James Dobson just not putting much effort into perfunctory lies

Here’s a disappointing recent statement from Focus on the Family founder James Dobson:

I have not had this confirmed, but a physician told me last week that Congress recently passed a law that has been signed by the president that would make it illegal to give people over 70 years of age stents for their heart. Which means you’re going to let them die. I don’t know for sure if that’s true, but that’s the kind of thing that is coming. In any competition between the young and the old, guess who is going to lose that?

That’s just lazy.

This is just stale leftovers from 2010, when this whole “death panels” business still seemed like a fresh and interesting lie.

Trotting that out now, three years later, just shows a lack of effort and originality on Dobson’s part. His massive radio audience deserves better. They’re tuning in to hear something new — new, creative lies for Jesus. They deserve to hear lies for Jesus told with a bit more flair than this hackneyed, going-through-the-motions.

Dobson has been a giant in Christian radio for decades, but now he seems to be taking his audience for granted. If you’re running a restaurant, would you think it was OK to serve 3-year-old bread? No? Then why is it OK to serve your audience 3-year-old lies, pretending that they’re just as good as something newly fabricated?

Dobson should take a cue from Kevin Swanson.

Swanson’s still only a second-tier player in the wild world of Christian radio (although I’m told he’s influential in the FIC/Quiverful sub-subculture) but he isn’t just sitting back on his heels, recycling old Sarah Palin nightmares in the hopes that his audience will accept that as good enough. Swanson is whipping up fantastical new lies for Jesus — lies for Jesus told with an artistry and panache that a younger James Dobson once displayed, many years ago.

Here’s Swanson:

I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.

Swanson seems to understand that perpetual outrage is like a shark — survival means constantly pushing forward.

“Dead babies” is a classic bit of religious right mendacity, but Swanson isn’t content just to trot out the old greatest hits and leave it at that. He spiced things up, pushed it a little forward. Dobson gives us baby-killers, but Swanson gives us “little dead babies … embedded in the womb.” Dobson wants to outlaw abortion, but Swanson wants to outlaw contraception. Push it forward.

Sure, Swanson’s dazzlingly weird claim is preposterous to anyone who knows the first thing about human biology, but Swanson knows that lying for Jesus isn’t about what you know, but about what you prefer.

Swanson knows that his audience wants to live in a world filled with lurid horrors, so that’s what he gives them. He knows that his audience wants to be outraged, so he tells them something outrageous.

And that’s the problem with Dobson’s stale death-panels routine. It just doesn’t seem outrageous enough anymore.

Obama is killing old people! Dobson says.

His audience yawns. Yes, yes of course, we’ve known that for years. Tell us something we don’t know.

Dobson needs to take a cue from Swanson and spice things up a little. You can’t just say the evil baby-killing liberals are denying heart stents to old people. That’s old hat. Make it, like, Obama’s giving old people medical marijuana instead of heart stents. Ooh ooh, I know … mandatory medical marijuana. It’s a “mandate,” like they’re required to smoke it while they die from lack of heart stents.

Pushing it forward, ever forward like a shark. That’s the only way to sustain the perpetual outrage the Christian radio audience wants.

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    What I continually don’t get about this is– at some point Obamacare goes *live*. Soon. At some point Obamacare isn’t a “proposed law” or a passed law which goes into effect in 2014, at some point it’s something that’s current policy and then it’ll be something that’s been around awhile.

    What do they do at that point?

    It seems they have two options:

    1. Don’t change anything– continue saying Obamacare *will soon* introduce death panels, as if Obamacare’s in place, but they’re just yet to activate the death panel provision, any moment now.

    2. Change future to past tense– stop talking about the death panels that *will* be introduced and start talking about all the people the death panels *have already* killed.

    I guess Dobson here offers a promising (3)– stop talking about Obamacare and start talking about “a law”. See, Obamacare is in place and doesn’t seem all that bad, but what’s really bad is that law they just passed. You know, the one… a physician told me about it.

  • Makabit

    What the hell is ‘the surgery’? 

    I’m asking this because it’s the only question that comes to mind as I sit here, eyes wide open with horror. Not sure if it’s horror at the image, or horror that this guy clearly doesn’t quite get how hormonal birth control works.

  • Foreigner

    I’m thinking that, come 2016, the lies will have got so far out that the usual suspects will be telling their flocks that Obama has declared himself president for life and instituted a totalitarian dictatorship. Liberals will try and tell you that there has been an election, and the current President is in fact a white Republican man, but don’t you believe them! No, madam, don’t look out of your window or you might see the hordes of stormtroopers mowing down Real True Christians by the thousand even as we speak.  

