Dobson Caves to Evangelicals Who Call Glenn Beck a Cultist

Posted on 26 December 2008 by Chino Blanco

Admittedly, I got busy with the holidays and fell behind in my reading at some of my favorite websites. I figured I could bookmark, spend a couple days getting reacquainted with the wife and kids, and then catch up later.

Later was apparently too late:

No longer available? Now that’s disappointing.

After the success of the Evangelical-Mormon lovefest otherwise known as Prop 8, I was really looking forward to reading what Glenn Beck might write over at James Dobson’s place. Would Glenn use the opportunity to ask Dr. Dobson about that time back in 2004 when Dobson’s wife, Shirley, excluded Mormons from the National Day of Prayer? And would Glenn suggest that maybe, in the afterglow of Prop 8, now was a good time for Dr. Dobson to offer an apology to Mormons for not letting them use the word “Christian” to describe themselves? And would it be an apology as heartfelt as the one that Beck delivered to Dobson on-air in 2007? And, considering how successful the Mormons were at helping the Evangelicals keep the word “marriage” all to themselves out in California, would Dr. Dobson perhaps finally be moved to graciously begin sharing the “C” word with the Mormons? I mean, Beck and Dobson are both good “Christians” right?

The potential was there for an absolutely riveting read.

So, what happened?

Well, it turns out that apparently Dr. Dobson has agreed that the “C” word does apply to Mormons. The problem now is that it’s that other “C” word. See if you can spot it while I try to sort out the story behind this gripping tale of a dead link.

December 19: A story goes up on Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink website promoting Mormon TV host Glenn Beck’s latest book, “The Christmas Sweater.”

Later that same day, a Christian blogger pens a brief diary under the title Focus on the Family Embraces Mormonism.

December 21: Another Christian blogger weighs in, this time in a post titled Focus on the Family Implicitly Affirms Mormonism that includes this advice:

I strongly discourage you from giving money to any religious organization that is so committed to a social agenda that they are willing to ignore the vast difference between biblical Christianity and the cult of Mormonism … When Christians yoke up with unbelievers in order to promote a common social agenda, we display a gross lack of discernment, feed religious pluralism, and end up doing all kinds of wierd [sic] and sinful things in hopes of restoring the Andy Griffith moralism of the 1950s … 

December 22: A press release goes out over the ChristianNewsWire announcing that Focus on the Family Promotes Mormon Glenn Beck at CitizenLink and that:

Clearly, Mormonism is a cult. The CitizenLink story does not mention Beck’s Mormon faith, however, the story makes it look as if Beck is a Christian who believes in the essential doctrines of the faith … to promote a Mormon as a Christian is not helpful to the cause of Jesus Christ. For Christians to influence society, Christians should be promoting the central issues of the faith properly without opening the door to false religions. 

Later that same day, John Schroeder, the Christian half of the Evangelical-Mormon blogging duo over at Article VI responds with Embarrassed By My Brethren … and writes:

This move [promoting Glenn Beck] by the Dobson organization should be applauded loudly and long. Nobody can swing more evangelical votes than James Dobson – NOBODY. … Of course, if we are lucky, this blog will be the only outlet in the world to pay attention to this press release [slamming Dobson's promotion of Beck on the CitizenLink site]. 

December 24: No such luck. And our unlucky Article VI blogger, noticing that the Glenn Beck article has been pulled off the CitizenLink website, posts this woeful update: ARRGH!:

… the Dobson organization has caved … 

The absolute worst part is that in California we have just witnessed what is possible if Mormons and Evangelicals and Catholics unite politically – so how does the leading Evangelical public figure (although Dobson is rapidly being supplanted in that role by Pastor Warren) respond? By caving to the slighest pressure from a few grossly over-zealous types. Which does what? It weakens an already very weak and formative bridge between.

Shame on the Dobson organization.

Wow.

And now I’m wondering why they even need two bloggers over at Article VI? John Schroeder’s obviously got serious talent when it comes to generating a passionate debate with himself:

Nobody can swing more evangelical votes than James Dobson! Dobson is yesterday’s news, all hail Rick Warren! The Dobson organization should be applauded loudly and long! Shame on the Dobson organization! 

Ouch.

And now that Dobson has scrubbed his site of Beck’s Mormon taint, it’ll be interesting to watch and see if Lowell Brown (the Mormon half of Article VI) has anything more to say on the subject. What say you, Lowell? For all your hard work on Prop 8, what gift were Mormons like yourself hoping to receive from Evangelicals who consider yours a false religion and your church a cult?

Whatever it was, you need to wake up and go check your Christmas stocking: Santa Dobson has done delivered your lump of coal.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Neally Says:

    The Mormon Church pretty much got played by Evangelical groups. Essentially they used the Mormon’s fundraising and manpower to defeat Gay Marriage, but then slip away leaving the LDS holding the bag and getting the unwanted attention. Ask Mitt Romney if he was able to pull the knife out of his back after courting these folks in the ’08 primary.

    Not that I feel sorry for them, but soon the LDS will learn they made a huge tactical mistake in aligning with the Religous Right. They we’re oh-so-close to mainstream respectability after the Salt Lake Olympics but then completely blew it with Prop 8.

    Most of us on the East Coast saw mormons as a weird, quirky religion but whose people we’re friendly and benelovent so no one really had anything against them. Post Prop 8 however, they’re still viewed as weird and quirky but who may not be as nice as they seemed.

  2. Chino Blanco Says:

    UPDATE …

    Glenn responds:

    The Christmas Sweater is a story about the idea of Christmas as a time for redemption and atonement. Whatever your beliefs about my religion, the concept of religious tolerance is too important to be sacrificed in response to pressure from special interest groups, especially when it means bowing to censorship. I’m humbled and grateful that hundreds of thousands of people from different faiths have read the book and have appreciated its uplifting message for themselves. At a time when the world is so full of fear, despair, and divisions, it is my hope that all of those who believe in a loving and peaceful God would stand together on the universal message of hope and forgiveness.
    -glenn

  3. William M Says:

    Neally’s comment is an interesting one and deserves an East Coast LDS response on a couple of his points. Here is the first.

    The LDS did not get played by the Evangelicals. First, as has been covered in detail in the San Francisco Chronicle, it was the Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, who had previously served as Archbishop of Salt Lake City for 11 years, who invited the LDS Church to join the Yes on Prop 8 coalition.

    More importantly, as has been publicized by Atlantic Monthly blogger Andrew Sullivan and others, a leaked LDS Church memo shows that the LDS anticipated the California constitutional ballot initiative on same-sex marriage, with amazing prescience, at least as long ago as 1997, and hoped to ally with the Catholic Church as to the initiative.

    So, Neally, whether we are weird, quirky, benevolent or not nice, we are not stupid and we did not get played.

  4. Chino Blanco Says:

    Here’s some more fun:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kdx-zqAenQo

    That’s Tom Minnery, senior vice president of government and public policy at Focus on the Family Action, making the claim that Mitt Romney has “acknowledged Mormonism is not a Christian faith.”

    Really? Mitt admitted that? If so, that’d be a pretty big deal to Mitt’s Mormon fanbase, wouldn’t it?

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