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April 14, 2009

Did Dobson Concede Defeat?

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson is scheduled to appear tonight on Fox's "Hannity" to debunk an article from the London's Telegraph article titled "US religious Right concedes defeat."

Dobson.jpg

A CitizenLink alert says Dobson intends to "set the record straight about media reports indicating he has 'conceded defeat' in the so-called culture war."

Here's the Telegraph article Dobson plans to debunk.

"We tried to defend the unborn child, the dignity of the family, but it was a holding action," he said.

"We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles."

Here's how Citizenlink responds:

Dr. Dobson requested the opportunity to appear on the show to clarify erroneous media reports that have gained nationwide attention in recent days claiming he has given up fighting for pro-family causes like the sanctity of human life and the defense of marriage. The misinformation stems from a story in London's Telegraph newspaper, which quoted Dr. Dobson's comments to Focus on the Family staff in February announcing his resignation from the ministry's board of directors. His actual words were truncated and not put in their proper context to create the impression the paper wanted to create -- that he was "throwing in the towel" on standing for principles that have been his passion for more than three decades.

CitizenLink says the newspaper intentionally dropped words from his statement: "We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?"

He plans to make clear that he has not necessarily "retired" from the public square.

Comments

God richly bless you , Dr. Dobson, first of all because you put Christ and the Gospel first in all you do, secondly, because when you see the sorrows that have come upon the wicked who have turned away from God's good and perfect will, you bring in people who with such joy and praise show that God's will IS good and perfect, restoring families, bringing peace, making God's wonderful creation of families a display of God nature as Father loving Son, Son loving Father. You make us delight in God's wisdom. Praise God for your labors. Gary

While I would certainly not take Dobson's popularity away from him, he certainly is no friend and supporter of all Christians. As for Gary Vander Hart above, his words are pious, as all right-wingnut conservatives seem
to be, but he brings no love of Christ to those who are hurting.
When these so-called "christians" get off of their self-imposed crosses and resurrections and leave that to Jesus Christ, the world will see God and God's Son Jesus Christ in the Light that they should be...not until.
GMMelby, Pastor/Chaplain

"but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?"
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What a sad cover-up/addition to cover Dobson's buttt!
Disgraceful!
Dakotahgeo

Thank you Dr Dobson for standing firm. When people do not want to accept God's plan for their lives they heap curses on God and his spokesperson. God is absolutely in control. He is will stregthen your hands.
God bless you!

Fishing again eh, Mr. Peterson? Not getting any bites? Must be discouraging. What fun is baiting, teasing and laughing at the "Christian Fundamentalists" when they won't bite?

I wish I was laughing, but I stopped doing that when I went to college in the Bible Belt...not to mention that I was raised in a Republican, since Lincoln, very active in the Methodist church family.

In fact, my parents started a non profit coffee shop in their church just this year.

I want criticism, as it sharpens my thinking...I think.

Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles but God is in control...” James Dobson.

Three things strikes me about this story.

The first is that Mr. Dobson is more honest than most who, like him, have been involved in the so called "culture wars".

The second is can any of the others honestly say that believers in Christ have won the "wars" against for example abortion or homosexuality? Since when does success in a few skirmishes constitute winning? Dobson should be credited with not being prepared to "declare victory" while the "last plane from Saigon" is beating a hasty and ignominious retreat.

The third thing is that too many are still willing to believe whatever they read or hear in the popular media. Few stop to ask whether a story is true or not, or to hear the other side. So the media says Dr. Dobson is in despair over the "culture wars", and without checking many agree that Dobson has "conceded defeat".

I see absolutely nothing wrong in honestly admitting that one has lost, so far, but is still in the fight and is not giving up. We should refrain from joining with those who bring disparaging news to the public out of private meetings without giving the full context of the comments they quote.

Mr. Dobson has said that while he is leaving his organisation's Board of Diirectors he has not retired from the public square. In other words, he intends to stay in the fight. He may be "knocked down" but he certainly is not "knocked out".