  • http://danel4d.livejournal.com/ Danel

    4) The Democrats want to stop you getting Oba.. Republicare! We’re the only ones interested in protecting your right to healthcare, while the Democrats want to pass laws to let undocumented illegal immigrants and terrorists jump the queue. 

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I have not had this confirmed,

    That’s when you put a period and stop instead of blabbering shit you shouldn’t be jibba-jabba-ing about, Mr. Dobson.

  • Vermic

    Good for Swanson for taking it to the next level, and shame on Dobson.  If you can’t respect the truth, then at least respect your lies — they’re all you’ve got!  Otherwise you’re sure to lose ground in the marketplace of lies to hungry and creative competitors.  The Invisible Hand of Mendacity is ruthless, but fair.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Here’s Swanson:

    Who promptly reveals himself as an ignorant jackass who has no business saying fuck-all about human anatomy.

    DOES HE NOT REALIZE UTERUSES DON’T WORK THAT WAY?!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    They pulled this same stunt with Medicare, if that sheds on light about it. My theory — if and when the PPACA becomes as popular as Medicare, they’ll quietly revise history so that they were always in favor of the general idea but just wanted to perfect it all along. 

    Anyway, I disagree with the fundamental premise that these people “deserve better”. If you are that enthusiastic about being lied to by demagogues, then you deserve whatever lies you’re willing to believe. If you want a higher caliber of liar, then be more discerning.  People will still lie to you but they’ll be careful to make it less obvious, and they might even phony up documents or something. 

  • Magic_Cracker

    I have not had this confirmed, but a physician told me last week that Congress recently passed a law that has been signed by the president that would make it illegal to give people over 70 years of age stents for their heart.

    What’s especially sad about this lie is that it hinges on his audience not knowing (or thinking through) which party controls the House.

    In any case — and I have not had this confirmed — but I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists and certain batshit behaviors that when someone tells or believes a lie for Jesus, they develop a hole in the center of their brain, a literal hole, an empty, yawning space, and if they tell or believe another lie for Jesus, they develop more holes, and so on in a fractal process, and they have found that people who lie for Jesus have brains that are riddled with holes, until the brain resembles like a  Menger Sponge, all these holes in the brain, completely crippling their ability to make sense of the their fragmented and contradictory perceptions and beliefs without some grand, unifying delusion.

  • Cathy W

    I haven’t found any transcript that gives context for that, but I suspect it’s hysterectomy – the uterus is routinely sent to pathology.

  • Lunch Meat

    I have not had this confirmed, but a physician told me last week that
    Congress recently passed a law that has been signed by the president
    that would make it illegal to give people over 70 years of age stents
    for their heart.

    Now isn’t the sort of thing you’d want to go ahead and confirm before you make public statements about it? I mean, some research is complicated and requires interpretation and an understanding of statistical analysis, but it’s not like it’s hard to look up the laws Congress has passed.

    Anyway, I haven’t had this confirmed, but I heard last week that James Dobson is just an alien who wants to put aliens in our brains to control us. I don’t know for sure if that’s true, but I’m sure it’s just like something that’s going to happen sooner or later.

  • Foelhe

    Shame, Dobson. You take your eyes off the prize for one minute in this business, and some energetic young upstart is trying to knock you aside and take your place.

    … Course, in this business, the energetic young upstarts are still pushing retirement age.

  • Carstonio

    Swanson has been viewing too many H.R. Giger paintings.

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    I don’t know that Dobson is getting lazy or not trying; it might be he’s trying a more subtle conditioning of his audience:

    I have not had this confirmed…. I don’t know for sure if that’s true, but that’s the kind of thing that is coming.

    Notice the sleight-of-hand there, that’s the work of a pro.

    What’s he unsure about? Well, for this specific case, he hasn’t confirmed it. For this exact instance, it might not be true. 

    What’s he confident in, what does he say without reservation?…that’s the kind of thing that is coming.

    A statement about factual matters, of history or law, can be shown as false. The speaker can be decried as a liar, or at the very least discredited.

    A statement about future matters, though, that’s a prediction made on observations and faith. It can’t ever be a lie, can’t ever be dis-proven if it’s never anchored to a date or time. 

    Now, at first, this looks like Dobson being cagey, being cautious not to say anything that his enemies can pounce on. And on one level, it is. But he’s speaking to his audience, and he’s saying to them very clearly “We might not have the facts right, we might not have the details right, but we are right, and that’s what matters!” 

    That’s a dangerous, delisional mindset that is very intoxicating, and Dobson knows what he’s peddling.

  • AnonymousSam

    These aren’t lies, they’re just #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement (thanks AnonaMiss for introducing me to this one)!

    http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/events/not-intended-to-be-a-factual-statement

  • Carstonio

    Dobson and Swanson could be the lead characters in a slash version of A Star Is Born, with Dobson the old-and-tired demagogue and Swanson his younger lover and rival whose career ascends while Dobson’s descends.

