Sunday, April 01, 2007

ficus on the family??

Update: okay - I might be the most gullible - but I still can't believe that would pen someone's repentance letter - I know it's the Door - but still. Just to show that I'm not totally vapid I did catch the Google April Fool's joke (took me a sec, but this one slipped right by me....) I still can't comfirm or deny it - but assume since it is the 1st that they got me - I still think it was in bad taste to have him "repent" as a joke.

I received this in an email from the Wittenburg Door this morning and I honestly couldn't be more stunned. As one who has grown up through this similar ugly form of Dispensationalism I must say that I applaud Dr. Dobson and am so proud of him for his public repentance. I have taken quite a few swipes at his inconsistencies myself on this blog, so I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due:

We have tweaked our friend the Rev. James Dobson pretty regularly in the past, particular for his involvement in politics. And when Dr. Dobson called for the resignation of the Rev. Richard Cizik, president for the National Association of Evangelicals because he believed that Cizik was spending too much time worrying about global warming and not enough time spent on “core” Religious Right issues, such as abortion and same-sex marriages, we gigged him pretty hard then, too.

However, we received this e-mail this morning from Dobson’s Focus on the Family ministry and we think it is a remarkable document. It is probably the most honest, most revealing statement ever made by the normally carefully controlled Dobson.

So, in the spirit of Christian reconciliation, we’re making available Dr. Dobson’s complete statement, without editorial comment. (If you would like to send Dr. Dobson an e-mail of support for his courageous reassessment, we’ve kept his contact information at the end of his statement.)

Perhaps he should rename it FICUS on the Family

– Robert Darden, Senior Editor

Colorado Springs, CO – Dear friends and supporters:

Since my ill-advised attack on my dear friend Dick Cizik a few days ago, I have had an extraordinary week of reflection and spiritual enlightenment.

Through the counsel of godly men, such as the Rev. Dr. Jack Hayford, the Rev. Rick Warren, Richard Stearns (President, World Vision), David Neff (Editor, Christianity Today) and other members of The Evangelical Climate Initiative (, I’ve come to see that my assessment of Dick’s motives and, in fact, “global warming,” have been in error as well.

I have been guilty of a particularly pernicious form of short-sighted Dispensationalism, believing that since the earth has no future with the blessed Second Coming nigh, we, as Christians, have no responsibility to care for Creation.

Through loving testimony, instruction and careful study of the Bible with these and other mentors, I no longer believe that Dick is – as I said earlier, much to my regret -- guilty of a “relentless campaign” to save the planet at the expense of what I called more “serious” issues, such as same-sex marriage. I see now that I have strictly exploited those issues and others like them to manipulate my audience and as a calculated and callous form of fund-raising.

As part of my penance for my unmerited attacks on a courageous, godly man, I have initiated contact with both the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Don Wildmon, with the earnest desire to convince them of the error of their ways as well. While both continue to condemn what they call “earthism worship,” I will continue to pray that this revelation will be made available to them as well.

As for the rest of my penance, I will devote the rest of my career – however long the Lord sees fit to continue in this capacity – to working with my Christian brothers and sisters to insure that all life on the planet, God’s first and greatest gift to us, is protected and cherished.

God bless you all,

Jim Dobson
Focus on the Family
8605 Explorer Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80995


wilsonian said...

Happy April Fool's Day to you too :)

Patchouli said...

You almost had me--until I read this part:
"I see now that I have strictly exploited those issues and others like them to manipulate my audience and as a calculated and callous form of fund-raising."

No way do I believe any celebrity Christian would mess with fundraising!

wilsonian said...

Just popped back to apologize. Whether this is true or not, I am pretty shocked at how quick I am to believe the worst, and how little grace I hold for folks like Dobson.

Forgive me, please.

bobbie said...

oh erin - don't be so hard on yourself - i think it was me - and not you - no forgiveness necessary - but there is you still feel you need it.

it got me totally - honest i wasn't trying to trick anyone - read the update i posted on this... totally sucked in... sigh.

i guess it was wishful thinking on my part that god could honestly crack the door in this man's heart... it gave me hope that the "surety" of the fundies could be influenced by the holy spirit... sigh...

wilsonian said...

Ah, well I love it about you that you live in hope. :)

I do have a pride issue I've been unwilling to deal with, so I'll take you up on your forgiveness.


sonja said...

You're not the only one ... I went around all day happy and giddy. I almost even cross-posted. But I began getting suspicious when nothing showed up on CNN and I couldn't find anything on FotF or anywhere else about it.

Heavy Sigh ... I so wanted this miracle. Or some miracle. Maybe they were being prophetic ;-)

Sarah Louise said...

April Fools can be a tough one. I guess this post appeared in a couple different versions before this most recent what I just read.

And I wanted to write about April Fools but I wanted more to write about Palm Sunday...

So here's a tidbit: when I worked for Fox books, on April Fool's I'd answer the phone, "Dominos, can I take your order?" It got a few folks...I had my fun.

Heather said...

I believed it too, it gave me chills, until I noticed the comments about April Fool's. Then I was just sad. I have to say I don't think repentance is ever a joking matter, and although I enjoy the Door too, I think they went a little too far with this! Thanks for posting the update!