Sunday, April 01, 2007

i am humbled

Today, I recevied in my e-mail the following message from The Wittenburg Door, pretty much the world's only magazine devoted to religious satire, which I have subscribed to for the past 10 years, give or take. It is a forward of an e-mail they received from James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, who is widely known for his statements same-sex marriage, abortion and other hot-button issues of the Religious Right.
I rather doubt that Dobson has changed his views on same-sex marriage, or abortion, or many of the other things he has taken a stand on over the years. But what I see in this letter is a remarkably contrite spirit, a humility that allows him publicly to admit to error, and a desire to undo some of the damage he has done.
God grant that I be willing to do the same when I am in the wrong.
Here follows the letter:
                We have tweaked our friend the Rev. James Dobson pretty regularly in the past, particular for his involvement in politics. And when Dr. Dobson called for the resignation of the Rev. Richard Cizik, president for the National Association of Evangelicals because he believed that Cizik was spending too much time worrying about global warming and not enough time spent on "core" Religious Right issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriages, we gigged him pretty hard then, too.
                However, we received this e-mail this morning from Dobson's Focus on the Family ministry and we think it is a remarkable document. It is probably the most honest, most revealing statement ever made by the normally carefully controlled Dobson.
                So, in the spirit of Christian reconciliation, we're making available Dr. Dobson's complete statement, without editorial comment. (If you would like to send Dr. Dobson an e-mail of support for his courageous reassessment, we've kept his contact information at the end of his statement.)
Perhaps he should rename it FICUS on the Family
Robert Darden, Senior Editor

Colorado Springs, CO – Dear friends and supporters:
Since my ill-advised attack on my dear friend Dick Cizik a few days ago, I have had an extraordinary week of reflection and spiritual enlightenment.

Through the counsel of godly men, such as the Rev. Dr. Jack Hayford, the Rev. Rick Warren, Richard Stearns (President, World Vision), David Neff (Editor, Christianity Today) and other members of The Evangelical Climate Initiative (www.Christiansandclimate.org), I've come to see that my assessment of Dick's motives and, in fact, "global warming," have been in error as well.

I have been guilty of a particularly pernicious form of short-sighted Dispensationalism, believing that since the earth has no future with the blessed Second Coming nigh, we, as Christians, have no responsibility to care for Creation.

Through loving testimony, instruction and careful study of the Bible with these and other mentors, I no longer believe that Dick is -- as I said earlier, much to my regret -- guilty of a "relentless campaign" to save the planet at the expense of what I called more "serious" issues, such as same-sex marriage. I see now that I have strictly exploited those issues and others like them to manipulate my audience and as a calculated and callous form of fund-raising.

As part of my penance for my unmerited attacks on a courageous, godly man, I have initiated contact with both the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Don Wildmon, with the earnest desire to convince them of the error of their ways as well. While both continue to condemn what they call "earthism worship," I will continue to pray that this revelation will be made available to them as well.

As for the rest of my penance, I will devote the rest of my career -- however long the Lord sees fit to continue in this capacity -- to working with my Christian brothers and sisters to insure that all life on the planet, God's first and greatest gift to us, is protected and cherished.

God bless you all,

Jim Dobson
Focus on the Family
8605 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO  80995
1-800-232-6459
www.family.org
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The Wittenburg Door Magazine
5634 Columbia Ave.
Dallas, TX 75214
214.827.2625
www.wittenburgdoor.com

1 comment:

marauder said...

"i am snookered"

Maybe that would have been a better title for this particular post. As Cary McMullen points out, this surprising announcement came out on April 1.

Duh.

To my credit, a lot of other people visited my blog entry while presumably looking for more information on Dobson's change of heart. Ah well. It's not the first time I've fallen for a satire, and as has been noted elsewhere, they played this one absolutely straight.

(Curse you, Darden. That's one I owe you.)