Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Dr. Dobson, We Meet Again...

I have written about this asshole before. And until he does both Christianity and mankind a favor and dies, I'm sure I will write about him once again.

I would like to preface this by saying I do not consider this man to be an apt representative of the Christian faith or of Christian ideas. That honor goes to the late Dr. King. My lapse with Christianity could indicate on some level an anti-Christian bias, but let me assure you I am not anti-Christian, anti-Jew, anti-Muslim, or anti-religion. I am anti-demagogue. I am opposed to anyone who will say jump and have millions of people say, "How high?" I am startled that he has 220 million (220,000,000) daily listeners to his radio show.

In short, I'm just against people unflinchingly following orders without an original thought - with ANYONE, and not just Bush or the more symbolic examples of Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin. I can easily say the same cults of personality revolve(d) around John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Hillary Clinton, and yes, Barack Obama. I support his candidacy, but I'm certain that I do not (and will not) agree with him on everything.

Before I launch into my tirade, I say this: never stop questioning. Always, always, ALWAYS remain skeptical and vigilant.

Dobson has spoken out against Obama for indicating the impracticalities of ruling a country by the Bible, citing laws in the Old Testament (encouraging slavery, discouraging the consumption of shellfish, and stoning your child to death if he/she strays from the faith) as well as the New Testament (specifically, that the Sermon on the Mount is "a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application.")

Here I am, ONCE AGAIN, wondering what the Hell the big deal is? Mind you, the article is entitled "Dobson accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible." Not "Dobson Attacks Obama" or "Dobson Criticizes Obama" or any synonym: lambastes, chides, disagrees with...no, the media is intent on broadcasting the image of Obama as a militant psychotic darkie whose name implies he's Muslim - as it rhymes with Iraq Osama - and his middle name is Hussein, why WOULDN'T he be poised to rewrite the Bible in an attempt to attain the highest office in the land, and from there he can encourage other black people to take arms against the whites, sparking a giant race war, which - since he is CLEARLY a Muslim - will eventually evolve not into a war of colors, but also a Holy War right here on our own soil!

(Oh, and by the way, I'm being sarcastic.)

My point is, the media takes something, ANYTHING, that Barack or someone closely associated with him has said, publicizes it with the intent of shocking and awing (get it?) the populace, and yet...when I read just what was said that caused the uproar, not only do I find myself wondering what the big deal is, I find myself in complete agreement with it!

Being a Christian, whose faith is founded upon the teachings of Jesus Christ, Dobson blew off Obama's points about the Old Testament. Quoting CNN.com, "Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament." It's interesting he should point this out, because these antiquated dietary codes are central to many sects of Judaism. So, are they no longer relevant?

Perhaps Dobson didn't quite get Obama's point. Obama wasn't talking about a radical Orthodox Jew in the Senate proposing legislation that would effectively remove crab, lobster, and shrimp as recognized sources of nutrition and even as food. He was talking about people like Dobson, who given the chance would crumple the Constitution up and toss it into the pits of Hell, replacing it with their INTERPRETATION of the Bible. Not the Bible itself, because that, too, isn't exactly in line with their ideology: Jesus was a feminist. He never spoke out against homosexuality. In fact, he was an advocate of nonviolence almost two thousand years before passive resistance was embraced as a legitimate form of protest.

(And once again, this all comes with the "if Jesus even EXISTED" caveat. But I digress.)

To focus in on one particular point Dr. Dobson makes, here is a quote from Obama's speech:
"Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal rather than religion-specific values...It requires their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason."

Now, with a guy like Dr. Dobson, both the words "argument" and "reason" aren't quite in his vocabulary. There is no arguing with a guy like him. There is no reasoning with a guy like him. So, for the black Islamic radical (again, sarcasm) to even IMPLY that the infallible Bible and what it dictates be "subject to argument" and "amenable to reason?"

How about I just let you read what Dr. Dobson says?

"What the senator is saying there, in essence, is that I can't seek to pass legislation, for example, that bans partial-birth abortion, because there are people in the culture who don't see that as a moral issue, and if I can't get everyone to agree with me, then it is undemocratic to try to pass legislation that I find offensive to the Scripture. Now that is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution."

Ah, yes. Once more, Dr. James Dobson, champion of the fetuses - but, as his books on child-rearing EXPLICITLY say - an advocate of corporal punishment for kids. The latter is, as those of you close to me may know, a very sensitive and deeply personal issue for me. So for that horse's ass to advise parents that it's okay to smack your kids as a means of discipline, that it's okay to use "because I said so" as ample reasoning...it's criminal.

To completely break the mood, it yields people like this:

But, a "fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution"?! For the voices of an extreme minority to not receive their way? Specifically, for this extreme minority to be overshadowed by those who don't agree with it? Moreover, Dr. Dobson holds no public office, therefore any of this talk where he "[tries] to pass legislation" is simply a dream scenario.

The basis of your argument, Dr. Dobson, is not a concern for our nation's children, it's about you being heard, and it's about you being the loudest - and only - voice heard.

There are words describing this mentality, where those who don't share the same opinion as you prevent you from getting your way. Where the majority sings a different tune than you, and you want them to sing yours. Of these words, none of them is "fruitcake": Autocrat. Authoritarian. Theocrat. Totalitarian. Patriarch. Fascist.

Is abortion a moral issue? Yes. It's certainly not an easy decision for a woman to make. Nor is even the legal abortion procedure 100% safe. What's more, the psychological effects of an abortion isn't exactly the same as, say, getting your tonsils removed or a tooth pulled.

