James Dobson just not putting much effort into perfunctory lies

James Dobson just not putting much effort into perfunctory lies February 14, 2013

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.

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  • Lori


    Your comment reminds me of something my old boyfriend used to tell me
    about masturbation, that any guy who does so is going to be greeted in
    Purgatory by the millions of little half-babies he created every time he
    did that. 

    This is hilarious.

    The fact that anyone believes this is horrifying, but the concept of “half-babies” (what the hell is a half baby any way?) in purgatory yelling at dear old dad for whacking off is so far beyond ridiculous that you have to laugh.

  • Fortunately for him, my OBF never believed in the Masturbation = Half-Babies idea. But it was too good an image not to enjoy.

  • Lunch Meat

    Wait a second, if a sperm that leaves the body = half a baby, doesn’t that mean that every woman who’s ovulated will also be greeted by an army of half-babies in heaven? OVULATION IS SIN! HYSTERECTOMIES FOR EVERYONE!

  •  No, y’see, we only care about voluntary acts. Because whether third parties live or die (be they human beings, fetuses, or haploid cells) doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether we can control one another’s behavior.

  • Lori

    But if we all have hysterectomies there is no reason for women to exist, us being just vessels for the bay-bes the good lord wants to send into the world.

  • Lunch Meat

    But wait a second! This also means that anyone who has had Church-Approved Sex (TM) that didn’t result in a child for every individual sperm ejaculated is sinning and making half-babies. So the solution is to collect every single sperm, then clone the woman’s eggs so that there are enough eggs for each sperm, then artificially inseminate all of them one at a time. But wait! Babies that aren’t produced through natural Church-Approved Sex are also sin!

    Hmm, it’s almost like they don’t want us to live healthy sinless lives.

  • It’s meant to be a terrifying story, but all I can take away from it is “In Purgatory, you will receive a personal monster army of your own creation.”  Masturbation is not only fun and inexpensive, it’s fucking metal.

    Alright, now you are reminding me of hell-babies.  

  • Hmm, it’s almost like they don’t want us to live healthy sinless lives.

    Of course.  Take your logic a little further.  If we had healthy, sinless lives, there would be no reason for salvation and no need of the church.  

  •  I think I saw that movie. The punchline in the end was that when the main character retired from being president at the age of 26, having had everyone over 40 rounded up and put in homes where they were given mandatory LSD to make them mellow, he runs into a bunch of 12 year olds who swear their plan to do exactly the same thing to everyone over 20.

  •  I want this as a thing in a tower defence game. A horrific, horrific tower defence game.

  • Foelhe

    Are the babies translucent, maybe? Are they divided in half right up the middle? Floating baby heads? Cyborg-babies?!??

  • Lori

    Inquiring minds definitely want to know. There are at least 3 possibilities for “divided in the middle” alone. I mean they could be top or bottom half, left or right half or front or back half. I guess if it’s either the 2nd or 3rd one at least they’d never have to worry about telling anyone to be sure to get their good side in a picture.

  •  Almost.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So, uh, what did he think about the “little half-babies” that the testicle-equipped human body produces naturally regardless of whether they’re ever ejaculated?

  • Some guys I knew would make joking statements about “killing off all the little mini-mes”, but they clearly knew it was not factually correct.

  • Wasn’t that some movie in like, 1968? *googles*


    Bingo. :p

  • Lori

    Obviously not. They were “killing off all the little mini-half-mes”. Or would that be “half mini-mes”?

  • Don’t recall, but he was pretty okay about it, figured that winner takes all, and that God and Nature knew what they were doing, regarding sex.
    Funny, I miss him more than I do my ex.

  • Cosmicdancer

     Hard to explain that to people who don’t understand menstruation  :

  • Yeah. I saw it because it was on a double-feature DVD with a fun little post-apocalyptic movie along a similar theme (Everyone over 21 dies due to cold war bioweapons) that happened to have been filmed in a colleague’s hometown

  •  Hard to explain that to people who don’t understand menstruation  :

    Blah, what need to righteous, Godly men have to involve themselves in unclean women’s mysteries?  If God wanted men to care, he would not have made girls so icky with cooties and the like.  :p

  •  Seems not giving stents to people over 70 is perfectly Biblical. “Three score and ten” the KJV says as an example of a long natural life. Still, I think stents might be a good idea for most people over seventy.

    The “babies in suspended animation in the womb” because of the pill thing is just crazy. But I’d bet my bass (my most prize possession) that within three years we hear this micro-baby hypothesis stated as fact by a candidate for US Congress.

  • Posterboy
  • And your problem is…….?

  • I had received a heart stint at 59 years young with 70% blockage in my right main artery as a retired veteran in a Military Hospital. The Dr. was a civilian training a Military Dr. Intern during the procedure.They placed the stent in my right main artery through my right leg groin area with the training Dr. using control joy sticks for emplacement with a monitor above me .I was awake during the entire procedure and never felt any pain or discomfort during the procedure.I stayed one night only for observation reason .Today, I feel great at 63 years  and am on Plavix for the rest of my life since they placed a  new drug eluding stent  for Diabetic Patients.Your Dr. is the one who make the call if you are healthy enough for the risk and not Politicians or the Government. 

