Skip to main content

Every time I hear the name James Dobson, this utterly repellent quote unfortunately leaps to mind:

Meanwhile, the boy's father has to do his part. He needs to mirror and affirm his son's maleness. He can play rough-and-tumble games with his son, in ways that are decidedly different from the games he would play with a little girl. He can help his son learn to throw and catch a ball. He can teach him to pound a square wooden peg into a square hole in a pegboard. He can even take his son with him into the shower, where the boy cannot help but notice that Dad has a penis, just like his, only bigger.

-James Dobson


Dobson's history of perverse and shocking ideas about raising children is well-documented, but has escaped much media scrutiny.

From Dobson's book "The Strong Willed Child":

"When I told Sigmund [the family dog] to leave his warm seat and go to bed, he flattened his ears and slowly turned his head toward me. He deliberately braced himself by placing one paw on the edge of the furry lid, then hunched his shoulders, raised his lips to reveal the molars on both sides, and uttered his most threatening growl. That was Siggie's way of saying. "Get lost!"

"I had seen this defiant mood before, and knew there was only one way to deal with it. The ONLY way to make Siggie obey is to threaten him with destruction. Nothing else works. I turned and went to my closet and got a small belt to help me 'reason' with Mr. Freud."

. . .

"What developed next is impossible to describe. That tiny dog and I had the most vicious fight ever staged between man and beast. I fought him up one wall and down the other, with both of us scratching and clawing and growling and swinging the belt. I am embarrassed by the memory of the entire scene. Inch by inch I moved him toward the family room and his bed. As a final desperate maneuver, Siggie backed into the corner for one last snarling stand. I eventually got him to bed, only because I outweighed him 200 to 12!"


"But this is not a book about the discipline of dogs; there is an important moral to my story that is highly relevant to the world of children. JUST AS SURELY AS A DOG WILL OCCASIONALLY CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITY OF HIS LEADERS, SO WILL A LITTLE CHILD -- ONLY MORE SO."

"[I]t is possible to create a fussy, demanding baby by rushing to pick him up every time he utters a whimper or sigh. Infants are fully capable of learning to manipulate their parents through a process called reinforcement, whereby any behavior that produces a pleasant result will tend to recur. Thus, a healthy baby can keep his mother hopping around his nursery twelve hours a day (or night) by simply forcing air past his sandpaper larynx."

Keep your children far away from Dobson - and anyone who follows his teachings.

On p.15 Dobson tells the story of a mother who spanks her 5 year old daughter and locks her in the garage for throwing some stones at cars.  On p.18 he tells the story of a mother who slaps her 18 month old 9 separate times for reaching for a candy dish.  On p.20 he tells the story of a mother who counts to three "and if the kids had not minded by then, they would have to face the wooden spoon."
On p.61 Dobson says to spank a 6 year old for calling his parents "hot dog" or "moose" and on p.63 Dobson says to spank a 7 year old for lying.  

. . .

On p. 135 Dobson is asked this question: "Q: How long do you think a child should be allowed to cry after being punished or spanked?  Is there a limit?  A: Yes, I believe there should be a limit.  As long as the tears represent a genuine release of emotion, they should be permitted to fall.  But crying can quickly change from inner sobbing to an expression of protest aimed at punishing the enemy.  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."

On p.136 Dobson recommends using a switch or paddle to beat children. (link above)

On p.137 Dobson says "The spanking may be too gentle.  If it doesn't hurt, it doesn't motivate a child to avoid the consequence next time.  A slap with the hand on the bottom of a diapered two-year-old is not a deterrent to anything.  Be sure the child gets the message."

One can only imagine with horror what goes in this man's household.  Sick and crazy.

More here if you want to be even more throughly repelled.

But this will almost - almost- make you feel sorry for the man:

A recent profile of Dobson sheds some light on these questions. As it turns out, Dobson’s parents physically and mentally abused him as a child, and he once got beaten up in school by a kid even Dobson admits was widely acknowledged to be a “sissy.”