But you know what else are moral issues, Dr. Dobson? The death penalty, which YOU advocate. The war in Iraq, which YOU advocate. Poverty, which you seem to ignore. If you really want to live by Christ's example, sell your possessions and go to the people, the people who AREN'T the 220 million who listen to your radio show, the people who don't see you on TV, and the people who have never had their fellow man reach out to them.

Go, and dwell among society's undesirables, and help THEM. Get out of your mansion, get out of that cozy white-bred town you call home, and get your hands dirty. The people who listen to you on the radio, read your newsletters, and mail you checks are already well off. They love and are loved. They have found spiritual satisfaction, and have some form of financial stability.

Stop helping people who don't need it. That's the first step of the countless ones you need to make, sir, before you can even begin to think you are living a Christ-like life.

More importantly, Dr. Dobson, you are not a woman, and even if you were, you would be well past child-bearing years. The likelihood of you ever needing an abortion is incalculably remote. Similarly, you are a happily married man, and you have been married to the same woman all your life, producing two now grown children. You aren't gay, thus once again it is a safe bet that you will never be seeking a gay marriage.

You have a right to be offended, you have a right to be outraged, you have a right to not support it, and you have a right to voice your offense, outrage, and lack of support, but as neither a woman nor a gay man you have absolutely NO right in lobbying for abortion and gay marriage to be outlawed. This legislation won't affect you. This legislation won't affect your spouse. This legislation will affect the lives of millions.

The next time you're ready to open your mouth about abortion or gay marriage and impact the minds of 220 people on the other side of a radio broadcast, think about this: you don't have to get them. So don't.

In other words, shut the fuck up!


m@ said...

You knew I would...

First, I'm not a huge fan of Dobson (in fact I'm a very vocal opponent of his ludicrous ideas about teenage males not being used as teachers or role models) , but I feel I must correct a couple of things.
1. He has actually "gotten his hands dirty" and contributes thousands of dollars and hours of his time to worthwhile causes across the world. Let's not discount his contribution and effort to connect with the people who will and are listening to his broadcasts.
2. "This legislation won't affect you. This legislation won't affect your spouse. This legislation will affect the lives of millions." This is where we are diametrically opposed. Any and all legislation affects every single person in our country. There is a ripple effect that many people don't and can't see until they are actually a valid part of our country's economy. I'm not discounting your world view. I'm saying that any legislation that is so morally reprehensible will and does affect those who are offended. Why then would a group of secular humanists be attempting to ban a license plate that simply reads "I believe" on behalf of a Muslim church who is "offended" by such a statement?
3. Dobson is an over-blown windbag who, I'm happy you noticed, does not represent every Christian out there. However, I am rabidly pro-life and have experienced first hand the ravages of what abortion does to not just the women but also the families involved. And lest we forget the HUGE economic reasons that abortion has stayed legal.
4. In short (too late), I'm glad you make people aware of these events and give information enough to make us want to dig deeper. I hope that you continue pointing out the vague and useless suggestions that Obama has and will present to the people of our country in order to sway their vote.

Enough. This is your blog not mine.

Shelley said...

Geez, okay Keith Olbermann (except for the last line).

Dobson seems like an idiot. He is one of those people who I just don't listen to anything he says. And as for the people who do, they are ignorant just like him. Unless they listen to him to get a good laugh.

Abortion. Such a tough subject. All I know is that if there is a woman who got pregnant and she KNEW she could not afford to bring a child into this world, or KNEW that the child would be harmed due to abuse, lack of $, lack of time to care for child, or lack of love, then she shouldn't have a child. I hate reading about those kids who are abandoned, abused, harmed due to miscare, etc. It makes me wonder if the parents ever wanted a child in the first place.
Enough about abortion. It tires me.


m@ said...

I'm not sure it's fair to call people who listen to the man ignorant. And I'm not even saying that because I have listened to a lot of his programing. He just is very knowledgeable in many areas. A lot of his educational theories are valid and correct. Some aren't. However, his incorrect or off-base thinking about one topic doesn't invalidate his expertise in other areas.

He, like anyone who has the advantage of a public forum in which to discuss his or her opinions, uses his methods of p.r. to his advantage. He just happens to have a wider audience base than most.

crallspace said...

Dobson is a screwball.

I was raised on ADVENTURES in ODYSSEY, a FOTF production. There were some good lessons and ideas, some nutty, like teaching the irrational, baseless disbelief of evolution.

These days, I have decided to sort of 'not allow Dobson into my house.' My wife's mom and my mom are fans of his, but I try to keep that kind of stuff at arm's length.

My main problem is the hatred of gays that he sends out as action items. Rather than campaigns of love or Christ-like action, it's separatist, hateful garbage. I'd say most of his fervent followers are weak-minded, fearful people without much original thought in their repetoire.

m@ said...

You'll have that in any strongly encouraged mind-set, be i religious or scientific. I'm glad you made that distinction. That's exactly why I've made it clear that I'm not a stringent follower of his.

It's just lumping everyone who can appreciate his knowledge into one strata is just as dangerous as any other stereotype. Bigotry, pure and simple--and it seems like it's all right to do that as long as those about whom you are speaking are conservative Christians. Say that about Muslims and all hell will reign down.

As per evolution, as long as it is taught as a theory I'm cool with it. Pushing it as fact is when those of us who have done the research get annoyed.

Shelley said...

I didn't really mean all people who listen to him are ignorant. I really should have been more specific. I was targeting his listeners who follow everything he says.

Sorry for the confusion.