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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