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James Dobson: Ted Haggard Gay Cure Could Take "4 or 5 Years"

Wednesday night almost seems like ancient history, but James Dobson's appearance on Larry King Live is too rich to overlook.

Dobson told King that he excused himself from the "three person restoration panel" overlooking his "close friend" Ted Haggard because it might be 2010 before Haggard is heterosexual:

"I called my board of directors, we talked about it at length and they were unanimous in asking me not to do that, because this could take four or five years and I just have too many other things going on."

Dobson says he hasn't talked to his "close friend" since it happened. Dobson also told King that liberals have no values, Congress was "courageous" in trying to intervene in the Terri Schiavo case, and the separation of church and state is not in the Bill of Rights.

Jones_leddickMeanwhile, in Miami over the weekend, gay escort Mike Jones sat down with author David Leddick who is writing a new book called Escort, featuring escorts, their profiles, and photographs. Said Leddick: ''Forty profiles with photographs of men who sell sex. I'm not taking a moral position myself. It's fascinating." Jones is to be the centerpiece of that book.

Jones told the Miami Herald that he has received plenty of criticism from other escorts angry that he disrespected the privacy of the escort/client relationship. But he said the hypocrisy was too much: "All the escorts are [angry] with me. This was such a unique situation. I could have ruined many careers in my day. A lot of politicians and athletes and clergy. But none of them got up and ranted and raved about homosexuality."

He has also been criticized for the tumult created within the pastor's family by going public. His response: "People have scolded me for that, particularly right-wing people. But did Ted Haggard go to his wife and say, 'I'm going to have a gay affair. Is this going to hurt you and the kids?' I don't want to have this guilt over my head."

Jones also wants to make sure the public knows he's not a prostitute: ''I was an escort, all right? Not everyone I went with wanted sex. I think I give escorts a good name.''

You may have missed....
Hating Begins at Home: The Creation of James Dobson [tr]
Ted Haggard Letter: "I am Guilty...a Deceiver and a Liar" [tr]

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Comments

  1. That was an interesting interview... I actually agree with some of the things James Dobson was saying about the nature of being gay. I genuinely believe that being gay is a combination of environmental and genetic factors. Whether or not it is to do with parental neglect or abuse is another matter... I'm a gay man who is currently dating a man who's identical twin brother is straight but neither of us were neglected or abused by our respective fathers (to my knowledge).

    It is a contravercial question to be sure... but more contravercial is the debate on whether a person can change their sexuality without being severly mentally disturbed as a result.

    I am glad that James Dobson made his points so clearly and calmly without resorting to hate and relying completely on biblical quotations.

    ~Arc

    Posted by: Arc | Nov 27, 2006 8:37:04 AM


  2. Dobson is deranged. Selectively deranged, that is. The ex-gay thing is not going to fly and he's trying to save face. And the separation of church and state is not in the Bill of Rights? These wingnuts have very 'special' readings of any kind of documents. Be it the Bill of Rights or the Bible. Ugh.

    Posted by: xavier | Nov 27, 2006 8:39:03 AM


  3. http://gaytoday.badpuppy.com/garchive/reviews/050597re.htm

    Here's a review of MY WORST DATE by David Leddick, and a little insight into Leddick, the world's best authority on the male nude, according to some.

    Posted by: jessejames | Nov 27, 2006 8:39:51 AM


  4. Dobson has other things on his plate. Like working on his project to reduce the temperature in Hell to minus 20 degrees and genetically engineering pigs to grow wings.

    Posted by: mark m | Nov 27, 2006 8:45:15 AM


  5. Is it just me or does that picture of Mike Jones with that author look like he's sitting down for a gab fest with the pope?

    All that's missing are those red Prada loafers for Pope Benedict...

    Posted by: bbalike | Nov 27, 2006 9:37:03 AM


  6. Actually, the words "separation of church and state" do not exist in the constitution of the US. Just like the words "right to privacy" do not exist in the constitution. Both of those sayings derive from common law court rulings of the supreme court. What the first amendment actually says is:

    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;....."

