Faced with an increasingly negative public image and declining support for his holy war against GLBT individuals and every other sort of infidel, James Dobson is pulling out all the stops to rally his remaining troops.
“It’s not just marriage that is at stake, it’s absolutely everything,” Dobson solemnly warned listeners on his October 10 broadcast. Together with guests Maggie Gallagher, Chuck Colson and Robbie George, the spin machine was in high gear as Dobson laid out a grim scenario in which increasing support for gay marriage would lead to the destruction of all marriages everywhere, the repeal of religious freedom and the end of Western civilization.
How gay marriage would lead to the “abolition” of heterosexual marriage was never explained, nor did anyone on the program elaborate on how the efforts of gay rights activists to “stack” state legislatures are any different than the efforts of any other political group, much less how they could be any worse than the tactics employed by religious right groups in those same elections.
Maggie Gallagher repeatedly asserted that “60-65%” of the American public is “on our side” in the battle against gay marriage, notwithstanding recent polls that show that actual opposition to gay marriage now runs between 50-55%, and that many of those who oppose gay marriage support civil unions for gay couples. But then, Focus on the Family and its allies are no strangers to playing fast and loose with statistics.
The panel continued its rallying cry by suggesting that the evangelicals who form the core of the religious right’s support base are merely demoralized and in need of a good pep talk, conveniently ignoring the many Christians who have become disillusioned with the religious right’s political crusades, and the growing number of evangelical leaders who advocate dialogue over acrimony or seek to disentangle the church from politics altogether.
Dobson’s panel further sought to rally the troops by citing examples of religious liberty coming under attack, but again couldn’t make their case without a hefty dose of spin. Colson talked about his prison ministry’s recent expulsion from a British prison, claiming they were shut out for advocating chastity, when in fact his ministry was disqualified for failing to meet multiple criteria.
James Holsinger’s controversial nomination for Surgeon General was also referenced as a case of religious persecution, without any mention of the fact that he used doctored statistics and pseudoscience in a report intended to influence policy decisions being made by his denomination.
That Dobson and his allies are alarmed by the recent decline in their support base is understandable, and it’s hardly surprising that it would cause them to become even more shrill and alarmist in their rhetoric. A political empire that’s founded on fear and half truths can only be maintained through ever-increasing doses of the same tactics, after all.
Hat tip: Good As You