  • AnonaMiss

    In any competition between the young and the old, guess who is going to lose that?

    Well, going by precedent, the young. Duh.

    I love how the same people who talk about death panels and how the government is going to kill the old to save money, also talk about how we need to cut social security because it’s going to be top-heavy and crush the young. It’s win-win: either they succeed in cutting social security and then they’re right, the government is letting seniors die just to save money! – or they don’t succeed in cutting social security and the young get “crushed,” at least enough for them to point at it and say “I told you so!!!!”

    Also you’re very welcome Sam!

  • P J Evans

     That sounds almost like Charlie Stross’s ‘Kranzberg syndrome’. It comes up every so often in the ‘Laundry’ stories.

  • dj_pomegranate

    I’m wide-eyed in horror at both the image and the ignorance.  Maybe the image more, though, because I’m tired of being wide-eyed at ignorance and it’s nice to change it up once in a while.

  • http://twitter.com/MarySueTwiteth Mary Sue

    You know, I take oral birth control. I wonder if I’m filled with tiny dead babies. Considering I haven’t had sex in several years, and sex with a man several additional years on top of that… Lemme go ask Swanson and break his brain.

  • Maniraptor

    I’m kind of enjoying the image of my uterus as an overachieving king cake.

  • Jessica_R

    I would ask what Swanson thinks menstruation is for/does, but I’m really afraid the answer would involve the phrase “Blood Tribute to the Great One Moloch” in it somewhere. 

  • Magic_Cracker

    I’ll have to check it out. I stole the idea from a Phil Pilkington essay on the delusions of neoliberal economics.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pioneercynthia Cynthia Schrage

    Oh, my! Hearing you take on the venerable (and overly venerated, IMHO) James Dobson makes you JUST the kind of person I enjoy having in the pew next to me. Thanks.

    I’ve enjoyed Focus radio shows (though I’ll admit I only choose them when there’s nothing else within listening range on the dial), he’s just a little too smarmy for me. And it’s too bad, because they do have some great people on, and I love that Adventures in Odyssey kid’s show.

    But like so many other “serious” Christians, especially those “of a certain age” (I’m 47, just so you know) , the constant spewing of ridiculous, unsubstantiated balderdash that wouldn’t make it past the most cursory viewing of snopes.com is just really turning me off.

    Whatever happened to testing the spirits?

  • Hilary

    I know I shouldn’t laugh at this, but it is so horrific it’s funny.  In the right hands, this could be a great Monty Python type spoof.  Dozens of dead babies in the lining of the uterus?  Like what, gremlins that shouldn’t get wet or be fed after midnight? 

  • MaryKaye

     These are the same people who believe that if you swallow your bubble gum, it sits in your  intestines for seven years–right?  (I always wondered what kind of expiration-date tag your digestive system used, to make this happen….nope, can’t poop that, it’s only 6 years old!)

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    I have not had this confirmed, but a physician told me last week that Congress recently passed a law that has been signed by the president that would make it illegal to give people over 70 years of age stents for their heart. Which means you’re going to let them die.

    That should not be a big deal for Dobson then.  In order to qualify for a heart stent, he would need a heart in the first place.

  • Tricksterson

    Notice his statement was full of equivocations too?  It’s like the forces of darkness aren’t even trying.

    Swanson on the other hand…wow.

  • Consumer Unit 5012

     Whatever happened to testing the spirits?

    Never mind that, what happened to not bearing false witness against thy neighbor?

  • Darren

    I respect just how twisted and wrong Swanson is…

    _That_ is better than the line we used to get told in the 1980′s that conditioner had ground-up aborted fetuses in them, especially the Satanic Proctor & Gamble line…

  • P J Evans

    Cheney got a new one – it can’t be any harder to give Dobson one, can it?

  • Tricksterson

    Blood for the Blood God!

  • Madhabmatics

    Hahaha that “I don’t know if it’s true, but IT’S DEFINITELY COMING GUYS” reminds me a lot of the stuff about Brenner being a secret convert to islam. “I don’t know if it’s true but if he gets elected the muslim brotherhood will be in charge of the cia” was glenn becks statement on it

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    DOES HE NOT REALIZE UTERUSES DON’T WORK THAT WAY?!

    Just for that, I had to pop over to Memegenerator and make this.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

     Whether he understands is immaterial. THe salient point is that he doesn’t care.  He’s not choosing his words based on some resemblance of objective reality; he’s just making noises that get him rewarded. He has less awareness of the content of what he’s saying than my 14-month-old son does when he sees me and yells “Mama! Mama!” because he knows that when he makes the sounds “mama!” and “dada!” at his parents, he gets a positive reaction.

