Bring It On

Kenny, check this thread out. You will appreciate it most. If the rest of you are interested in my dialogue with Mormons please follow.

Now, on to what I really want to talk about: James Dobson setting himself (and his brand of Fundamentalism) up for doozy a fall. My old pal Selwyn Duke was always fond of endlessly repeating ‘Pride goeth before a fall’ like the old biddy he is, but this is one of those cases where it’s the appropriate sentiment. Here is the speech that Dobson describes as a ‘deliberate distortion’ of the Bible.

I frequently interact with people who are prevented by their various delusions or misplaced convictions from having an accurate perception of either the world at large or who they are in it. I never fail to feel compassion for these people because it is terrifying to live in a world that one does not comprehend; uncertainty and confusion are terrifying and I can relate to that. Many of them cling to beliefs and rituals that seem incomprehensible until you realize that these beliefs and rituals keep demons that are terrifyingly real to them away.

Sometimes a person finds themselves clinging to the demon that haunts them most. This creature of fear and anger becomes the voice of God for them, filling them with misunderstanding and a confusion of love with hate. They become locked in a shell of certainty, invulnerable to truth and wisdom and cut off from contradiction. They follow their demons where they lead which is to a fall of their own devising.

James Dobson is a demagouge without the theological sophistication to even keep his own childish beliefs straight. His arguments are unhinged; his unjustified accusations reveal his arrogant belief that his understanding of Scripture is the only correct one and that his understanding is deeply flawed and self-serving as well. This bully has been shouting intolerance and hate in Jesus’ name for too long. I signed the petition at James Dobson Doesn’t Speak For Me and I urge my readers to do so as well. It confounds the scoundrels when we stick together.           

2 Responses to “Bring It On”

  1. The Prof Says:

    Herr Winston,

    Having perused your dialogue with Aaron, and as one who makes a living analyzing and teaching rhetoric (as well as the occasional class about superheroes), I have to admit that was one of the more civil message boards about religion I’ve seen recently. And Aaron’s reply was also very civil and thoughtful. (It only became less so when the third party entered into it and decided to insult both of you…not terribly surprising, considering the subject matter and the superiority complex that belonging to a particular faith gives to some people.)

    I preface this by saying I’m not well-schooled in Biblical matters–I’m a Deist, or, as an ex-girlfriend of mine suggested, “someone who’s afraid of commitment.” That exchange does, of course, raise a dicey little issue, however: if, as Aaron suggests (and given his reasoning he does have a point), God has worked through prophets in the past and might also do so now, then how exactly do we recognize them? Does that not leave us open to manipulation? I’ve learned that anybody who claims to possess the whole truth, and is willing to have others follow him/her because of this, probably wants something. It seems to me that the term “prophet” (in our post-Biblical context–as in, it happened after the stuff on the New Testament) is, like most other matters, an article of faith squarely in the hands of the individual.

    Re; Dobson. James Dobson seems to me to be quite fearful–of anything that is outside his narrow view of the social norm, of interpretations of Scripture that do not coincide with his own, and most of all, of the loss of certainty in his rigid mind. He seems to want to shut down his brain, and when confronted with alternate interpretations of history, or of the Bible, he puts his hands over his ears and hums “Old Rugged Cross.” Worse, he accused Barack Obama of twisting (or being highly selective about) Scripture to serve his own ends…without even a hint of irony. Must give props to Jon Stewart for callling him on it on video. (Recently he dismissed the use of the Old Testament, then Stewart aired a clip of him citing it.) I’m sure he doesn’t see a disconnect, because in his mind he’s decided on a central Truth for himself, and apparently questioning even a part of it makes the whole thing fall apart.

  2. Der Profenator-

    I’m very skeptical of anyone walking around claiming to be a ‘prophet’. Most of the recognized prohphets in history had a very difficult time of it and didn’t seem to enjoy their position very much. When I say ‘recognized’ I should admit that I mean ‘prophets that I recognize’ and that I don’t think there’s anything supernatural going on with them, at least not in the sense what most people would consider to be supernatural. I certainly don’t take any descriptions of supernatural events literally. This is why I have a real problem with the belief that God intervenes in our affairs to make mundane announcements about how all of us should shave or which day of the week is best for washing the dog. It makes the non-intervention of God in genocides and disasters criminal neglect; if God is still so parental towards humanity that we are to be sent holy prophets to fine-tune our church services, then surely there is some responsiblity there to prevent us from playing with guns or rescuing us when our homes catch fire. This isn’t an athiestic argument, just an argument against a God who is a worthless fussbudget.

    On the other hand, Mormons seem like really nice people (at least these guys are) and I don’t want to hurt their feelings or give them the impression that I am looking down on them because I’m not. Part of what makes their faith so interesting is that they are incredibly sincere and decent; I can’t describe what it’s like talking to people who literally believe in the story of Noah as fact but aren’t calling me names for disagreeing with them. In that sense, those folks are in many ways spiritually different from James Dobson and his ilk and that’s a very good thing.

    I absolutely understand how the guys who do South Park were able to portray the Joseph Smith in such a scathingly accurate way while making the Mormon kid as cool as he was. It also makes sense when later in the show they reveal that the only people who actually make it into Heaven are Mormons. There’s a kind of crazy truth to it. I’ll look for the Stewart thing on Dobson. It sounds hilarious.

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