Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Dear Mr. Dobson

James Dobson
Focus on the Family
Colorado Springs, CO

Dear Dr. Dobson:

I feel as if I know you...maybe because your political ads have been cycling on my local TV station all day today; three times in one half-hour at one point.

In your ads you tell my fellow Michiganians and myself that our "families are under fire." You imply that the recent New Jersey Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage is somehow threatening to heterosexual families, and that Something Very Bad will happen if this sets a precedent. You warn of an unnamed, nefarious "out-of-state gay activist" who is spending millions of dollars to push his alien agenda in Michigan. You end your ad by saying, "Whatever your party -- vote your values."

I have to admit I was a little confused by an out-of-state evangelical activist like yourself -- you know, someone with a decidedly non-Upper-Midwestern twang, currently esconced in the state of Colorado -- talking about other out-of-state activists in Michigan like they're a bad thing. But I will take your point that, no matter what party we support, we need to vote our values.

Here are my values.

I value living in a state with a diversified, thriving economy. We aren't there yet; we are still spasming through an economic paradigm change that has gutted our major industry, sent shock waves throughout the rest of business and government, and displaced thousands of workers. Voting my values means voting for leaders with vision, who can keep hope alive here while we rebuild our state's economic base in new and different ways.

I value living in a beautiful state, whose natural resources and the health of the land are valued and protected, and where growth is achieved in sustainable ways.

I value safety of person -- living where I can take a neighborhood walk in the evening and not be afraid, where I can travel freely in my state and not be afraid, where my neighbors can raise their kids and not be afraid, where our older citizens can live a quiet life and not be afraid. Voting my values means voting for someone who understands that promoting public safety for all citizens is a part of maintaining and enhancing quality of life; and who understands that equal opportunity, education and meaningful employment are all levers that lift people out of the kind of despair that leads to nihilism and violence.

I value the kind of diversity and tolerance, grounded in a common respect for our common life as human beings in a free society, that refuses to tolerate or encourage cultural Balkanization and that rejects the jihadist rhetoric of religious extremism and theocratic fantasy.

Because I vote my values, Dr. Dobson, chances are that I will not be voting for anyone on your "approved" list. But thanks for providing me, with each airing of your paid political advertising, with a motivational reminder why.


P.S. (an after-thought) said...

VEry good letter. I wish you'd get Dr. D to read it. Unfortunately, if you sent it to him ( to Focus on the Family) he'd never get it and you'd get a form letter from an minion telling you just how much they appreciate you letter, but, oh, they still would disagree. Ask me how I know.

I wrote to him hoping to get a thoughtful response about why his organization doesn't take a stand against consumerism and the wealth mentality of some conservative Christians. I got a response and some listings of web pages defending Christians who accumulate wealth, and a defense saying that they are too busy with their family issues to go after another topic.

I really don't know why I used to respect him.

LutherPunk said...

I hope you actually sent is articulate and passionate without being scathing or attacking. He needs to read it. Great job!

Tom in Ontario said...

Send it to him. Whether he sees it or not they should know how real, thinking, intelligent people feel.