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Political Poison


By Barbara Gordon - Posted on 27 October 2008

Okay, I'll be honest: I've been somewhat critical of Dr. James Dobson's involvement in politics for years. If you're not familiar with him, he's the unofficial leader of the religious right. He runs an organization called Focus on the Family, and millions of voters turn to him for political direction. It's difficult to overstate his influence. It is in large measure due to him that the Republican Party has been able to use the evangelical Christian voting bloc to maintain power. The party chooses the candidates, then Dobson sends his followers to the polls.

And Dobson is not content just to promote his favored Republican candidates. He also has a long history of subtle and not-so-subtle attacks on candidates he doesn't like. Earlier this year, for example, he participated in smear campaigns against Romney to try to help Huckabee during the primaries.

But what he's done this week is by far his most deplorable act to date. He's circulating a hypothetical letter from America in 2012, after four years of an Obama presidency. He describes the moral cesspoll into which the United States has degenerated, as well as the financial and security crises that Obama has brought about.

Among the highlights:

• Supreme court requires Boy Scouts to "hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to sleep in tents with young boys."
• Frequent international disasters occur due to Obama's "reluctance to send troops overseas, Russia occupying the Baltic states and Eastern European countries including Poland and the Czech Republic, and al-Qaeda overwhelming Iraq.
• Nationalized health care is established with no access to hospitals for people over 80. Others die while they wait in long lines to see substandard doctors.
• No dissemination allowed of any religious information via any media. Such rhetoric is now classified as inciteful "hate speech."
• We see skyrocketing numbers of abortions, as the procedure is now offered free of charge and doctors have their licenses revoked if they decline to terminate pregnancies.
• Pornography is required to be publicly displayed on magazine stands along with other publications.
• There are no guns, no homeschooling, no unions, no jobs, no gasoline. And perhaps worst of all, no James Dobson -- as he's been censored and removed from the airwaves. (we can only hope.)

This is hate politics at its absolute worst. And this is our party. Or rather this is what has become of our party. We must -- MUST -- root out this infestation from conservative politics. I don't care what you believe or which candidate you support, I hope you'll agree that this kind of rhetoric should no longer be the driving force behind this nation's conservative political discourse.

UPDATE:

Dobson's group is spending over a half million dollars this week to run new ads in Colorado associating Obama with infanticide.

The ad features the voice of Gianna, the best-known survivor of a botched abortions. Here's the script:

Obama has attacked me, but I've dealt with worse; I survived an abortion. State Senator Barack Obama voted 4 times against laws to protect babies who survive abortions. Meanwhile, U.S. Senators voted 98-0 for Born Alive Infant Protections. Senator Obama says deciding when babies get human rights is above his pay grade. Tell him abortion survivors deserve legal protections too.

 

 

 

Letter from 2012 in Obama's America

What a waste of an apparently fertile imagination.  Sick ideas from a sick mind.

"Genius may have its limitations, but stupidity is not thus handicapped." - Elbert Hubbard (R-Iowa 1905-1912)

First of all, they ignore their OWN dogma "false prophets rising in the end of days" - guess only the other guy is "false".

2nd, I recall when this stuff was only in the "comic books" that the Jehovah's Witnesses left on my door and in the laundry mat. And those "Christians" can't stand the Jehovah's Witnesses.

Well, I guess he's pretty much summed up all of the "false witness" arguments that they've circulated in their hate e-mails about Obama. Although he forgot to mention how Islam will be the *official* state religion. pfft!

 

- formerly klaf

Hello all,

What are we christians going to do about James Dobson's EVIL COMMENTS ABOUT OBAMA?????

Lately, it looks like christians can not even be fair is assessing Obama's leadership quality. Bible believing people would rather lie and argues that Pailin the clueless is better to LEAD AMERICA.

So I was wondering if WE would seat back and let Dobson stain the name of Christ with such hateful, scare tactics. I wonder if the CHURCH will remain silent. Anybody???

We Christians?

