The Lies of James Dobson

by Lorette C. Luzajic
Part 27 of Pillars of Faith

Guilty as Spongebob

Jim’s writings were revered like Apostle Paul’s in my childhood home. His Focus on the Family propaganda is so wholeheartedly American that it became brand. After three decades of homo-terror warnings, not even his ridiculous boycott of Spongebob made him lose credibility among disciples. Spongebob is guilty of “homosexual advocacy,” Dobson says.

He was born in Louisiana in 1936 and born again at three. He received his doctorate in child development in 1967, and later founded both Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council.

Both oppose women, gays, and science. Dobson describes gays as “Nazis” and “THE greatest threat to your children. It is of particular danger to your wide-eyed boys, who have no idea what demoralization is planned for them.”

They want more funding for abstinence ed, a proven failure since the U.S. has 70 times the rate of gonorrhea among youth than European countries with sex ed, and among the highest rates of teen pregnancy in the world.

The Same Song and Dance

His evidence is often based on the work of Paul Cameron, disbarred from the APA for making up research. Other sources have made it clear that Dobson has twisted their work or not even read it.

Dobson quoted in Time, Drs Carol Gilligan, of Harvard: Kyle Pruett, of Yale, and Angela Phillips, of Goldsmiths College. All 3 were irate that he lied about data, among a barrage of letters from experts he’d used in various works. Some asked him to post their letters on his Focus website with a public apology. He didn’t.

Dr. Robert Spitzer was among the outraged. He helped remove the disorder status from homosexuality in 1973. And so his 2001 research showing that “gays could change” was praised by Dobson for the “courage” to overturn the “myth.”

But Dr. Spitzer said Focus “once again reported findings of my study out of context to support their fight against gay rights.”

Calling Dobson on his lies doesn’t faze him. “Communities do not let prostitutes, pedophiles, voyeurs, adulterers, and those who sexually prefer animals to publicly celebrate their lifestyles, so why should homosexuals get such privileges?”

Poor Little Wiener Dog

Unruly wiener dogs are another thorn. Jim brags in one book about beating his dog for not heading to bed on time. “That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other,” he writes.

His other pet issue is against “population control.” Dobson supports fringe extremist prolifers like Randall Terry. He thinks taking the Pill or the morning after pill is abortion, too.

Tubal ligation? “For obvious reasons, the Bible is absolutely silent on these recent technological procedures.” Umm, yes. Obvious reasons.

But for a man who concerns himself with “helping families thrive,” he sure hates children. “… pain is a marvelous purifier,” he has famously written. In one of many parenting guides, he calls kids: bratty, pugnacious, anarchists, horrid, negative, sour, sullen, selfish, insane, obnoxious, spoiled brat, groaning lump, and so forth.

Dobson also demanded the resignation of a minister who asked Christians to care about creation! The climate controversy is shifting the “emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time, notably the sanctity of human life, the integrity of marriage and the teaching of sexual abstinence…”

Let it Rain

But does any of Dobson’s nonsense really matter?

Time Magazine called him “the nation’s most influential evangelical leader.” His media empire spans 150 countries and 7,000 TV stations, reaching 220 million daily. Chris Hedges called him “perhaps the most powerful figure in the Dominionist movement.” He is widely accredited with rallying the Lord’s troops to vote for and land the win of George Bush.

Obama of course is “lowest common denominator of morality” with a “fruitcake interpretation” of the Constitution, who edits “God’s word to fit his liberal worldview.” So Dobson’s servants released a video commanding Christians to pray for “rain of Biblical proportions” on the day of Obama’s historic nomination speech.

It was sunny all day. But rain it did — at the Republican convention. Hurricane Gustav hurled itself at the southern Bible belts, causing the largest U.S. evacuation exodus in history with 2 million people headed north.

The Lord has spoken.

  • nazani14

    I only recently figured out that there was a Dominionist movement, and how potentially serious it is. We all need to spread the word; if anyone is a threat to the American way of life, it’s these folks.

  • Tabbie

    Here’s another rankly odious one who can’t join Jerry Falwell in the great nothingness hereafter soon enough. Getting eaten by a roving pack of vicious daschunds on his way to work would be poetic justice for this scatty excuse of a man. We can also hope he’s arrogant enough to think he won’t get caught taking a little trip to Europe with some barely legal, hotter-than-Shirley rentboy just like his colleague did.

  • ironflange

    “Groaning lump.” I kinda like that. Otherwise, I’m embarrassed at having to share the Earth’s oxygen with that worthless tit.

