Thursday, November 23, 2006


Exorcising James Dobson

James Dobson, the nut who founded "Focus on the Family," was on Larry King Live yesterday. You might assume that Dobson is a preacher of some sort. But no. He was trained as a child psychologist and, according to Source Watch, was "former associate clinical professor of pediatrics, USC School of Medicine," which should make you a little more cautious the next time you seek professional help.

His background helps explain this snippet of the interview

DOBSON: .... [Homosexuality] usually comes out of very, very early childhood, and this is very controversial, but this is what I believe and many other people believe, that is has to do with an identity crisis that occurs to early to remember it, where a boy is born with an attachment to his mother and she is everything to him for about 18 months, and between 18 months and five years, he needs to detach from her and to reattach to his father.

It's a very important developmental task and if his dad is gone or abusive or disinterested or maybe there's just not a good fit there. What's he going to do? He remains bonded to his mother and...

KING: Is that clinically true or is that theory?

DOBSON: No, it's clinically true, but it's controversial....

Not controversial, really. Just flat out false.

The need for an exorcism

But it was a story about Dobson's thoughts on defrocked pastor Ted Haggard that piqued my interest in the interview. Reporter Hector Gutierrez's account in the Rocky Mountain News appeared beneath the heading "Dobson: Haggard not a hypocrite, just in need of exorcism." The story itself carried this tantalizing paragraph—

Dobson ... told CNN's Larry King Live that evangelicals are not perfect, and when they don't practice what they preach they need to undergo an exorcism.

And this—

"Everybody gets exorcised when something like this happens, and for good reason," Dobson said. "It's deceit. It's betrayal. It seems that those who are on the left approach this with glee.

Dobson has a point. I approach exorcism with much the same thrill that I feel for a fresh appearance of the Virgin. And the notion that "everybody gets exorcised when something like this happens" was simply too good to lay aside.

Alas, it was not to be. After hurrying to read the transcript, I discovered that there had been an unfortunate misunderstanding. What Dobson actually said was "You know, Larry, everybody gets exercised when something like this happens and for good reason."

But in my heart I know he meant to say "exorcised."

11/24/06 - 10:44 am

The article in the Rocky Mountain News has been exorcised.


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