I have only a passing knowledge of James Dobson. I don’t read his books or listen to his radio show.
But I’m mystified by why or when Dr. Dobson became one of the black hats in the eyes of some conservative Christians. I know they object to his political activism, but what’s the problem with that? Here’s a little info on Dr. Dobson’s professional background and political activism:
Dobson was for 14 years an Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine, and served for 17 years on the Attending Staff of Children's Hospital of Los Angeles in the Division of Child Development and Medical Genetics. He has an earned Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He is a licensed psychologist in the state of California, a licensed marriage, family and child counselor in both California and Colorado, and is listed in Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare.
Dr. Dobson has been heavily involved in governmental activities related to the family. He served on the task force which summarized the White House Conference on Families and received a special commendation from President Jimmy Carter in 1980. He was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to the National Advisory Commission to the office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 1982-84. From 1984-87 he was regularly invited to the White House to consult with President Reagan and his staff on family matters. He served as co-chairman of the Citizens Advisory Panel for Tax Reform, in consultation with President Reagan, and served as a member and later chairman of the United States Army's Family Initiative, 1986-88. He was appointed to Attorney General Edwin Meese's Commission on Pornography, 1985-86. Dr. Dobson was also appointed in the spring of 1987 to the Attorney General's Advisory Board on Missing and Exploited Children, and to Secretary Otis Bowen's Panel on Teen Pregnancy Prevention, within the Department of Health and Human Services. In December, 1994, Dr. Dobson was appointed by Senator Robert Dole to the Commission on Child and Family Welfare and in October, 1996, was appointed by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott to the National Gambling Impact Study Commission. Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley, and the father of two grown children, Danae and Ryan. He resides in Colorado.
Because of his professional training as a pediatrician and child psychologist, Dr. Dobson happens to be concerned about the culture we're raising our kids in, and he's using his public platform to lobby for their wellbeing.
For the life of me, I can't see why it's out of bounds for a Christian layman to do that. He’s a model of responsible Christian citizenship.
To oppose this is just a blind reactionary impulse which owes a lot less to Scripture than a fundamentalist tradition—and I do mean “tradition”--of social isolationism.
Do we not want laws that protect our young against kiddy porn and pedophiles?
I realize that some folks are rightly upset because he's too cozy with Rome, but that's not political, that's theological. That's based on his defective theology.