Dobson Meets With Bolton To Set UN Policy
Max Blumenthal printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 04:13:38 AM EST
Before launching into my post, I want to say that the scary headshot of me that appeared by my post yesterday is actually a police photo taken after I was brutally assaulted by Francis Schaeffer's bodyguards after I queried him about plagiarizing Rushdoony (only the first part is a joke). I've asked Fred and Bruce to concede to my vanity by removing the headshot; a new one will be submitted shortly. Now read my exclusive on Dobson's private meeting with UN Ambassador John Bolton below.
During the debate on John R. Bolton's nomination as US ambassador to the UN, I was a little dismayed about the lack of attention devoted to his long and troubling history of collaboration with Christian right interest groups to, for instance, restrict condom distribution in developing nations. Now that Bolton has been installed in the UN by Bush, his so-called "reform" agenda will undoubtedly include a host of reactionary Christian right social policies. A disturbing reflection of Bolton's plans was provided by James Dobson in today's Focus on the Family broadcast, in which he and FoF President Jim Daly described a private, hour-long meeting they and a group of FoF staffers recently held with Bolton in New York.

Here are key portions of Dobson and Daly's discussion of their meeting with Bolton:

JIM DALY: He's [Bolton's] a good man. I mean, everything we saw of him in that almost hour we met with him...he's just a solid pro-life gentleman and uh, certainly more meek than what the Democrats portrayed. He's a nice guy.

(....)

JAMES DOBSON: But we had an opportunity to talk to him about the possibilty of Focus on the Family working with the United Nations. That really did excite me.

DALY: Absolutely. I think what came across in the meeting is that he [Bolton] is pro-life and pro-family and he gave us an invitation to work with him in setting some policy there at the UN that would support the values we believe in.

DOBSON: Now we're finding out why the Democrats didn't want him...

DALY: It had nothing to do...

DOBSON: He's [Bolton's] pro-life, pro-family, pro-morality and sees things the way we do regarding condom distribution and abstinence and other things.

For a little perspective, consider what Bolton's predecessor at the UN, former Republican Senator John Danforth, wrote about Dobson and his ilk:

"When government becomes the means of carrying out a religious program, it raises obvious questions under the First Amendment. But even in the absence of constitutional issues, a political party should resist identification with a religious movement. While religions are free to advocate for their own sectarian causes, the work of government and those who engage in it is to hold together as one people a very diverse country. At its best, religion can be a uniting influence, but in practice, nothing is more divisive. For politicians to advance the cause of one religious group is often to oppose the cause of another....

As a senator, I worried every day about the size of the federal deficit. I did not spend a single minute worrying about the effect of gays on the institution of marriage. Today it seems to be the other way around."




Display:
Wow. Good one, Max. What would the John Birch Society think?

by Carlos on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 01:10:54 PM EST

I heard the programme. I used to enjoy listening to James Dobson's rants on Focus on the Family (call me perverse if you want!), but that was before he really had any leverage or influence in the corridors of power.

These days it is chilling to hear some of the things he says, knowing that they could have a direct bearing on my future and the future of this country. And now to hear that his reach is going to extend beyond this shores is simply awful news.

What really bothers me about Dobson though, is the blinders he wears. I'm prepared to believe that he is an honourable man (unlike many in the fundamentalist community) but to be called a friend by Dobson, all you have to tell him is that you are "pro-family" and "pro-life". Nothing else seems to matter.

John Bolton's unpleasant, disrespectful, and dishonourable antics over the past few years are now fully documented in congressional record. Yet that seems to matter not one jot to Dobson. After one meeting (I assume) not only is he prepared to defend this man's behaviour, he goes as far as to attack John Voinovich, calling him a cry-baby, for opposing the nomination.

And this is a pattern. Dobson is also happy to call Tom Delay a good friend and defends him to the hilt, despite his long career of shady political shenanagins and associations, all of which have been (or soon will be!) well documented. Why? Because Delay says he's "pro-life" and "pro-family".

I wonder if Dobson believes that Tom Delay's vicious and personal attack on the prosecutor who brought charges against him was an act worthy of a Christian?

