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February 27, 2009

James Dobson Resigns

James Dobson resigned as chairman of Focus on the Family, The Associated Press reports.

462px-James_Dobson_1.jpg

He will continue to host Focus on the Family's radio program, write a monthly newsletter and speak out on moral issues, Eric Gorski writes for the AP. Daly told Gorski that there is no timetable for Dobson to leave the radio program that garners 1.5 million listeners, and the group will "look for the next voice for the next generation" while Dobson remains on the air.

On political matters, Dobson "will continue to speak out as he always has - a private citizen and not a representative of the organization he founded," said Gary Schneeberger, a Focus on the Family spokesman. He said the nonprofit ministry and Focus on the Family Action - an affiliate set up under a different section of the tax code that permits more political activity - will continue to be active on public policy.

Comments

I love Jim Dobson...always have. But he needs to stay out of the political arena....particularly when he has such a public platform. His recent programs on Depression were some of the best I've ever heard...

Good riddance.

Renowned bigot James Dobson has resigned as head of Focus on the Family. ~ my weekend if off to a good start.

I have no problem with Dobson or FOF supporting any political position, if they give up their tax exempt status. If these people are tax exempt, they have a de facto government subsidy. This is otherwise known as religious welfare.

Jim Dobson has done a tremendous service to families and Christians in America and abroad. He dedicated his life to serving people.

Thank you Jim and Shirley.

Larry linn said tax exempt groups have a de facto government subsidy. In truth, they are tax exempt because the money they are given by supporters has already been taxed. The government has gotten their due.

JP calls Dobson a "renowned bigot". Are you saying this in the love of Christ? I guess not. So maybe you are in the same camp as the bigots?

Dr. Dobson is an unrepentant hatemonger and pseudo-science proselytizer. FOF is completely lacking in intellectual integrity, and that's such a shame. It's also totally his fault. Poor thing.

Jim Dobson is a commited and tireless spokesperson for the family unit as God ordained it. It is the heart of marriage and family upon which society is based. Dr. Dobson's books on the raising of children are an excellent source of information and edification as a parent in a time of societal irresponsibility and confusion. Thank you to you, Jim and Shirley Dobson, for stating and standing on the Biblical definition of the family, its function and your dedication to it. GOD bless you both!

Don said: Larry linn said tax exempt groups have a de facto government subsidy. In truth, they are tax exempt because the money they are given by supporters has already been taxed. The government has gotten their due.

Actually, it is more in regards (in this case) to the separation between church and state. It is the same reason that ministers are legally bound to not endorse or otherwise support any candidate or political party.

I agree with JP - if what you want to do is impact public policy - FINE. But you cannot retain your tax-exempt status. And although I support Dobson's ministry, he has done a balancing act for years on this one, and has frequently crossed that line...

In my Bible anyway, marriage and family definitions and metaphors drift over the considerable time span in the Bible era. What is acceptable in one era, isn't acceptable in another, such as Sarah and Abraham's marriage. Acceptable in Genesis, not so in Leviticus, if memory serves.

What doesn't drift all that much is the urge to try to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Read the Bible though the lenses of the various Golden Rules, and you may feel less a need to throw Bible verses at other people as if they were lethal darts. Sin is what I do, not what other people do. What they do is ill advised...lol.

Focus on the Family is, I think, highly dubious, authoritarian propaganda, straight up, without regard to professional standards, the Golden Rule, scientific standards and absent that certain sort of intellectual integrity.

The word "homosexual," for instance, I think, is generally not used by reputable people in child and family psychology and counseling anymore. Mark my words, people will likely start suing for malpractice, counselors who misuse "homosexual" theory in counseling situations, within five years or so. I would now.

Focus on the Family continually claims that it speaks for God. that it somehow knows the unknowable God. If you disagree with FotF, you're disagreeing directly with God.

Having gone to college in the Bible Belt, I'll take "societal irresponsibility and confusion" over that era's Bible Belt morality any day. The theme of divinely ordained and designed separateness was THE Bible Belt theme back then...and it was wrong.

Yet, divinely ordained and designed separateness is a Focus on the Family theme today.

Let's look at this deeply immoral piece that I just pulled up after a couple of minutes:

Casting God’s Vision for Sex and Sexuality
Divinely separated, divinely ordained

...God’s Vision...Divinely separated...God’s plan for sexuality...we bear God’s image...God’s clearly articulated and intentional design...God’s design for...His image and His plan...God’s intentional design...God’s intent...God’s truth...God intended...who God is on this planet...God’s clearly articulated order...God-ordained concept...instituted by God...

