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Dobson has proved that he shouldn't be pitching in the major leagues of public discussion


(from today's Wall Street Journal Opinion Page)

Dobson's Choice

August 10, 2005; Page A10

Last week, James Dobson of Focus on the Family proved that he lacks sufficient control to be pitching in the major leagues of public discussion and ought to be sent back to the minors. He compared embryonic stem cell research to Nazi death-camp experiments. I too (and millions of others) oppose broadened federal funding for stem-cell research, but Dr. Dobson has damaged rather than helped this cause. He has made conservatives look bad by suggesting that some are just as incapable of moral distinctions as the Howard Dean left -- and just as unable to treat their opponents like human beings and not wicked moral dwarfs.

Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Extremist Cleric Dobson Teaches Gaydar for Parents

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]mysticknyght)

Via Sadly No!, here's some words of wisdom from extremist cleric James Dobson:

Is My Child Becoming Homosexual?

Evidences of gender confusion or doubt in boys ages 5 to 11 may include:

1. A strong feeling that they are “different” from other boys.

2. A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy.

3. A persistent preference to play female roles in make-believe play.

4. A strong preference to spend time in the company of girls and participate in their games and other pastimes.

5. A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.”

6. A tendency to walk, talk, dress and even “think” effeminately.

7. A repeatedly stated desire to be — or insistence that he is — a girl.

What's interesting is that this series is entitled " Helping Boys Become Men, and Girls Become Women ," but I see no warning signs of lesbianism.  This is male homophobia, pure and simple.

I think my favorite is #2, A tendency to cry easily, be less athletic, and dislike the roughhousing that other boys enjoy..  As a four-year letterman on the Brother Martin High School Debate Team, I find this to be highly objectionable.  Telling fathers that emotions and non-athleticism in a boy is bad is an invitation for many of them to engage in behavior towards their sons that is both physically and emotionally abusive.

Then there's #5, A susceptibility to be bullied by other boys, who may tease them unmercifully and call them “queer,” “fag” and “gay.” The kids who get bullied are often the overweight/underweight ones, or the "smart" kids, or the loners.  Bullying doesn't make them "become gay," but it can lead to them wanting to shoot up their high schools.

Now, I'll buy #7 as a problem.  If a boy consistently insisted that he/she was a girl, I'd look into counseling, not because I was worried that he was gay, but that he has some serious issues in general.

This is the sort of stuff about Extermist Cleric Dobson that everyone needs to know.  There are all too many people who listen to his radio spots and think that FotF does good work.  The radio spots are a bait-and-switch, to get you on their mailing list and to get you to go to their website, where you read crap like this.

YatPundit entry)

Current Mood: annoyed
Current Music: The Chieftains - Cotton-eyed Joe with Ricky Skaggs
dogemperor [userpic]
One nation, divisible


Today's Salon magazine has a book review about "Divided by God".

An excerpt:

The trouble with "Divided by God" is that Feldman seems to accept McConnell's legal argument as the actual political motivation of the Christian right. Values evangelicals, in his telling, just want to be heard along with everybody else. "In its most sophisticated and attractive form, values evangelicism is actually a type of mutliculturalist pluralism, professing respect for faith as faith and for cultural tradition as tradition," Feldman writes. "This inclusive vision of a society in which one can partake in the common American project by the very act of worshipping as one chooses is more than broad enough to accommodate new religious diversity that has come about as a result of Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist immigration."

If this is what "values evangelicism" is, then the term is almost meaningless, since it doesn't apply to any of the leadership of the Christian right, the group that's actually fighting the culture wars that Feldman is trying to mediate. Consider, for example, how the Family Research Council -- the Washington spinoff of James Dobson's enormously powerful Focus on the Family -- reacted in 2000 when Venkatachalapathi Samuldrala became the first Hindu priest to offer an invocation before Congress. "While it is true that the United States of America was founded on the sacred principle of religious freedom for all, that liberty was never intended to exalt other religions to the level that Christianity holds in our country's heritage," the group said in an apoplectic statement. "Our Founders expected that Christianity -- and no other religion -- would receive support from the government as long as that support did not violate peoples' consciences and their right to worship. They would have found utterly incredible the idea that all religions, including paganism, be treated with equal deference."