    So, in reality, this just forbids the creation of a "state" religion, but it does not say that religion can not affect the state. Don't get me wrong, I am agnostic and do not believe religion should have a place in determining what the laws should be, but from a legal perspective, he is quite right that the words "separation of church and state" are not in the constitution, and can only be inferred by reading it in a certain way.

    Posted by: westvill | Nov 27, 2006 10:02:46 AM


  7. Hey, let's take 3 years and convert Dobson. Oh wait, I bet he's already gay.

    Fuck those people and anyone who doesn't believe we're born this way. Yeah, some might switch when it's convenient but for me, I've always been and will always be gay. It's just the way I'm wired.

    Oh, first born boy, never abused, never mistreated, never molested, parents still married and they shared equally in raising us. I break that stereotype into many splintered pieces.

    Posted by: Bobby | Nov 27, 2006 10:16:03 AM


  8. I find it funny that he says there is a distinction between escort and prostitute. I had a friend who was at one time an escort and he did the same things that prostitutes do except walk the streets. I guess there is a prostitution heiracrchy.

    Posted by: Matt | Nov 27, 2006 10:17:38 AM


  9. westvil

    true to a point
    but this is where extra constitutional sources come in handy

    Oh, like the writings of 1 of the founding fathers of our democracy Thomas jefferson....."The wall of seperation between church and state is to protect the state from the church"

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Nov 27, 2006 10:45:49 AM


  10. PS

    Jefferson wrote that and many of the founding fathers wrote thusly

    "lighthouses are more helpful than churches" benjamin Franklin

    "A just government founded on liberty has no need of the cleregy" Madison

    "all manner of follishness has come about due to the ABSURD doctrine of the divinity of jesus" Adams

    etc

    because they were children of the enlightenment and had seen first hand the devestation the church does to the state via the churches power grabs in europe

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Nov 27, 2006 10:49:15 AM


  11. You know what I don't get. He, like so many, argue so strongly in favor of what they think turns people gay: that it's something that happens in early childhood. Why? If it's not genetic, it's somehow okay to persecute us.

    But even IF it ocurred in early childhood, what's the difference? The child STILL had no choice in the matter - so why persecute him? Heck, why should it matter whether it's a choice or not even if someone "decided" to be gay late in life? He or she isn't hurting anyone.

    What's really laughable, in his explanation, is the fact that he says being gay happens to boys attached to their mothers - with no fathers later in life to turn them in the right direction.

    Um.... hello.... what about women? These nuts only consider gay men a threat. There are some serious, pshychological questions as to why that's the case. Personally, I think almost everyone has at least some innate feelings of attraction to the same sex, or did when they were growing up, or something. Otherwise, I just don't get why people are way more afraid of gay men than lesbians. Anyone have any other thoughts as to why?

    Posted by: Ryan | Nov 27, 2006 12:25:08 PM


  12. Yes, Jimmyboyd, I understand that the framers opined to that extent in the federalist papers and other writings. However, many opinions in the writings by the framers were never incorporated into the constitution. Why? Maybe b/c it wouldn't have been ratified it it was included? Further, we can look to the potential devastation and misguided logic of relying too closely on framers intent...say the Dredd Scott decision. It was a horrific opinion, but by all accounts it was a sound interpretation of the intent of many of the framers: the want of the southern states to keep the ability to trade slaves, therefore defining a "citizen" narrowly in the constitution through the use of original intent logic.

    My point is, that a living document approach makes more sense for a republic that is vastly different from that of when the founders framed the constitution. Should we rely too heavly on a "originalist" interpretation, we are stepping into one of the more slippery parts of a the slippery slope.

    I think that instead of trying to enter their originalist debate, it is better to not allow originalist interpretation at all, b/c I think it is flawed from the start. I think we are best served by converting everyone to a living document theory, b/c it is nearly impossible to use an originalist interpretation b/c 1) its impossible to determine what the original intent was (who's intent?) and 2) even if the original intent was verifiable, why should it be relevant today, when we have a vastly different society socially, economically, information wise, and medically?