He also seems to have a sound understanding of ministry and culture which is that God is in control of both in spite of how things may appear. He is not trusting in his own ability as he fulfills what he blieves is his calling, because his understanding is that "the battle is the Lord's; God is the one who sets up and takes down.

As far as American culture is concerned whether or not Dr. Dobson is despondent the "war" is far from over.

As an orthodox christian, I have always enjoyed Dr. Dobsons programs.Too bad the press just doesn't get it.

As far as "culture wars" go, did Jesus really tell us to commit cultural warfare against our neighbors? How do cultural warriors like Dr. Dobson, see their warfare within the practice of the Golden Rule?

Dobson's "Muscular Christianity" is as obsolete as he and his websites are on same-sex orientations (to put it politely). Not merely obsolete, but pathetically and dangerously misguided.

People don't do "homosexuality." People inhabit identity and community. The Victorian and early 20th Century homosexuality theories don't understand identity and community all that well at all, being excessively reductionistic and scientific racist-like. (Not racist, but like racism, another obsolete and dangerous body of theory).

Homosexuality theory strips people and their communities of their humanity, dignity and identity, reducing them to scientific specimens. "Homosexual," therefore, is not something with which morally sensitive people should use to label other people, right?

There are, therefore, no "homosexuals," except, perhaps, as imaginary bogymen in a conspiracy theorist's mean little mind.

The Bible doesn't condemn "homosexuality," either, for obvious reasons. There weren't any "homosexuals" in Bible times, as there aren't any in our 21st Century.

This is uncontrovesial among Bible scholars...the verses that "homosexual" haters love so much, have to do with idolatry and the politics of identity. If something is an "abomination" in the Bible, it's an abomination because it's idolatrous.

But, idolatry has changed much over the thousands of years. I seldom see an alter to Baal. In fact, I've never seen anything to Baal at all, outside of photos of ancient artifacts and in writings. But, that doesn't mean that the Bible is obsolete...it is challenging us to consider what idolatry means today. Celebrity "worship." McMansions? Biblio-idolatry?

Some abominations are evergreen. Usury was an abomination yesterday, and it's still an abomination. But others aren't associated, or thought to be caused by, idolatry anymore. Jesus and Paul both explored the changing nature of idolatry in their times.

We should continue to do that in our times, and not keep the old idols of ancient times around. Religious-right activists are doing just that, keeping old idols artificially alive so that they can be used to bash their neighbors over their heads in order to try and take their properties, influences, loved ones and livelihoods away from them.

One thing we do know...single gender loving isn't caused by idolatry. The Bible is condemning idolatry, therefore, the Bible isn't condemning single gender loving, even if the ancients of the Bible had a strong antipathy towards single gender loving. Both from the misconception that such a state of being was caused by idolatry, and also from the very real perception that such a radical equality in the bedroom causes criticism of patriarchy in general, where equality in the bedroom, as in all areas of life, are against the status quo.

But, patriarchy, like Baal, is also dead, or at least, pretty near it in Western Civilization and going away in many places elsewhere. It was done in by the development of concepts from the Enlightenment, the discovery of the mammalian egg at the beginning of the 19th Century (think about it), and the expanding and innovating social spaces made possible by industrial and post-modern societies.

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People who love other people of the same sex are "Gay or GLBT", or whatever name they choose. Using a label, such as "homosexual" that has been explicitly rejected, and which strips a people of their humanity and identity, is simply unconscionable...which is likely why the religious right insists, in a strikingly racist like way, in using "homosexual."

Speaking of exploring identity and community, I stumbled upon G0ys just yesterday, as in 'G zero ys.'...'For guys who luv (sic) other guys, but don't identify as Gay.' However, as it looks a lot like "Goys," maybe the coinage should go back to the drafting room.

