Creep of the Week: James Dobson

James Clayton Dobson, Jr
James Clayton Dobson, Jr. is the founder of Focus on the Family

Please do go on about how much Donald Trump cares about peoples’ lives

In the eyes of James Dobson and other leaders in the far-right corners of Christianity, Donald Trump can do no wrong.

In a Sept. 14 column titled, “A Moral Alarm Against the Legislative Death March of 2020,” Dobson, who founded the virulently anti-LGBTQ groups Focus on the Family and the Family Research Council, writes, “Now and always, all human life is sacred, from the womb to the grave.”

He then goes on to say how awful abortion is. And then he writes this: “We reject even the most basic legal protections for the unborn, the disabled and the sick.”

Now while Dobson and I don’t see eye to eye on the abortion issue, I couldn’t help but think after reading about “basic legal protections” for “the disabled and sick” that Dobson was going to write about COVID-19. About how nearly 200,000 people in the U.S. have died in a mere six months, and many of the dead people who had a “comorbidity,” meaning they were already sick with something else that made them even more susceptible to COVID-19.

I thought Dobson might call out Trump and the Republicans for just standing back and letting all of these people die. Or maybe call them out for trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act that provided basic legal protections for “the disabled and the sick.” As you read this, the Trump administration is still trying to repeal the ACA, which would yank access to health care away from many Americans in the middle of a pandemic.

Trump’s Tweeted a conspiracy theory claiming that only 9,000 people had actually died

Not to mention the fact that folks with preexisting conditions, which insurance companies used to be able to drop, would lose that crucial protection. Surely even James Dobson can see how immoral all of this is.

But, big surprise, I was wrong. Dobson was writing about euthanasia.

“The so-called ‘right to die’ movement permits the elderly, the sick or the mentally ill to end their lives, often aided by the very medical professionals sworn to protect them,” he writes.

That is a gross overgeneralization that doesn’t at all represent the right to die movement. But I digress.

I couldn’t help but think that Dobson wouldn’t have to look very far to see people dying while surrounded by medical professionals who can’t help them. It’s been happening for six months, and the president Dobson loves so much still has no plan to address the pandemic. And there are still doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who don’t have adequate Personal Protection Equipment. We’re still sending medical professionals walk into rooms with people who are either suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19 without the right kinds of masks and other protective gear. Meanwhile, Trump loves to crow about how he sent some ventilators to the states as if his work here is done.

But, sure, Dobson. The real tragedy is that there are people dying who WANT to die, as opposed to all of these people dying who did NOT want to die.

The fact is, all of the COVID-19 deaths are not a deal breaker for guys like Dobson. It’s a small price to pay for getting another conservative justice on the Supreme Court so they can overturn Roe v. Wade and outlaw abortion.

In August of last year, Dobson lamented that some churches were actually accepting LGBTQ people.

“I’m not a theologian,” he said, “but I believe the Bible… is clear about its condemnation of all forms of sexual immorality. That’s just the way it is. If you don’t like it, argue with the Scripture. That has not changed, and it will not change. It’s the word of God, which is eternal, and it is not subject to revision.”

Trump, of course, has been accused of and has engaged in many “forms of sexual immorality.” And Trump can’t take it up with the Scripture because he’s never read a word of it.

“What is the answer to this horrible disregard for life?” Dobson writes. “We need politicians who stand for life and policies that protect life. We also critically need a societal change of heart.”

I mean, he isn’t wrong. We do need political leaders who want to protect people. Who actually gives a shit that Trumps ineptitude is responsible for nearly 200,000 dead people in six months—I truly can’t emphasize that enough. And we, as a society, need to unlock a deep level of grief instead of pretending that the biggest problem we have is wearing a mask to the grocery store. 200,000 dead, and there’s no sense of national mourning. Trump’s response was to Tweet a conspiracy theorist claiming that only 9,000 people had actually died.

Oh, but please do go on about how much Donald Trump cares about other peoples’ lives.