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"Stand for the Family 2006 Rally": Will Michele Bachmann be there?

In the hard copy of today's Pioneer Press, on page 10A right next to the continuation of the front-page Bush/Bachmann/health-care article, is an ad featuring the smiling mug of everyone's favorite fundamentalist crazy upright moral citizen, Dr. James Dobson. The ad is promoting an event called "Stand for the Family 2006 Rally," which is to take place October 3rd at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. Tickets are $7 (only $4 for the kiddies!), according to Ticketmaster.

The ad promises, "FREE to the first 8,000 attendees, copies of the books, Marriage Under Fire and Family Man." These must be the critically-acclaimed best-sellers by Dr. Doom Dobson himself.

James Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family, a conservative evangelical Christian organization that opposes abortion and homosexuality. His internationally syndicated radio show reaches 200 million people worldwide, and he has been named "America's most influential evangelical leader" by Slate. In that article, Slate names Dobson a "Republican kingmaker":

He's already leveraging his new power. When a thank-you call came from the White House, Dobson issued the staffer a blunt warning that Bush "needs to be more aggressive" about pressing the religious right's pro-life, anti-gay rights agenda, or it would "pay a price in four years." And when the pro-choice Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter made conciliatory noises about appointing moderates to the Supreme Court, Dobson launched a fevered campaign to prevent him from assuming the chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which until then he had been expected to inherit. Dobson is now a Republican kingmaker.

Dobson has taken many extreme and controversial stances over the years. In 2005, he led a campaign against popular cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants because the character appeared in a video promoting tolerance of others, including their "sexual identity." According to Dobson, the video was brainwashing kids into thinking homosexuality is OK:

"We see the video as an insidious means by which the organization is manipulating and potentially brainwashing kids," [Dobson] said. "It is a classic bait and switch."

It sounds very reminiscent of what Michele Bachmann said about what will happen if gay marriage is legalized:

"Little children will be forced to learn that homosexuality is normal and natural and perhaps they should try it."

Sen Michele Bachmann, Interview with Jan Markell, Olive Tree Ministries.

Dobson is known for other controversial stances, as well. He believes that homosexuality is "curable," as if it were a disease of some kind. He has written that, although people (except for gays, of course) are free to marry whomever they choose, that interracial couples face "unique pressures" and that they should factor that into their decision to get married. According to those who have worked with him and around him, Dobson subscribes to an extremely patriarchal worldview. The book James Dobson's War on America, written by former Focus on the Family Vice President Gil Alexander-Moegerle and summarized here, exposes the inner workings of Focus and the personal creed of Dr. Dobson. Some interesting quotes:

"With that as background, allow me to turn to one of the most unusual beliefs to which Dobson ascribes, one I believe to be highly relevant to an understanding of the man now leading the religious right. Nazarenes are part of what is called "The Holiness Movement," an approach to Christianity that includes several small denominations and which teaches that, subsequent to the dramatic experience of being born again, an adherent should have yet another dramatic crisis experience on yet another day and time that one remembers forever. This crisis is called "Entire Sanctification" or the "Second Work of Grace," and as a result of it one's ability to sin is eradicated - removed - exorcised by the instantaneous work of the Holy Spirit. James Dobson believes that he has been entirely sanctified, morally perfected, that he does not and cannont sin. Now you know why he and moralists like him make a life of condemning what he believes to be the sins of others. He is perfect." p. 98
"This lack of sensitivity and vision for inclusion, specifically for the value of including women in the workplace decision-making process is, in my view, a significant piece of evidence in evaluating Dobson's sexism. We have here an old-fashioned, male traditionalist who simply believes in masculine leadership, as have men with power throughout history. He overtly advocates male leadership with regard to the Christian family and he functions in exactly the same way with regard to the office, as if he believes there is a divine order in which men are ordained to lead corporations." p. 147

Hmm. Who would Dobson support in the Sixth District race, then? At first glance, Michele Bachmann, because she agrees with his ultraconservative platform... but then, after all, she is a woman.

