To: Dr. James Dobson, Self-Styled Expert on Christianity: A Short Bible Lesson

Dr. James Dobson, whose Focus on the Family “ministry” is in the same city as the Rev. Ted Haggard (the minister who for three years got drugs and massages from a gay prostitute in Denver), who sponsors the Exodus International “ex-gay reparative therapy ministry,” and who had earlier this month agreed to be part of a three-man team overseeing the supposed rehabilitation of Haggard, announced this today:

Completely ignoring the fact that being gay/bi is not something that Haggard can or should be cured of – though cheating on his wife to patronize a gay prostitute is arguably something he should repent of – I find Dobson has once again lost sight of the main issue of what he’s supposed to be doing.

Here, let me help:

Nice going, Jim. You have just managed to make yourself odious in the eyes of both sides on l’affaire Haggard. Brilliant move. Maybe you should stop focusing on your homophobic campaign, and even stop focusing on the family, and take your attention to the teachings of the man you claim to follow.

Honey, if the man doesn’t think he has the time or the energy to help his friend in a meaningful way, he would do his friend a disservice to pledge to DO it. If all he can do is to support him as a friend, then it is best to say so now…instead of not doing a good job of whatever he pledged to do.

I haven’t followed this Haggard thing, I have personal issues that have pretty much taken over my life and I haven’t had the energy to follow anyone’s problems but my own. So I don’t have much information about it. I agree with you in that the “Good Samaritan” law should rule any Christian’s actions. From what you have said? For myself, I don’t think that Haggard being homosexual is the core issue here, [sub]at least for me[/sub] I think it is is the fact that the man has been living a lie that is an issue. He has apparently stated one thing and lived another. And apparently? In a very public way. And he was using Meth, is that true? So he is married with children, and using meth and using prostitutes. He has difficult issues, and instead of dealing with them, he is lying to everyone. Again, in a very public way.

You know, if a person realizes that they are gay, while having espoused that being gay is a sin? The thing to do is to resign your pastorship and figure out what is WHAT with your beliefs, your understanding of the scriptures and your relationship with your family. It is NOT the thing to do to visit male prostitutes, get meth from them for reasons that escape me [sub]although I assume it was because he was so conflicted that he was using meth to escape from dealing with them[/sub]…and still continue to preach that homosexuality is a sin. And from the little I HAVE read, that is what he did.

James Dobsen isn’t my favorite person. I don’t agree with a lot of what he has to say. But I do agree with the things he has to say that…well, that I agree with. But on THIS issue, I think he did the right thing. If he couldn’t participate in whatever he thought was necessary? He was right to bow out.


Love You…



Dobson is an ass.

But then the best thing for Haggard is probably that he doesn’t get any counseling from the likes of Dobson. Can we get Dan Savage on board here?

I agree in theory. However, my personal cynical contemptuous suspicion (and I guess the Pit is the place for it) is that Dobson is just grasping at a ten-foot pole here. He knows that the whole Haggard scandal is going to be a huge blot on the evangelical movement, and he’s looking to get as farrrrrrrrrrr away from it as possible.

I also suspect that Dobson suspects that Haggard is not going to be a very tractable subject for “ex-gaying”, once his initial trauma at the outing and the scandal and the massive loss of prestige subsides a bit. IMO Dobson has no interest in associating himself with an enterprise that will be a perpetual embarrassing reminder of this scandal, and probably ultimately not turn out to be any success story for the evangelical anti-gay movement. I think Dobson would be determined to pass by on the other side on this one, no matter how close he was to Haggard or how much free time he had.
(In passing, I have to note that the evangelical anti-gay movement seems to have come up with a really ludicrous term for the “ex-gaying” process:

“Restoration”? WTF? You make the guy sound like something on This Old House.)

In his defense, he probably just doesn’t have time, what with spending time showering with his son to show how much bigger his penis is, thus preventing “the gay”.

Perhaps. My personal opinion of James Dobson is better than yours. I think he is a very genuine person, who preaches what he believes. I also think he LIVES what he believes, which absolutely colors my opinon of him.

I don’t have a problem with people who preach things I don’t necessarily agree with…so long as they live what they preach. Just like I don’t have a problem with people believing in other things I don’t agree with. Hey…not my call, not my business.

I DO have a HUGE problem with people who preach one thing and live another thing.

I recently lost my father, and my niece put a CD together in memory of my dad. It had this song on it that was SO totally about my dad that it could have been written with him in mind. Here is the lyric.

Lots of bad spelling there, but I think you can figure it out quite easily.

