Thursday, July 01, 2004

Religious right gets one wrong

James Dobson of the notorious Focus on the Family is back with another call to action. A very old one, apparently, with a twist that's only a year too late! Guess it all blurs when your agenda is to turn America into a gigantic church.

Apparently we are to be allowed to watch TV programs that use every foul word in the English Language, but not the word "God."

Guess they don't watch PAX TV!

CBS discontinued "Touched by an Angel" for using the word God in every program.

"Touched by an Angel" ran for NINE YEARS, from 1994-2003. That's a lot of God for such a supposedly decadent network. What probably happened is that this rare long-running show was nearing its logical end. Or maybe it had low ratings. I doubt its cancellation had a whit to do with CBS deciding that "Hey, what this network needs is to piss off James Dobson!" Though that, I admit, would be reason enough for me.

Madeline Murray O'Hare [sic], an atheist, successfully managed to eliminate the use of Bible reading from public schools a few years ago.

Um, no. First off, religious expression has never been illegal in public school. What O'Hair and many others petitioned for was the end of FORCED prayer. A huge difference! Second, this is not some new effort. O'Hair (along with her son and granddaughter) was kidnapped and killed in 1995, and the bodies weren't found until 2002. As happy as I'm sure you guys are about that, it proves that the effort to end forced religion is not just the by-product of an athiest-fringe group.

Now her organization has been granted a Federal Hearing on the same subject by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in Washington, DC. Their petition, Number 2493, would ultimately pave the way to stop the reading of the gospel our Lord and Savior, on the airwaves of America. They got 287,000 signatures to back their stand! If this attempt is successful, all Sunday worship services being broadcast on the radio or by television will be stopped. This group is also campaigning to remove all Christmas programs and Christmas carols from public schools!!

If any one of you thousands of petition-signers bothered to do a Google-search on "Petition 2493," the first entry would tell you that it is an urban legend. This isn't even a new one; it's been around since 1975! Proof positive that the religious right relies on half-truths and hysteria to further its agenda.

Together we can make a difference in our country while creating and for the lost to know the Lord.

Lost? Hey, I'm not the one stuck in 1975!

Please do not sign jointly, such as Mr. & Mrs. Each person should sign his/her own name.

Aw, isn't that so cute? If any wife I might have EVER refers to herself as "Mrs. Me," I will immediately get a divorce!


Anonymous said...

OK, McGibboney, you lost me with that last one.

- Richard

Ian McGibboney said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ian McGibboney said...


What I mean by that last one is...well...

Let's say I married someone named Jennifer (hypothetically speaking--I'm not about to get married); I would hope she would still call herself "Jennifer" and not "Mrs. Ian McGibboney." I don't want anyone ever calling themselves "Mrs. Ian McGibboney." Especially if they have actually married me. It's creepy and really outdated; the ultimate sign of a submissive wife. I thought it was funny that James Dobson actually found it necessary to remind the women to use their own names instead of their husbands'.

Anonymous said...

you said ... "If any one of you thousands of petition-signers bothered to do a Google-search on "Petition 2943," the first entry would tell you that it is an urban legend. This isn't even a new one; it's been around since 1975! Proof positive that the religious right relies on half-truths and hysteria to further its agenda."

Or, if you, Ian, had bothered to do a Google-search on "Dobson" "2943" you would have immediately learned that Dr. Dobson is fighting this urban legend as hard as you are. But apparently you are as unconcerned with the reality as the people you are criticizing.

Ian McGibboney said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ian McGibboney said...

Um, I did that and found nothing. Are you trying to bluff me?

But assuming what you said is true indictment in this post was as much about those who circulate such messages as much as James Dobson himself. It was about the people who presume to follow him who do not take the initiative to check their facts. THEY are the real sheep.

Anonymous said...


Sorry for the dyslexia. The search terms are 'Dobson' and '2493', NOT '2943'.

But the point still stands. You are criticizing the 'sheep' who follow Dobson without checking their facts. And certainly they are guilty -- not because you judge them, but because their own Shepherd commanded them to 'speak the truth' and 'bear no false witness' -- both of which commands they are disobeying.

But you did the same thing. You were a sheep following someone (or some philosophy), and cared no more about checking the facts than the sheep that you judged. It is just as wrong for you as for them. Are you, therefore, also 'Not Right About Anything' as you accuse him, or them, of being?

Anonymous said...

Apology numero dos ...

(Excuse first: Being new to this blogging / commenting stuff ...)

'Not Right About Anything,' I see now, is not the heading of the section on Dobson et al, but the name of your blog. Thus my last question is irrelevant. I was wrong; I am sorry. Please forgive me.

BTW -- the dyslexic search term, if you will note above, was copied from YOUR lines above it. So I might ought to rescind my apology for dyslexia. Nevertheless, I should have been more careful with the facts.

Ian McGibboney said...

In my experience, the respective values of Christianity and the religious right are mutually exclusive. So nothing in the e-mail forward surprised me at all.

As for calling me a sheep...if this is supposedly an obvious trait of mine, than whom am I following? You're alleging that, because I accidentally transposed a number, that I am blindly following an ideology of some kind. I don't think you can compare the blind followers of Dobson to any allegances I may or may not have.

Mistakes are mistakes, man.

mo said...

Believe it or not some of us chrisitans actually do searches before we sign such things. That's what brought me to your blog. Oh, and because of the other links I've found about this "petition" I won't be signing it.


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that there are comments you have chosen to remove. This site is useless if you censor out the opinions of visitors to your site. There is so much misinformation here, it makes me sick. Don't bother replying because I will not be back.

