Focus on the Family New Zealand has come out whining after the Prime Minister attacked them in Parliament. While Section 59 was being discussed in Question Time, Dr Michael Cullen asked the PM a somewhat helpful question:
Hon Dr Michael Cullen: Is one of the groups advertising against the bill a group called Focus on the Family, which was founded by Dr James Dobson, and is this the same Dr James Dobson who has likened proponents of gay marriage to the Nazis, backed political candidates who called for the execution of abortion providers, defined embryonic stem cell research as State-funded cannibalism, and urged Christian parents to pull their children out of public school systems; if so, would she rather be associated with UNICEF, Save the Children, Plunket, and Barnados in supporting the bill?The PM replied:
I most certainly would rather be associated with Plunket, Barnados, and Save the Children, which are reputable organisations that stand for decent values and for not having violence in our homes, than with the extreme right-wing fundamentalist groups that do not care about those issues.Piqued by these comments, FOFNZ sent out a media release called "Government needs to learn to sling mud that’s accurate." Sorry to be pedantic (no I am not) but shouldn't that be "Government needs to learn to sling mud accurately?" After all, accuracy is not a quality possessed by mud but it is one that can be associated with slinging. Oh, that analytical philosophy has got me in it's spell...
Anyway FOFNZ's point was that it didn't have one: Kiwi Mums and Dads want to thrash their kids, Dr Dobson is a great man and the Government hasn't spend one cent on newspaper advertising. See, it stands to reason, doesn't it? FOFNZ also warns that "there is a real danger when politicians and the media take US-centric language and transfer it to our culture."
There is also a real danger when fundies talk bollocks. The briefest glance at the FOFNZ website shows it is steeped in language that is not just US-centric but fundy-centric. Leaving aside the Purity camp for the time being (soon, my pretties, soon), follow the links to the Pure Intimacy site. Turn down the lights and read. It's all about "recovering the heart of sexuality." No, not really, its about gays and girls and gay girls. Fancy some Endogenous Temptation and Spiritual Warfare?
The desire to masturbate, to indulge in a book or movie that leads to sexual fantasy and masturbation, temptation to seek out a sexual contact, or to just allow fantasies to go unchecked, can become a major problem. When these feelings affect night-time dreaming, too, a woman may become depressed and guilty over how out of control she is.How about a Christian sex guide or dating advice from Christian stars. I know; it's all a bit too up close and personal. Yuck, yuck, yuck.
So how about Intelligent Design? What's that got to do with the family, I hear you ask? Nothing, but these are fundies. In fact, not so long ago, FOFNZ sent a DVD about ID to every secondary school in NZ.
And what about this James Dobson, then? One of the most powerful evangelicals in the USofA, hotline to the President, etc, etc; he runs a huge organisation, dispensing advice and judgement in equal amounts. Here's some advice from his 1977 book, Dare to Discipline (still yourselves, it is not like that; really it isn't)
"[P]ain is a marvellous purifier... There is a muscle, lying snugly against the base of the neck ... When firmly squeezed, it sends little messengers to the brain saying, 'This hurts; avoid recurrence at all costs.'"And here's some judgement: "Communities do not let prostitutes, pedophiles, voyeurs, adulterers, and those who sexually prefer animals to publicly celebrate their lifestyles, so why should homosexuals get such privileges?"
"I suggest [spanking with] a switch (a small, flexible twig from a tree) or a paddle… if it doesn't hurt it doesn't motivate."
And then there is SpongeBob. I know I like to mention this at any opportunity, but it is just so darn funny. Dr James Dobson accused SpongeBob SquarePants of being pro-gay, because he appeared in a video about cooperation and unity (socialist values) made by Nile Rogers, the writer of "We are Family." The New York Times covered the story with one of its best headlines ever: Conservatives Pick Soft Target. If you can't be bothered to register, here is news from the BBC. The full rap is on Toon Zone.
And then there is the misuse of scientific data. I could go on; I could go on all day. But suffice to say, Dr James Dobson is a bully, a fraud and a something of a creep.