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There. I said it.
I found something Schaeffer wrote about Dobson in June. What the hell is this about?
I was being intentionally cryptic. For no good reason, really. Here's the gist.
The actual circumstances of my specific anxiety (and throbbing headache) are much more complex, though. Briefly, the chain goes something like this:
Francis Schaeffer > "A Christian Manifesto" > Christian Right activism > James Dobson > Focus on the Family > Alliance Defense Fund > Center for Arizona Policy > YesForMarriage campaign > my church > my headache.
Francis has been dead since 1984, so if you read something CURRENT in June, it may have been written by his son, Frank.
the fact is, Francis Schaeffer and James Dobson differ in one tremendous way: Francis Schaeffer was hella smart.
Not so much.
And if you want to assess "blame" here, couldn't we say that Dietrich Bonhoeffer was to blame for Francis Schaeffer, or that St. Augustine started the whole ball rolling, or for that matter, Christ himself is to blame when he told Christians to be a light unto the world?
The difference is humility, and understanding what your efforts really are in relation to God's power. Dr. Dobson (I think) doesn't fully grasp that as well as Dr. Schaeffer did.
And no, I'm not in favor of the protect marriage amendment that's on the ballot here, either. The government could define marriage as being between an adult and consenting lawn furniture, and it wouldn't change what I believe and what my church tells me marriage really is.
Yeah, it was just intended as a cryptic throwaway comment associated with a very specific irritating event that I was dealing with. That said, I think it's important to point out that Schaeffer didn't just write a document that inspired Dobson, the two (and other "Christian Right" figures like Jerry Falwell, etc.) actually worked together to politically oppose abortion and advance other causes. Schaeffer's support lent credibility to these groups. That's why I half-jokingly said I hold Schaeffer responsible for Dobson.
Back when I was much more religious/Christian than I am today -- which is to say, when I was religious or Christian at all, really -- I ended up on a forced jaunt to Focus on the Family headquarters.
The first thing I saw was a picture of Dr. Dobson (always "Dr. Dobson" from our guides, a little reverentially) embracing Oliver North. We swooped through the lobby, past Dr. Dobson's many honorary degrees, for a peek inside the "clean room" where a supercomputer composed thousands of messages "in the Dobsonian style" so that people would feel that Dobson himself had responded to their written pleas for advice or consolation. And on the walls were bible verses -- composed using giant gold-plated letters.
It was all more than a little creepy and disgusting to me; my group had voted nearly ironically and unanimously (I was opposed) to skip the "Garden of the Gods" in order to take this tour. I was 22 at the time, and I'm afraid I wasn't a very gracious guest.
Yeah, the whole "Doctor" thing with Dobson is really icky. I know a guy who was one of Dobson's ghost writers for awhile, and he's made more than one reference to the pressure to always refer to him as "Doctor" at the Focus headquarters.
That supercomputer story is a little weirder, though.
Would. You. Like. To. Say. A. Prayer?
Dobson (PhD) was for 14 years an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, and served for 17 years on the Attending Staff of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. He has an earned Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of California and a licensed marriage, family and child counselor in both California and Colorado. He is listed in Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. (From his biography)
Stupid people don't do these kinds of things.
You might disagree with him but you cannot call him stupid without sounding intellectually challenged yourself.
That brilliant man warned us of the dangers of Post Modernism. (Sadly, his son Frank could be a "poster boy" for Post Modernism.)
Francis Schaeffer was one of those rare individuals with huge intellectual "firepower" that could (and would) speak meaningfully with people at their level. I learned a lot from that man, and I've been blessed to know a couple of other people like that in my life.
I might be able to take your opinion more seriously if you didn't adhere to the same whacked-out eschatology as Tim LaHaye. Just saying.