The article in a Denver magazine called “5280″ makes Dobson’s mother, Myrtle, sound like a real piece of work. Notes writer Eileen Welsome:

Myrtle [tag]Dobson[/tag] was an amiable and social woman, but she didn’t hesitate to whack her son with a shoe or belt when she felt it was required. Consequently, Dobson writes, he learned at an early age to stay out of striking distance when he back-talked to his mother. One day he made the mistake of mouthing off when she was only four feet away and heard a 16-pound girdle whistling through the air. “The intended blow caught me across the chest, followed by a multitude of straps and buckles wrapping themselves around my midsection.” The girdle incident did not dampen his defiance, however. One evening, after Dobson’s mother forbid him from going to a dance, the recalcitrant teenager told her that he was going anyway; she picked up the telephone and called her husband. “I need you,” she said.

The article continues: “‘What happened in the next few days shocked me down to my toes,’ writes Dobson.”

His father canceled the next four years’ worth of speaking engagements, put the Oklahoma house up for sale, and took a pastor’s job in San Benito, Texas, a small town near the Mexican border. Dobson had two years of high school left, and when he started classes he found himself the target of a couple of bullies. Rather than turn the other cheek, Dobson wheeled around and threw his schoolbooks in the face of one annoying youth. “By the time he could see me again I was on top of him,” Dobson writes. Dobson also tried a little bullying himself, targeting a boy whom he sized up as a “sissy.” But the boy gave him such a thrashing that Dobson concluded bullying wasn’t for him.

Elsewhere the story notes that in the Dobson household there were “a million rules…regulations and prohibitions for almost every imaginable situation.” Dobson recalls being “chewed out for using the expression ‘Hot dog!’ and forbidden from uttering ‘darn,’ ‘geez,’ or ‘dad-gummit’ because they were considered shorthand swear words.”

Even more alarming, Dobson admits in one of his books that as a child he arranged a fight between two mismatched dogs. The battle involved a tenacious bulldog and a “sweet, passive Scottie named Baby,” and Dobson provoked it by throwing a tennis ball toward Baby. He writes what happened next: “The bulldog went straight for Baby’s throat and hung on. It was an awful scene. Neighbors came running from everywhere as the Scottie screamed in terror. It took ten minutes and a garden hose for the adults to pry loose the bulldog’s grip. By then Baby was almost dead. He spent two weeks in the animal hospital, and I spent two weeks in the doghouse. I was hated by the entire town.”

As any child psychologist will tell you, this type of cruelty toward animals is a sign of a serious psychological disturbance.

James Dobson is a sick, sick man.  Instead of seeking help for the psychological damage he suffered as a child, he decided instead to inflict evil on others by manipulating them into beating their own children and telling them God wants them to.  Talk about dragging Biblical understanding through the gutter.

I will never on any day be listening to anything James Dobson has to say about the Bible or any other subject.  Why the media gives his man any credence whatsoever is one of the great mysteries of life that will never be adequately explained.

Originally posted to JLFinch on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:49 PM PDT.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  This is (3+ / 5-)

    well... fucking disturbing to say the least. I'm surprised he's not a serial killer, or maybe he is. He probably does some moonlighting.

    Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? - Patrick Henry

    by BetMyCitizenship on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 10:59:49 PM PDT

    •  I temporarily lost my HR ability... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JLFinch, Dar Nirron

      ...but if I had it, I would most definitely use it to hide that comment.

      Insinuating that someone is a murderer without evidence isn't positive or constructive in any way, shape or form.  It's the kind of talk that makes this site look bad.

      Please refrain from comments like that.

      Respect. Empower. Include. Yes We Can!

      by The Great Gatsby on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:02:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Done in your stead (0+ / 0-)

        We're better than that.

        "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

        by skywaker9 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:03:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  agree (0+ / 0-)

        thank you

        "They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time. [...] That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary."-Handmaid's Tale

        by JLFinch on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:04:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i agree with the HR, but (3+ / 0-)

        only because of the way the speculation was made in the comment.  

        i think that Dobson is a know it all stuburn sexist abusive opprotunistic dickhead, but i think it ends there.  i may be wrong, but i don't think that there is evidence that he is disturbed.  i hope i'm right.  

