Posts Tagged Dobson
Max Blumenthal’s Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement that Shattered the Party is a hit and miss book – Blumenthal shrewdly documents the carnival of personal dysfunction that defines so many leading figures on the American Right, offering a broad analysis drawn from Erich Fromm’s Escape From Freedom.
The authoritarian nature of America’s right wing movement has been documented by many writers and observers. Blumenthal offers an explanation, from Erich Fromm:
When radical extremists sought to cleanse society of sin and evil, what they really desired was the cleansing of their souls.
He described how submission to the authority of a higher power to escape the complexities of personal freedom would lead not to order and harmony but ultimately to destructiveness.
He points out that this escape from freedom, this dynamic of submitting one’s self to a higher authority has become the bond that holds the America’s right together. The centerpiece of this authoritarian, right wing culture, its beating heart if you will, is James Dobson and his organization Focus on the Family (or as its known among gay folks “Focus on the Anus” – or generally among its critics ” Focus on your damn family.”). Dobson is a notorious yenta, sticking his stern disapproving nose into everyone’s business. FoF is a right wing behemoth, dolling out equal parts strict father parenting advice and political patronage. Dobson is the right’s king maker, able to move millions with his opinions. Dobson’s training is as a child psychologist, author of an infamous child-rearing manual entitled Dare to Discipline which advocates beating children into submission – well into their teenage years. Dobson’s book stands in stark contrast with most modern child-rearing literature which does not advocate beating children. Read the rest of this entry »
Sunday, August 31st, 2008
The other night, the Rev. James Dobson’s ministry asked all believers to pray for a storm on Thursday night so that the Obama acceptance speech outdoors in Denver would have to be cancelled.
I see that You have answered Rev. Dobson’s prayers — except the storm You have sent to earth is not over Denver, but on its way to New Orleans! In fact, You have scheduled it to hit Louisiana at exactly the moment that George W. Bush is to deliver his speech at the Republican National Convention.
Now, heavenly Father, we all know You have a great sense of humor and impeccable timing. To send a hurricane on the third anniversary of the Katrina disaster AND right at the beginning of the Republican Convention was, at first blush, a stroke of divine irony. I don’t blame You, I know You’re angry that the Republicans tried to blame YOU for Katrina by calling it an “Act of God” — when the truth was that the hurricane itself caused few casualties in New Orleans. Over a thousand people died because of the mistakes and neglect caused by humans, not You.
Some of us tried to help after Katrina hit, while Bush ate cake with McCain and twiddled his thumbs. I closed my office in New York and sent my entire staff down to New Orleans to help. I asked people on my website to contribute to the relief effort I organized — and I ended up sending over two million dollars in donations, food, water, and supplies (collected from thousands of fans) to New Orleans while Bush’s FEMA ice trucks were still driving around Maine three weeks later.
But this past Thursday night, the Washington Post reported that the Republicans had begun making plans to possibly postpone the convention. The AP had reported that there were no shelters set up in New Orleans for this storm, and that the levee repairs have not been adequate. In other words, as the great Ronald Reagan would say, “There you go again!”
So the last thing John McCain and the Republicans needed was to have a split-screen on TVs across America: one side with Bush and McCain partying in St. Paul, and on the other side of the screen, live footage of their Republican administration screwing up once again while New Orleans drowns.
So, yes, You have scared the Jesus, Mary and Joseph out of them, and more than a few million of your followers tip their hats to You.
But now it appears that You haven’t been having just a little fun with Bush & Co. It appears that Hurricane Gustav is truly heading to New Orleans and the Gulf coast. We hear You, O Lord, loud and clear, just as we did when Rev. Falwell said You made 9/11 happen because of all those gays and abortions. We beseech You, O Merciful One, not to punish us again as Pat Robertson said You did by giving us Katrina because of America’s “wholesale slaughter of unborn children.” His sentiments were echoed by other Republicans in 2005.
So this is my plea to you: Don’t do this to Louisiana again. The Republicans got your message. They are scrambling and doing the best they can to get planes, trains and buses to New Orleans so that everyone can get out. They haven’t sent the entire Louisiana National Guard to Iraq this time — they are already patrolling the city streets. And, in a nod to I don’t know what, Bush’s head of FEMA has named a man to help manage the federal government’s response. His name is W. Michael Moore. I kid you not, heavenly Father. They have sent a man with both my name AND W’s to help save the Gulf Coast.
So please God, let the storm die out at sea. It’s done enough damage already. If you do this one favor for me, I promise not to invoke your name again. I’ll leave that to the followers of Rev. Dobson and to those gathering this week in St. Paul.
Your faithful servant and former seminarian,
P.S. To all of God’s fellow children who are reading this, the city New Orleans has not yet recovered from Katrina. Please click here for a list of things you can do to help our brothers and sisters on the Gulf Coast. And, if you do live along the Gulf Coast, please take all necessary safety precautions immediately.