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January 02, 2005

Now let us praise famous fascists

A recent post by Digby over at Hullabaloo has made me realize that perhaps the best thing I could do as a blogger is to focus on Focus on the Family and its Christofascist founder James Dobson. As it happens, Dobson is a Nazarene and so I grew up hearing lots about him. People I know well (and know to be terrible frauds and probably felons) work in his organization. I don't really hate anyone, but as Dobson has risen from mere pontificator to the self-appointed pontiff of the Evangelical extremist right he has come close.

As my father would say, though, don't get mad-- get even. Since Dobson's face appears in the dictionary next to the phrase "holier-than-thou," I think it's high time that people begin to apply serious scrutiny to his beliefs, his organizations, and his actions. Expect more here soon.

But to start, read Digby's post about Dobson's description of beating the family dog, a 12-pound dachshund... from his book on Christian child-rearing Dare to Discipline. If a dog-beater's notes on parenting don't strike your fancy, read this mid-90s expose by a former Focus on the Family vice-president. It was a scary read back in the '90s when Dobson was still relatively obscure. Now that his threats to politicians are big news, it's even scarier.

Posted by jay at January 2, 2005 12:48 PM | TrackBack
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Lamous Assist: Although I would pay to see Dobson chase you around and give you the sound whipping you deserve, whether he beat the dog or whether he is a good example is beside the point for now. Let's see the bigger picture:

Abusing animals is wrong and really stupid, whoever does it.

But what about KILLING unborn HUMANS? I'm sure you would never support that, right?

Or would you?

That's what we need to be "weeping" about, not John Kerry.

You sloppy, spoiled, Michael Moore, baby-killer clowns get the infanticide beam out of your own eye first.

And the attitude of getting even? So biblical, so fitting for such a self-proclaimed holy person.

Most people who read nonfamous probably already reject Dobson, Nazarenes, and Christ(ians)--all for whom you have no standing to speak. Try as you may, you won't be changing many rational people's minds. So keep feeding bananas to your monkeys and I'll continue to be entertained by this circus.

Posted by: Nate on January 3, 2005 12:25 AM

Nate, I never claimed to be a "holy person." In my book, claiming that status is at the root of the spiritual pride that has turned much of organized Christianity into a dangerous parody of Christ's teachings. It's from the Old Testament, so I'm sure you don't put much stock in it, but I still think Micah's question is paramount: "What does God require of you, but to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."

I may not go to church every week or pray as hard or sing as loud as the people I grew up with. But, quietly, without too much chest-beating, I do justice and love mercy. And I walk pretty humbly with God, Nate. I know I'm a sinner. Dobson does not. Thanks to the twisted Nazarene doctrine of Utter Sanctification, he believes he can no longer sin. (Read the book I linked to, or just the Publisher's Weekly review on the Amazon page, if you don't believe me.)

So what's scarier than I Christian who, in effect, says to Christ "Thanks for dying for my sins, but now I'm so good I won't be needing your services anymore"? Very few things, Nate. It's hard to find that kind of blind faith in one's own righteousness this side of Osama bin Laden. That's why I think it's totally appropriate to call Dobson a "mullah" and lump them in the same category of fundamentalist terrorists.

As for your anger at abortion... it's very simple to respond to that. Banning abortion won't end it--only make it more dangerous. And ensure that only rich white women with connections can get them. So take your ranting about infanticide to the real world, where those of us not in love with our own perfection have to spend our days.

Maybe you should work for the Planned Parenthood chapter I worked for for two years, that has never performed its first abortion, and instead prevented unwanted pregnancies with accessible birth control and sex education? That would be doing justice and loving mercy. But I figure you'd probably rather just scream at the rest of us from your high pillar of self-righteousness. Yep, you're doing a lot of good up there--you're the real circus monkey, having a great time shitting down on the rest of us.

Please, keep reading and commenting. While I try not to be too sure about anything, your comments only reassure me in my belief that God will forgive those of us who know we are sinners long before he shows love or mercy for those who go to their graves believing they saved themselves.

Posted by: jay on January 3, 2005 10:49 AM

That's nice you more or less implicated yourself. Most people know better regarding Planned Parenthood. Try this one out, from yesterday:

http://www.cnsnews.com//ViewSpecialReports.asp?Page=\SpecialReports\archive\200501\SPE20050118a.html

I guess those 244,628 innocent humans killed during FY 2004 at the hands of your PP don't matter? There are the murderers, not our American soldiers. And there are the innocent souls, not the terrorists you try to defend who hate you, want to destroy you, your family, your country, your freedom, and your way of life.