 I dont know what YOU are gonna do, but I'm gonna pass Dobson comments off as the ravings of a lunatic. I am also gonna pass Jeremiah Wrights comments off as the ravings of a lunatic. And I am gonna let God judge them for their words, since it is not a Christians place to "do" anything about Dobsons hateful scare tactics staining the name of my savior.

 And I will pray for you!

Talk about scraping the bottom of the barrel.

He comes across to me as someone obsessed with the "evils" of homosexuality.  One does wonder just why that is.

 

Ironically, those who are most outspoken are the ones in the closet.

Oh yeah - look at Ralph Reed. He sets off my gaydar.

 

- formerly klaf

Lindsey Graham.

Charlie Crist.

Methinks thou protesteth too much.

 

Not that there's anything wrong with it.

I thought Crist was a given?

Oh, and did anyone notice the pictures of those skinhead wanna-be-assasins? I don't know what made me think of that.

Well, Crist got engaged to his beard, oops, I mean fiancee, this year in hopes that he would get picked for the VP spot
dingdingding!

I said the SAME thing! I wasn't trying to be funny either. They set off the Gaydar too.

 

 

- formerly klaf

The guy who was his co-host from the '70s - '90s resigned because he got caught "acting out".  They guy sitting across the table, talking in the other mic, talking about the horrors of that behavior, was in the closet.  

---------------------------

But, I really enjoy a lot of the stories and info and tapes he plays on his show.  I DETEST his getting involved with politics.

I don't know if you would call it "personally benefitting", but my horrific second marriage lasted 10 years because I kept trying to be a better husband based on some the Marriage and Family programs.  Dobson has had some really good people on his show.  Yes, they are all come from the Christian perspective - that does not disqualify them from having good advice on relationships.

Yes, I have read his books on parenting.  Yes, I have children with different temperments, and based on my reading, have adapted my parenting methods accordingly.

He is not a "bad" guy.  He just has no business publishing lies and hatred, especially as a Christian.

(** let the blasting begin - he he he!)

When playing Poker, you can tell when the other side is bluffing when they go or do something over the top.
And he is suppose to be a "man" of God???
Here's the weird thing, he's the leader of the religious right's political arm, but he has no qualifications either politically or religiously. He's not an ordained minister. He has no political background or training. He's just a guy with a really big ego who's managed to inspire a huge following. He's like a religious version of Rush Limbaugh.

His motto could be, power tends to corrupt, absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely.  He is one corrupt mofo.

And he's still tax exempt  for Focus on the Family.   Under the aegis of the Bush Administration, the IRS found nothing wrong and decided to maintain the exempt status of his organization.

http://subscript.bna.com/SAMPLES/dtr.nsf/
e2bafb5d898029e48525645300626073/
63d90d3ee711a76585257354000fd8a3?OpenDocument

 

Interestingly enough, if you read the letter mentioned in this blog, there's a note at the bottom that says, "not to be used for political purposes." hmm.

Sounds like Waco TX to me, but I am not very religious so I will confess my bias and be honest about it.

And this is why, before I came here and met all of you, that my outlook on Christianity was in a nosedive(as with Islam because those are the two "control the masses" religions). They both have too much power over the ignorant, especially politically. And the people who know this are the ones that abuse it and manipulate the poor people that got suckered into following them.

http://jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com/

Funny thing, we've had a POTUS who appealed to the religious right for 8 years, and a Rep controlled Congress for 6 of those. What changed in that time to suit Dobson, et al?  Not a darn thing.   But they keep singing the same, tired song of fear.

The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

And now, they put up the very moral Palin (affair under he skirt) and McCain (affair under his belt).  They tell us the 'other' guys are immoral, yet the examples I see are far different! 

  They have a motto. Don't hate us because were Christian. Hate HIM because he's Mormon!

I never ceases to amaze me at the depths that some will sink to in the name of "religion." Dr. Dobson, name me one thing that you have done in the last ten years to better the lives of the poor, support social justice for those downtrodden, or bettering the lives of those suffering? Oh, that's right. You don't have time with your radio show and writing. Maybe you should spend a litle time reading your Bible instead of beating others up with it.

