This is an archive of the old Stones Cry Out site. For the current site, click here.

« Dobson Redux | Main | Levin Tries to Clear the Air »

April 13, 2005

Just Apologize, Dr. Dobson, and Move On

It may be too late, but if James Dobson would ask me what he should do (I’m actually in the business of giving this kind of advice to Christian leaders), I would recommend that he issue an apology now and not do any interviews on the judiciary for some time. He needs to let someone else take up that particular fight. He’s been disqualified for playing dirty.

I agree with my colleague Matt. Despite the fact that Dobson is angry at the judiciary, his statement comparing robed judges to the Klu Klux Klan is unbefitting an evangelical leader and anyone who is seeking change, not colorful headlines.

Since I’ve been in the Focus on the Family broadcast booth, I know how the program is taped and repeatedly edited. This was not a slip on live radio. He or someone working with him should have recognized how repulsive it is to equate judges and racist murderers. It could have easily been edited from the program, without diminishing its effectiveness.

It is absurd to suggest that it is beneficial for religious spokesmen to resort to over-the-top rhetoric to communicate passion and gain visibility.

As I said in a post earlier this year when Dobson played hardball,

Evangelicals are dissatisfied and impatient with the spiritual direction of the nation, as they should be. As Christians, we are called to preach, and bear witness, and pray, and work for change. But we must guard against the error of Abraham, who when impatient with progress on God’s promise of an heir, slept with Hagar, the handmaiden. We struggle with the sons of Ishmael today.

As Christians, we have responsibility to remain active in the political process. But cultural change will come from the inside, by the truth being spoken in love, by the transformation of hearts and minds. Our Christian leaders must resist the handmaiden of political seduction.

We gain not as Christians playing politics, but as politically engaged citizens living as Christians.

Apologize, Dr. Dobson, and get back to focusing on the. . .well, on the family.

Posted by Jim at April 13, 2005 02:47 PM

Trackback Pings


Good for you to chime in on this Jim. I agree with you and Matt.

Posted by: Rick Brady at April 14, 2005 12:34 AM

Was it also absurd for Ronald Reagan to refer to the Soviets as an "evil empire"? Was he doing it just to "resort to over-the-top rhetoric to communicate passion and gain visibility"? Or was he calling them evil because that's exactly what they were?

Would we be discussing this if Dobson hadn't spoken in such terms? So it self-evidently IS beneficial, at least to the extent that it gets people talking.

And how exactly is it "repulsive" to equate judges that support, say, abortion in the third trimester, or even Plessy v. Ferguson, and "racist murderers" as you refer to them? Is that a argument you really want to get into?

Evil is evil. Tyranny is tyranny. Let's call it what it is. You and Matt are giving way too much credit to the judiciary, in my opinion. The worst of them aren't honorable, or even always smart, and they surely don't have the best interests of society at large, or most especially Judeo-Christian ethics, in mind. See Robert P. George's article "Judicial Usurpation and the Constitution: Historical and Contemporary Issues".

The Klan may well have been pushed to near-extinction 50 years earlier were it not for Plessy v. Ferguson. Dred Scott set the stage for the Civil War. One wonders how our history might have been so much different if those two decisions had gone the other way. Judicial tyranny is nothing new, and the worst of it has led to great social unrest and resulted in the deaths of innocents. You know, sort of like the KKK.

So, though you don't like the word choice of Mr. Dobson, it is not "repulsive" to make such comparisons, because there is a very large component of truth to it, along with a little bit of hyperbole.

Posted by: Jeff Brokaw at April 14, 2005 07:38 AM

James Dobson is not Michael Savage and he loses his moral authority if his rhetoric becomes as strident. As a leader of Christians his role is not to "get people talking" but to speak the truth in love.

I'm not soft on the judiciary at all, and I believe we should call evil by its name. But Dobson accomplishes nothing but discrediting his unique voice as a follower of Christ by calling people names.

Posted by: Jim Jewell at April 14, 2005 08:13 AM

Oh for heaven's sake. Dred Scott was part of the Civil War, but it was no more the cause than the arguments over the National Bank during Jackson's administration.

The entire judiciary is NOT evil, and if you can't see the difference between saying "evil" and "KKK" then we'll be of no help to you.

Posted by: Matt at April 14, 2005 08:33 AM

The comments that Dr. Dobson was somehow out of turn and set a bad "christian" example by comparing the Supreme Court to the KKK are absolutely ludicrous. Its comments like these that have brought christianity to what it is...a mockery by pagans everywhere. Not only is the ascertian that such a statement is "not christian" phony, it is unbiblical.

Our ONLY guide to what is biblical and non-biblical behaviour is not the what various commentors say...its what the BIBLE says and gives as example.

So time and time again we see these "feel good" christians who feel they must walk around through the world and ignore or not become involved in righting wrongs in society...That is NOT what Paul did, and that is NOT what Jesus did. They got involved, they called evil ...evil to its face and openly rebuked evil. Jesus himself reffered to the leaders of Jews as a Brood of Vipers..Similiarly Peter and Pauldid likewise. Thank God these feel good christians who are rebuking Dr. Dobson werent in charge of advancing the faith in Jesus day or it would have died on the vine. I say AMEN and BRAVO to James Dobson or anyone else who confronts evil and calls it as such PUBLICLY.

Posted by: Jim at October 19, 2005 03:00 PM