Henceforth, Focus on the Family will serve as the repository of that information, which will later be reported."

"From the early days of our ministry to the present, I have felt compelled to defend the principles of righteousness within the culture."

"We have stymied the U.N.'s Treaty on the Rights of the Child, at least to this time."

"We have tried unsuccessfully, but valiantly, to keep President Clinton from permitting homosexuals in the military and from assigning women to combat situations. We have fought for the unborn child...."

"Most recently we have opposed the efforts of Haley Barbour, chairman of the Republican National Committee, to move his party away from its historic moral underpinnings and toward a `mush middle' that stands for nothing."

"We must keep a very close eye on these politicians who willingly accept the votes of conservative Christians and then ignore their concerns when their back are turned."

"I am in even greater disagreement with the Democrats who continue to support anti-family concepts at this time."

"I will continue to address the moral issues when I feel our friends need to know what is happening."

"To expect me not to speak on behalf of the things I believe -- and not to defend the voiceless, powerless unborn child -- is absolutely impossible for me. I would rather die than remain silent in response to that which I'm convinced is profoundly offensive to God Himself."

Wouldn't it be nice if we all could have "a meeting with House Speaker Newt Gingrich"? In this letter Dobson flaunts his ability to influence public policy, using you and me as his political pawns. He boasts of his influence in stopping United Nations resolutions. He boasts of his organization's role as a "central registry" of information on abuses of our religious rights. He sets himself up as judge of both Republican and Democratic leaders. He defiantly states that he would "rather die than remain silent" about what he "feels" we need to know about things he feels are "offensive to God Himself."

August 1995 Focus on the Family Newsletter Dobson writes:

"I want to talk to you this month about what could be the most important topic I've addressed in many years. This matter has profound implications for the institution of the family and for what we have called "the defense of righteousness," yet it will not be covered adequately by the secular press. Thus, I'm asking that you give particular attention to the words that follow. "

"...the obvious question to ask is, `What can we do to derail this gender feminism juggernaut?' I would make four suggestions which I sincerely hope my readers will implement."

"...I emplore you to contact your representatives in Congress."

If it were not clear anywhere else, in this letter Dobson spells out that his Focus on the Family organization is defending Dobson's view of "righteousness." He also makes it clear that we cannot trust other media to give us the truth, so he asks us to "give particular attention" to his point of view. How much more obvious can it be that he is setting himself up as our moral authority?

Other media outlets have been watching James Dobson and Focus on the Family, and they have also noticed that Dobson wants to be our moral leader.

The National Review, in an October 1995 article, wrote that the religious right was asking people to respond negatively to Clinton's home schooling agenda. The article relayed Moral Majority activist Mike Farris' use of James Dobson's influence:

"Then, Farris hit Christian talk radio (itself a burgeoning conservative resource), including Focus on the Family, the show run by James Dobson which reaches an estimated 3 to 5 million listeners a week."

Got a political agenda? As long as you have James Dobson and Focus on the Family on your side, you can use their "3 to 5 millions listeners" to flex your political muscle.

In the February 16, 1995-2000 copy of National Review, the magazine declared that the Wall Street Journal was attacking the conservative Christian right. The article goes on to state:

"The Journal sarcastically declared itself `neutral on the cutting-edge internal issue of whether the country's most powerful leader of the religious right turns out to be Ralph Reed, Gary Bauer, James Dobson or Phylis Schlafly.'"

The November 9, 1995 issue of Time echoed the same idea when detailing who would take over for Billy Graham when he's gone:

"The gallery includes the highly political TV mogul Pat Roberston of Virginia, the iconoclastic politico-turned-evangelist Charles Colson who's also Virginia-based, and Colorado's radio psychologist James Dobson. Remarkably, all three are laymen and only Robertson has had formal theological training."

Dobson's activities have drawn the attention of some of the largest conservative news outlets as well as the more liberal-leaning Time magazine. His claims of being the moral authority for America have put him in the spotlight as a major political leader. But it's surprising that this leader, James Dobson, who bases his ideas solely on his interpretation of the Bible has no "formal theological training" to guide him in his interpreting. It's strange; people who would not dream of going to a doctor with no "formal"  training eagerly follow the amateur theologian James Dobson in matters where their souls are at stake. Dobson even claims to have a ministry specifically aimed at hundreds of thousands of our pastors. This is akin to an amateur doctor giving advice to hundreds of thousands of our trained physicians, and then having our physicians follow it.