*stepping off of soapbox* 

______________________

RFO Outreach Coordinator

The enemy of "the best" is not "the worst." The enemy of "the best" is "good enough."

"Dr. Dobson, name me one thing that you have done in the last ten years to better the lives of the poor, support social justice for those downtrodden, or bettering the lives of those suffering?..... Maybe you should spend a litle time reading your Bible instead of beating others up with it."

WOO HOO!!!!  WHAT HE SAID!!!!!

Do you know how much $$$ that guy has made? He's got tapes, he's got books, he's got "programs" - he's a one man industry. They are a BIG Colorado employer.

 

- formerly klaf

My sister listens to James Dobson on a regular basis.

She is a born-again Christian, and while I respect her beliefs, she's a little too....fervent....for me.  I'd like to think she's more discerning than to blindly follow her religious beliefs where politics are concerned, but I honestly don't know.  I have heard her make the statement that there are one or two issues that she doesn't agree with Dobson on.

She won't discuss politics with me at all.  We just avoid discussing controversial issues because we're both opinionated and forceful in stating those opinions.  Despite our differences, however, we are still close, because we respect those differences, agree to disagree, and she doesn't judge me for my opinions nor does she try to force her beliefs on me.

Billy Graham made the statement years ago that he believed that religion and politics should not mix.  I believe that this religion-in-politics began with the establishment of the Moral Majority by Jerry Falwell, and it has only grown more incendiary with each passing election.

 

 

My husband's grandmother buys our kids subscriptions to all his magazines as birthday presents. I'm calling FOF today to cancel all of them.

This just makes me ill to my very core.  People like Dobson are what turn off so many to Christianity and turn so many other Christians into robots.   They use their scare tactics to keep people in  line, and they chastise them if they don't act and think like the rest of the robots or if they question their leader.  It's no better than any other cult.

 

 

American's are sheep. Someday they will wake up and smell the coffee.

We REALLY need something else to fill the void that people have. They WANT this.

 

- formerly klaf

James Dobson has devoted his life to helping families and just because he has different beliefs than others doesn't make him evil. Remember that we are about free speech in America. If you disagree, be specific, rather than apply a label. We shouldn't do this to James nor anyone else simply they have a different opinion. He bases his opinons on the Bible which offends some because it doesn't allow us total freedom.

James Dobson is a sanctimonious zealot. The sooner he shuts his pie hole the better off America will be.  

No one's suggesting that he shouldn't exercise his right to free speech. I'm suggesting that we end his control of our party.

And I think it's more correct to say that he bases his opinion on his interpretation of his favorite passages from the BIble.

Dobson is only one of many, and his role is outside the government. He issues the marching orders for the "common man". He's a snake but there are more dangerous vipers working outside the public view. Before we go believing that the Christian Right hasn't really achieved much for all the brouhaha, we need to take a closer look at reality. There have been many many changes in the Federal government that escape the notice of most, some of them quite subtle but far-reaching.

Just one example; the current issue over voter purging and the firing of attorneys. Remember Goodling?

Monica Goodling, the Justice Department official and central figure in the Attorneygate scandal, is a graduate of Pat Robertson's Regent University.

Robertson founded Regent to train up a generation of Christian leaders to fulfill his mission of bringing a biblical worldview to bear on US Government. Patrick Henry College also was established to train Christian homeschooled kids for government roles.

When Bush took office one of the giveaways to the Christian Right was placing a woman named Kay Coles James as Director of the Office of Personnel Management. James former position was Dean of Regent, and the idea was to fill the thousands of Federal Government positions with "Godly" men and women who would have an unflinching loyalty to both the Republican party and formenting Biblical principles (as understood by fundamentalists) in every branch of government and in every Federal agency. An excerpt from an article about the firings from 2007:

"The Christian right is far more than a pantheon of charismatic backlashers with automatonic followers of "old men and women." (i.e.Dobson's audience) It is also a sophicated political operation with a coherent long-term strategy. Goodling may be out of a job, but thousands of capable Christian right cadres remain, waging the culture war from inside the White House, federal agencies and Republican congressional offices. Together they will continue to inflame conflicts that were previously unimaginable.