I don't know the nature of God as I'm not God and I have no desire to be God, but I do kind of know the nature of Focus on the Family (which is why, though I'm an artist, I went on to get a sociology degree)...which obviously seeks to confuse in my mind that FotF and God are of one mind and one nature. Would that be idolatry? Is it ethical?

As to the divinely designed and ordained separation of the sexes, We are all human and we are all obviously genetically closely related. Everyone has an "X" chromosome. Chromosomes are not one note players. There are epigenic factors as well as genetic factors going on. A person is more than the sum of one characteristic. Considering the number of factors going on in conception, all the spermatozoa and eggs combinations in all of the various time windows and all of the external circumstances, the existence of any one of us is widely improbable. It took World War Two to cause my parents from neighboring states to meet. Was it worth it?

Just as our genes multitask and interact, so do our conscious selves and secular and religious rituals. For instance, the crumb of bread and drop of grape juice isn't adequate nutrition for a grown man like myself, but Communion is more than bodily nutrition, isn't it? What humans do often means vastly more than just one thing. Food is more than just about adequate nutrition.

Same goes for sex. Sex is more than just about reproduction. Sex and food are about living.

I won't speak for God, unlike Focus on the Family, but I say that it's not the gender of your sex partner that's important in the long haul of human history (most people will likely be more or less "straight," after all), but what will mean the most after you're gone is the love you had in your heart for your neighbor, as well as your children.

By the way, nice suit in that picture.

Dr. Dobson is a godly man who grieves for the sorry state of our nation when its culture is held up to Biblical standards.
I'm reading the negative comments below and am not surprised at the usual vicious and ignorant prattle spewed forth from the enemies of civilized society.
In response to one comment, Dr. Dobson has always prefaced his own opinions by stating that he was not speaking on behalf of Focus on the Family. FOTF is a non-profit. BUT, Focus Action is formed under IRS section 501(c)(4); such status allows Dr. Dobson to freely speak his mind.
Additionally, all donations to Focus Action are NOT tax-deductible.
I appreciate Dr. Dobson more than words can express. He has been a blessing and a shining light for families in an environment hostile to this God-created institution.
I wish him good health and freedom from the rabid lunacy directed his way. He has run the race strong.

Wow! What an awesome display of ignorance of law, sex, our Constitution, individual rights and the Bible! Mr. Peterson, God does speak against homosexuality. He calls it sin. That's not from FOF from from the BIBLE. Gretchen, there is nothing in our Constitution that says anything about the 'separation of church and state'. There is something that tells Congress that it can't make a law concerning religion nor limiting the free exercise thereof. That's telling Congress that they can't require everyone to be of one denomination - like England had done. Read the Federalist Papers and other original source documentation on debate leading up to the writing of the Constitution. Also, to have a personal opinion, or to express a favor for one party or another while speaking for an organization that is not tax-exempt (for the purpose of being able to express political views) is not against the law. Ministers can have a personal opinion on a political issue they just can't endorse a candidate from the pulpit or as a church without running the risk of losing their tax-exempt status. Sometimes I wonder if churches and this country wouldn't be better off ridding themselves of this tax-exempt status. It seems all anyone wants to do with it is control speech.

I really like Mr. Peterson's comment, "Dr. Dobson is an unrepentant hatemonger and pseudo-science proselytizer. FOF is completely lacking in intellectual integrity...". Really? What evidence do you have that he's a "hatemonger"? Or did he take a stand against something you're involved in and you just took offense to it? Pseudo-science? Give me an example. Be specific. You hurl accusations without having the decency to provide even one example, let alone evidence. Proselytizer I'll agree with. But aren't you proselytizing your beliefs when you wrote your comments? God call us, actually, commands us as Christians to proselytize. And you know what? It's not for us - it's for YOU! It is for your benefit. It's done to save a lost and dying world from going to hell. If you were going to walk off a cliff you'd want someone to warn you and stop you, wouldn't you? Well, this is much more critical. This is your soul.

And finally, "completely lacking in intellectual integrity...". As I recall, Dr. Dobson and FOF always back up their positions and intellectual arguments with solid evidence - not conjecture or emotionally-charged bafoonish statements.

Have a blessed day.

Tim Jones