But amateur theologian Dobson angrily defends his role as the moral authority of the nation. In the January 22, 1995-2000 issues of Time, the magazine revealed Dobson's displeasure with former Education Secretary and conservative activist Willian Bennet. Time reveals:

"Bennet has been labeled `pro-abortion' by Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family."

That row, and an argument over Colin Powell, originally erupted in the National Review in the October 19, 1995 edition:

"... Dobson had been criticizing Bennet for making supportive statemens about pro-choice presidential non-candidate Colin Powell Dobson, in particular, had written a blistering letter to Christian Coalition executive Ralph Reed and Bennet about how they hadn't been tough enough on Powell; Dobson basically accused the two of being co-opted by the liberal establishment in their desire to be Washington players."

The magazine GLAAD, in its February 1995-2000 release wrote:

"...James Dobson has been using his national radio show to encourage listeners to call AT&T and protest the telecommunications company's `homosexual agenda' (AT&T has sponsored the Gay Games and has offered employees a gay/lesbian workshop)."

"`Dr.' James Dobson has published a `Corporate America and the Homosexual Agenda Information Sheet,' This fact-less sheet includes the phone numbers for ten AT&T executives and Dobson's listeners are urged to call and demand that the company stop supporting `the homosexual agenda'...."

And in the May 15, 1995 issue of Time, a story on the Christian Coalition's Ralph Reed revealed:

"Meanwhile, powerful figures on the religious right feel the G.O.P. isn't right enough for them, posing a danger for Reed if he continues to accommodate himself to the party's moderate elements. In March, James Dobson, head of the powerful Focus on the Family organization, fired off open letters to G.O.P.  chairman Haley Barbour, complaining bitterly about the lack of immediate payoff from the November election. Fearful of compromising with `anti-family' elements, Dobson argued that it was time to fold the all-inviting `big tent' of the Republican Party."

I could go on quoting James Dobson and other media who watch him and Focus on the Family. But the point is painfully clear. Dobson uses his position as a radio psychologist to present his untrained biblical interpretations as our spiritual, moral, and political guidelines. With the fervor of a prophet, Dobson calls us to action as if he had a mandate from God to do so. And by doing so, Dobson has set himself up as nothing less than a twentieth-century Pharisee, misleading millions of believers in the
name of Righteousness and Morality.

"Let he who is without sin be the one to throw the first stone...."

John 8:7

The following article was written in 1999 and is derived from articles in the Agnosticism/Atheism Newsletter, and references at About.com.  It is even more relavent today with George W. off on a crusade against Iraq, which is the only way he can seem to make himself look "Presidential".  Dobson and his ilk have a great deal of influence on George W. since George W. sees himself as following Gods will as he tramples over the rights of all Americans.

Recent actions by the US House of Representatives have shown that Dobson's and the Christian Extreme Right's influence is still being felt.  Reasonable Americans have been both stunned and horrified across the country.   In it's "infinite wisdom," the House has decided: first, that federal, state, and local governments have the right to post the Ten Commandments in any government buildings (including schools); second, that religious memorials in schools after violence are not violations of the First Amendment (for some reason, I always thought that the Supreme Court had the power to decide such things, not Congress); and third, that anyone who tries to sue over such measures and wins will no longer receive reimbursement for legal fees (thus, poor people will simply have to accept discrimination).

The question many people are asking is just how such insane and illegal measures could possibly have even come to a vote in the House, much less be passed by wide margins? One answer might be a largely unknown legislative group called the "Values Action Team," made up of religious-right zealots and operating out of the office of Majority Whip Tom Delay. Formed in May of 1998, the purpose appears to be to adopt the policy "suggestions" of religious-right groups like the Christian Coalition or Focus on the Family and then working to get them introduced and hopefully passed into law. Some of their efforts have included supporting the Religious Freedom Amendment and attempting to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts.

But where did VAT come from, and why did it form? According to organizations like Christianity Net, VAT was created as a direct response to harsh criticisms from James Dobson that Republican legislators had not done enough to promote his "family values" agenda. In a 1997 speech to the semi-secret Council for National Policy, Dobson compared himself to John the Baptist and then proceeded to castigate the Republican Party for not sticking to his agenda. Other leaders of the religious right began to echo his statements, and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention declared "No more engagement. We want a wedding ring, we want a ceremony, we want a consummation of marriage."

Unfortunately, it is the American people who are getting screwed, not the religious-right.

