With typical chutzpah, Focus on the Family co-founder James Dobson on Tuesday declared that rational and reasonable Republicans like conservative Kathleen Parker are hereby excommunicated from the U.S. conservative movement and the Republican Party.
According to Dobson’s ghost-writer, if you don’t smugly shout out that God and the Bible are on your side in every speech or essay, then you’re no longer a conservative:
Whatever she once was, Ms. Parker is certainly not a conservative anymore, having apparently realized it’ a lot easier to be popular among your journalistic peers when your keyboard tilts to the left.
Dobson limits the totality of moral concern to his own self-serving interests — sex and reproduction — in order to state, misleadingly:
Ms. Parker cites the election of Barack Obama as evidence that Americans no longer care much about the moral-values issues that have historically driven conservative voters to the polls.
As evidence, Focus cites just one issue: freedom for sexual minorities and orientation-tolerant Americans from orthodox religious tyranny. Specifically, Dobson cites the votes in three states to withdraw or deny the freedom to marry to gay and lesbian Americans — votes that were won with support from misinformed members of the antigay religious left and that were opposed by many conservatives who favor limited government and true religious freedom.
Focus doesn’t seem to fully know left from right — or rather, it is redefining “conservative” and “Republican” to favor big government, federal bedroom police, and federal arbiters of religious correctness.
Focus falsely accuses Parker of taking “gratuitous swipes” at Sarah Palin’s vacuous displays of shallow pop spirituality. Parker criticized Palin for this transparently thoughtless and egocentric remark:
I’m like, okay, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I’m like, don’t let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is…. And if there is an open door in (20)12 or four years later, and if it’s something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I’ll plow through that door.
Such notions are to be expected from spiritually immature teen-agers, not mature leaders — whatever their religious affiliation.
When Parker says Americans live in a “diverse” nation that “is no longer predominantly white and Christian,” Focus responds not by documenting a coherent case to the contrary, but by vaguely suggesting that readers search Google for some kind of evidence to reinforce their prejudices.
Dobson seems most angered at Barack Obama’s past suggestion that democracy “requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. … I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.”
In the view of Dobson and the Southern Baptists that dominate both Focus and the ex-gay movement, it is heresy to recognize beliefs other than fundamentalist Christianity. And it is deeply threatening to require a rational basis for law. Dobson asserts that simply requiring reason and recognizing diversity is “rescinding the invitation” for conservative Christians to speak at all.
Focus on the Family hopes to silence both liberals and conservatives who oppose its smug presumption to speak as America’s sole political, moral and religious authority. Meanwhile, Focus whines that it is being silenced simply by being compelled to share U.S. political movements with people who hold different viewpoints and who don’t want government bureaucrats dictating the religious and moral beliefs that Americans — and their religious institutions — are allowed to hold.
Dobson whines: “We’ve never been that marginalized in our culture and government ‚Äî and won’t be anytime soon, the efforts and epithets of big media notwithstanding.”
So long as Dobson presumes to speak for all conservatives and for all moral or religious people, he deserves to be marginalized.