The man is either an appalling judge of character, or is happy to associate with less-than honourable people so long as it promotes the causes he espouses. I suspect it's a little of both, and that's a dangerous combination.

by tacitus on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 08:47:02 PM EST

People like Dobson, Delay, Falwell, et. al. preach morailty as a means to acheive power. They view power as the path to acheiving their goals. They're perfectly happy to excuse any immorality of their own in their pursuit of this power, because they see such immorality as a small, but necessary "bad" on the path to a "greater good."

I am sure they are very sincere in their beliefs that their goals are not only good and honorable, but imperative. The strength of those convictions is what allows them to give themselves so much leeway.

-----------------------------
Beware of the everyday brutality of the averted gaze.
by mataliandy on Fri Dec 02, 2005 at 10:41:17 PM EST
Parent

Without a doubt Tom Delay is in it for the power and prestige - any morality he may believe in is simply a means to an end. Sincere? I doubt he has a sincere bone in his body.

People like Jerry Falwall and D. James Kennedy are no less ambitious than Delay, but at least they probably believe in most of what they are saying. However, I still get the sense that they're in it for themselves as much as anything else.

On the other hand, I've listened to Dobson off and on for the past decade or so, and I've always got the feeling that he's not really after any personal power. He's working for his cause. Now that might be changing since he's started being wined and dined by the Washington elite and maybe he's being blinded by the bright lights of political power.

But whatever the cause, I think you're right. The problem with having such strong convictions is that you tend to turn a blind eye to any misbehaviour that might promote your cause. I see this on the left as well as the right, but since it's the extreme right that's holding all the power right now, they're the problem.

by tacitus on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 01:28:14 AM EST
Parent



tacitus has, as usual, hit the nail on the head when he says the problem isn't the whacked ideas Dobson and the rest of these guys have but their influence on the people who control our country and our lives. They're using the Bush Administration (can you imagine John Bolton being 'meek' with anyone other than these powerful far-right Xtians?) to affect everything from foreign policy to education to science so it reflects their religious beliefs, and it doesn't seem to matter to them that they're turning science into superstition and promoting policies that don't work (ie, abstinence-only programs in countries with a massive AIDS problem) or are downright dangerous.

But the biggest problem of all, I think, is that most of the change from fringe group to mover-and-shaker has happened underground. Most of the people I know think these are still fringe groups and are having a hard time taking them seriously. When I point out the lines of influence that run in almost every direction from the Xtian theocrats to the Congress and the White House, I'm generally dismissed as a 'conspiracy theorist' and told I'm over-reacting.

The mainstream press, especially the electronic media, almost always act as if a) there's nothing wrong with Xtian influence on the WH, b) such influence doesn't exist, or c) this is the way it's supposed to be. As a result, a big majority of the population doesn't seem to realize that these people are so powerful John Bolton has to be 'meek' when he talks to them and the president of the US has to rush out and change policies or withdraw nominees to the Supreme Court that they don't like.

How can we make things like Dobson's visit to Bolton to keep him on the straight-and-narrow Dominionist agenda more visible to normal folk?

- mick -


by mick arran on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 12:50:46 PM EST
Parent


That is the question I have.

Here

Corroborated allegations that Mr. Bolton's first wife, Christina Bolton, was forced to engage in group sex have not been refuted by the State Department despite inquires posed by Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt concerning the allegations. Mr. Flynt has obtained information from numerous sources that Mr. Bolton participated in paid visits to Plato's Retreat, the popular swingers club that operated in New York City in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

A real family man.

by Shockwave on Sat Dec 03, 2005 at 11:04:28 AM EST


There are many ways one can define John Danforth- scion of an old family - attorney, anglican (episcopal) priest, attorney, senator, ambassador...as well as consummate gentle man, a true follower of Christ Jesus in all his endeavours.

John seems to have lived in a timely age when both his denomination and political party would be imploded by forces who created a "revolution within a form." His proactive stance in both situations....remaining in ECUSA and in the dwindling Republican wing of the Republican Party...deserves just praise.

Well done, good and faithful servant, John +

by LIBERAL CROZIER on Mon Dec 05, 2005 at 07:45:19 PM EST



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