  • JulietEcho

    My grandparent and parents have been huge fans for decades, and I grew up raised with Focus on the Family -inspired parenting. My parents used to listen to his radio show regularly, and they still get his newsletters and take them seriously. I remember one they made a point to show me when I came home on my first break from college, all about how homosexuality and gay marriage and threatening families.

    It took me awhile to realize what complete nutjobs these people are, because they were seen by my family and our church as role models, doing the Lord’s work. We even visited their headquarters in Colorado Springs on vacation once.

  • Brian

    “It is of particular danger to your wide-eyed boys, who have no idea what demoralization is planned for them.”

    I wonder if Dobson was molested and that experience grew into his current craziness.

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty

      Or maybe he’s warning ‘em about his own fantasies of “demoralizing” young boys….

  • http://hilaryusss.blogspot.com Hilary

    Dobson is a such a threat to our nation’s collective intelligence, and it’s hard for people to realize since a lot of his projects seem to be so unthreatening, like Adventures in Odyssey, and Focus.

    You’ll try to point out his bullshit to people and you end up seeming like the bad guy, because it looks like he’s just trying to help families. And I am the evil atheist spitting lies about him because I detest all things good and wholesome, you know? I’ve been anti-Dobson awhile, but I find it’s hard to make people see his true side, even those who barely associate with religion.

  • EBrock

    I do have to agree with Mr. Dobson that kids can be many of the things he mentioned, but they are kids after all & most of the time they are that way because of their parents.

    As to his “sanctity of life’ (which I suspect he defends with his faith), I’ll let George Carlin handle that one…

    “Sanctity of life. You believe in …”it? Personally, I think it’s a bunch of shit. Well, I mean, life is sacred? Who said so? God? Hey, if you read history, you realize that God is one of the leading causes of death… So at best the sanctity of life is kind of a selective thing. We get to choose which forms of life we feel are sacred, and we get to kill the rest. Pretty neat deal, huh? You know how we got it? We made the whole fucking thing up.”

    • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ WMDKitty

      *applauds*

  • http://www.manhattandeclaration.org Ethan Thomas

    Have you ever really listened to James Dobson? He has been consistent in his message for 30+ years. His is consistent with my faith and the faith of generations of Christians back to the founding of the US and beyond. He does not contradict himself, is fully sincere. Explains his positions fully and does not compel others to believe as he does. He simply speaks the truth according to what he truly believes. He does not condemn gays or any others, but he does follow is understanding of the Bible as God’s dispensational revelation of himself to mankind as a loving creator, father and friend. (You may refer back to the old testament and bring up the stoning of…. to make you strawman argument about the literal interpretation of the Bible, and how he would like to see our country return to it if he had his way. Again, if you listen to him, you would know this is not true.) If you want to make the case that he (Dr.Dobson) is quoting a text that is proven false, go ahead and make your case (here is where you insert strawman of literal interpretation of stoning xyz from the Old Testament) The Bible has been more investigated, many times over, than any other book of history and has always been shown to be consistent with archaelogical and historical events. More importantly, it has affected more lives of good, kind and (yes) powerful people in history than any other. Blessings…

    (If you do decide to post this, you are welcome to omit the following. Otherwise, merely glad you have read my thoughts and experience.
    Your policy (moderator) is your business, but it sounds a bit like censorship to me. Let’s see, I will post only comments that I agree with, and make it sound like everyone agrees with me. Your business, but pretty lame if that is the case. But hey, at least you are reading this, and for that I am grateful. God has reached out to all mankind and he reveals himself to each one, regardless of intellect. That is just one cool thing about Him that occurs to me at the moment. He is there (for real).

    • DarkMatter

      “Let’s see, I will post only comments that I agree with, and make it sound like everyone agrees with me. Your business, but pretty lame if that is the case. But hey, at least you are reading this, and for that I am grateful.”
      You can always play your god here or there, regardless of your belief.

    • Paul

      So what if he is consistent? You can be a bad person and still be consistent; I do believe Hitler was quite consistent, hence the “silver tongue” factor to his rise to power.

      And you are right about the bible affecting the lives of good and powerful people. How many people were affecting by the inquisition, conquistadors, crusades, and even the McCarthy hearings (religion was a nice test, since the evil Russian communists were without god). You may make your case that good has come of people being influenced to do good because of your holy book. You’ll be correct that such events exist, but good is not the only possible out come from the bible.