Whitewashing won't do--even though nationwide abortions are on the decline, yep, PP's are increasing, comprising 34% of PP clinic income for FY 2003-2004. Amazing. No doing justice and loving mercy here, just a lot of innocent blood shed.

So again: You sloppy, spoiled, Michael Moore, baby-killer clowns get the infanticide beam out of your own eye first.

Posted by: Nate on January 19, 2005 01:56 AM

Jay,

It's kind of sweet, you know? Your blog has its own personal troll. He even gets his news from a Righty-Right news source.

Congratulations! Terry


Posted by: terry on January 19, 2005 08:23 AM

...and from lefty-left??? sources too. Terry, hard numbers like 244,628 and 34% are a little more difficult to spin and distort than general politics, for example. While it may be that only one "biased" side will publish the figures, that does not automatically mean they're wrong. It could mean the other side is too embarrassed to do so. I enjoy your perspective all the way, but instead of blindly, distractingly, attacking my "source," why don't you try reinforcing your argument with facts. Best Regards, Nate

Posted by: Nate on January 19, 2005 03:03 PM

OK, Nate, rather than get information from a biased third party letís go straight to the source. (http://www.plannedparenthoodrx.com/annualreport/report-04.pdf)

Yes, Planned Parenthood did see a 6.1% increase year over year in abortion procedures. (The conjecture of 34% of their annual income from abortion is based on fuzzy math from an anti-choice activist and not something that I will take seriously.) They also saw a 95.4% increase in Sexually Transmitted Infection services for both men and women. And in HIV testing and services they saw a 12.1% increase for female clients and a 6.8% increase for male clients. The most telling drain on their resources is the 31% increase in their primary care patients.

Planned Parenthood is not just an abortion provider. They are a necessary and vocal advocate for sexual health, regardless of gender. When so many Americans are without health insurance and our youth is fed bigotry and shame masquerading as education, PPFA is one organization that stands for medical access and choice for all of our citizens.

Posted by: terry on January 20, 2005 08:53 AM

Nate, don't EVEN start with me on Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood, through its sex-ed and birth control services, prevents many, MANY more abortions than it performs. And I must ask that you and your "religious right" kin shut up about abortion until you start lobbying the government to provide funding for education, health care, and other support for the kids Americans already have. Why is it that you love the fetus more than the child? Whatever the reason, you and your kind are part of the reason we have a higher infant-mortality rate than Godless, Communist Cuba!

Posted by: jay on January 20, 2005 10:18 AM

Numbers Straight from Planned Parenthood's Annual:

Abortion Income % of Clinic Income
===========================================
FY 2003/04

Clinic Income $306,200,000
Abortion Income 103,966,900
(244,628 murders @
$425 per job*)

Percentage of Clinic Income 34%
=============================================

*Based on previous years, $425 is a conservative estimate for 2003/04, if anything, a little on the low side. I welcome you to present a more accurate figure.

THERE you have it: 244,628 and 34%. The numbers speak for themselves.

Abortion to adoption referral ratio? Try 138:1. 244,628/ 1,774 = 138. Despicable. Again, the numbers speak for themselves.

Weak arguments, Jay. I'll bet in Abu Ghraib many more beatings and tortures were prevented than were administered, but that does not make those beatings and tortures that did occur any less serious and does not lessen their very nature. All the good done by PP does not negate or justify even a single death. Try that argument before the judge next time you decide to murder someone--I do lots of necessary good for the neighborhoood--and see if they buy it.

A fetus IS a child, and I'm not yet convinced to move to communist Cuba and live under a dictatorship. Irrelevant Red Herring. I'll bet the health care was pretty good under Saddam, too? He did mercilessly kill hundreds of thousands but I'm sure he saved some too.

Posted by: Nate on January 21, 2005 03:29 PM

Wow... I expect you right-wingers to know a tiny bit more about basic economics, not to say comparative ethics.

Let me start by pointing out that businesses generally focus on a few things, and customers generally understand what those are. That fact (and not some evil abortion conspiracy!) is why women who know they want to offer their unborn child for adoption generally go to one of dozens of adoption agencies in every major city, agencies which are totally focused on how to treat these cases--which do not require special medical training, equipment, or bullet-proof glass. Translated into an example you might understand better, your attack on Planned Parenthood reads a bit like this: "BibleShack sold 10,000 Bibles but only one crucifix--BibleShack HATES Christ!!!" No, I'd reply, they just decided not to compete with the big new CrucifixHut next door. This is the genius of capitalism--specialization.]

