Dobson's Subjective Morality

March 2007
I'm often tough on Focus on the Family czar James Dobson in this space, but it's with good reason. Dobson is a powerful figure in evangelical circles and in Republican politics, and it's always baffled me that people could take him seriously anymore. Earlier this month, for example, Dobson criticized the efforts of other Christian leaders to advance the cause of global warming:
ebuffing Christian radio commentator James C. Dobson, the board of directors of the National Association of Evangelicals reaffirmed its position that environmental protection, which it calls "creation care," is an important moral issue. Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family, and two dozen other conservative Christian leaders, including Gary L. Bauer, Tony Perkins and Paul M. Weyrich, sent the board a letter this month denouncing the association's vice president, the Rev. Richard Cizik, for urging attention to global warming. The letter argued that evangelicals are divided on whether climate change is a real problem, and it said that "Cizik and others are using the global warming controversy to shift the emphasis away from the great moral issues of our time," such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
What does opposing global warming have to do with being a good Christian? Nothing, really, but Republicans aren't strong on the issue, so Dobson tries to use his pulpit to minimize it. I bring this up again because there was another great example last week of how Dobson picks and chooses his own reality to suit his political interests, even if they have nothing to do with his evangelical background. And it confuses me that people could listen to what he says, nod their heads and agree with him. Check out the opening paragraph in this story from Focus on the Family's CitizenLink.com about former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay:
Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson has called Tom DeLay "one of America's leading advocates of family values" and "a consistent voice of reason and clarity in America's moral debates."
Yes, I could see how you might think Tom DeLay was one of America's great examples of moral behavior. Never mind that DeLay was forced to resign from congress in the face of a massive corruption scandal. Never mind that DeLay was indicted for political money laundering. Never mind that calling Tom DeLay an example of moral greatness is like calling Paris Hilton one of America's greatest intellectual minds. But DeLay was against gay marriage and against abortion, and for Dobson, that makes him a champion of morals. Whatever you say, Dr. Dobson.