      Yes, he does condemn gays:

      “Dobson describes gays as ‘Nazis’ and ‘THE greatest threat to your children. It is of particular danger to your wide-eyed boys, who have no idea what demoralization is planned for them.’ ”

      Unless, you are stipulating that the above excerpt, which contains a direct quote of Dobson, does not condemn gays; to me, the Nazi analogy seems fairly condemning, but that may be just me. Of course, I do not expect you to respond to this as you probably wont agree with its message, but hey, at least you are reading this.

    • Yoav

      The Bible has been more investigated, many times over, than any other book of history and has always been shown to be consistent with archaelogical and historical events.
      Care to give an example?

    • vorjack

      (If you do decide to post this, you are welcome to omit the following. Otherwise, merely glad you have read my thoughts and experience.

      Um, yeah. Look, Ethan, we’ve got one of the most tolerant comment policies you’re apt to find outside of a *chan. Unless you swear or use certain buzzwords from common spam ads, you’re not even likely to go into our pending queue.

      Is it the “no evangelizing” policy that bothers you? Can you not understand that preaching is not the same thing as discussion?

      • JohnMWhite

        I see the rule as pretty in keeping with any other community not wanting to be spammed with advocates of commercial products, alternative lifestyles, lolcats, or anything else that doesn’t contribute to the discussion.

        However, maybe he just assumes that this place is as heavily moderated as any other blog he reads (I wonder what ones they are) and has noticed that largely commentors agree with Daniel on this topic. Maybe he should try looking at some of JohnC’s posts to see just how much the blog runner is willing to put up with and no censor.

    • Roger

      Ethan, what the hell are you talking about? What “censorship”? Is it the “no evangelizing”? That’s not censorship–again, a blog is not to be confused with any kind of constitutional right to free speech. A blog owner can ban whatever he/she doesn’t like. I’d like to see what you mean by “censorship” as it concerns this blog, however. It seems to me that you’re rather new here and haven’t bothered to read much about Daniel or this particular community and are speaking out of your ass.

    • Tabbie

      @ Ethan Thomas

      Baa, Baa much?

    • Jeff

      The Bible has been more investigated, many times over, than any other book of history and has always been shown to be consistent with archaelogical and historical events.

      False Testament: Archaeology Refutes the Bible’s Claim to History

      • Jabster

        Rubbish there is evidence everywhere if you just prepared to looked for it. For example http://www.arkdiscovery.com/red_sea_crossing.htm. Now to the untrained i.e. dirty sinful heathen who is just denying the existence of god so that he (or she as it’s a modern church now but no homosexuals if you don’t mind) can act immorally would probably think “you’ve got to be joking that’s not evidence that’s just wishful thinking”. Well no as the problem is that non-believers are so closed minded minded that they can’t see the truth! Of course when I say to close minded I don’t mean you should be opened minded to just any old religion, just Christianity thank you very much – I mean flying to heaven on a horse and other such nonsense, what sort of fool would believe that?

        • http://blackjeezus.wordpress.com Black Jeezus

          Poe’s Law is strong in this one.

          • Jabster

            You could be right there … ;-)

    • Nox

      “It sounds a bit like censorship to me. Let’s see, I will post only comments that I agree with, and make it sound like everyone agrees with me. Your business, but pretty lame if that is the case.”

      This actually sums up every christian site I have ever seen (and christianity in general).

      • Jabster

        Well Ethan also thinks that “The Bible has been more investigated, many times over, than any other book of history and has always been shown to be consistent with archaelogical and historical events.” so let’s be honest, he’s fallen out of the stupid tree, hitting every branch on the way down and then been beaten with the stupid stick just to make sure …

  • Ty

    What the hell are you talking about? What censorship?

    Doesn’t surprise me that someone who thinks Dobson is wonderful is deeply confused about everything else as well.

  • http://unreasonablefaith tod f

    Dobson proves the need for our hard fought separation of Church and State. God help us if we were truly “under God”.

  • entity

    As an evangelical Christian I am ashamed of James Dobson.
    that is all

  • Igor

    “The Bible…has been shown to be consistent with archealogical and historic events.”
    Like Luke’s incorrect documentation of Quirinius’ census, or the fact that NO Egyptian history mentions Moses or the Exodus, or the absurdity of the Great Flood, etc.
    The Bible is a series of derivative stories, explaining the unexplainable to the illiterate masses, nothing more. Question more, believe less, Ethan.

    • Mark Mukasa

      The last sentence of that post is now going in my FB qoutes.