    Posted by: westvill | Nov 27, 2006 12:29:06 PM


  13. "Separation of church and state" is just a handy way of rephrasing consitutional intent. Its meaning is there, even if the phrasing is not. Dobson, a developmental psychologist from UCLA and not a minister or reverend, by the way, is using very outdating thinking on childhood development when it comes to gay men. This stuff was disproven years ago. It is no longer controversial in psychology just as evolution is no longer controversial in biology. He must be pretty certain that Haggard cannot be "cured" because one can be certain that he would like the publicity that results from having a poster "man" of the ex-gay movement like Haggard--something Dobson realizes he will never become. Dobson and other leaders of evangelicals are cynical politicians taking money from naive congregants. Mike Jones did the right thing despite "escorts" telling him otherwise. Haggard, in his "confession" told other conservatives that Jones should not be blamed for what happened, which was a nice thing to say, but will they be nice enough to leave him alone? Apparently not.

    Posted by: Anon | Nov 27, 2006 12:33:51 PM


  14. If we are going to have a "living" constitution, we might as well burn the thing because that is a certain recipe for rule of men rather than rule of law. Would you like to live in a world with six Scalias or Borks on the SC? Be careful what you wish for.

    Posted by: Anon | Nov 27, 2006 12:38:07 PM


  15. Actually, I wouldn't like to have 6 Scalias or Borks...b/c they are the flag bearers of the originalist idea. Further, most interpretations which have found more protections under the 1st and 14th amendments were largely b/c they espoused a living document approach rather than an originalist approach.

    You can't say that you follow an originalist approach at all times, b/c then how would you reconcile many modern day occurances under the orginalist idea? For instance ecommerce and the commerce clause? "among the states" becomes quite a bit more complicated when you try to only apply an original view.

    Posted by: westvill | Nov 27, 2006 12:56:03 PM


  16. ARC: Dobson deserves an Emmy for how often his phony act as a benign, harmless, sincere Christian works. It worked on you. It's insulting to one of the greatest Americans [Lincoln] that one of our vilest [Dobson] has a new grandson named after him. But TOO ironic for words, that they gave it the middle name "Cash" given that gran'pappy has become a multimillionaire cultivating and exploiting homophobia. As always, it's pitiful that right after King [who made a decent if too uninformed effort to refute Dobson's homohysterical theocracy] has someone like Dobson on, it's followed by Anderson Coward Cooper. This report from People for the American Way shows the real Dobson:

    "Focus on the Family founder and chairman James Dobson is perhaps the most influential right-wing Christian leader in the country, with a huge and loyal following that he can reach easily through an impressive media empire. He is a household name for millions of parents and families who have come to know him through his parenting advice books and videos. He is increasingly using his goodwill and media access to promote far-right politics and politicians, and to push the Republican Party to more vigorously adopt the Religious Right’s social agenda. Yet many Americans probably heard of him for the first time ... thanks to SpongeBob SquarePants. When Dobson argued that an educational video featuring a number of popular children’s cartoon characters advanced the homosexual agenda, he was ridiculed for “outing” SpongeBob.1 In fact, Dobson wasn’t asserting that SpongeBob is gay, but that teaching children to be tolerant of those different from themselves, particularly gays and lesbians, is a sinister proposition.2

    Dobson’s stance – equating tolerance with evil – reflects the extremism of his policy positions and his unforgiving stance toward those who disagree with him. While his comments about SpongeBob were deserving of ridicule, Dobson must not be dismissed as a buffoon. In fact, it is urgently important that journalists and other Americans pay closer attention to the positions Dobson promotes – and his influence with the politicians he is [helps] get elected.

