Focus on the Family founder Dr. James Dobson writes “from [his] heart” that the institution of marriage is failing.
He points out the conditions he perceived which led to his founding of FOTF:
in the late 1960s and early 1970s, no-fault divorce laws, radical feminism and a sweeping sexual revolution combined here in the United States to rip open the fabric of the family. They left it shaken and wounded.
And he says that, in the 26-year lifetime of FOTF:
There have been times of hope and times of despair during this struggle, but overall, the family has been steadily losing ground. Now, the institution of marriage is on the ropes and western civilization itself appears to hang in the balance.
Having noted his organization’s failure to achieve the changes it sought despite a quarter-century of “working tirelessly to bolster and preserve traditional marriage and parenthood” with a $129 million budget and a paid staff of over 1,200, to whom does Dobson devote his next 4,000-plus words? Gays, lesbians, and transgender folks, of course.
GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, points out the ways in which Dobson recently used much of his hour-long appearance on CNN’s “Larry King Live” to “insult and denigrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people and families”, blaming them for the imminent fall of Western civilization. The 4,000-word diatribe follows the same theme as Dobson’s CNN appearance.
The question remains: Why is Dobson ignoring the vast majority of Americans who happen to be straight and legally marriageable in order to obsess about the small minority who are not? How can the purported demise of an institution which Dobson says “for millennia … has been celebrated by every culture on earth as the cornerstone of society” be felled by the support of a tiny minority who wish to participate in it?
Dobson justifies his position with a familiar series of exaggerations, misstatements and strawman arguments. Per his illogical reasoning, most gays and lesbians do not want to marry, they want to destroy marriage, legalize polygamy, and undermine all gender distinctions.
In July, Focus on the Family correspondent Steve Jordahl repeated the often-cited but misleading statistic that no more than 1 to 3 percent of the population is gay or lesbian. If he believes his own facts, Dobson is perfectly positioned to ignore the fact that a subset of a tiny minority wishes to participate in marriage.
Instead of focusing on supporting marriages and families amongst the purported 97-99 percent of Americans in his target market, though, he is determined to delegate control over the fate of marriage, family and civilization itself to the 3 percent.
Intentionally or not, Dr. Dobson creates the distinct impression that:
- He has exhausted his ability to make things better for straight families.
- Either a tiny tail is wagging a mighty big dog, or he believes gays number much more than 1-3%.
- His organization gains more from demeaning gay families than supporting straight ones.
- Extreme, arguably un-American means (legislating via the Constitution) are warranted.
A couple of other possibilities exist, as well.
Maybe he’s been watching the Fab Five improving the lives of straight couples and traditional families, and doesn’t feel up to going head-to-head with them for the hearts and minds of American families.
Or, for his readers who avoid whiney screeds, he stuck the core message message at the bottom:
P.S. The battle to defend biblical marriage will likely be long and difficult, and it will most definitely be costly… If you … feel led to make an additional contribution…
I trust you can fill in the rest.