  • Lorette C. Luzajic

    This entry has been the hardest Pillar of Faith to write so far. Because yes, I HAVE actually spent time listening to his teachings and reading his books. As it says, Dobson’s work was revered alongside the Apostle Paul’s in my childhood, and his insidious hatreds infiltrated every aspect of childhood and family life. My parents were able to cast off Falwell and Robertson as buffoons, as the ‘ol “not real Christians” and ditto to anyone who did too much healing or tongue babbling, since our brand of fundie faith did not include a literal interpretation of the “gifts of the spirit.”

    But Dobson’s quiet authority, his education, and his smooth, reasoned talking spoke volumes. He didn’t have to thunder with hatred- he simply reported lies as facts and let the chips fall where they may. Of course, we didn’t know they were lies. Now, even when I point his lies out to my family, they think I am somehow doing some sort of sleight of hand or must be misinformed. And because a great deal of Dobson’s teachings combines a kind of quiet wittiness and some good common sense that I won’t refute, one assumes that he is speaking the truth.

    It was a nightmare writing about my personal nemesis, because 700 words just wasn’t cutting it. So the post here is rather skeletal. The original document took me a month to write and came in at a whopping SIXTEEN THOUSAND words. That’s right. I wasted no such time on Falwell or even Luther, because yes, I have a personal vendetta for the way Dobson has infiltrated my family life, and the psychology of all around me. I see Focus magnets on the refrigerators of dear friends and know their kids will grow up to hate gays. My niece is not allowed to watch Spongebob, but my nephews ARE allowed to play Christian war games on the computer.

    The full length diatribe describes many of Dobson’s source thinkers in depth, including Paul Cameron, whose “research” makes up the majority of Dobson’s sources on the “homosexual lifestyle.” Cameron was ousted from every professional organization for doctoring stats and making up stuff, but his work informs the majority of church reference on homosexuality. He is OBSESSED with children, poop, and severed genitals, preaching about kids losing their wing wangs in public washrooms to bloodthirsty homos. When concerned officials confronted him, eager to put away a savage predator, he had to admit he’d heard the story from someone at “church.” He also made up the whole gerbil thing if anyone cares to remember “rodent play.” This “practice” has become an urban legend. Cameron also talks at length about how we allow homosexuals to work in the “food handling industry” which threatens our safety since their hands are covered with AIDS, feces, and other demons. He is as obsessed with the intricate practices of extreme gay sex as is Peter LaBarbera, who lo and behold is another crony who worked with and for Dobson, a respected brother who also informs Dobson’s “research.” And surely no one missed the recent news that Dobson’s FRC partner, sexologist Dr. George Rekers, famous for equating homosexuality with pedophilia, was caught at an airport with a 20 year old male prostitute. He told the world he had hired the boy at rentboy to carry his luggage and minister to him!!!!!!!!!

    Dobson is well aware that the info he bases his work on is wrong, especially when the doctors he quotes write in to tell him and he ignores them! Focus was later blasted by Cameron for not being conservative enough since they were kind enough to say gays should be allowed to have jobs.

    That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    It will take me some time to edit the long Dobson document but I’ll post it eventually on one of my blogs for those few who may be patient and interested enough to read the whole horrible saga.

    Peace to everyone. Lorette.

    • JohnMWhite

      Lorette, I empathise with your despising of the man and his effect on those around you. Dobson himself wasn’t a big feature in our house since we’re in the UK and at the time my parents didn’t watch much of the cable ‘news’ and evangelical type channels. As they’ve gotten older and the US President’s gotten blacker, though, that’s changed, so I have heard of him somewhat.

      Still, even back then I remember similar propaganda coming from the church and its groups. In our country it was illegal until about 10 years ago for schools to talk about homosexuality in anything but negative terms, and when the fight began to overturn that law, the churches were naturally in uproar and pamphlets were distributed to tell parents just how much danger it would put their precious babies in to ‘allow homosexuality into the classroom’. For some reason or another, even when I was trying to be a good Catholic boy I never had a problem with homosexuality myself (I would use the old “hate the sin not the sinner” line if anyone asked, but inside I didn’t even think the sin was a big deal, since it was pretty clear that there were plenty of other sins people committed every day that no one wanted to ostracise them for). But I distinctly remember being told to fear homosexuality, like it was something you could be afflicted with if you thought wrong (thought crime was big, in Catholicism at least) or breathed wrong or hung out with the wrong crowd. A more liberal priest might suggest compassion for ‘them’ (they were always talked of as somewhat foreign, as if there could not possibly be any homosexuals in the pews right then and there), but only in as much as they were somehow cursed and basically screwed in the eternity stakes.

