Sunday, September 24, 2006

Tim Walberg and James Dobson

If one ventures over to Tim Walberg's campaign website, the endorsements page is an interesting read. In addition to naming supporting organizations like the Club for Growth and Right to Life, he includes a list of "community leaders" that support him:

Dr. James Dobson? A "Community Leader"? Considering he was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and broadcasts out of Colorado, the Walberg campaign has a pretty broad definition for "community." But obviously he must be an important leader, being at the top of Walberg's list. And Dobson must think Michigan is a pretty important state, too. From Americans United for the Separation of Church and State:

The Washington, D.C.-based watchdog group said it will mail a special election-year alert to all houses of worship in 11 states, reminding them that intervention in partisan political campaigns is a violation of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

The letters, totaling over 117,000, begin mailing today and will be sent to every house of worship in Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Missouri and Virginia.

Churches in those states are being targeted by James Dobson and other Religious Right leaders who want to build a church-based political machine on behalf of favored Republican candidates.

“Dragging churches into partisan politics is just plain wrong,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director. “It violates tax law, it damages the integrity of religion and it harms our democracy.
So let's take a closer look at James Dobson.

Dobson is best known for his "Focus on the Family" radio broadcast and published materials advising parents on how to, supposedly, build strong families and raise productive children. It sounds like a noble goal, and one that wouldn't necessarily be political in nature. However, the issues which Dobson focuses on (and the positions he takes) are cause for some concern.

Mind you, it isn't that he's not a compassionate man-- when it comes to corporal punishment, he says:
"It is not necessary to beat the child into submission; a little bit of pain goes a long way for a young child. However, the spanking should be of sufficient magnitude to cause the child to cry genuinely."
Just hard enough to cause genuine tears. No more than that.

I admit, that wasn't entirely fair of me. Lots of parents have lots of techniques on raising children, and certainly firm authority is sometimes useful. That said, the quote is a bit troubling, I think.

Dobson, like many others in the Religious Right, has had his share of controversial statements. Perhaps most memorable was his feud with SpongeBob Squarepants and homosexuality. That subject in particular seems to be very important to him, having been quoted in the The Daily Oklahoman (Oct. 23rd, 2004) saying:
"Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
Destroy the Earth? Really? Here I was, worried about weapons of mass destruction and bird flu. The real threat is that my neighbors might be gay.

According to Dobson, homosexuality is a condition which can be treated and cured with proper parental involvement throughout childhood. He offers a lot of "information" on the subject here (link found via the Wikipedia article). I would quote from it, but frankly, I don't know where to begin. I would wish, however, that we would become a society more tolerant of one another. If you don't want to let same-sex couples marry, that's fine. But to try to "cure" them? That's a little disturbing, in my humble opinion.

Of course, controversy surrounds more than just his stance on homosexuality. James Dobson also gained some attention for his opposition to stem cell research. On that subject, he commented:
But I have to ask this question: In World War II, the Nazis experimented on human beings in horrible ways in the concentration camps, and I imagine, if you wanted to take the time to read about it, there would have been some discoveries there that benefited mankind. You know, if you take a utilitarian approach, that if something results in good, then it is good. But that's obviously not true. We condemn what the Nazis did because there are some things that we always could do but we haven't done, because science always has to be guided by ethics and by morality. And you remove ethics and morality, and you get what happened in Nazi Germany. That's why to Senator [Senate Majority Leader Bill] Frist [R-TN] and the others who are saying, "Look what may be accomplished." Yeah, but there's another issue, there's a higher order of ethics here.
(From Media Matters; emphasis included from source)

Hm. Incidentally, Tim Walberg opposes stem cell research as well, being "100% pro-life". As a side note, Media Matters has all sorts of information on Dobson-- my personal favorite is when he compared the Supreme Court to the KKK.

But political involvement aside, Dobson still wants to promote strong families. That's why he advocates a household dominated by the husband, with the wife playing the "submissive" role. Wikipedia leads one to an article on his organization's website (though not written by him) that has some interesting thoughts on the subject:
This may be shocking news to you, but an overwhelming majority of wives in my survey said they want to submit to their husbands. They want their husbands to be the head of the home, and they have no desire to usurp that God-given position of leadership. They know what the Bible says on the subject, and discerning wives want to do what God wants because they understand that God’s ways work best.
If you feel that your wife is not submissive, pray for her to have a submissive heart, first toward God and then toward you. Then ask God to help you love her the way He does. I guarantee that you will see her submission level rise in direct proportion to the unselfish love you exhibit for her. And let her see that you are seeking God for guidance. If she knows that you are asking God to show you the way, she will follow you anywhere.
Oh, and then there's the "Prayer Power" portion of it:
Lord, I submit myself to You this day. Lead me as I lead my family. Help me to make all decisions based on Your revelation and guidance. As I submit my leadership to You, enable (wife’s name) to fully trust that You are leading me. Help her to understand the kind of submission You want from her. Help me to understand the kind of submission You want from me. Enable me to be the leader You want me to be.

Where there are issues over which we disagree, help us to settle them in proper order. I pray that I will allow You, Lord, to be so in control of my life that my wife will be able to freely trust Your Holy Spirit working in me. Help me to love her the way You love me, so that I will gain her complete respect and love. Give her a submissive heart and the faith she needs to trust me to be the spiritual leader in our home. At the same time, help us to submit “to one another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:21). I know that only You, Lord, can make that perfect balance happen in our lives.

I don't know about you, but I happen to know certain women that would object to total submission to their husbands-- especially if that means giving up their careers.

Religious faith is an important part of American society, and helps define who we are as individuals. But men like James Dobson aren't interested in creating the loving, peaceful society faith should lead to. Instead, they exploit faith and use select passages from the Bible to advance their hateful political views.

And, of course, Dobson supports Tim Walberg.

Support Sharon Renier for Congress


I know for fact that Right to Life is getting into churches to promote candidates.

I recently looked through my church bulletin and there was a notice looking for Pro Life volunteers to work in the primary election. I called and asked what kind of help they were looking for.

The person stated they needed to people to do telephoning. What about I asked? We want to tell people to vote for Tim Walberg. I was floored. I told him I support Joe Schwarz. He then hung up on me stating I guess you're not going to help. Click.

I find the tactics of these organizaitons reprehensible, but coming from the Walberg camp, nothing is out of bounds. So much for the separation of Church and state.
Hmm. Walberg claims he is "100 Percent" Pro-Life.

Let's see. He doesn't support stem cell research which would lead to advances in medicine which would preserve and enhance life. I belive stem cell research is a pro-life act.

He is pro death penalty and wants Michigan to overturn our long established ban on capital punishment. BTW, we were the first state in America to ban it.

None of that sounds pro-life to me. Could it be he's a liar who panders to the far right and say's anything to win their favor?

Naaa, he's a preacher, preacher's don't lie. Yeah...right.
Well written as usual! Thanks for keeping the bright light of day on the dark inner workings of the Republican campaign machine!!

The more people know about this race and the candidates' views, the more people like Sharon.

michiganliberal:steve in ypsi
I clicked on Walberg's page when I read this entry. The thing I noticed was that his webpage has not been updated since August 14th.

40 days, and nothing to show us. No reason why we should vote for him. He is planning on riding on the coattails of DeVos and Bouchard and the republican party into congress. We are all that simple, aren't we??
Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home


August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   November 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008