This was not an isolated outburst -- it wouldn't be hard to find enough similar quotes to fill a volume larger than Feldman's entire book. Sure, the Christian right may invite a token rabbi -- often the South African ultraconservative Daniel Lapin -- to its functions to promote an image of ecumenism, but that cannot hide the motivating belief in Christian supremacy, spiritual and political, at the movement's core.

The author of the review, Michelle Goldberg, will be publishing a book next year called ""Kingdom Coming: The Rise of Christian Nationalism" which I plan to get and read.

dogemperor [userpic]
Religious Right websites


[info]firepie asked for a list of Religious Right websites. I found a nice collection of them. Here they are:

American Family Association

Fallwell's Moral Majority Coalition

The 700 Club

James Dobson's Focus on the Family

Breakthrough- Rod Parsley's World Harvest Church

The 10/40 window (world conversion site)

FORCE Ministries (Warning- noisy intro.)

Campus Crusade for Christ

Liberty University

Bob Jones University

That ought to get you started. Anyone else, feel free to add to the list.

dogemperor [userpic]
News Roundup


Chuck Currie has a great blog post about the religious right adapting the tactics and strategy of 1930s Germany:

After listening to James Dobson and his evangelical Christian colleagues talk about controlling the federal judiciary through the Republican majority in Congress – to the extent of punishing judges and defunding courts – one can’t help recalling the events in 1930s Germany. The National Socialists removed judges who didn’t go along with the party program. Law became what they party said it would.

Dobson, speaking on his radio show it April, imagined political change proceeding this way: “The troublesome Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco could be abolished and then staffed by different judges immediately.” He complained that “Congress has not had the political gumption to take any such action.” House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has encouraged such views: “We set up the courts. We can unset the courts. We have the power of the purse.”

Dobson seems not to realize that an independent judiciary is essential to the rule of law. As one prominent jurist explains: “If we are to be a nation of laws and not of men, judges must be impartial referees… By insulating judges from external retaliation and from internal temptations of ambition [by life appointment and irreducible salary], the framers hoped that the judiciary would be free of pressure not only from the government by also from the people.” These words are not from the left-wing fringe; they belong to archconservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

The whole post and some of the comments are definitely a must-read.

The transcript of the June 10 segment of "NOW" is up. It features an interview with writer Chris Hedges and the '10 Commandments Judge' Roy Moore. I may post the transcript seperately. There's lots of good stuff in it. Hedges wrote the article in the May Harpers about the Religious Broadcasting convention.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has a feature about the 'holy war' against gays.

Here's an example of what might be called the "pro-discrimination" (or even the 'pro-hate') movement targeting homosexuals. More about it here.

dogemperor [userpic]
The Ties That Bind: Willful Ignorance and Religious Intolerance

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]meta4life)

For those of you in this good community who helped with suggestions for sources and references in this article (see title in Subject field), here is the first of the end results. There's more coming, but I want to alternate them with other pieces so that I can do the research that is needful to make them what I want them to be.

This first one falls a bit short of my personal expectations. If you stop by to read, please do leave me a comment to let me know what you think, and where you think I might go for future installments.

Thanks again for all your help and support. You may be interested to know that for all of James Dobson's hatred of gays and "pagans" he has never uttered one intolerant word about Muslims or the Koran directly. At least, not that I've been able to locate thus far.

The Ties that Bind: Willful Ignorance and Religious Intolerance

dogemperor [userpic]

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]meta4life)

God, I hope this isn't inappropriate...

Anyway, I'm currently researching and writing an article (series!) on the influences of the ultra-religious right wing on modern American culture. What I've got so far is both byzantine and dismaying -- and I know I've only scratched the surface.

I've got lots of quotes and sources for other areas, but where I'm lacking is material that links Dobson, Perkins, Falwell et. al. to religious intolerance. I've got Robertson's stupidity from just this month, but what I really need is stuff that links other popular leaders of this movement to religious hate statements, or the equivalent.

Can anyone help me? You can leave your links in the Comments, if I don't get whacked for an inappropriate post (I hope not -- this community is the best-informed I know for this kind of thing).

Thanks loads!

dogemperor [userpic]
The Revealer: Destination Christian Nation


The Revealer asks if Europe should be worried about Evangelical politics in the US. The answer is yes. Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Inside America's Most Powerful Megachurch


The first half of Jeff Sharlet's "Harper's" article Inside America's Most Powerful Megachurch" is available on his "Revealer" website. I highly recommend it.