    While Dobson made a name for himself as an avuncular purveyor of parenting advice, he now uses that power to promote a range of troubling views and candidates who share those views:
    • He says the gay rights movement is seeking the “utter destruction of the family and likens proponents of marriage equality to the Nazis. FOF works against “special rights” for homosexuals and hate crime legislation, and supports “reparative therapy” for homosexuality, which has been widely discredited and rejected by the vast majority of doctors and physicians. FOF sponsors “Love Won Out,” conferences held around the U.S. that claim to prove that “homosexuality is preventable and treatable,” where many of the speakers are “ex-gays.” “Love Won Out” is from the title of a book by John Paulk, an “ex-gay” who is the host of the conferences and is an employee of Focus on the Family. For those ex-gays who cannot change, FOF considers sexual celibacy another option. FOF regularly asserts the idea that there is a “homosexual agenda” and associates homosexuals with pedophilia and recruitment of children as sex partners.
    • He has backed candidates who call for the execution of abortion providers, including ... U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn
    • He strongly opposes embryonic stem cell research, which he calls “state-funded cannibalism”
    • He urges parents to abandon the public school system
    • He supports a constitutional amendment that would permit coercive organized prayer in public schools, and supported a state Supreme Court justice who defied federal court orders so that he could use his position as a judge to promote his personal religious beliefs
    Dobson has a massive radio empire and millions of followers he regularly exhorts to action, increasingly on behalf of right-wing Republican candidates to public office. In 2004, Dobson created a new political organization, endorsed approximately 25 Republican candidates (including President Bush), and campaigned for successful right-wing Senate candidates. As the election approached, Dobson and other Religious Right leaders participated in weekly strategy sessions with the Bush reelection campaign. Focus on the Family (FOF) sponsored the “I Vote Values” initiative, aimed at encouraging more religious conservatives to register and vote. Meanwhile, Dobson used his daily radio program to pressure Congress to support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

    Dobson, like his Religious Right colleagues, [has urged] President Bush and congressional leaders to aggressively pursue the right wing’s social agenda and pack the federal courts with ideologues who share their worldview. And Dobson, in his trademark bullying political style, [threatens] retaliation against anyone who is not sufficiently fervent.

    In spite of his place at the center of right-wing politics in America, Dobson likes to cultivate the sense that he would rather not be playing politics. In August 2004, during the height of what was for Dobson an extremely active campaign season, he bristled: “It bothers me a lot, because 95 percent of what we do here [at Focus on the Family] is not related to public policy. And yet whenever the media comes here, all they want to talk about is who I’m supporting for the presidency.” It sometimes seems as though Dobson is protesting too much. Frequently, the political endorsement he gives is prefaced with an I don’t do this very often caveat. And, he claims not to be a Republican, but rather to represent those who “stand for moral principles and values.” Yet year after year, Republican politicians travel to FOF’s Colorado Springs campus, attempting to curry favor with Dobson. Almost as regularly, Dobson threatens to punish the GOP for failing to be sufficiently committed to his ultraconservative agenda on such social issues as abortion, gay rights, and the separation of church and state. But Dobson has had some success with shaping his coverage in the media; scarcely an election cycle goes by without another profile portraying Dobson as a reluctant warrior newly entering the world of politics.

    Founder: Dr. James C. Dobson
    President/Chief Executive Officer: James D. Daly
    Established: 1977
    Finances: $137,848,520 (2004 Focus on the Family revenue); $24,988,036 (2004 Focus on the Family Action revenue)
    Staff: approximately 1,300 employees
    Publications: 2.3 million subscribers to ten monthly magazines. Magazine titles include: Focus on the Family, Citizen Magazine, Parental Guidance, Clubhouse and Clubhouse Jr. Focus on the Family also publishes a wide variety of books, tapes, films and videos.
    Media: Dr. Dobson is heard daily on more than 3,400 radio facilities in North America, in 15 languages, on approximately 6,300 facilities in 164 countries. Dobson’s estimated listening audience is over 220 million people every day, including a program translation carried on all state-owned radio stations in the Republic of China. In the United States, Dobson appears on 80 television stations daily.
    State affiliates: FOF is affiliated with 36 state groups such as the Pennsylvania Family Institute, the North Carolina Policy Council and the Rocky Mountain Family Council.
    Affiliate groups: Focus on the Family Institute, FOF’s college program, and Focus on the Family Action, which is FOF’s cultural action organization formed under the IRS section 501(c)(4). FOF has 74 different international ministries and has established conservative Christian ministries for attorneys, doctors, teachers, and other groups."

