It is remarkable that Focus on the Family's James Dobson would accuse anyone of "distortions" considering his ignoble record. But, that is exactly what the right wing ideologue did this week when he said on his daily radio show that democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama distorted the Bible.
"I think he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said." "... He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."
Why do people still listen to what this serial liar has to say? In the past two years, at least seven researchers have accused Dobson of manipulating or cherry picking their results to back his anti-gay teachings. Letters and videos documenting the concerns of these respected professors can be viewed at RespectMyResearch.org.
The first researcher to step forward was New York University educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, PhD. On Sept. 14, 2006 Gilligan wrote a letter to Dobson that stated: "I was mortified to learn that you had distorted my work this week in a guest column you wrote in Time Magazine...What you wrote was not truthful and I ask that you refrain from ever quoting me again and that you apologize for twisting my work."
The most recent scientist to claim Double-Talk Dobson distorted his work was University of Minnesota's Gary Remafedi, M.D., M.P.H. In a letter to Dobson, dated April 28, 2008, he wrote, "I want to draw your attention to a gross misrepresentation of our research at the website of 'Focus on the Family.'"
Other leading researchers who have taken issue with Dobson's use of their work include: Dr. Kyle Pruett, Professor of child psychiatry, the Yale University School of Medicine; Dr. Robert Spitzer, Professor of Psychiatry, Columbia University; Angela Phillips, Professor, Goldsmiths College in London; Dr. Elizabeth Saewyc, Associate Professor, school of nursing, University of British Columbia; and Dr. Judith Stacy, Professor of Sociology, New York University.
Never before has such an array of venerated professors courageously stood up and turned the ivory tower into a watchtower to protect scientific integrity. What each doctor has in common is that he or she was shocked and outraged when informed how his or her work was used and abused.
While the sheer number of professors who have already stepped forward is unprecedented, it is clearly the tip of the iceberg. James Dobson's bastardization of the truth is so immense and complete that one would have to build and staff a laboratory and a library to fully investigate and document his legion of lies.
Yet, the wonderful "liberal media" continues to treat this man as if he is a God-fearing grandfather. What disturbs me, is that the one time Dobson was truly exposed as a kook was when he suggested Sponge Bob Square Pants might be gay. This was worthy of laughs, but when some of the brightest minds in the world take Dobson to task for manipulating years of hard work, the media is largely MIA. Isn't it time the media paint a full and accurate portrait of a man who has had the ear of many presidents?
The reason Dobson is so facile with the facts and believes he can pick and choose who is a "real Christian" is because he has a God complex. The Associated Press' Eric Gorski reports that, "A McCain campaign staffer offered Dobson a meeting with McCain recently in Denver. Dobson declined because he prefers that candidates visit the Focus on the Family campus to learn more about the organization."
Can you believe this egomaniac? He tells John McCain, a possible leader of the free world, that he must take a detour from the campaign trail to Colorado Springs to bow at the feet of King James. What next, McCain has to agree to roll a red carpet and feed Dobson fresh grapes?
What is clear, is that the Democrat's strategy of more God talk, following John Kerry's defeat in 2004, is unnerving religious conservatives. Obama can speak the language of Scripture and is comfortable in the walls of a church. His genuine connection to people of faith will likely peel away a portion of churchgoers who are disillusioned by the broken promises and endemic corruption of the Republican party. Dobson's latest tantrum highlights his fear that the religious right is losing its grip as the face of faith in America.
Dobson is not an ordained minister, nor is he a religious scholar. His is just a loud mouth, self-righteous manipulator who screams and hollers. Until King James can explain why the world's top professors keep giving him F's in religion, ethics and science, the media should stop quoting him. While, I appreciate the need for balance, accuracy is the higher journalistic value - even when it comes to the charlatan of family values.
Wayne wrote "He tells John McCain, a possible leader of the free world...".
No U.S. president has ever been a leader of the free world. Get overyourself, the U.S. is nowhere near as important as americans like you like to believe. No U.S. president rules over anything but the U.S. This sort of arrogance is one of the major reasons the U.S. is despised around the world.
posted by Priya Lynn, at
6/24/2008 7:23 PM
Screw you Patty Lynn. Americans are the center of the world, whether your Commonist ass likes it or not. You are free because of us Americans.
I heard about the speech that apparently angered Dobson. Obama was talking to a group of liberal Christians about the danger of America becoming a theocracy.
