James Dobson: “I think He [God] has allowed judgment to fall upon us”

James Dobson2
On Tuesday, Dr. James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, took to the airwaves on his radio program, Family Talk, to discuss the recent tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut. After spending the better part of half the show reading the script from a talk he gave in the 1980s around the decline of the family, Dobson moved the conversation into the state of our nation today, linking the tragedy to gay marriage and abortion among other things:

I am saying that something has gone wrong in America. We have turned our back on God. Millions of people have decided either God doesn’t exist or he’s irrelevant to me. And we have killed 54 million babies. And the institution of marriage is right on the verge of a complete redefinition. Believe me that is going to have consequences, too. A lot of these things are happening around us and…

…Somebody is going to get mad at me for saying what I am about to say right now but I’m going to give you my honest opinion: I think we have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us. I think that’s what is going on. We’re seeing things happen that didn’t happen just a few years ago and there is a reason for it: something has gone wrong in this country.

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You can listen to the full program here.

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  • Jonathan Starkey

    This is the antithesis of what Frank Schaeffer wrote the other day.

    • Indeed. I wonder if the people who complained about how RLC caters to people like Frank Schaeffer will acknowledge this post – and if so, how?

      • Bobby B

        Hey, that’s a lot more than Schaeffer will ever do.

        • Bobby, we are none of us perfect. I think perhaps we all spend a bit too much time pointing out the sins of others and not enough time correcting our own.

  • 22044

    Without advocating for or criticizing Dr. Dobson, I appreciate RLC for presenting differing viewpoints.

    • Drew

      If this was their intent, then yes, I appreciate it as well.

    • Bobby B

      I’ll be happily corrected, but I’m skeptical that this was put up in the interest of fairness. I’d suggest it was put up to be mocked.

      • 22044

        I respect your view as well.

      • While that is possible, one would expect that if it were put up to be mocked, mockery would have been included. Dobson is presented without commentary or critique.

  • Steve

    You may find my blog post an appropriate response to Dobson’s comments, along with what Mike Huckabee said a few days earlier – http://stevelindsley.typepad.com/thoughtsandmusings/2012/12/why-i-feel-sorry-for-james-and-mike-and-pat.html

    • 22044

      I read your post. Reasonable people can disagree with Dobson & Huckabee, but arrogant hubris was all I saw there. Fail.

      • I hadn’t planned on reading it, because of how Steve was shamelessly advertising it. After your comment, I decided to go and skim it. The hubris surfaces quickly.

        • 22044

          I hang out at another blogging community frequently, where everyone who has a blog promotes it. I find use in ignoring most of the self-promotion, but recently I’ve seen several unique comments favoring one particular blog. So that might sell me on checking it out.
          In fairness, though, if one doesn’t self-promote, that seems like a necessary first step to eventually get favorable word-of-mouth.
          OK, enough of my OT rambling about marketing! :)

          • Hey, no complaints from me. Sometimes those off-topic ramblings are necessary to cool everyone’s nerves – we’ve been touching on sensitive issues around here recently. Granted, it’s entirely proper for a blog like this to touch on sensitive issues.

    • Brother K

      I like it. Thanks.

    • i also found *this* post, passed along to me earlier today, helpful. http://johnpavlovitz.wordpress.com/2012/12/18/mike-huckabee-james-dobson-and-a-pastors-apology/

      • 22044

        That writer, too, needs to do more homework. In his comment to a reader he calls Huckabee & Dobson a few steps away from WBC, and then calls WBC “our brothers & sisters in Christ.”
        He should not be taken seriously. Be careful.

      • bluecenterlight

        Well said, TY

    • Jennifer Kleinsasser

      Couldn’t agree more. Thesis of what Huckabee and Dobson have to say: People/the world can be evil. That is why this happened. What a stunning revelation! Oops, I think we knew that already, learned it right back in the early Biblical narrative when Cain killed Abel. The question is: Where does Robbie Parker come from? How can we be more like him? This grieving father of a victim at Sandy Hook offers hope, healing, and a way forward.