Many Black men prefer 'SGL,' single gender loving. "Gay," to some Black men anyway, seems to be a "white" thing, and who in their right minds actually wants to identify with "whiteness?" I don't. I wasn't raised to do that. I'm 'Norwegian' if you please (hyphen American was presumed).

Sociologists generally use MSM in their research papers now. It stands for men who have sex with men, but who may not identify as Gay.

For the latter, beyond SGL and G0ys, think Larry Craig and Ted Haggard...men who want MSW/patriarchy privilege, but at the same time, also appear to need same-sex connections, however unwise and tenuous. (MSW, men who have sex with women, of course.)

To complicate matters..."Gay" men are likely to be men who have sex with men, are not necessarily MSM as they identify as Gay. The Gay identity and communities also include men who don't have sex with men, for various reasons. Just as "straight" includes men who don't have sex with women, for various reasons...isn't identity theory fun?

"Gay" is pretty much the world wide consensus by the community of men who soul-identify (if I may coin a phrase) with other men. Anyone who doesn't use "Gay" or "GLBT" when talking about Gay/Lesbian individuals/community, who use "homosexual" instead, is likely just full of ill will and self righteously puffed up. Or, at best, well meaning but kind of ignorant.

Any Bible that has the "homosexual" word in it is as obsolete as the theory of homosexuality. What other scientific Victorianisms and Modernisms, obsolete or not, can you think of, besides "homosexual," are there floating around in 20th Century translations? Whatever they are, they probably shouldn't be there.

The Bible was written (as if there can be one sentence to sum it all up) to explore the concepts of monotheism, what is not monotheism (idolatry), and the evolution and politics of monotheistic identity. I don't think that the Bible was meant to be an idol to be worshiped, as religious rightist very much appear to do, in and of itself.

And to tangentially slide away...

Of course, as one can't "know" God...one can pretty much only explore what is not God, right? God is omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent, which is why us humans, who aren't any of that, can't know God.

As a medieval rabbi pointed out, "If I could know God, I would Be God."

And as God is everything us humans aren't, yet as Christians understand, was Jesus, fully human and fully God, what can there possibly be that ISN'T God?

Which would include our idols, past and present.

Oh, my two verification words are, 'confirm' and 'addled.' Am I confirming something positive or negative here, or am I just addled?

Mr. Dobson is a great man and his heart is certainly in the right place. It's obvious that he sincerely wants to influence the culture in a way that will encourage it to embrace Godly lives and living. That said, Dobson has made the same mistake that many evangelicals continue to make, and that is of getting too involved in politics, or rather depending upon changing the culture and its influences via political means. Even if America were to instantly change all her laws, judges and courts in such a way as to compel its citizenry into compliance with and reflection of a Christian theocracy, would that truly INWARDLY transform society? Absolutely not!!! Our society must change from within the hearts of all involved. If our hearts were right, our vertical relationship with God was healthy, and our horizontal relationships with each other were just and loving, then our laws and courts would become virtually irrelevant as far as making our society peaceful, loving and harmonious. Not only does REAL change NOT come through politics, as political changes are typically temporary and fragile, but they are also easily corrupted by the very process meant to produce such desirable societal attributes. Our politics should merely REFLECT our hearts and minds - but they can never actually change them, as they can only produce cosmetic change.

With every passing year, Dobson becomes increasingly irrelevant and out-of-touch. His brand of particularly nasty attacks on fellow Americans and Christians -- gay and lesbian Americans, women who don't fit his submissive-helpmate model, and anyone who doesn't match his 1950's view of gender roles -- did much to tarnish the image of Christianity over the past 20 years. Fortunately, I'm seeing that the younger generation has little regard for him, Falwell, Robertson. The day of the dinosaur has ended -- good riddance, Mr. Dobson.

More homosexuals are becoming fascists, trying to move the topic from a moral category to a hate crime category.The homosexual agenda has become the greatest threat to free speech and religion in this country since the founding fathers conceived the Constitution.

Is this not correct?