      And I have gay friends now who I watched suffer through a school system where it was at the time illegal to say anything nice about them, one of whom still hasn’t told his parents because he honestly believes he would be thrown out of their home, and all because these adults, supposedly following a religion of love, have had it drilled into their head by vicious lunatics like Dobson and his followers that gay = bad.

      So yes, I can certainly see where you’d draw on a deep enough well of resentment and anger to fill 16000 words about this kind of guy. I look forward to seeing more of it some day.

    • Tabbie

      The truth about such hatred and lies needs to be told, Lorette. I wish you peace, if that is possible, as you edit your Dobson document, and thank you for the good work you are doing.

  • Igor

    Thank you, Mark. Believe it or not, it evolved it from my Jesuit education. Unfortunately, sad cases like Ethan are legion in America, and probably beyond reach. But they raise poor children like Lorette, whose lives become a brutal, valiant struggle to escape to rationality…or they remain like Ethan and never get to use their beautiful minds. – they are condemned to the lunacies and evil of Dobson and his spawn. Hooray for you, Lorette! Pax vobiscum.

    • Twin-Skies

      Jesuit-educated skeptics are far more common than you think, commrade. We actually have the best of both worlds – we’re trained to be inquisitive, and we have a fairly good grasp of Catholic theology.

      Welcome to the club! ;)

  • Jeff

    He also made up the whole gerbil thing if anyone cares to remember “rodent play.”

    Cameron invented that?

  • http://unreasonablefaith tod f

    Let ‘er rip, Lorette!

  • Francesco Orsenigo

    I owe one to this guy.
    I used to hate Spongebob, but when I learned that the crazies wanted to ban it, I thought “There must be something good about it!”, started to watch it, and now I love it!

    Thanks, Mr. Bobson! =)

  • VidLord

    This describes my son! “bratty, pugnacious, anarchists, horrid, negative, sour, sullen, selfish, insane, obnoxious, spoiled brat, groaning lump, and so forth”

    I’ve showered him with nothing but love and attention and pure affection and did i mentiond LOVE?

    Now what?

  • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

    Dobson’s a huge problem. His torturing of research conclusions is one that’s close to me, as I studied Psychology in college.

    In one of many parenting guides, he calls kids: bratty, pugnacious, anarchists, horrid, negative, sour, sullen, selfish, insane, obnoxious, spoiled brat, groaning lump, and so forth.

    One thing sort of in his defense: I’d bet that anyone who’s been a parent has thought some or all of those things! That in itself doesn’t make one an unfit parent. I don’t intend to defend him, but rather just to point that all parents inevitably experience those types of feelings when raising children. It’s just part of the process.

    • DarkMatter

      Bad parenting excuses because of christianity sake.

  • Looseleaf

    Lorette — Good piece, but I think you mean tubal ligation, not litigation. Tubal litigation may have something to do with lawsuits over net neutrality, perhaps.

    • http://brgulker.wordpress.com brgulker

      lol! (at the last phrase)

      • Lorette C. Luzajic

        Ha ha, yes, tubal LIGATION, folks…sorry…this one goes in my bloopers episode! If Daniel would be kind enough to correct it that would be terrific. But hey, at least it was an honest mistake.

  • Pingback: James Dobson is an Idiot « Black Jesus

  • http://luckyatheist.blogspot.com Michael Caton

    Remember that Dobson’s degree is in psychology. He knows what he’s doing.

  • http://singleandpicky.blogspot.com Jenn

    Now I know I’m jumping in a little late on this given the extent of discussion before me – but I will keep this short. I grew up in a home where he was revered in our house, and I will say that maybe he had something good to say about parenting back then, who knows. What I do know was for me, my apathy regarding his positions changed to horror when I was watching the Great Warming (Global Warming documentary), where they had a Dobson speaking, but since I can’t find the video link, reference (http://coloradoindependent.com/8807/evangelical-leader-smacks-mccain-for-lack-of-principle) “In 2006 Dobson even head-butted Cizik in the press for supporting international regulations of emissions, calling his views “anti-capitalistic and [having] an underlying hatred for America.”

    I am sorry but since when did Christians care about capitalism or the sanctity of a country. Now I will say I’m Canadian, so maybe I don’t get the deep rooted patriotism, but in the end the only “country” that is important is the kingdom of God, isn’t it?


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