That Slate article referenced above says that Dobson has threatened to "bring down the GOP" if it fails to adequately promote his radical social agenda. That is where Michele Bachmann fits in. With her hard-right stance on abortion and gay marriage, she would be a strong Dobson ally in Congress. In fact, they are already apparently quite close. The following picture of Dobson and Bachmann is no longer on Bachmann's website, but it can be accessed through the "Wayback Machine" here.

michele_and_james_dobson.jpg

Michele Bachmann also supported a Minneapolis Focus on the Family-sponsored event called Love Won Out. This conference "highlight[ed] the hope and help that is available for those struggling with unwanted homosexuality through the personal testimonies of individuals who have left homosexuality themselves.

“We are so pleased that Minneapolis has invited us back to share again that change is possible for those who are no longer satisfied with their homosexuality,? said Mike Haley, host of the Love Won Out conference, a former homosexual and the author of the book 101 Frequently Asked Questions About Homosexuality. “In fact, we have been officially welcomed by Minnesota Sen. Michele Bachmann, the author of the state marriage-protection amendment.?

Though her amendment was blocked in the Legislature, Bachmann remains committed to protecting marriage and looks forward to hearing about the causes of same-sex attraction.

“I know that Love Won Out will present the truth about homosexuality,? Bachmann said, “and present it in a compassionate and loving manner. Those of us working to safeguard marriage from redefinition by radical judges must inform our efforts with an understanding of the deep emotional wounds that many in the homosexual community carry. I look forward to welcoming Minnesotans and residents of surrounding states to hear the message of healing that is possible.?

Here is the blurb for the Stand for the Family Rally:

It's time to take a Stand for the Family. Plan to attend this vitally important rally with Dr. James Dobson and special guests-- you'll learn about what's at stake this election and get equipped for the critical issues that will protect the family!

Special guests?!?!?!?! The ad features three other family crusaders: Dr. Ken Hutcherson (a Seattle preacher--aka "Dr. BlackMan"-- not kidding), Tony Perkins (President of Dobson's Family Research Council), and Gary Bauer (former head of the Family Research Council and erstwhile Republican presidential candidate).

Here is a Focus press release about the event. It says:


In collaboration with leading pro-family groups, Focus on the Family Action and Dr. James Dobson are gearing up for the November elections by hosting rallies intended to mobilize Christian voters.

The rallies will kick off in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on September 20, followed by St. Paul, Minnesota October 3, and Nashville, Tennessee October 16. Brad Miller Public Policy Representative with Focus Action explains the purpose.

“These rallies are designed to educate and to motivate pro-family conservative Christians.?

In addition to musical performances from Christian artists like Phillips, Craig and Dean, rally attendees will hear from an all-star lineup of conservative leaders like Dobson, Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer, Dr. Ken Hutcherson and Dr. Richard Land on the importance of participating at the polls.

“It’s vital that we do that. If we don’t vote, we really can’t complain when things go wry [sic] in our government. It’s our civic duty; it’s our Christian duty to go to the voting booth and to vote our values.?

Will this be another Justice Sunday? Both Tony Perkins and James Dobson spoke at the original Justice Sunday, which railed against "activist judges," decried Democrats as "against people of faith," and proclaimed the need for a "Christian civil rights movement."

I'm wondering... will Michele Bachmann be in attendance at the Stand for the Family Rally on October 3rd?

Comments

Excellent exploration of Dobson and Bachmann; including the picture worth a thousand words.

If the press pays attention to her actions, not her present words, and reports objectively who she has been and is unlikely to change from, voters in MN 6 might still do something wholly unreasonable.

But they would do it without being misinformed - or with a chance at least to be correctly informed.

If the MN 6 electorate learns who Michele Bachmann is, and likes it; the majority rules.

But Michele Bachmann HAS a record and a history. She must be shown for what she has been. One step at a time, and this post did it well on Dobson-Bachmann links.

You posted previously that last cycle Wetterling got press endorsements and her gap with Kennedy was lower than between national tickets. The endorsements help, but reporting who the electorate faces in a possible vote for Bachmann is crucial.

Did you see my oped in last
Friday's Gazette. Her education record is abysmal.

C. Ford Runge--Please paste your op/ed piece into an e-mail and submit it here and to www.dumpbachmann.com. The Stillwater Gazette doesn't put op/ed articles online and I'm sure yours deserves a wider audience beyond their meager subscriber base.

MB goes for guys with tan ties? Look at the Dobson and Bush pics just posted. Fundie guys with tan ties, I should say.

Dobson forgot to have Ann Colter on the podium to protect our families and bring peace to America.