<snip>

When the Bush administration came into power, it looked to Regent for a reliable pool of well-groomed Republican ideologues eager to wage the culture war from the inside. The former dean of Regent's Robertson School of Government, Kay Coles James, was promptly installed as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. According to her bio, from 2001 to 2005, James was "President Bush's principal advisor in matters of personnel administration for the 1.8 million members of the Federal civil service."

Soon after, changes began occuring on Federal agency websites, long standing statements on a wide range of different issues were changed to more closely align with the Christian Right worldview. Misinformation began appearing, for example, at the Dept of Health and Human Services website on contraception use and abortion risks. Readers might remember that for a time the website promoted the medically false view that abortion is tied to breast cancer, or that condom use does not help prevent STD's.

If you had gone to FEMA's website after Hurricane Katrina to find organizations to donate to you would have discovered that the traditional disaster relief organizations had been replaced with Christian organizations, many of which HAD NO PREVIOUS DISASTER RELIEF EXPERIENCE - with Pat Robertson's Operation Blessing at the top of the list. (google "Operation Blessing" and "Diamond mines" for an eye opener)  Only if you scrolled down far enough you would find Red Cross.

And then there is the Federal funding of Faith Based organizations which has overwhelmingly gone to fundamentalist Evanglical organizations, and in ways that are completely unaccountable to tax payers. In fact, no government entity could actually tell you how much tax payer money has been handed out, but it has been well documented that Pat Robertson's Regents graduates now working for the government would sort through the applications looking for ideological purity....

"this kind of rhetoric has no place in our nation's discourse. ":

I think there is room for all types of rhetoric in our democracy but I don't think that's what you are saying. 

I think that perhaps you are saying you wish for this type of discussion to have no place in the Republican Party, but if Dobson has the type of influence you allude to, wouldn't it be better to show more tolerance?

As a liberal Democrat, I did not take offense to Reverend Wright's sermons and I rather quite identify with black liberation theology.  I know there are many Democrats who took offense to him.  However, truth be told, those type of politically charged comments are not uncommon in black liberation theology - it is afterall centered on the black struggle.  (These churches too are tax-exempt, by the way).  

My point is this: Democrats, over the years, have been inclusive and tolerant hosts of what some may consider "extremist" doctrines.  Our basic premise of the role of government is the same despite our differences.  It is why we can include groups as diverse as the Nation of Islam (despite Senator Obama's denouncement of Mr. Farakhan) to the Democrat relative of mine who makes racist comments like "at least Sen. Obama is only half-black."  (This year, I might add, in part thanks to the efforts of wonderful sites like this we're attracting, you know, the "C" word).

I know Dobson's comments may bother you, but isn't there a premise that unites all of your conservative factions.  I certainly don't agree with it, but isn't that basic premise (for conservatives) that you just want government to leave you alone.  Isn't Dobson's comments based upon fears that (under an Obama presidency and democratically controlled Congress) government won't leave you alone? 

Just wondering.

Freedom of speech is protected under the constitution, religious or other. My issue is that the pulpit is being used to promote a political agenda. This is prohibited in the constitution. If Dodson wants to push his views to his congregation and influence member votes then he should pay taxes and his church be registered as PAC.

you make several points:

1. you're correct that I misspoke in the last line. I'm surprised I didn't catch that before. I was clearly suggesting that Dobson need be gagged, which of course is absurd. What I meant to suggest is that Dobson should not be the primary influence on our party and its voters.

2. As far as Democrats and lefters being tolerant of extreme views, I'm sure that's true. But I cannot think of any Dobson equivalent on the left, now or in the past. Those that think I'm exaggerating may fail to realize just how much influence this guy has.

3. As far as the suggestion that this all boils down to "keep the government out of my life," I agree that, if that were the case, that would be justifiable by conservative philosophy. However, that's clearly not Dobson's intent. If you read his four page letter or know his work, it's clear that he actually wants the government to be very involved in our personal lives -- just not in the same way that this evil caricature of Obama does. That's why true conservatives can't stand the man. The intent of this letter has nothing to do with conservative philosophy nor with protecting the rights of citizens from the encroachment of government. The purpose of this letter is to vilify Senator Obama and to frighten conservative Christians.

