On his radio show today, Glenn Beck identified one of the figures who played a key role in supporting his attempt to revive the Black Robe Regiment, a group of clergy that endorse Beck's vision of the role of religion in American life: James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. Beck, a Mormon, noted that while he and Dobson "have our theological differences," he credited Dobson's "integrity and power" with helping to get other pastors behind the regiment idea.
Dobson's presence seems to further confirm that, contrary to Beck's suggestion that a broad ideological swath of clergy support his Black Robe Regiment, it's largely limited to those holding conservative evangelical views of Christianity.
Dobson's history of inflammatory and politically charged statements, meanwhile, seems to run counter to Beck's efforts to separate politics from his religious efforts:
- In 2008, Dobson falsely suggested on his radio show that Sen. Barack Obama claimed Dobson "wants to expel people who are not Christians" from the United States. Dobson insisted on a later show that he was "not throwing stones at Senator Obama for his faith" -- even as co-host Minnery questioned during the same broadcast whether Obama is "even sincere with the way he talks about religion."
- Dobson attacked the Christian faith of 2008 presidential candidate Fred Thompson: "Everyone knows he's conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for. ... [But] I don't think he's a Christian; at least that's my impression."
- Dobson asserted that "the liberal community" and the media "despise this country and its freedoms, and they're doing everything they can do to undermine it" and that Democratic congressional candidates advocate "the course of action that Osama bin Laden wants us to take" -- while at the same time claiming that his Focus on the Family group is "not political."
- Dobson endorsed a sermon blaming "lesbian sex" for God's "abandonment" of America, which would justify the destruction of a U.S. city by God.
- Dobson joined conservative commentator Michael Medved in warning about the homosexual "subtext" in the children's film Happy Feet.
- Dobson accused a magazine of "say[ing] the most crazy things" for reporting that he is "in favor of people who want to execute abortionists," even though Dobson had in fact endorsed at least two political candidates who expressed support for such a thing.
- Dobson predicted that allowing same-sex marriage in the United States would lead to "group marriage," "marriage between daddies and little girls," or "marriage between a man and his donkey."
- Dobson compared embryonic stem cell research with Nazi experiments conducted on live human patients during and prior to the Holocaust.
- Dobson likened Supreme Court justices to the Ku Klux Klan.
- Dobson and Focus on the Family criticized the Harry Potter books for offering a gateway to "witchcraft and New Age ideology."
- Dobson has offered the following explanation for what causes homosexuality: "[I]t has to do with an identity crisis that occurs too early to remember it, where a boy is born with an attachment to his mother and she is everything to him for about 18 months, and between 18 months and five years, he needs to detach from her and to reattach to his father. It's a very important developmental task and if his dad is gone or abusive or disinterested or maybe there's just not a good fit there. What's he going to do? He remains bonded to his mother."