Here's an excerpt:

the city’s mightiest megachurch crests silver and blue atop a gentle slope of pale yellow prairie grass on the outskirts of town. Silver and blue, as it happens, are Air Force colors. New Life Church was built far north of town in part so it would be visible from the Air Force Academy. New Life wanted that kind of character in its congregation.

“Church” is insufficient to describe the complex. There is a permanent structure called the Tent, which regularly fills with hundreds or thousands of teens and twentysomethings for New Life’s various youth gatherings. Next to the Tent stands the old sanctuary, a gray box capable of seating 1,500; this juts out into the new sanctuary, capacity 7,500, already too small. At the complex’s western edge is the World Prayer Center, which looks like a great iron wedge driven into the plains. The true architectural wonder of New Life, however, is the pyramid of authority into which it orders its 11,000 members. At the base are 1,300 cell groups, whose leaders answer to section leaders, who answer to zone, who answer to district, who answer to Pastor Ted Haggard, New Life’s founder.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
ABC Rejects UCC Ads during "Supernanny"


From Max Blumenthal's blog (click for inline links):

1 May, 2005

ABC to Run Focus on the Family Ads During Prime Time , Rejected Ads from United Church of Christ Last Year

During today's season finale of ABC's schlocky reality show, "Supernanny," James Dobson's Focus on the Family will be running ads promoting its "Focus on Your Child" program, which advises parents on how to implement the parenting principles outlined in his best-seller, "Dare to Discipline." These include spanking with "sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely." Children have to be taught respect for authority at an early age, Dobson preaches, or they'll never develop respect for governmental authority or God.

Dobson's theory on corporal punishment reveals the political underside of his self-help work. The ads Focus on the Family will run are seemingly innocuous offerings of assistance to parents who, like the heroic nanny depicted in ABC's show, need techniques for pacifying "strong-willed" children. As Focus's president, Jim Daly said in Focus's newsletter,

"The show was all about Focus on the Family principles. It was boundaries and using the time-out chair, respect for authority and good parenting skills.”Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Christian Right Goes Nuclear


This AlterNet article talks about the 'constitutional option':

It's a joke that the right wing claims it is against "judicial activists." What they want are judicial activists who agree with them.

I was all set to write a column about the nuclear option -- the proposal to change the rules of the Senate in order to get President Bush's most questionable judicial appointments through -- when, lo, word came that there is no nuclear option anymore. It is now called "the constitutional option."

Who changed it? Why, the Republican Party, of course. Having found that "nuclear option" does not poll well, the Republicans simply decreed the rules change can no longer be described by that name. Further, the Republican Party sent media operatives around to major news organizations to inform them that anyone who fails to obey the new diktat on usage will be demonstrating the dread "liberal bias."

Since this particularly fateful rules change was first christened "the nuclear option" by Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi in 2003, and has been called "the nuclear option" ever since -- by Republicans, along with everybody else -- I have to say this is a distinctly Orwellian development.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Salon checks in on "Justice Sunday"


This Salon article (day pass or subscription required) talks about the real implications of "Justice Sunday".:

The right to impose Christianity
The religious right worked itself into a righteous fury at "Justice Sunday," using the stalemate over judges to tar Democrats as enemies of God.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
From the Los Angeles Times (through Yahoo!)

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]brigidsblest)

Apparently now it's not enough for some people to condemn 'activist' judges who they disagree with. Now they're trying to 'punish' them.

2 Evangelicals Want to Strip Courts' Funds

By Peter Wallsten Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Evangelical Christian leaders, who have been working closely with senior Republican lawmakers to place conservative judges in the federal courts, have also been exploring ways to punish sitting jurists and even entire courts viewed as hostile to their cause.

An audio recording obtained by the Los Angeles Times features two of the nation's most influential evangelical leaders, at a private conference with supporters, laying out strategies to rein in judges, such as stripping funding from their courts in an effort to hinder their work.

Read on, if you dare... )

The article can be found at:


dogemperor [userpic]
Zero Tolerance


This interesting essay by the Plaid Adder talks about the overt phobia of tolerance and diversity displayed by the Religous Right.

Is the We Are Family Foundation some kind of gay rights organization in disguise, as Dobson charges? If they are, it's a pretty good disguise. The "About Us" section of WeAreFamilyFoundation.org indicates that the organization was founded in the weeks after September 11, 2001 - when, if you will recall, there was a mini-epidemic of hate crimes against Muslims, Arab-Americans, and people who were mistakenly identified by their hysterical attackers as Muslim and/or Arab-American. The original writers of the disco hit "We Are Family" thought their song might be useful as a way of counteracting this by "promoting our common humanity and the vision of a global family."