  • Brother K

    While I’m opposed to abortion and gay marriage, I have trouble with my fellow Christians who say these are the reasons God passes judgment on USA as if these are the only 2 evils that merit His wrath. What about centuries of pervasive sin in this land — genocide, withcraft, slavery, Jim Crow, sexism, classism, political corruption, materialism, pride, selfishness, homicide, divorce, Christian hypocrisy, prostitution, exploitation of the poor, etc…? Is God not grieved by these too? But for whatever reason, certain groups act as if God pivots around abortion and homosexuality. I guess God is only grieved by the issues important to their group, nothing else. (btw…I make similar comments to those who only hang their hats on poverty).

    • Drew

      To be fair for Dobson, his primary point is that the U.S. has embraced agnosticism and atheism and has discarded Christianity. However, you have a valid point in that his list is not comprehensive.

      • Brother K

        Good point, Drew.

      • Jonathan Starkey

        I disagree America also embraces Hyper Christianity.

        • Drew

          There is nothing to disagree with, Jonathan. I was trying to summarize what Dobson said, not what I want Dobson to say.

      • By “discarded” he means “not established as the state church”. I was fundamentalist until my second year of college when I discovered this website. I have also looked back and looked at the kinds of things I believed, and they ranged from comedically stupid to horrifically dangerous. The best exampbe I can use id one that treads both aspects.
        As a Southern Baptist (aka Fundamentalist) I was tought that non-Christians (ie non-fundamentalists) were conduits of demonic and satanic energy because they did not have Christ in their hearts. This meant that it was dangerous for anybody but highly experienced “Spiritual Warriors” (ie inquisiters) to approach anywhere near them. This is because inexperienced Christians might be overwhelmed by these people’s “dark energies” and be lead astray into “sinful actions” without knowing it.
        This meant that I could only be friends with fellow fundamentalists outside of school. This is also why many fundamentalists home school their children; to “protect” their souls from the “evil” nonbelieving children. This also means that the child is most likely to never learn of other people except for what their parewnts and pastors tell them. I was tought that non-Christians embraced evil as if they were a Power Rangers villain (and I’m not talking “In Space” or “Lost Galaxy” where they introduced gray areas). This black and white moral absolutism is why we have people like Dobson who see the world split between Christians and Satanists.
        I hope this clarifies things for anyone who was curious.
        And no, I didn’t make any of that up.

    • I. E.

      Well said Brother K. Add to your list of sins God detests – slavery and racism. (And there are many more). I think the bottom line is that we think we know God, and speak for him. In reality, we are consciously or subconsciously selfishly pushing our agendas. We ought to spend more time learning about God by studying Jesus. We ought to figure out how to love our neighbors instead of blaming the massacre in CT on Gays and people who commit abortion. We ought to be focusing on eliminating the root causes of abortion or homosexuality.

      • Rob W

        Eliminating the root cause of homosexuality? People are born gay; they don’t acquire it socially. It’s time to open our hearts and embrace real love wherever it exists. Our society should not be governed by the laws of Leviticus.

        • Frank

          There is absolutely no scientific evidence that people are born gay. They may be but no be knows yet.

          Theologically if people are indeed born gay it supports the truth that we are all born hard wired to sin.

        • Drew

          So, we should legalize incest? Not sure if everyone wants Leviticus 100% discarded.

        • I. E.

          Rob W, Frank said what I was going to say: there is no scientific proof people are born gay. So, searching for and addressing the root causes make sense. And, I was not implying we should be governed by Leviticus, somehow, you jumped there. However, I agree with you that we should embrace real love.