He asked, quite wisely, that even if we could ship all the non-Christians in the entire nation off to some other place and have a "Christian nation", what type of Christianity would we be teaching in schools? Would it be James Dobson's version, or Al Sharpton's version?
He then proceeded to discuss biblical verses from both the Old and New Testaments that, were they to be applied today, we would all consider to be outrageously barbaric. He used this to make the point that the American people are very Bible illiterate, and even most Christians who run around saying the Bible should be the law of the land aren't aware of the laws it actually contains (such as those proscribing the murder of homosexuals, or slavery or the inferior status of women, etc.).
So basically Obama's whole point was that people should be more educated and mindful about Christianity, the Bible and its content and interpretations.
Which of course is a problem for people like Dobson who don't want you to read the Bible or learn anything about religion, because then you might come to your own conclusions and - god forbid - he wouldn't be able to interpret it for you and tell you exactly how to think and behave.
posted by Eshto, at
6/24/2008 11:11 PM
Eshto, I use the following website wwww.fallwell.com to fire back at the bigots. Most christian denominations claim that their belief system is based on the scriptures and as such, must be believed. However, the myriad references found on the website referenced above put all straights in a very bad position. Many of them ignore or dismiss them but singularly cherry pick one verse in Leviticus to bash us. Some even go as far as saying that most of the quotes come from the old testament and don't apply because its the jewish part of the bible (how convenient), but in their apparent hypocrisy retain the Leviticus quote as a weapon at every provocation when equality issues are on the table. The reason why Obama and Clinton and many like them oppose marriage equality, aside from that issue not being politically expedient for them, is all based on scripture. Leviticus is at the root of it all and none of the politicians with the exceptions of a few you can count on one hand have the courage or honesty to take the high road and bash the bigots back, let alone question the one quote that christo-fascists use to deny us our rights while dismissing all the other scriptural quotes.
posted by Robert, NYC., at
6/25/2008 8:16 AM
"You are free because of us Americans."
Jack H, take a deep breath. The U.S. did not singularly free the world from the Nazi yoke. It was a collective effort of the U.S. and allied forces. There is no way the U.S. could have helped win WW2 alone, everybody played their part and there were some extremely important factors you miss altogether long before the U.S. entered the war, one of which is the Battle of Britain, an air war. The UK entered the war in 1939 and fought virtually alone along with Canada and other commonwealth forces. We didn't enter the war until 1941 because of the attack on Pearl Harbor and it was in our interests to do so.
The Battle of Britain, the most important air battle of the war was won by the British in 1940 gaining superiority of the air. It was a decisive turning point. German U-boats were already off the coast of the northeastern U.S. and Canada at the time of that battle, ready to attack if necessary but couldn't because of American neutrality. The US did play a very important part in WW2 and helped fight fascism but it didn't do it alone to win freedom. To assume otherwise would justify priya lynn's claim "this sort of arrogance is one of the major reasons the U.S. is despised around the world".
posted by Robert, NYC., at
6/25/2008 8:33 AM
Dobson is nothing more, nothing less than a big, grandiose, self-important, money-grubbing, steaming pile of horseshit.
posted by Anonymous, at
6/25/2008 12:48 PM
When you read the reports and books etc. put out by members of the Jesus Seminar, who are REAL scholars and theologians, interested in religious literacy and who arent afraid to challenge traditional beliefs based on the evidence of archeology and modern historical research methods, you soon realise how puerile, simplistic and ignorant dobson and his ilk really are. And yes the younger generations from evangelical families are getting fed up with the obsessive hatred of GLBT people coming from their pastors like dobson. They are more likely to vote Democratic now and this is freaking the older fundos out.
posted by Anonymous, at
6/25/2008 2:43 PM
Ummm, Jacko, did you know that the French bankrolled the American Revolution? If it werent for them, we'd probably have QEII's picture on our money right now and in school, you would have learned about some miserable traitor named George Washington. Now relax and go have some Quiche!
posted by Anonymous, at
6/25/2008 2:49 PM
1) Free E-book: “James Dobson’s Gospel of Self-Esteem & Psychology”
“There are pluses to Dobson’s ministry. However, after all the pluses and minuses are added together, it is concluded that Focus on the Family is an organization that too often honors man and his opinions over God and His Word.”
2) Op-Ed: “What Would Jesus Steal”
An economist addresses Murray Rothbard, Jim Wallis, and the “Social Gospel.”
posted by David Bozrah, at
6/27/2008 10:47 AM