Saturday, October 14, 2006

Me v. Dr. Dobson

Below is a quick sneak peek at my new column going up on Literary Mama this weekend, in which I give voice to some of the reasons I've distanced myself from a contemporary church whose slide into conservative politics utterly dumbfounds me.

"Faced with [Dr. James] Dobson's words [about the Mark Foley scandal], I'm driven to speak out against the trajectory of a church that is failing me as a woman; that is failing my -- and other women's -- children and families. For years, I've felt ambivalent about my association (or lack thereof) with the contemporary church. Today, part of me wants to stand up and shout: "This man doesn't speak for me -- or for my faith!" The other half, the one that shies away from this present incarnation of Christianity, presents Dr. Dobson as Exhibit A in the case against all that is pushing me, and people like me, away. . ."

I wrote the column in reponse to Dobson's insinuation, during an October 6 radio broadcast, that Rep. Mark Foley's sexual overtures to underage male pages could be explained away as "a joke" on the part of the boys. On October 11, Dobson defended himself on air, saying that the media (which also has been critical of his claim) has twisted his words, ignoring the fact that he condemned Mark Foley's actions.

So, for the record: in his earlier broadcast, Dobson did say that "if" Foley had done what he was accused of, he should resign (which Foley did). I don't take issue with Dobson's criticism of Foley's behavior. (It has been revealed that Foley is gay; does anyone really think that Dobson wouldn't have a problem with him?) My concern is with Dobson's political tap dancing: the deflection of blame away from the Republican Party's mishandling of Foley's predatory behavior, the thoroughly insensitive and inappropriate suggestion that the boys themselves are somehow to blame, and now this -- the big show of righteous indignation, Dobson's claims that his words have been twisted, the implication that his behavior is beyond reproach and any criticism of him reflects not on his character but on that of the questioners. Enough, already!

I'm a mother. When I question some aspect of my boys' behavior, I expect them at times to whine and claim that they haven't done the very thing I just saw them do. But they're three years old. Dr. Dobson is more than old enough to know better.


Blogger lisa said...

With ya on this one, sis!

12:04 PM  
Blogger relevantgirl said...

Lisa Samson pointed me your way via her blog. I'm glad she did.

I'm originally from the PNW, so it was nice to see your Oregon pictures.

Thanks for your words. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels uncomfortable with Dr. Dobson's increasingly political stance.

7:07 AM  
Anonymous alittlecurl said...

Your column made me think about this in a whole new way. Wouldn't the reaction have been completely different if they were girls? Somehow there's this attitude that boys can handle it, that we don't need to protect them as much. As a mother of a boy, that drives me crazy. Boys can be innocent too. No one would have dared to call a congressman sending racy e-mails to teenage girls a joke.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Susan Hall said...

I think Dobson is one of the most dangerous men alive right now--for women, children, gays & lesbians...virtually anyone who is not like him or who does not agree with him. So you tell it like it is, honey. Maybe one of these days all the women in the world will rise up and say "enough." I wish that day were today.

11:50 PM  

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