Barb:

I do think there are Dobson equivalents on the left.  The Sierra Club (though I support them) has made some missteps.  Some extreme members of Greenpeace preach an environmental apocalypse (though they claim no political affiliation or support no candidates) that can only be avoided by an "about face" of the status quo (I happen to agree but understand some might feel they are being"frightened" into accepting this view).  There are others that push the envelope a bit.

But here's my bigger question:  With all this talk about saving your party, why not come on over to ours?  It's a big tent, and from what I have been able to gather in much of the material on this website, you all seem to currently have more of an affinity with Democrats than Republicans.  In all seriousness, this election seems like an epiphany moment for many of you.

The values we're trying to re-instill in our party are not espoused by the Democratic party, either. Perhaps they're increasingly anachronistic.

Barb:

Then I TRULY commend you and others on this site who are like minded and are willing to vote for a party that does not hold your values.  I must admit that I genuinely do not understand this phenomena but welcome your participation in voting for the needed change.  I can't say, if the tables were turned, that I could do the same (I'm sure that doesn't surprise you!). 

Barbara, may I respectfully ask - what values are you referring to?  And what do you see as the Democratic party's values?  Put another way, what do you list as Republican values and Democratic values?

I only ask this because even though I'm a Democrat, I feel much more affinity with the majority of folks on this board, so I'm feeling a little like a fish with feathers right now.

Well, you may have used the connotation of the word values to infer that I was referring to what politicians like to call "family values," but that's not what I meant.

Republicans, theoretically, are in favor of limited federal reach and limited federal spending. Right now, neither party supports either ideal.

Here is an excerpt from a previous post of mine.  I am an independent voter and the Republican party has done a crappy job of luring me to their side in the last 8... 12... 16 years.  I consider myself to be totally moderate.  I think I am definitely a fiscal conservative / social liberal.

This is what I wrote before about Republican values: 

"Now, if the Republican party returned to its original values such as
-- small government (the government has grown exponentially under Bush),
-- responsible and/or frugal spending (they've spent like a drunken sailor),
-- staying out of people's personal lives (they just cannot keep themselves out of people's bedrooms -- Republicans are so worried about what kind of sex people are having),
-- and respecting the civil liberties of citizens (Republicans have stripped many civil liberties with their policies of spying on citizens and people have willingly given up their privacies because the Republicans use fear tactics to keep them in line)"

Thanks for that Central!

Well I think I have to agree that's what I am - fiscal conservative - social liberal.

I think.

:)

I used to listen to Dr. Dobson all the time.  In the build-up to the 2004 election, I tuned into his program on a daily basis.  I knew that he was just a psycologist and not a preacher, but he said all the "right" things.  His commentary formed my opinion of the political system and reinforced who I was supposed to vote for.  Since he said all of the "right" things, I never doubted that his words came right from God's mouth.  

It was late in 2005, after he said some petty and disturbing things, when I realized that he was not preaching love, service, and truth, but hate, power, and fear.  All he wanted was influence and power and his listeners gave it to him.  I stopped listening to all programs on Christian Talk Radio and started research just what these radio personalities were selling their devoted flocks. 

I didn't like what I found.  I decided from that point forward that my only source for Christian living and guidance would be my Bible (as it should have been all along).  I angered many people in my study group when I told them that I refused to listen to the manipulations of James Dobson and others theocratic Christian teachers.  What they were preaching and teaching was so far from Jesus' own words in the Gospels and it really saddened me that so many Christians were devoted to these men.     

10/10/2008:  The day I early-voted for Barack Obama!

I just called today to get removed from his mailing list (my husband's mom/grandma put us on it). She didn't even ask why. I get the impression I wasn't the first one to call today.
Yea Barbara - maybe they'll figure it out, maybe.

UPDATED!

See the blog post for Dobson's newer newest attack.

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