So on to your money-quote: "All the good done by PP does not negate or justify even a single death. Try that argument before the judge next time you decide to murder someone--I do lots of necessary good for the neighborhoood--and see if they buy it." Um, actually, this calculation of deaths [full-grown, walking, talking human death, not fetal death] gets made every single day. Every drug has side effects; every technology has risks. Life as we know it could not happen if we, as a society, were unable to make these calculations. It's not pretty. It's not how things will be done in heaven. But it's what we're stuck with here on earth. (Wow, I sound like Peggy Noonan all the sudden!)

So what calculation must go on here? Nate, this is what you really must find a way to contemplate: If there were no Planned Parenthood, No Roe v. Wade, no RU-486... there would still be abortions, as there have been throughout human history. They would just be unsafe, degrading, and all-too-often fatal to the woman. Your imposition of your will on the situation ["And Nate said: 'No more Planned Parenthood!'] would result in... death. Lots of it. In back alleys and dirty motel rooms, and in midnight bathrooms where the girls who have been silently hemmoraging for days finally pass out. Mostly poor girls, too, as the rich ones have daddies who always seem to know a willing doctor. I have talked to women who, pre-Roe, survived these procedures--including a dear friend who had to get a back-alley abortion in the 1950s to avoid giving birth to the result of her father's raping her. But I guess you think she really should have had that child, right?

So even IF one equated a fetus with a full life [which, for instance, Hebraic Law in the Old Testament does NOT!] you would still be left in a position that is, by your own definition, untenable: to save fetuses, you would sentence women to death. Would that somehow make you better than Planned Parenthood? Who gives you the right to make that calculation, Nate?

Abortion should be safe, legal, and rare--and solely a topic for a woman, her doctor, and her God. There is no room for you in that equation Nate. And for that you should be thankful. If there were, you'd have lots of blood on your hands either way. You'd probably want to do something to atone for that, to make the terrible situation just a little better. Like counseling women, and providing birth control... which would be the only sensible way to act when faced with harsh reality--nay, the only ethical or moral way to act.

But instead, people like you just keep lobbing bombs--both rhetorical and terrifyingly real--at Planned Parenthood. If you want to be angry at someone about the sorry state of this world--where either fetuses or women will die depending on abortion policy--be angry at God. But until he shows up to discuss it with you, why not leave Planned Parenthood alone... and, I implore you again, do SOMETHING to improve the lot of the millions of unwanted and unloved children already here.

Posted by: jay on January 21, 2005 04:00 PM

Nate,

After this I am done arguing numbers. Clinic income only comprises 38% of total PPFA income. While I will, for now, concede that 34% of clinic income comes from abortion procedures I fail to see how that makes PPFA immoral. They are providing a service to women that ask for it. Save your moral outrage for the women that choose this procedure. But as to that...

Get your opinion, religion and wanna-be laws and judgment off my body and the body of every other woman in this world. When you stand against access and choice, you stand against the equal rights of women. Not one of these women is forced to have an abortion. We choose for ourselves.

And don't play the adoption card with me. You can't expect every woman to put her life on hold for a year while she incubates a fetus that she does not want. Some women will and for those there are adoption agencies to service their needs. For the woman that won't or can't (and I don't just mean for medical reasons-young girls and women are preyed upon and pregnancy does result) you would have them forced against their will into bringing the fetus to term. Or you would condemn them to taking a risk that may cost them their life. Either way you have violated the civil rights of a citizen of this nation.

And don't start with me about the rights of the fetus. As long as its viability is dependent upon the body of the woman carrying it, all the rights are the woman's.

Oh, just for clarification. No, I don't have any children. I had my tubes tied as I chose to remain childless. Choice is a wonderful, powerful thing and it is key to being human. Stop trying to enslave women to their wombs. And leave the morality of their choice to them and their religious practice.

Posted by: terry on January 21, 2005 05:02 PM

Jay,

I won't even touch your capitalism example, as I found it cheesy and a little weird. I've been to business school and understand the whole economic thing. The abortion-adoption ratio was just an aside. I'm not sure why anyone would go to PP when contemplating adoption, either. And why would PP refer a client out when they stand to make $400.? Maybe only when the client is broke.