        • akiva

          The problem is that Laws in Leviticus are only applied as what people believe to be still an applicable law. Most of the Levitical laws have been disgarded including some of the sexual ones (and I am not talking about Homosexuality or Incest (interesting note an uncle is allowed to marry his neice according to Levticus)). I see many christains with tattos which is prohibitted by leviticus. I actually know people who have married their syblings exspouse (and I am talking about living syblings thus not including the requirement for a brother to marry his dead brothers wife). This list could go on and on. The main argument people use for the allowance of these things is that Jesus completed the law. I understand complete to mean that nothing else needs to be added not now things can be eliminated because Jesus did away with law. However that is what it means to most of the christians I know. The law is no longer applicable except for the ones we deem aplicable is the belief that most of us have because we do not want to admit that our sin is a sin.

    • “You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.” ― Anne Lamott

      • 22044

        True enough – applies to everyone, though. Me included

        • Indeed. Lord, help me when I fail to realize it for myself!

  • americanwoman343

    The problem here is theological. The gospel says the nations are all already under judgment. Jesus is the suffering servant of Isaiah 53, whose back took all our punishment. There is no such thing as a Christian nation – there is only the kingdom of God, of all tribes, tongues and nations. America was no less under judgment when ‘everybody went to church’ (no, they didn’t) than it is now. What happened in Newtown is, in my view, the work of evil worked through a very broken person in a broken world. As a society, there are things we can do to hem it in, even though we can’t completely keep these things from happening. But before we start pronouncing what God is doing, we need to come to terms with the gospel. When we come to Christ in trust, we are transferred from darkness to light, from condemnation to life. So instead of pronouncing judgment on America for this or that, how about telling the good news of Jesus?

    • Drew

      The problem here is absolutely not theological, but rather the problem is focusing on some sins versus other sins. If you think the problem is theological, I recommend the Book of Romans to you.

      • americanwoman343

        “there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12; But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known…this righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.” Romans 3:21-22

        • Drew

          Not sure what the point is that you’re trying to get at. The fact that we are all depraved without Christ is wholly different than the trajectory of a society that rejects Christ.

          • Society is nothing more than the people that make it up. A society that rejects Christ is a society made up of people who are depraved without Christ, and who are individually rejecting Christ.

          • Drew

            I thought we had a gentleman’s agreement that you were not going to interject on my comments and fruitlessly engage with me. American is an adult; I’ll let her respond.

          • I’m sorry, I thought we could actually have a fruitful conversation. If you aren’t willing to try, I apologize for extending the invitation.

  • James Dobson is misguided in believing in an unchristlike god.

  • When you don’t think guns should be regulated at all, but you can’t really say that because 20 kids got shot last week and that would look insensitive, be sure to fall back on the “America with its Democrat president is really going downhill” narrative, because your audience that absolutely feeds on fear of the Other just eats that up. Presto, you’ve just shifted the debate away from whether there are too many guns in the USA.

  • Allie

    My heart cries for the Christian families who lost children or grandchildren, nephews or nieces, friends or siblings, on that horrible day in Newtown, only to hear from a so-called Christian leader that the reason their child of God was gunned down in an evil and merciless way was because of God’s judgment against homosexuality and abortion in their nation. Sick, sick, sick. To suggest that God would wreak his wrath on children…there are no words to adequately describe my utter disappointment with Dobson for this statement. This is totally incongruous with God as He is revealed to us in Mark 10:

    People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

    • Don’t just cry for the Christian families who are spoon fed the lies that their children somehow deserved it. Also cry for the non-Christian families who see this false gospel of arbitrary wrath and not the true Gospel of God’s Love.

  • Dobson thinks God’s judgment has arrived because of the gays, and I sometimes think it’s arrived because of things like Wayne Lapierre’s surreal inability to admit guns are a problem (and the critical mass of Christians who buy arguments like this).

  • bluecenterlight

    Ezekiel 16:49
    “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

    If Mr. Dobson were really concerned about about God’s judgement, he would do more to address these issues instead of his own agenda.

  • johndpav

    I’m a pastor and RLC. Wrote this in response to the words of Huckabee and Dobson. Hope you enjoy:


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