Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Defending James Dobson . . .

From the July 12th StarTribune letters page:
The real Keillor

Garrison Keillor's July 10 column, "Power, as long as you want it," shows his true colors. He is a hate-filled, closed-minded, anti-Christian bigot.

His columns -- this one a personal attack on Dr. James Dobson and Christianity -- always end with an advertisement for his radio show on taxpayer-funded public radio. And people wonder why many of us view public broadcasting as a leftist entity?

Wally Andress, Golden Valley

Well Wally, if James Dobson is Christian, count me out. Here is a small part of a web page article by Chris Dugan entitled Would you trust this man alone with your dog? It chronicles the amusing story Dobson tells in one of his books about how it was absolutely necessary to beat the hell out of the family pet because it wanted to sleep in the warm bathroom rather than on its bed. And how this valuable story is also applicable to small children! For Spottie, of course, this one hits especially close to home:
"When I told Sigmund to leave his warm seat and go to bed, he flattened his ears and slowly turned his head toward me. He deliberately braced himself by placing one paw on the edge of the furry lid, then hunched his shoulders, raised his lips to reveal the molars on both sides, and uttered his most threatening growl. That was Siggie's way of saying. "Get lost!" "I had seen this defiant mood before, and knew there was only one way to deal with it. The ONLY way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me 'reason' with Mr. Freud."

What Dobson never explains to his readers is WHY it was so essential that the dog sleep where Dobson wanted him to sleep instead of where the dog wanted to sleep. Dobson is behaving like a toddler who throws a violent tantrum if his "bedtime ritual" isn't adhered to down to the slightest detail. Making Siggie go to sleep on command where and when Dobson wants him to has been part of this overgrown toddler's bedtime ritual for six years. Now, Siggie is interfering with a small detail of this bedtime ritual of Dobson's by wanting to sleep somewhere else which is warmer and more comfortable. So Dobson, true to his infantile level of emotional maturity, throws a violent tantrum:

"What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. I am embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!"

This is one sick puppy, and I don't mean the dog, either. Dobson is OBSESSED with control. I suspect that this stems from the punitive upbringing he endured as a young child (and which he now praises, with unintended irony, for making him what he is today). Now that he is a grownup, and too old to spank, he is determined to get everything HIS way, by golly! He is a 200 pound, verbally articulate version of the "strong-willed" toddlers whom he always exhorts parents to whip into submission "with a belt or switch" because "pain is a marvelous purifier." Dobson is walking proof of how just how badly a spanked child can turn out. The fact that parents like this exist in the world is an excellent argument for why all forms of corporal punishment should be abolished forthwith.

Just in case the more slow-witted among his readers fail to grasp the obvious parallel between his relationship with his dog and the type of parenting advice the man as become rich and famous by dispensing, Dobson then lays it explicitly on the line:

"But this is not a book about the discipline of dogs; there is an important moral to my story that is highly relevant to the world of children. JUST AS SURELY AS A DOG WILL OCCASIONALLY CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF HIS LEADERS, SO WILL A LITTLE CHILD -- ONLY MORE SO." (emphasis Dobson's)

Spottie only growls when he feels threatened; he guesses that Dobson beats up Siggie from time to time. Psychopaths like Dobson shouldn't have pets or children; people surely shouldn't look to Dobson for guidance on keeping or raising them, either.

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