        Rent the film Revolver. It's an intelligent movie for intelligent people. The critics loathed it.

        by AntonBursch on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:14:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, Lauren S, BetMyCitizenship

 for "disturbed", he has said that he doesn't think it's right to us physical pain to punish a child that is younger than 18 months.

          Which means he thinks it is appropriate and desirable to us painful physical punishment against children older than 18 months. I'd say it takes someone with a seriously twisted mind to believe that.

          Someone with the mind of a violent deviant.

          Whatever else he's into is yet to be proven.

        •  yes there is, it's right there. (4+ / 0-)

          Deliberate cruelty to animals during childhood is a cardinal sign of antisocial personality disorder.  

          What Dobson did with those two dogs is a classic instance.

          And his description of the "fight" with his own dog is another, with a good measure of grandiosity thrown in.

          Any psychologist should be able to recognize the signs & symptoms.

          The guy is sick, twisted, and warped, in exactly the same manner as people who do go on to be serial violent criminals.  Lucky for him he learned to use words instead.  Unlucky for us because he didn't do something to end himself up in prison.  

      •  I looked through... (4+ / 0-)

        ...the history of BetMyCitizenship and they don't seem like the trolling kind.

        Perhaps it was just heavy handed cynicism that inspired the comment.

        You're right that one should not imply that someone else is a serial killer but the comment could have been made out of sheer frustration.

        Bad humor, poorly executed is my guess.

        •  If the comment had been made by someone (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          G2geek, mango

          "popular" and highly regarded, it would have garnered 10-20 rec's.

          Just speakin the truth.

          •  true. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            get the red out, Lauren S

            Pure sarcasm.  It had my Snark-O-Meter beeping.  I gave it a rec.

          •  But if he said a certain female politician (0+ / 0-)

            may have gained 5 lbs on the campaign trail, he'd be buried in HRs, so it's all relative.

          •  Okay I'm going to fuck up my history and (0+ / 0-)

            say you are being well... a dick

            Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? - Patrick Henry

            by BetMyCitizenship on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 10:57:33 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  LOL okay (0+ / 0-)

              I have no problem with that if you actually state your case for such.

              I've made many mistakes in my many comments here, I've always been the first (or third) to admit my mistakes in goign overboard.

              This is definitely not one of those times.  So if you want to make your case, fucking do it.   You don't have one.  :)

          •  Oh yeah, this is a popularity contest (0+ / 0-)

            If I was popular, I could say what I want, but since I'm "not" you need to HR me. Yeah, that's the ticket. Oh yeah, this is why people think progressives are crazy. We want an egalitarian society, except on DKos. I swear sometimes I just don't understand.

            Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? - Patrick Henry

            by BetMyCitizenship on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 11:05:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I didn't HR your comment (0+ / 0-)

              Stop sounding crazy.

              Yes, DKos has a popularity contest aspect to it sometimes but only in the regard (as I've seen it anyway) that some people are allowed to get away with saying things that noobs would never get away with saying.   Context is key though in that sometimes well known members are given the benefit of the doubt with context whereas a noob saying something with no history to give them context might not be treated so well.

              Your comment is just fucking stupid though, coming from a noob.   Whine much?   Grow some fucking skin already.  Did you expect to be treated as royalty for gracing DKos with your presence?   Get the fuck real and grow a goddamned skin.

      •  that's not insinuating, it's sarcasm. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Sounds like you lost your Snark-O-Meter too; mine was beeping pretty loudly when I read the above comment, for which I gave it a rec.  

      •  It's not an insinuation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It's just speculation. That's why I uprated it. Serial killers are often people with no empathy and they often have a history of abusing animals, which Dobson clearly does. Now, it doesn't follow that he's a serial killer and there's obviously no evidence of that, but it wouldn't surprise me if he turned out to be one, either.

      •  My ever loving god (0+ / 0-)

        Do you remember how the repukes took office last time? It was because you FUCKS were too FUCKING sensitive, and PC had gone too far. For someone to torture animals as a small child, and to say that he or she may be a sociopath is naive to say the least. Lest we not forget Bundy, Dahmer, and Manson. They all tortured animals as small children. Yeah, I'm HR worthy, and we should defend Dobson.

        Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? - Patrick Henry

        by BetMyCitizenship on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 10:54:38 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Crap! This guy is seriously sick. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I did not previously know that about the "great Talevangelist leader", Dr. Dobson. That man seemes filled with vile hate and repressed emotional "issues".

    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." --Thomas Jefferson

    by frisco on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:01:22 PM PDT

  •  It seems to me (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dont Just Stand There, G2geek

    That many folks like this became televangelists because they're hiding something.  E.g. they're gay like Hagee or Craig or they're fucking crazy like Dobson.

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:02:43 PM PDT

  •  When my kids were young (4+ / 0-)

    I would include books on relationships and parenting in my reading pile.  Dobson's was recommended by someone, I didn't remember who at the time.  After reading the book I deduced the person who recommended it couldn't have read it.  A good analyst would infer an awful lot from the book, primarily that Dobson desperately needed help and certainly shouldn't be around kids.

    Dobson is twisted. Like others who are so adamant about getting into other people's intimacies, he has something he's hiding.  

    Why the media gives his man any credence whatsoever is one of the great mysteries of life that will never be adequately explained.

    You could make a novella or perhaps a full book of characters that fit that quote, Dobson is certainly one.  

    Seldom has Washington conventional wisdom been a more obedient handmaiden to historical illiteracy. ...... Joshua Micah Marshall

    by AllanTBG on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:12:37 PM PDT

    •  the media gives him credence (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      because he has a huge audience, period.  if he was some nobody then they wouldn't know who he is let alone give a fuck what he says.  he's a part of the conversation to get his audience to listen to raise ratings.  the end.

      Rent the film Revolver. It's an intelligent movie for intelligent people. The critics loathed it.

      by AntonBursch on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:18:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  here's a couple of guesses... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      metal prophet, AllanTBG

      His harsh upbringing probably interacted with genetic and other factors to create the basis for antisocial personality disorder.  I will predict right here that there's something in his biographical material to the effect that his parents rarely if ever gave him any hugs, physical comfort in times of distress, or physical affection generally.  That is also a key factor in the creation of sociopaths.  

      Also when he was called a sissy, that probably hurt bigtime and made him react against it by overcompensating.

      And, only half-sarcastic, when his mom threw her girdle at him and it wrapped itself around him, I'll bet he had a bit of what we'll call "cognitive dissonance," including an unexpected boner after the fact.  

      I'm going to guess, only half-sarcastically, that his personal tweak and big secret is the desire to put on womens' clothing (and hang around in bars?*).


      *I couldn't resist the Monty Python reference. That's the half that's sarcastic.

  •  I was waiting for somebody (6+ / 0-)

    to dig out these quotes from that creep.

    Ever get the feeling you've been cheated?

    by johnny rotten on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:20:11 PM PDT

  •  I can think of a few women I would.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    like to shower with....

    This stuff's just too bizarre. It leaves me speechless.  It makes me more disturbed that in some circles, it has legitimate "cred"....just my views...

  •  Yikes!!!!! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    get the red out

    I do truly feel for the children of his followers. I was sitting here reading the article, took a break and wondered about how brutalized and mentally messed up some kids end up being after having their parents educated in child rearing by Dobson.

    Maybe Carlin was right.......Most people are stupid........

  •  dude this needs to get recd (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
  •  Could not read it all (0+ / 0-)

    it is too disgusting!

    Where did these people grow? In a cave? They are monstrously maladapted, missing some screws somewhere?

  •  Falwell's Dad Was A Pimp And A Murderer (0+ / 0-)

    And the Oral Roberts family has been leading a rock star life complete with a live-in male teen age sexual boy toy.

    Who has the web site that compiles this stuff? Most of it is public records and taken from their own writings.   These guys are public nutcases, and they have no filter or off switch.

  •  Mike Malloy... (0+ / 0-)

    ....put it best when he refers to Focus on the Family as Focus on the Phallus and calls Dobson "a sick sick sick sick sick sick sick man."

  •  Flip Flop McCain (0+ / 0-)

    Flip flop McCain is flip flopping again.  He was against "agents of intolerance".  Then he was for them.  Then he was against them again.  Now he seems to be for them again.

    Flip... flop... flip...

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site