So... how do you get a pro-homosexual agenda out of this? Simple. You turn to a different right-wing organization, the Family Research Council, which was good enough to explain the logic to a baffled reporter at the National Business Review:

A "homosexuality detection expert" at the similarly conservative Family Research Council told the NY Times that words like "tolerance" and "diversity" are part of a "coded language that is regularly used by the homosexual community."

In other words, the very concept of tolerance - the idea that we should all try to live together in peace and harmony instead of being constantly at war with each other - is now obnoxious to the religious right. Tolerance is a bad thing. Tolerance, in fact, will make your children gay. And since being gay is absolutely the worst thing in the world that could possibly happen to them, we must all fight tolerance anywhere it lurks - on the beaches, in the hills, in the streets, and of course in big yellow pineapples under the sea. We must never be misled into tolerating tolerance where it encroaches on our families, our schools, or the public airwaves. We must work ceaselessly and with constant vigilance toward that glorious day when we can say, finally, that we have achieved zero tolerance.
Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Dr. Dobson 'Sets the Record Straight'


Dr. Dobson, who started a real mess with his SpongeBob debacle, digs himself even deeper as he attempts to set the record straight.

The video, which millions of children will soon see, features nearly 100 favorite cartoon characters that kids will instantly recognize, including not only SpongeBob, but also Barney the Dinosaur, the Muppets, Dora the Explorer, Bob the Builder, Winnie the Pooh, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Jimmy Neutron and Big Bird. The video itself is innocent enough and does not mention anything overtly sexual. Rather, it features the children’s cartoon characters singing and dancing along to the popular disco hit "We Are Family."

But while the video is harmless on its own, I believe the agenda behind it is sinister. My brief comments at the FRC gathering were intended to express concern not about SpongeBob or Big Bird or any of their other cartoon friends, but about the way in which those childhood symbols are apparently being hijacked to promote an agenda that involves teaching homosexual propaganda to children. Nevertheless, the media jumped on the story by claiming that I had accused SpongeBob of being "gay." Some suggested that I had confused the organization that had created the video with a similarly named gay-rights group. In both cases, the press was dead wrong, and I welcome this opportunity to help them get their facts straight.

I want to be clear: the We Are Family Foundation — the organization that sponsored the video featuring SpongeBob and the other characters was, until this flap occurred, making available a variety of explicitly pro-homosexual materials on its Web site. It has since endeavored to hide that fact (more on this later), but my concerns are as legitimate today as they were when I first expressed them in January.

Ah, that 'sinister agenda'. And what 'agenda' might that be? The idea that there might be alternate ways of looking at things, and that tolerance can be taught. Apparently, that is the 'homosexual agenda'.

Some of the ripostes he talks about are rather interesting:

Well, this is the story behind the SpongeBob issue that outraged the media. There was a New York Times reporter at the banquet who wrote an article based on my comments. His factual representation was not entirely inaccurate, but it was written in such a way as to imply that it was SpongeBob whom I was attacking. From there, the story rapidly escalated. You won’t believe the way I was described by major news organizations. Here are a few examples:

* MSNBC.com posted a commentary on the matter which read in part, "[T]here is a frightening number of so-called Christians who can be best described as creepy, rigid, arrogant, cruel, know-it-all, pompous, obnoxious and treacherous — better known by the acronym C.R.A.C.K.P.O.T."

* James Carville offered these words of wisdom on "CNN": "You know what I think? I think these people have sponge brains."

* The Los Angeles Times was among the many who mocked my remarks by distorting the truth: "SpongeBob holds hands with his starfish pal Patrick, and likes to watch the imaginary television show ‘The Adventures of Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy.’ Evidence enough, to Dobson at any rate, that the guy’s a menace."

* "MSNBC’s" Keith Olbermann, one of the most hostile of the commentators, characterized my account of the situation as the goofiest story of the day. He cited a lawyer for the We Are Family Foundation who said that critics of this effort "need medication." Olbermann then added, "We here found it hard to argue with him." It might not surprise you that when one of my listeners wrote Mr. Olbermann a polite but pointed email in response to his comments, he replied by saying that emails such as hers would be "treated with the lack of respect they deserve." He went on to chastise her, and wrote, "…you might ask yourself if your actions are any different than someone in a cult." And some people still wonder why Americans no longer trust the mainstream media!