“I’d Rather See A Sermon”…that is the name of the song, and that is so totally how I view this Haggard thing. Live a lie, and although I will feel compassion for you when you get caught, and I’ll pray for you to get to where you need to be? I will also not hold you in great regard. Unless I know you personally, of course, which is a whole 'nother issue. People you love…you love them. You KNOW them, and you know what there is about them that allows you to hold them in great regard while still not agreeing with the behavior that distresses you. Public people…you don’t have that kind of information.

I don’t know the man, and I have no idea what is truth here. All I know is that he was preaching one thing and living another. I’ll pray for him. Not for him to “ungay himself”, but for him to get his life together. For him to get content, to reconcile his faith with whatever his issues are. To figure out his “truth.”

But in reference to Dobson? The truth is, you cannot find another person’s truth FOR them. All you can do is to stand by them while they find it for themself. I can’t fault Dobson for bowing out…he should never have said he’d do it in the first place and that was wrong. Perhaps he realized that…I prefer to think that he did. I hope and pray that what he said about standing by his friend during this time of trouble was truth. If it wasn’t, I’ll no longer hold him in high regard.

Maybe that is harsh of me, but then…all I have to go on here is the public person. And so that is all I can use make my decisions.

And which group is it that usually leads the way in the restoring homes in rundown neighborhoods? Don’t think of Haggard and his “ex-gay (yeah, as if) reparative therapy ministry” as “restoring” as much as “gentrifying” gays.


Or perhaps I should say…CITE? Since, as it happens, Dobson’s children are all grown, with children of their own. Diss him all you want, but please don’t make things up, okay?

I am not too much up on this, so my opinion is qualfied. But seems to me the big time evangelists have taken a beating. Jimmy Swagart, Jerry Falwell, Jim Baker, etc.
Oh and I noticed even though Oral Roberts did not get all the money he needed for his statue he was not struck dead as promised. All that aside, Yep Dobson is the real deal. Bail when convienient. I am sure Dobson has much more important issues to take care of, and they all include cash flow. Real friends find time, political friends step out. I am thankful I had real friends when my ass was in the breeze.

…Poly, I don’t see why James Dobson should have some sort of obligation to counsel Haggard. Just because they’re both pastors? Just because their ministries are, or were (as Haggard is no longer a pastor) based in Colorado Springs? I don’t get it. There are plenty of other pastors in Colorado Springs also equally skilled at counseling who are also right at this moment passing by Ted Haggard lying there in the street (to use your Good Samaritan analogy)–why should one pastor in particular be singled out by you as the one who in your opinion somehow just has to be the one who does it, and who you revile and excoriate because he isn’t going to do it? Doesn’t seem quite fair to the man. I don’t like him much, either, but let’s be fair now–he’s busy, and he probably knows perfectly well by this time that you really can’t preach the gay-ness out of someone (although he would allow himself to be strangled by a pair of ladies pantyhose before he’d admit it in public), and there’s a “drugs” angle, and not a “fun” drugs angle like smokin’ a little dope, but a dangerous drug angle, being meth, plus there’s a “prostitution” angle, so all in all it’s a real mess, and he’s opting out, as it’s probably not fixable. Can’t say I blame him, but it wouldn’t have occurred to me to damn him roundly for doing so. There’s no sort of obligation here; Haggard wasn’t any kind of protege, Dobson wasn’t his mentor or teacher or anything like that, AFAIK. So huccome the blood and thunder?

It’s also possible that Haggard doesn’t like him much, either, and doesn’t want him there.

No. Because he had agreed to do it. Had he refused in the first place, that’s something else, but he agreed to be involved.

Honestly, I suspect political motives in his withdrawal.

DDG…apparently Dr. Dobson initially said that he would counsel Haggard, and participate in his redemption. Then he backed out. This was the focus of Poly’s pitting.

Are you always this cynical? [sub]Just asking[/sub]

Yes. :slight_smile:

It’s kind of a joke. The following

(Dr. Nicolosi #fundie) is sometimes attributed to Dobson, although as near as I can make out it appears to have actually been written by a Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, and published under the auspices of Focus on the Family, Dobson’s organization.

I swear that I once found the archived newsletter containing the article, but it appears to have proved more trouble than it was worth, once the gay-friendly folks got wind of it and began to mine it for its comic potential.

So, while apparently not Dobson’s quote, it does have a Dobson-related pedigree, and it is NOT made up.

Like a bumper sticker I bought in P’town says: Focus on your OWN damn family!
I am SO anti- Focus on the Family, that the summer after I graduated, I boycotted a conference I usually attend, b/c some representives of Focus on the Family spoke (this was at a conference for a genetic disorders organziation I am involved in)

Poor baby…

Oops, that was for Frank

I swear all you people posted after I previewed.

Since it was covered by kaylasdad99, and since it appears to have since been removed from his site, I’m not going to link to it, but he did indeed endorse the advice mentioned in the previous post, back in a 2002 newsletter.