Subscribe to RSS - Focus on the Family
Annual Revenue: 
$109,133,930.00
Colorado Springs, CO

Child psychologist James C. Dobson formed Focus on the Family (FOF) in 1977. Dobson made his name by endorsing corporal punishment for children at a time when most experts on child rearing were moving away from it, views he outlined in his first book "Dare to Discipline." Dobson came to national prominence in the mid 1980s after serving on a presidential commission charged with studying the effects of pornography. He produced a number of other books, and FOF began publishing a variety of magazines. In 1988, FOF took control of a struggling Religious Right group in Washington, the Family Research Council (see below). Now technically separate, the groups today claim to be “spiritually one.” Dobson has since retired from FOF, and the group is headed by James Daly.

Child psychologist James C. Dobson formed Focus on the Family (FOF) in 1977. Dobson made his name by endorsing corporal punishment for children at a time when most experts on child rearing were moving away from it, views he outlined in his first book Dare to Discipline.

Dobson came to national prominence in the mid 1980s after serving on a presidential commission charged with studying the effects of pornography. He produced a number of other books, and FOF began publishing a variety of magazines. In 1988, FOF took control of a struggling Religious Right group in Washington, the Family Research Council (see below). Now technically separate, the groups today claim to be “spiritually one.”

Dobson began broadcasting on the radio in March of 1977, when his organization was based in Southern California. The broadcasts became popular, and FOF experienced rapid growth. Within a few years, the staff had climbed to over 1,000, and FOF branches were being opened overseas. Today, according to FOF’s Web site, the ministry’s broadcasts are heard on more than 5,000 stations in 155 countries, reaching 238 million people daily.

Many people view Dobson as a grandfatherly dispenser of homespun wisdom on how to raise kids and build strong marriages. In fact, his political views are quite extreme. He has attacked the concept of tolerance, asserting that it leads to the blurring of right and wrong. A fundamentalist raised in the strict Church of the Nazarene, Dobson embraces a literal interpretation of the Bible. He opposes legal abortion, often attacks public education, berates feminism – Dobson’s group has gone so far as to attack the Girl Scouts as a front for humanism and radical feminism – and, until recently, sponsored programs to “convert” gays to heterosexuality. In recent years, FOF has taken the lead in opposing same-sex marriage in the states.

Dobson frequently issues personal endorsements of political candidates and in 2004 formed an overtly political arm called Focus on the Family Action. With a budget of over $10.5 million, FOF Action produces materials on political issues and sponsors “citizenship rallies” that, it says, “spotlight the positions of candidates for key offices.” This allows FOF Action to effectively endorse office seekers while maintaining the façade of nonpartisanship.

FOF is also affiliated with “family policy councils” that lobby legislatures in 35 states. FOF’s CitizenLink magazine frequently comments on national and state issues. The FOF Web site says of CitizenLink, “Our experts grapple with contemporary social issues and provide a biblical perspective on national and local news.”

Dobson has begun stepping away from FOF and has announced he will cease doing daily radio broadcasts for the group. Its new president is Jim Daly.
Dobson’s wife, Shirley, plays a leadership role in the Religious Right as head of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. The task force coordinates the majority of prayer-day activities across the country with an evangelical bent, insisting that only “Christians” be permitted to speak. With a budget of over $1 million, the organization’s mission is to “mobilize the Christian community to intercede for America and its leadership.”

Dobson Quote: “The separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. No, it’s not. That is not in the Constitution.... It’s not in the Bill of Rights. It’s not anywhere in a foundational document. The only place where the so-called ‘wall of separation’ was mentioned was in a letter written by Jefferson to a friend. That’s the only place. It has been picked up and made to be something it was never intended to be.” (“Larry King Live,” Nov. 22, 2006)

Horizontal Tabs

Most Recent
Blogs
Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Neil Gorsuch Is The Wrong Choice For A Seat On The Supreme Court

You probably haven’t read much lately about Neil Gorsuch, the federal appeals court judge President Donald J. Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court – but that’s about to change.

Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee starts on Monday. The first day will be taken up by statements from committee members and Gorsuch himself. On Tuesday, Gorsuch will start answering questions.