Head of the powerful Focus on the Family, too few people have ever heard much about either James Dobson or his organizations. Those who have, especially those who avidly follow him and his advice, are unaware that he is not at all what he seems to be. The reality of James Dobson is very little like the carefully crafted public image which he jealously guards. But what he also jealously guards is his anonymity in our legislative process. It is very unfortunate that so few people know about him, and I am convinced that understanding Dobson aids in understanding recent legislative efforts. Hopefully, this article will help some people

Psychology and Ministry

Figuring out just who Dobson is trying to be isn't as easy as it should be. He appears to sway from one professional identity to another as the needs of the moment demand - which might not be so bad if it weren't for the fact that he refuses to admit that this really is happening. We all wear different hats at different times, but Dobson wants to seem to be wearing just one professional hat, one professional identity - no matter what he is actually doing.

Throughout most of this career, he has played up an image of a family psychologist and counselor, helping people all over the country with their problems. Other times, however, he appears to be more of a Christian minister, dispensing theological advice to his listeners. Which is true?

Well, when he was once sued, he appeared in court to explain that his company was actually a "Church" and hence was beyond judicial scrutiny or civil accountability. In one broadcast in 1996, Dobson explained to listeners that the real purpose of Focus on the Family was to Focus on Jesus and that he had devoted himself to a campaign to make America "spiritually righteous." So he's really a preacher, right? Maybe not.

During interviews, he has reacted with anger at the suggestion that his radio program is anything like a ministry, insisting that he is in fact offering regular psychological counseling. Unfortunately, he does not actually function as a scientist or therapist as those professions are normally imagined. Dobson's work is, in fact, of a generalist and populist nature - they are not peer reviewed or used in psychological course work. Dobson almost never refers to the anything in psychological literature - and he even resigned from the American Psychological Association, claiming it was too far from his own views.

When the media portrays him as an evangelist, he considers this an attempt to discredit him. Why he has such a revulsion of being considered a Christian minister or evangelist when he does such a good job of imitating one is anybody's guess, but what's clear that his identity isn't clear.

Family Values

The apparent key to Dobson's ire with the Republican Party and American society in general appears to be the concept of "Family Values." He makes every effort to preach the idea that the American Congress should enforce his ideal of Family Values upon the rest of us, and some are willing to do his bidding. He certainly is consistent in the sense that on his radio program, he advocates real family values - the idea that people should slow the pace of their lives and reserve the bulk of their time and effort for their families. You can find this ideal throughout his written works, and it is a far cry from the repressive "family values" agenda which we normally see being used as an excuse to roll back every single attempt at progressive social thinking.

Unfortunately, Dobson isn't actually consistent in his own life. According to close observers, he is nothing less than a textbook workaholic. He works 6 to 7 days a week and rarely takes vacations of any sort. He really doesn't have the opportunity to spend quality time with his family - but what's worse is perhaps the fact that he doesn't think that his employees should, either. He has even suggested the termination of employees who refused to work overtime so that they could spend time with their children! It is little wonder, then, that he also supports efforts to eliminate legislation which requires fair treatment of employees and the requirement of things like family leave. After all, he doesn't regard such luxuries as having any place in an organization devoted to the promotion of the family, so why should any other company be burdened with them?

It seems clear to me that for all his talk about "family values" and how important the family is in society, he doesn't actually believe this himself. If he did, he'd be more likely to practice what he preaches. If family values do not mean valuing one's family, what on earth do they mean? We'll see about that a bit later in this article.


What drives James Dobson in his manic push to have his vision imposed upon all of America? It is only fitting that we take a look at the psychology of an alleged psychologist.

One of the strongest driving forces behind Dobson's agenda is probably fear - specifically, fear of the future, of change, and of the unknown. Early on in his career, Dobson learned that he could bring in a great deal more money in donations by asking for help driving secular humanists out of Washington than by asking for help with a project on actually helping families. This is not to say that Dobson simply functioned as an opportunist, hyping fear for the sake of money. Dobson personally projects this fear in
the ideas he communicates, and his listeners are practically infected by this fear, carrying it with them in their lives.

In a 1996 fund-raising letter, Dobson exclaimed that:

"The God of the Bible has been removed from every vestige of public life, as though He were a cancerous growth that threatened the life of the organism. Our public political decisions increasingly reflect the humanistic and pagan notions of the day. This transformation is occurring, not by the will of the people who remain overwhelmingly religious, but by our elected representatives and by liberal judges who seem determined to recast society in their own image."