    Posted by: Leland | Nov 27, 2006 1:11:20 PM


  17. Two things, Leland: First, well done! You used "avuncular!" Next, For Dog's sake, Lighten up on Mr. Cooper! Damn, boy, you're getting fixated on that young, extraordinarily good-looking man who has probably some of the sexiest hands in the world. I mean, have you ever seen the veins on his hands? They're gorgeous. And just look at his nails. I don't think he gets manicures. I think he's blessed with perfect hands.

    Posted by: JT | Nov 27, 2006 1:23:45 PM


  18. Ryan -- you're points are right on.

    However, the choice issue is one of distraction: IT DOESN'T MATTER IF IT'S A CHOICE.
    Anti-gay discrimination is still wrong, choice or no choice.

    Personally, I do not think being gay is a choice. But it doesn't matter.

    We need to reframe the argument away from the choice idea and back to the real issues.

    Posted by: tjc | Nov 27, 2006 1:28:25 PM


  19. LK missed a chance (go figure...) to ask Dobson a few interesting questions:

    What do you make of the Westboro Baptist Church and their moral "crusade"?

    Do you recommend that VP Dick Cheney's daughter receive restorative therapy to cure her of her homosexuality?

    Oh well...

    Posted by: Anon | Nov 27, 2006 1:39:35 PM


  20. You're welcome, JT, but I can't take credit for that lovely word "avuncular," or any of it after my introduction. That's all text from PFAW [save my bracketed time-related inserts]. I'm afraid I can't be any kinder to Mr. Cooper, but I would be willing to watch him give you a hand job. :-)

    Also, for those uninterested in the details about Dobson, I'm sorry it turned out to be so long. But that's why Baby Jesus gave us the miracle of the scroll bar. I think that's in Ephesians, chapter 2.

    Posted by: Leland | Nov 27, 2006 1:54:39 PM


  21. Well, damn, Leland, whoever wrote that has the same nasty, snarky quality in his/her writing as you! Hmm a hand job? I hadn't thought of that.

    Posted by: JT | Nov 27, 2006 3:17:04 PM


  22. Nice work, Leland!

    I would also add that Dobson advocates spanking children even though almost any credible child psychologist no longer endorses spanking as an effective (or caring) child rearing technique. Of course, Dobson is far from credible outside of fundamentalist circles...hell, even the Bush camp apparently made fun of the fundies.

    When asked how long a child should be allowed to cry after a spanking, Dobson responded, "Real crying usually lasts two minutes or less but may continue for five. After that point, the child is merely complaining, and the change can be recognized in the tone and intensity of his voice. I would require him to stop the protest crying, usually by offering him a little more of whatever caused the original tears."

    Dobson also advocates spanking a child with an object such a paddle or a switch rather than an adult using the hand to spank. His belief is that this preseves the parent's hand as an object of love. When I trained as a psychotherapist, hearing that a child had been hit with an object (such as a paddle or switch) triggered an automatic call to Child Protective Services to report child abuse.

    Posted by: peterparker | Nov 27, 2006 3:19:50 PM


  23. westvil

    Ok

    cool

    I thought you were coming from a "NOT living document" view point.

    We totaly agree then.

    Posted by: jimmyboyo | Nov 27, 2006 3:33:07 PM


  24. Peterparker: He calls the ass a "po-po"

    Posted by: JT | Nov 27, 2006 3:39:56 PM


  25. A "living" constitution is a "dying" constitution, but there have been so many messed up SC rulings over the years that both sides of the debate are on shaky ground. There are some technical fixes to the amendment process that would help, but using the SC to amend the constitution because it's so convenient is always worrisome. You win on "abortion" and don't notice you're losing on the 4th and 1st amendments. This doesn't have much to do with Dobson though.

    LK might have politely asked:

    So, is Islam the final word of God and should we convert?

    He did ask mild questions about Mormons though.

    Posted by: Anon | Nov 27, 2006 3:49:45 PM


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