Federal Judges Continue To Block President Trump’s Muslim Ban

With the clock counting down the hours until President Donald J. Trump’s second attempt at a Muslim ban was to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. today, two federal judges issued separate rulings that put the ban on hold nationwide.

First, in Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a nationwide temporary restraining order against provisions in Trump’s executive order that would have blocked immigration from six Muslim-majority countries for three months and would have barred all refugees for four months.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Neil Gorsuch Is The Wrong Choice For A Seat On The Supreme Court

You probably haven’t read much lately about Neil Gorsuch, the federal appeals court judge President Donald J. Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court – but that’s about to change.

Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee starts on Monday. The first day will be taken up by statements from committee members and Gorsuch himself. On Tuesday, Gorsuch will start answering questions.

Federal Judges Continue To Block President Trump’s Muslim Ban

With the clock counting down the hours until President Donald J. Trump’s second attempt at a Muslim ban was to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. today, two federal judges issued separate rulings that put the ban on hold nationwide.

First, in Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a nationwide temporary restraining order against provisions in Trump’s executive order that would have blocked immigration from six Muslim-majority countries for three months and would have barred all refugees for four months.

Pages

Most Recent Blog Posts
All the most recent posts from AU's Wall of Separation Blog & The Protect Thy Neighbor Blog

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings Don’t Allay AU’s Concerns

Yesterday concluded the four-day Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for President Donald J. Trump’s U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch.

As we’ve written before, Gorsuch’s history as a federal appeals court judge indicates that he does not support true religious freedom. His performance during the hearings did nothing to allay our concerns.

Americans United And Its Allies File Lawsuit Challenging President Trump’s Muslim Ban 2.0

Today, Americans United filed a lawsuit challenging President Donald J. Trump’s latest attempt at a Muslim ban. The suit seeks justice for Muslim Yemeni parents who were granted asylum in the United States and are now unable to get U.S. visas for two of their young children still stranded overseas and facing the danger of returning to war-torn Yemen.

A Vast Majority Of Americans, Including White Evangelicals And Republicans, Believe Houses Of Worship Shouldn’t Endorse Political Candidates

The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the tax code that prohibits all non-profit organizations, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. This provision has been protecting the integrity of our tax-exempt charities, houses of worship and our elections for more than 60 years.

New Poll Shows Majority Of Americans Oppose Discrimination In The Name Of Religion

The confirmation hearing for federal Judge Neil Gorsuch, President Donald J. Trump’s nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, got under way yesterday, with some senators mentioning religious freedom during their opening remarks.

Gorsuch will start taking questions today, and the issue is likely to resurface again. It will be interesting to hear what Gorsuch has to say. In AU’s view, some of his opinions on religious freedom are troubling, and that’s why we’re opposed to his nomination.

Neil Gorsuch Is The Wrong Choice For A Seat On The Supreme Court

You probably haven’t read much lately about Neil Gorsuch, the federal appeals court judge President Donald J. Trump has nominated to the Supreme Court – but that’s about to change.

Gorsuch’s confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee starts on Monday. The first day will be taken up by statements from committee members and Gorsuch himself. On Tuesday, Gorsuch will start answering questions.

Federal Judges Continue To Block President Trump’s Muslim Ban

With the clock counting down the hours until President Donald J. Trump’s second attempt at a Muslim ban was to go into effect at 12:01 a.m. today, two federal judges issued separate rulings that put the ban on hold nationwide.

First, in Hawaii, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a nationwide temporary restraining order against provisions in Trump’s executive order that would have blocked immigration from six Muslim-majority countries for three months and would have barred all refugees for four months.

Pages

Press Releases
Church & State
June 2015 Church & State

Courtroom Clash

Supreme Court Takes Up Issues Of Same-Sex Marriage In Historic Argument

March 2012 Church & State

Deception In North Dakota

‘Religious Liberty’ Amendment On June Ballot Would Jeopardize Rights Of Women, Taxpayers And Minorities, Critics Say

November 2007 Church & State

Party Poopers?

James Dobson, Religious Right Allies Threaten To Dump GOP If Presidential Nominee Fails ‘Family Values’ Test

February 2005 Church & State

James Dobson

The Religious Right’s 800-Pound Gorilla