    He’s not trying to persuade anyone to believe what he’s saying. He’s extending an invitation to people to come join him in a tribe defined by the mythology they uphold.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    Blood for the Blood God!

    Khorne cares not from where the blood flows!

  • Fusina

    Went to Wonkette and read some, went to another of her entries and read some more, with an eighteen year old soon to be female college student reading over my shoulder. She has now developed a very strong urge to slug some clown name of Kevin Swanson. Is this guy for real? I went and looked at some of the right wing watch entries on him, and ugh. He is a lying liar and the truth is not only not in him but is running away as fast as possible to keep from getting lies all over itself. 

  • Carstonio

    I’ve heard of pro-lifers circulating propaganda stories about fetuses excited about coming into the world. Swanson might write a variant where the fetus describes the womb as a house of horrors, weeping for unborn brothers and sisters. Swanson could have created his lie about contraception all on his own, or he could have read about molar pregnancies and chosen not to understand the medical facts. Either way, he’s using his storytelling powers for evil instead of good.

  • rae

    Haven’t read through the comments to see if anyone else said this, but you’re giving Swanson just a tad bit too much credit. I grew up in the QF movement and that story was a common one. Dead babies in your uterus if you use birth control. Maybe it’s new to Swanson, or maybe he just knows how to frame it in a way that sounds better than Dobson’s lazy non-effort. And of course, he has the benefit that it really IS new to people outside of the deep crazy. But I know that story as been around since the ’90s, at least.

  • seniorcit

    Thank God I had my heart surgery last month before the President signed this awful bill!

  • reynard61

    “DOES HE NOT REALIZE UTERUSES DON’T WORK THAT WAY?!”

    I get the impression that he doesn’t really give a shit. He just pukes out whatever he thinks will serve his ideology and frighten his tribe enough that they’ll send him lots of money. ‘Cause, y’know, Jesus.

  • DStecks

    “I’m beginning to get some evidence from certain doctors and certain scientists that have done research on women’s wombs after they’ve gone through the surgery, and they’ve compared the wombs of women who were on the birth control pill to those who were not on the birth control pill. And they have found that with women who are on the birth control pill, there are these little tiny fetuses, these little babies, that are embedded into the womb. They’re just like dead babies. They’re on the inside of the womb. And these wombs of women who have been on the birth control pill effectively have become graveyards for lots and lots of little babies.”

    That is the best worst thing I’ve read all week. Want to argue something that there’s no legitimate points against? Just cook up some unleaded nightmare fuel. It’s genius. For example, did you know that the Gardasil vaccine makes your vagina grow a squid beak? Like, a straight-up squid beak. Also, did you know that your continued donations to the Republican Party are the only thing protecting you from the rape goblins that live underground?

  • Baby_Raptor

    You’re missing an option: When the horrors promised don’t appear, talk big crap about how you and your buddies prayed really hard and put good, Godly pressure on good, Godly Republicans and they managed to stop it, because Republicans are True Christians.

    The roll around in your new pile of fundraising money. 

  • Baby_Raptor

    James Dobson is Visser Three? 

    Crap. Where are the Andalites?

  • SisterCoyote

    I’ll just be over here shuddering quietly in the corner at not only the image of “thousands of dead babies embedded in the womb”, but also the idea that someone thought this was a plausible thing to say, and not an episode of some kind of freaky sci-fi horror show that was never aired.

    Also, anyone with a basic understanding of anything relating to reproduction, including where men come into the picture, would know that they’d actually be half-babies embed–

    I’ll stop now.

  • SisterCoyote

    For example, did you know that the Gardasil vaccine makes your vagina grow a squid beak? Like, a straight-up squid beak.

    Oh God why would you even say that. My cat was sleeping peacefully, and now she’s worried that her human has just developed Spontaneous Horrified Screaming Disorder.

  • Jared Bascomb

    Yeah, but who did Cheney gets his from?
    His wife’s already told him that his nickname of Darth Vader humanized him, so who’s left to give Cheney a more human heart? Boba Fett?

  • stardreamer42

     Wow. That video is fascinatingly cool and hypnotic.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GUFZNDXKK6JQGEIGV7VGXFUDKE c2t2

    The Andalites are planning destroy the planet after the infestation is complete. It’s up to us Christimorphs to save the world.

  • stardreamer42

    I think someone should troll several of their comment forums and suggest that, and a bunch of other ever-more-wacko notions. Seed the Batshit Crazy from the ground up, but direct its growth in such a way as to drive off anyone with the slightest modicum of sanity left.


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