My statement, "All the good done by PP does not negate or justify even a single death," was in response to yours, "Planned Parenthood, through its sex-ed and birth control services, prevents many, MANY more abortions than it performs." Maybe I didn't read you right, but we can never make up for 10 bad acts by pouring on 12 good ones, leaving us as a good person with 2 good acts. Some things, such as murdering an innocent human being, are wrong regardless of how much good follows.

Here's a good book on risk:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0471295639/qid=1106355080/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/002-3151990-6951205?v=glance&s=books

Reality is sometimes hard, we can agree. After the first sin in the Garden of Eden, this world took a wrong turn on a road we were never intended to go down. As long as the world continues as we know it, this will not change. You're right, abortion is no new thing. I know there will always be abortions. There will also always be suicides--but do we have clinics to assist in this act, making it clean and not-degrading? God help us if we ever get to this point. You know history well enough for this, Jay, better than me. Let's get away from the emotional think logically.

There is the argument for the best interest of the mother's life, which is an exception. If it was either my wife's life or the baby's, I think God would understand. But the reality is, given modern medical advancements this is very, very rarely the case. Almost never. Roe v. Wade has only resulted in a monumental increase in abortions, millions of innocents' deaths that had nothing to do with saving the life of the mother. I've heard Sarah Weddington speak and am familiar with the case. I would think you are too. As we know, Norma McCorvey and Sandra Cano both want their respective cases overturned through a Rule 60 motion, so this may not be the end of it.

I know PP does good things. My biggest wish is "no more murders."

I'm really sorry about your friend's story, proof of this fallen world. Jay, what if YOU were that child who was back-alley aborted as a result of the father's r@pe in the 50's? They should have whacked the dad in the back alley, not the innocent baby. Anyway, wouldn't you be a little upset to find out now your parents wanted to abort you and were somehow prevented from doing so? I know I would.

I would like to see some OT scripture supporting your fetus--full life disparity concept. And again, the situation where a choice has to be made between the mother's life or the baby's: almost never. In light of the Holy Bible, there are limited cases where killing another human is justified: punishment for muder (I know you probably reject this), war (very difficult), self-defense, saving the mother's life....

I agree that abortion, if needed as a last resort, should be rare and safe, but that's a whole other issue than PP. In that case, like self-defense, the death is justified and there's no following "atonement" needed for anything. Final judgment does not come down to a pair of scales weighing the good against the bad. I'm not at all against birth control, etc., but those could never erase a murder. Ethics and morals demand the respecting of ALL life.

People like me don't lob bombs, although that's no worse than lobbing stainless steel instruments or chemicals or suction tubes at a fetus. But two wrongs don't make a right, obviously. We should never be angry at God, as He is the one who has given us hope amid the world ruined by our earthly ancestors, Adam & Eve.

In summary, we are called to do good acts, but we can never outweigh bad acts with good ones, all the while continuing with the bad. It's not like debits and credits. This is not how the world works. This will not be the final analysis.

Regards, Nate

Posted by: Nate on January 21, 2005 06:13 PM

Terry,

So if one of your enemies chooses to have you killed by a hitman, neither your enemy or the hitman are immoral since your enemy was exercising their power of choice to kill you and the hitman was just providing his services to those who ask for it? Leave the morality of their choice to them and their religious practice?


Thank you for not having children.

Posted by: Nate on January 21, 2005 06:34 PM

Nate,

Judge not, lest you be judged.

If someone wanted to pay to have me killed, the two of them have made a choice. The moral question is ultimately decided by their conscience and their God. I'm dead. I don't have a say - and since I'm dead, I don't care - I've moved on.

There is more than this temporal, physical plane, Nate. This place is hardly the pinnacle of our consciousness. Tend to your own and leave the rest of us to our business.

Posted by: terry on January 22, 2005 04:01 PM

Nate, please take your superiority and leave. Your arrogance -- the insistence that the world and everyone in it should live according to your particular belief system -- is infuriating. Just fucking go away.

Yes, I know I'm not being very mature. I don't care. I'm sick of reading your assaults on us.

Posted by: Peter on January 22, 2005 06:51 PM

Nate, Peter's right. We've indulged you enough. Your final comment to Terry was beyond the pale. No more of you. This country used to make fun of people like you--the Scopes Trial and all that. For the past 25 years, we've indulged you--and look what's happened. We're losing our country! If you want a theocracy, go to Iran. And if you want a place to espouse your views, get you own damn blog. You are not welcome here any more.

Posted by: jay on January 22, 2005 08:30 PM
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