Poison Pen: James Dobson’s Latest Missive Misses The Mark

Don't read James Dobson's letter as a declaration of Religious Right surrender. That is not what it is at all.

A letter drafted by Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family (FOF), has been getting some attention on social media sites and blogs lately.

In the missive, Dobson, a child psychologist who founded what has become one of the largest and most powerful Religious Right groups in the nation, surveyed the results of the November election. He’s not happy.

“I'm sure many of you are discouraged in the aftermath of the National Elections, especially in view of the moral and spiritual issues that took such a beating on November 6th,” Dobson wrote. “Nearly everything I have stood for these past 35 years went down to defeat.”

Dobson, who left FOF a few years ago and now runs a smaller radio outfit called Family Talk, doesn’t understand what went wrong. The Democratic Party platform, he notes, supported legal abortion and same-sex marriage. Those pesky Democrats didn’t even include references to God until they were shamed into it!

By contrast, the Republican platform, Dobson reports, “was one of the finest conservative documents of this era. It was strongly pro-life, pro-marriage, and contained other components that conservatives cheered.”

Dobson pointed out that his pal Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, chaired the committee that wrote the platform.

What went wrong? By Dobson’s telling, GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney refused to embrace this fine conservative platform. Instead, Romney just droned on and on about jobs and the economy.

“It was as though America cared about nothing but money,” Dobson wrote. “I didn’t believe it then and I don't believe it now. As important as the creation of jobs is, this nation is also about righteousness in the culture, about the preservation of families, about the welfare of children in the schools, and about the military and its gay agenda.”

Dobson and his cronies just don’t get it. All of that stuff came up during the campaign. Romney moved far to the right during the primary. He also gave the commencement address at Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University, promised to defund Planned Parenthood and Big Bird and even put U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) a Religious Right favorite, on the ticket.

But the emphasis on social issues didn’t help. In fact, it scared the bejesus out of lot of voters, especially women, people who live in urban areas, minority voters, highly educated folks and secular voters.

All of the talk from the Religious Right and the Catholic bishops about restricting access to birth control and their rather crude gay bashing led these voters to flee from the GOP ticket. Vile comments about “legitimate rape” from some Republican Senate candidates didn’t help.

As a result, a depressed Dobson says, we’re stuck with President Barack Obama, “a president who often ignores the Constitution and imposes dictatorial powers on the American people.” (Really? Have you noticed that lately? The dictatorship thing? From what I recall, we had a democratic election, and Obama won more votes than Romney in both the Electoral College and the popular vote. Plus, Obama hardly ever stands on a balcony wearing a goofy hat vowing to make the trains run on time. Some dictator!)

Added Dobson, “Some people believe, and I am one of them, that Barack Obama is the worst president in American history.”

Whatever.

OK, Jim’s not happy. We can see that. But some people are drawing the wrong conclusion from his letter, reading it as declaration of Religious Right surrender. That is not what it is at all.

In fact, Dobson tells his troops to gird for even more battles.

“Christians must continue to defend righteousness in the land, regardless of the political consequences,” Dobson writes. “I can tell you without equivocation that Family Talk will not compromise with evil…. It is never right to do what is wrong, and we will stand our ground in the defense of biblical principles.”

Speaking as a card-carrying member of the “Evil Caucus,” let me be the first to tell Jim that we’re not interested in compromising with him either. We are interested in defeating him and sending his views back to the Dark Ages, whence they came. So game on.

Look, Dobson’s not stupid. He writes letters like this for a reason: to fire up his followers and convince them to donate to his cause and get active. Dobson knows that the U.S. House of Representatives remains under conservative control and that, thanks to gerrymandering, it’s likely to remain that way. He also knows that many state legislatures fell under the sway of extreme Tea Party groups and their Religious Right allies in 2010. They remain open to him and his radical ideas.

Dobson may be angry about November’s results, but he’s not going anywhere. That means you shouldn’t either.