This statement is remarkable not simply for the palpable fear underlying the message and not even for the fact that every word is false, but for the fact that the exact opposite of everything he says is true. It is Dobson who seeks to remove different thinking from society like a cancerous growth and politicians are increasingly reflecting the notions of religious zealots while marginalizing humanists and pagans. Dobson's fear may in part be a form of projection - that is to say, he is afraid that others are trying to do to him and his views just that which he would like to do to everyone else.

Dobson's peddling of fear is not due simply to an overactive imagination or sheer paranoia (which he does suffer from), but because Dobson communicates in the language of emotion rather than reason. In his world, what you feel is more important than what you think and when you feel strong emotions, this is a sign of God moving through you. This shouldn't be surprising, since emotion has long been an important part of the Southern evangelical tradition. It certainly explains why reason and science
are so easily demonized in evangelical circles.

Fear Leads to Anger...

As everyone who has grown up with Star Wars knows, fear leads to anger - and Dobson follows true to form, with anger also playing a major role in his agenda. Lest anyone think that anger is too strong a term, I suggest that it is perhaps a bit weak, at least when we consider the fact that Dobson has indicated that the differences in our society constitute not debates, but a war - a "Second Great Civil War:"

Nothing short of a great Civil War of Values rages today throughout North America. Two sides with vastly differing and incompatible world views are locked in a bitter conflict that permeates every level of society. Bloody battles are being fought on a thousand fronts...

Dobson only talks about war because he is a man of war - a man without the capacity for compromise or agreeing to disagree. His anger extends to a wide variety of targets in American society, although all tend to have the characteristic that they don't happen to share at least some portion of Dobson's vision for our lives. This is especially true when his opponents manage to project their message in the public arena more effectively than he does.  That is perhaps why Dobson makes such a big deal about Howard Stern, who's general popularity is huge. People who don't listen to Stern and who  would never listen to the stations which carry him protest his broadcasts at Dobson's behest, threatening to boycott advertisers. What they are doing is perfectly legal, but it should not be mistaken for anything besides blatant censorship of ideas which Dobson doesn't like.

Secularists and moderates of all sorts should be thankful that Dobson's inability to compromise in any fashion is not limited to opponents, but also extends to those with whom he shares a vision of a Protestant, evangelical America. He does not build coalitions with other religious leaders and he does not share the power which comes from promoting hate and fear. For example, if you look through the corpus of Dobson's writings, you'll find it pretty much impossible to find a single reference to Ralph Reed or Pat Robertson - almost as if he is jealous of their successes.

If Dobson had made an effort to join up with people like Robertson, nonbelievers and moderates in America would be in a much sorrier state than the one in which we currently find ourselves. But it is apparent that he dislikes people who differ from himself no matter how close they ultimately are, or how close they are relative to his primary opponents.


What are the basic principles which form the foundation of Dobson's agenda? There are two which those close to him have observed. The first is the "slippery slope." In Dobson's world, whenever a person becomes involved in one vice or another, this will immediately send them into an inevitable downward spiral into depravity and sin. In this "theory" of morality, it isn't possible to engage in moderation in any activity Dobson regards as a sin - whether it's pornography or gambling or whatever is currently on his hit list. It is also clear that such activities will cause unavoidable and tremendous psychological harm to whomever engages in them.

Dobson's second principle is that once a person or an entire culture starts down that slippery slope, they are incapable of saving themselves. Since they weren't able to realize the danger they were getting into, apparently they won't be able to get themselves out of danger now. This is where James Dobson's role starts - to inform all of us just what we are doing wrong. In addition, it becomes the job of a "Christian government" to stop whatever it is that people are doing wrong and force them down the path of righteousness (as defined by Dobson, of course). Although we are blind, Dobson is not - and he will do everything he can to make sure that a new law is passed to save us.

And this is where the recent legislative effort by religious-right zealots in the House of Representatives comes in again. Since white children in white suburbs have shot other white children, the cause must be that the government of all has not promoted the religion of a few - thus, posting the Ten Commandments in school classrooms will stop the violence. It is curious, however, that Dobson hasn't made similar arguments in response to the killing of black children by other black children all through the 1980s.


And just what is Dobson's agenda, anyway? I've referenced it often, but haven't stopped to explain any of the details. It is interesting that Dobson, like so many other religious leaders, has transformed his theological message into a political platform - implying all the way that in order to be a "good Christian," you need to adopt their political platform and vote as they tell you. This is absurd on its face, and the attempt to identify conservative politics with conservative religion leads to serious contradictions. For example, Jesus' reported focus upon helping the needy and giving copiously to the poor might tend to align him with present-day Democrats. Jesus' message of sharing equally would even tend to place him in the camp of socialists, not capitalists.