It appears that Dr. Dobson and his associates dwell in a parallel universe. Their perceptions of things are notably different than that of the mainstream. And they're defensive, intolerant, and fear-filled, and hostile to all outsiders. Nothing that anyone in the mainstream media says or does is satisfactory to them. Perhaps the best thing to do is to remember this.


dogemperor [userpic]
Time Magazine: Article on the top 25 evangelicals in America

LJ-SEC: (ORIGINALLY POSTED BY [info]thedemonprist)

This is Time Magazine's newest cover story: The Top 25 Evangelicals in America Interesting (and chilling) reading about some of the movers and shakers of Dominionism and their future short- and long-term plans. Read more... )

Current Mood: contemplative
dogemperor [userpic]
Dobson's crusade sends a message the media don't get


From the St. Petersburg (FL) Times

Laughing at people like James Dobson and his anti-SpongeBob SquarePants crusade only reinforces the Dominionist belief that the media is Satan's Tool.

Dobson's crusade sends a message the media don't get

By ERIC DEGGANS, Times Op/Ed Columnist
Published January 28, 2005

It is something that draws an easy laugh, especially from journalists: a campaign condemning America's most beloved cartoon sponge.

But James Dobson's high-profile jabs against Nickelodeon's monster hit "SpongeBob SquarePants" are no laughing matter. They are, instead, a textbook example of how powerful evangelical conservatives send galvanizing messages to their faithful that sail over the heads of those who aren't supposed to get it.

Dobson, founder of the Colorado Springs-based ministry Focus on the Family, is a minister whose radio show draws 7-million listeners, a man who helped President Bush win the tough swing states of Florida and Ohio.

A leader this savvy knows the power of the media and likely doesn't believe his attacks will bring down the Sponge-ster, Nickelodeon's most popular cartoon.

But what he can do is mobilize his supporters by relying on three themes the religious right has beaten like a drum for decades: demonization of the media, demonization of liberals and demonization of gay people.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
The SpongeBob debacle


Excellent AlterNet article about how the Focus on the Family foundation made total fools out of themselves:

Quicker than you can say, I can't believe they're going after a cartoon sponge, Dobson's cronies in the holier-than-thou contingent weighed in on the underwater turbulence.

"Tolerance" and "diversity" are part of a "coded language that is regularly used by the homosexual community," said a spokesman from the reliably over-caffeinated Family Research Council; while Donald Wildmon, chairman of the American Family Association and reigning Chicken Little of moral depravity, warned parents everywhere to be on the lookout for the sinful video making its way into their kids' classrooms.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Conservatives on the attack: Targeting SpongeBob


Here we go again- the conservative right, needing a target for their homophobic march, have targeted none other than SpongeBob Squarepants. Apparently they think that he is gay, like the Teletubbies character targeted a few years back.

Here's the article:

Conservatives Pick Soft Target: A Cartoon Sponge

WASHINGTON, Jan. 19 - On the heels of electoral victories barring same-sex marriage, some influential conservative Christian groups are turning their attention to a new target: the cartoon character SpongeBob SquarePants.Read more... )

dogemperor [userpic]
Here come the religious bullies


Evangelical Leader Threatens to Use His Political Muscle Against Some Democrats

New York Times Article, registration required.

COLORADO SPRINGS - James C. Dobson, the nation's most influential evangelical leader, is threatening to put six potentially vulnerable Democratic senators "in the 'bull's-eye' " if they block conservative appointments to the Supreme Court.

In a letter his aides say is being sent to more than one million of his supporters, Dr. Dobson, the child psychologist and founder of the evangelical organization Focus on the Family, promises "a battle of enormous proportions from sea to shining sea" if President Bush fails to appoint "strict constructionist" jurists or if Democrats filibuster to block conservative nominees.

Dr. Dobson recalled the conservative efforts that helped in the November defeat of Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota, the Senate minority leader who led Democrats in using the filibuster to block 10 of Mr. Bush's judicial nominees.

"Let his colleagues beware," Dr. Dobson warned, "especially those representing 'red' states. Many of them will be in the 'bull's-eye' the next time they seek re-election."

Read the rest at the site.


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