Ian McGibboney said...

Wow...anonymous commenting reaches a new low. Big shock! I've been accused of a lot of things, but never of censorship because I deleted a few of MY OWN comments and revised them minutes later. The only other comments I've EVER removed were spam and three consecutive comments from a troll who posted the same Bush quote 50 times for no reason. And most of that was two years ago. Way to catch up! Brilliant.

As you can see, I allow plenty of useless comments on here. You follow?

D.D.P. said...

"If any one of you thousands of petition-signers bothered to do a Google-search on "Petition 2943," the first entry would tell you that it is an urban legend. This isn't even a new one; it's been around since 1975! Proof positive that the religious right relies on half-truths and hysteria to further its agenda"

If you had simply checked Dr. Dobson's website you would have seen that he clearly states this rumor is nothing more than a rumor. But then you wouldn't have had the fun of writing such a ignorant comment as "the religious right relies on half-truths and hysteria to further its agenda." Here's a note for you - we have no agenda and we need no half-truths. What we have is the Bible and its clear statements of right and wrong and salvation and spreading the gospel to all so that they may use their freewill to choose or reject His grace. You choose to ignore it at your own peril and the cost is so great you will bare it for eternity. But ultimately, it is your choice. Your blog saddens me for you really. And just an FYI, as a person married for 7 years, I am honored to be called Mrs. - marriage is a beautiful relationship between two committed people who are willing to sacrifice self to serve the other. That's what is wrong with all you liberals these days - you have no values left (if you ever had any to begin with) and no sense of honor, community and love. All you care about is spreading hatred and bitterness around the world. You are in our prayers. D. D. P. -

Parradoxx said...

Back in the 90's, when I joined the Internet community with both feet and began to develop my personal rules for online conduct and online presence, I made a committment to fight perpetuating rumor-mail. To that end, I send a lengthy reply back to the sender AND all the recipients each time I receive a rumor-mail.

I also do a brief Googling before typing each reply, to see if any new information relevant to the rumor-mail has surfaced... thus I was brought here today.

I find it both amusing and sad how the people who spoke up in defense of Dobson, or the ideals of marriage, or whatever on this particular post -- for the most part -- all stooped to hate language, except the one poster who was disingenious in apologizing for typos.

I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I believe Christianity is a relationship, not a religion. Wesleyan is a religion, Methodism, Catholicism, LDS...those are religions. And while I adhere to the Wesleyan movement, I believe my relationship with Christ is paramount.

What is so amusing and sad about this name calling -- on both sides -- is that it really misses the point. Both "sides" are wrong in this case. Because the truth here is not about "taking sides".

Yes, these kinds of email are pathetic. I really can't stand receiving a spiritual email that ends with "Pass this along to 10 people to receive a blessing". God is not an e-mail server, and I think he gives blessings to people, yes, but for better reasons than because you click "forward" on an email.

So, yes, I understand your frustration with the "religious right" in spreading these things (more like cattle than sheep). But rather than taking a closer look at the issues at stake (the real meaning of Christianity), instead you polarize the issue as a justification for your attitude.

That, too, is sad. If, instead of attitude, your position were backed by principle, you wouldn't even bother to comment on these kinds of email, because you'd recognize that their content is useless to the "religious right" as well; it wouldn't impact you at all.

And you responders who stooped to calling the author names and being accusatory, especially "liberal" -- you are just as guilty of letting yourself be drawn into political polarization, and drifting away from the truth of your relationship with Christ, His role as the groom and your role as the Church, His bride. ...all of which has little to do with which chad you pop at the polling place.

So, thank you author, for providing me with a chuckle. And an unfortunate thank you responders, for proving him right.

Ian McGibboney said...

Thank you for your insight, Parradoxx.

This post, as with many, many others in the three years since I wrote it, is about the willingness of the religious right to pass on anything they think helps their cause, regardless of degree of truth. It has nothing to do with tearing down one's personal beliefs, though collectively I do find the religious right to be a real force and one that wishes to infringe upon my rights. That's why I feel the need to expose their followers for the sheep that they are. And why their brethren can rebut only with personal slurs.

alf said...

You stated...."the religious right to pass on anything they think helps their cause".....Just what is their cause?.
You seem to know a LOT about them without, what it seems , to NOT be one. Or is it, what they say hits a "NERVE" and this is the only way you have of discrediting them? By them I mean Christians who actually LIVE what Christ taught.

Alf said...

I just found this article.It gives us an idea of Christianities agenda, my my myyyyyy...Just Terrible!! And, not surprising an opinion issued by TV GUDE to what they thought of the first!!....Very intersting to see what "nasty agenda" these Christians have.

Martha Williamson, executive producer of "Touched by an Angel," goes a step farther, calling her series revolutionary. "If you look at it, we are dealing with the same issues on "Touched by an Angel" or "Promised Land" that "NYPD Blue" or "Law and Order" deal with. We just come from a very different point of view, which is God's point of view. And we have a message: "God loves you. God exists." Which is pretty darned revolutionary for network prime-time television," Williamson says.

She attributes the success of "Touched by an Angel" to the fact that, "We don't give the option of believing or not believing in God...or the option of ethics. We don't have situational ethics. It's not OK to steal sometimes. It's wrong. And so, as a result, I believe people consider that to be a breath of fresh air."

When "Touched by an Angel" first came out TV Guide's reviewer wrote: "It's the iffiest of all the new shows and could even be scuttled by the time you read this." Two years later TV Guide ate its words with this admittance, "CBS's family hit...The most irresistibly loopy hour drama in a while, a show of many delights...High style...beautifully shot and sharply written."