Dobson's long-term goal appears to be to return America to the 1950s, when America was what he considered to be a simpler and more godly place. Many people on the religious right glamorize and romanticize the 1950s - this isn't surprising, since they are typically white male Protestants, exactly the group which was in control and on top in that time period.  Clearly it hasn't occurred to Dobson that all of the tumult and strife of the 1960s - a decade loathed by people like him - got its start in the 50s. America's social problems in the 1950s were like an unlanced boil - ugly and festering, but politely ignored in the hopes of not offending and that it might go away on its own. The youth of the 60s, however, decided to lance that boil and treat the infections. This has made for an ugly wound - but one which has a better chance of healing right.

What is the status of blacks, women and other minorities today as compared to 50 years ago? Unquestionably better - but Dobson doesn't consult them when considering what is best for our country. This is a shame, but since his organization shows strong evidence of sexism and racism, it's not a shock. What is the status of basic freedoms and civil liberties today as compared to 50 years ago? Also unquestionably better - today people have much greater protection in expressing their opinions and ideas than they used to. But I'm not sure that Dobson really cares about that, since he seems to consider ungodly speech to be evil and worthy of repression.

The actual details of Dobson's agenda are perhaps too numerous to fully explore, but it's worth listing a few of them here for the sake of breadth. Dobson supports:

Right to Life Constitutional amendment
Christian teachings as a basis for public policy
Prohibition of doctor-assisted suicides
Constitutional amendment banning flag burning
Elimination of just about all civil rights programs and laws
More religion in public schools - like prayers, bible readings, etc.
Elimination of most environmental laws
Elimination of the Department of Education and the National Endowment for the Arts
More frequent use of the death penalty
Making divorce more difficult to obtain
Prohibition of pornography and anything with strong sexual themes
Women staying homes and raising babies instead of competing with men for jobs

And that's just a very small sampling of Dobson's ideas for America.

Gary Bauer & Secrecy

Many people are unaware of who Gary Bauer is and what his connection is to James Dobson. Bauer is head of the Family Research Council - a semi-autonomous organization founded by Dobson and which serves as a lobbying arm for Dobson's Focus on the Family. Bauer follows along with Dobson's vision perfectly, even including the desire to see a return to the 1950s. In fact, Bauer's writings indicate that what he and Dobson are fighting are not merely what they see as social ills, but instead the very act of social change itself. For them, addressing social issues and social problems does not involve creating new ideas, but instead merely revisiting the past.

It is especially important that people understand this connection, since Bauer is actively campaigning for president. You can be sure that the policies which he promotes will stand right in line with the policies Dobson has advocated for so long. It is unfortunate that so many people know so little about Dobson - but he has worked to keep things that way. Even as he has built a powerful political organization, he has actively denied both its size and its true purpose. Reporters who seek to interview him are told either than he is too busy or that he has little involvement in the political sphere - neither are really true.

By keeping the media and average Americans away, he has managed to avoid close scrutiny of both himself and the political work he does. What he doesn't seem to understand is that such scrutiny is an essential prerequisite for any political or cultural leader. This means, then, that he is not qualified to hold the position of influence he currently occupies, and that he is not worthy of a position of leadership in America's politics or culture. He wants to be a king-maker rather than a king - but someone needs to tell him that in America we have no kings, and hence no need for king-makers like him.

If Americans knew more about him and the sort of policy issues he pushes hard for among conservatives in this country, perhaps it would not have been so surprising to see Congress pass the recent legislation severely restricting everyone's religious freedom. People like Dobson are the driving force behind such acts, and to them religious freedom and religious equality are dirty words, because they will put other religions on the same level as their own - an intolerable situation.

James Dobson is unquestionably a threat to basic American liberties - he cares naught for what others want to do with their lives, instead preferring that we simply follow the path he would lay out for us. Everyone needs to learn more about him - more than I can write in one article. I recommend that people purchase and read James Dobson's War on America by Gil Alexander-Moegerle, which was the primary source for this piece. Gil helped found Focus on the Family and worked side-by-side with Dobson for over 10 years. Gil is not an atheist, but he has seen Dobson close up and knows him for who he really is. Even people who are already familiar with Dobson will be surprised with what they read.

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