NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When You Can’t

FRESH AIR Journalist Dan Gilgoff is the author of the new book The Jesus Machine: How James Dobson, Listen to this story...Focus on the Family, and Evangelical America Are Winning the Culture War. Gilgoff — ajesusontheradio1.jpg senior writer at U.S. News & World Report — gained rare access for a reporter to the Focus on the Family organization.
WIKIPEDIA: TheocracyWatch identifies Focus on the Family as a dominionist organization,[2] and contends they have become more successful than the Christian Coalition in their influence on the U.S. Congress. [2] Focus on the Family has been a prominent supporter of intelligent design, publishing pro-intelligent design articles in its Citizen magazine and selling intelligent design videos on its website.[3][4] Focus on the Family co-published the intelligent design videotape Unlocking the Mystery of Life with the Discovery Institute, hub of the intelligent design movement.[5] Focus on the Family employee Mark Hartwig is also a fellow of the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, a connection which has helped to publicize intelligent design extensively; James Dobson often features intelligent design proponents on his Focus on the Family radio program. Focus on the Family’s is a significant online resource for intelligent design articles.[6][7]On July 17, 2006, Soulforce, a gay rights group, “accused Focus on the Family founder James Dobson of manipulating research data to say gays and lesbians are not good parents.”[4] Judith Stacey, a sociologist at New York University, said Focus on the Family “manipulated” her work “in an attempt to show gays and lesbians do not make good parents.”[5] A Focus on the Family official denied the allegation.[6] In December 2006, two more scientists alleged that Dobson misrepresented their research. In a guest column published in Time Magazine titled Two Mommies is One Too Many, Dobson argued that same-sex couples are unsuitable parents, citing as support research by New York University educational psychologist Carol Gilligan, PhD, and Dr. Kyle Pruett of the Yale school of medicine.[8] After the article’s publication, Gilligan accused Dobson of “twisting” and “distorting” her research.[9] Pruett also disagreed with Dobson’s representation of his work, saying in a letter to Dobson, “You cherry-picked a phrase to shore up highly (in my view) discriminatory purposes…. This practice is condemned in real science, common though it may be in pseudo-science circles. There is nothing in my longitudinal research or any of my writings to support such conclusions.”[9] It was reported that Pruett’s work suggests the opposite of Dobson’s assertions.[9] Truth Wins Out called on Time Magazine to renounce Dobson’s article. Gilligan asked Focus on the Family to never quote from her work again, and to issue an apology.[10] Pruett requested that Focus on the Family seek his permission before using his work in the future.[11] Dobson has defended his usage of the research.[12]On August 11, 2006, James Dobson publicly defended Mel Gibson after Gibson made anti-Semitic remarks to police officers during a DUI traffic stop.[7] In a statement, Dobson announced he supported “Mel Gibson and his film, The Passion of the Christ,” saying Gibson’s anti-Semitic remarks had nothing to do with “one of the finest films of this era.” He explained further that “we certainly do not condone that racially insensitive outburst,” but added, “Mel has apologized profusely for the incident and there the matter should rest.” On the movie, “Our endorsement of it stands as originally stated. We did not believe it was anti-Semitic in 2004, and our views have not changed,” Dobson said.

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