Dr. James Dobson vs. Siggie and why you may have the distinct impression the Xtian Right wants to whip you into a cage literally

Who is Dr. James Dobson who will be one of those speaking on the Justice Sunday simulcast? James Dobson, who was the inspiration behind Tom Delay’s conversion?

Chris Dugan writes a commentary on James Dobson’s “The Strong-Willed Child” book in which Dobson describes an altercation with the family’s dachshund. In his commentary Dugan provides this excerpt from the book.

“Please don’t misunderstand me. Siggie is a member of our family and we love him dearly. And despite his anarchistic nature, I have finally taught him to obey a few simple commands. However, we had some classic battles before he reluctantly yielded to my authority.

“The greatest confrontation occurred a few years ago when I had been in Miami for a three-day conference. I returned to observe that Siggie had become boss of the house while I was gone. But I didn’t realize until later that evening just how strongly he felt about his new position as Captain.

“At eleven o’clock that night, I told Siggie to go get into his bed, which is a permanent enclosure in the family room. For six years I had given him that order at the end of each day, and for six years Siggie had obeyed.

“On this occasion, however, he refused to budge. You see, he was in the bathroom, seated comfortably on the furry lid of the toilet seat. That is his favorite spot in the house, because it allows him to bask in the warmth of a nearby electric heater. . .

“When I told Sigmund 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.” (emphasis Dobson’s)

I hate to break it to you Dobson, but man, your beloved, family dog wasn’t just an anarchist. Siggie hated your guts. When you went to Miami, Siggie hoped you weren’t ever coming back. Then there you were standing in the bathroom yelling at him to get away from the nice warm heater and the fuzzie toilet seat cover and return to his beloved place as the family dog. He sounded like he’d had it with being the beloved family dog, Dr. Dobson. You, as a psychologist, should have been aware of the signs of this.

James Dobson, who called his dog an anarchist, heads up Focus on the Family. In 1988, Focus on the Family merged with the Family Research Council in order to carry “Judeo-Chrsitian “biblical prescriptions… (into) the national political arena.” Four years later they parted ways after warnings from the IRS that the association endangered Family’s tax-exempt status. (More on the FRC and the Council for National Policy at Media Transparency.)

Dobson has since formed Focus on the Family ACTION which is political and not tax exempt. He remains a chairman of Focus on the Family and its “chief ministry architect” but its President and CEO is Don Hodel, in the 80’s a member of President Reagan’s administration as U.S. Undersecretary of the Interior, U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and U.S. Secretary of Energy.

Yet, as Christianity Today points out:

But there are no new offices, no separate buildings, and no unique support staff. In the office, sitting next to a Focus on the Family fax machine is another one for Focus on the Family Action. “People on my staff keep track of, in tenth of an hour blocks, the time that they are spending doing these various things,” Brandt said.

Focus on the Family is huge. Slap me for providing a quote from the New Republic’s, Michael Crowley but here I go:

Dobson’s clout emanates from Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs-based ministry he founded that is awesome in scope: publishing books and magazines, disseminating Dobson’s weekly newspaper column to more than 500 papers, and airing radio shows—including Dobson’s own—that reach people in 115 countries every week, from Japan to Botswana and in languages from Spanish to Zulu. The ministry receives so much mail it has its own ZIP code.

Christopher Ott described a visit to the Focos on the Family 77 acre complex back in 1998. He was wondering if Dobson had as much power and outreach as it was suggested he did.

Matthew Freeman visited also in 1998, took the tour, and walked away noting, “It’s an impressive enterprise, one to be admired, and one to be feared.”


A few facets of Focus’ Outreach are described and linked to at Exposed!

The People for the American Way website gives an estimated listening audience of over 200 million people daily world wide, while he appears daily on 80 television stations and is heard daily on more than 3000 radio facilities in North America.

Oh sure, a lot of people on the left may have made fun of Dobson going after Spongebob Squarepants, but he’s, well, he’s…really out to screw us over, and with a $128.8 million budget.

He’s doing it by counseling people on all aspects of their lives, and not just parents, but teens and kiddies as well.

Dobson tells you what to think. He tells you what to think not only as an evangelist but as a psychologist. He may not be able to preach in schools but back in 1998, Matthew Freeman reported “30,000 schools had copies of various Focus on the Family videos, and that more than six million children have seen them in school. ”

Back to Siggie.

Siggie is not just a dog. Siggie is everyone who disagrees with James Dobson. Choice is not an option. Options are not an option.

James Dobson. Yet another Xtian Rightist with whom there will be no reasoning, no dialogue, no debate. He won’t allow for such. It’s his way, all the way, and those who disagree shouldn’t expect to be treated any different from the Dobson family dog, Siggie.

It’s been a few years since Dobson wrote that piece about Siggie, so I imagine Siggie has long since passed along.

Siggie, who just wanted to lie on a fuzzy toilet seat cover in a warm spot.

RIP, Siggie.

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