  • Regarding Swanson, I have been following this story and pursuing him to get him to reveal the sources of his ridiculous comment.  I’ve sent an e-mail, posted on his Generations Radio FB page, have tweeted him.  I had comments removed from the Generations page, but then when I stated that as soon as I posted a comment, I would be taking a screen shot, the other comments mysteriously appeared again.  He is back peddling.  He issued a response to the many who have questioned him.  I call it a non-response.  Instead of citing sources, he referred to a study done 30 years ago by an AUTHOR, not a scientist or doctor.  I noticed that he has removed the broadcast from his website.  He will not fess up that he was wrong.  He just sweeps it under the rug.  I will continue to watch this man and report when he uses his position of authority and reputation to emotionally manipulate people.  My Response to Kevin Swanson’s Non-Response about Embedded Dead Babies and Damage Control

  • The “babies in suspended animation in the womb” because of the pill thing is just crazy.

    You know, that is something that people can actually do in Ian M. Banks Culture series.  Thanks to transhuman genetic modification, people in The Culture can make the choice to accept sperm and become pregnant or not, as their desire, and if they do become pregnant they can choose to suspend a pregnancy, halting the process until they choose to continue it.  

    I say “people” and not “women” because (thanks to those same modifications) anyone in The Culture can choose to spontaneously change sex.  By “spontaneously” I mean without further medical intervention, the actual process takes a few months for all the biological changes to apply.  This also has the side effect of pretty much annihilating sexism, since when anyone can be any sex, what is the point?  A person’s sex then becomes purely a matter of personal preference which they are free to change as they see fit.  

  • I will continue to watch this man and report when he uses his position of authority and reputation to emotionally manipulate people.

    I applaud you, Julie Anne, and I appreciate the effort you have and do make.  Swanson needs to be kept accountable.  

  •  A lot of Bizarro premises have that effect on me. The rest just make me go WTF?!

  • Embryonic diapause and natural sex changes – he’s taking his Transhumans’ adaptions from nature, isn’t he?

    (One of the alien species I’m worldbuilding has a form of embryonic diapause and it’s the least odd thing about their reproduction by human standards).

  • Launcifer

    So, wait, this so-called “wisdom” of Solomon is no such thing? He was just trying to get the half-baby thing down on paper before creeps like Swanson came along and started jabbering on about it.

    I mean, that’s obviously a literal interpretation of the text, right?

  • Embryonic diapause and natural sex changes – he’s taking his Transhumans’ adaptions from nature, isn’t he?

    Most of them.  People in the Culture also have glands that they can use to secrete pretty much any brain-altering chemical they wish.  Many of them spend a lot of time zonked out on some drug or another, though many get bored of just that.  The entire Culture is pretty much one group of ethical hedonists, a lifestyle which is enabled by having a post-singularity, post-scarcity technology level.  The only reason someone has to do anything productive is because they want to.  

  •  It’s not really clear to me what “productive” even means in a Culture context. Anything I could do in that world can be done much better by something that isn’t me, and which has the bandwidth to do it.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    …Is this supposed to be an argument *against* socialised medicine?

  • Jenny Islander

    You do realize that “the Government,” which is made up of “Politicians,” made the call for you, right?  That as a veteran entitled to care in a military hospital, you are in fact a recipient of socialized medicine, right?  That the rest of us have to live with systems that let private industry profit-chasers make the call, and that we had death panels all along and they were called lifetime insurance caps and determined 100 percent by the private insurance industry . . . right?

  • It’s not really clear to me what “productive” even means in a Culture context. Anything I could do in that world can be done much better by something that isn’t me, and which has the bandwidth to do it.

    That is a salient point brought up in the books themselves.  Say a person wants to build a space ship.  They can go and join a construction crew putting the thing together.  However, whatever Mind (a super-intelligent artificial sentience which runs most Culture ships and habitats) was in control of the local area could probably build the same ship faster and better with only a modest effort on its part.  However, there are still people who go out and build ships.  Why?  Because they want to.  The Mind could take over for them if the situation demanded it, but generally lets them go about their business in part because they tend to like it when people do that, it adds a little unpredictability and personality to the process that makes it interesting for the Mind which will eventually inhabit it.  For that matter, a Mind can operate a ship all on its own, but ships will still often take on human crews because the human company makes things a bit less boring.  

    People in the Culture do not have jobs, so much as they have really dedicated hobbies.  It ties back into that ethical hedonism thing they have going.  

  •  Right, exactly. Whatever that person’s motive for building a ship is, it isn’t the belief that there ought to be a ship, or that they’re best suited to building it. It is, as you say, hedonic. Calling it productive seems mistaken.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Is there then a relevant difference between a penis person masturbating and a penis person having a wet dream? Either way there’s sperm-containing ejaculate that ends up nowhere near ova, which I would think would be the key point…

  •  This comment made so much more sense once I realized it wasn’t a response to my comment about being productive in the Culture. :-)

  • You know, this brings up a situation all our talk about purgatory half-person / sperms (that got weird fast.)  The situation being that I am sterile, and have been since before my twenty-second birthday.  My body is no longer capable of releasing sperm.  

    So what does that make purgatory like for me?  

  • Lori


    So what does that make purgatory like for me?  

    Blessedly quiet? Or I guess lonely, depending on your level of need for company focused on you.

    Dangerous if you find you need the monster army of half-babies for tower defense.

  • Beroli

    Considering the mindset that would lead to the monster army of half-babies, I find it hard to believe a vasectomy is a way out of anything. Having the vasectomy probably immediately created as many half-babies as an entire lifetime’s worth of masturbating every day would have.

  • Lori

    Fair point.

  • Dangerous if you find you need the monster army of half-babies for tower defense.

    Huh, that is funny.  My class mates and I are building a tower defense game along those lines.  

    Only the parent in question is a dragon, and the babies are her hatchlings, placed strategically to defend her gold hoard.  She feeds the hatchlings gold to make them grow.  That is why dragons hoard gold, we reasoned, they feed it to their hatchings like a bird feeds her chicks worms.