Right Wing Watch is reporting that James Dobson is angry “that anybody took offense at his hyper-partisan National Day of Prayer speech last month.”
Rather than turning the other cheek, as Jesus commanded (Matthew 5:39; Luke 6:29), RWW notes that Dobson took to his June newsletter to express his disapproval, railing once more that President Obama is the “anti-religious freedom president” as well as a bevy of other oft-repeated lies.
You may have read one of the hundreds of blogs and articles that were critical of Shirley and me following the recent National Day of Prayer event in Washington, D.C. Most of the criticism was aimed at me, which I’ll address in a moment. Almost all of the angry editorials were written by liberal activists who were apparently looking for an excuse to damage the prayer event in the nation’s capital. They are hostile to any public display of religious fervor. The writers of these blogs despise conservative Christians, especially those of us who stand firm for what we believe.
Actually, it is Jesus who is hostile to any public display of religious fervor, saying at Matthew 6:1, “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your father in heaven.”
Ooops. Are we to imagine Jesus was just kidding? Or did Dobson throw away his reward in heaven?
[God] promises to hear our cries from heaven, forgive our sin and heal our land. (2 Chron. 7:14.) Where, other than the National Day of Prayer, is it more appropriate to confess our guilt, and ask the Lord to forgive us? And what better place than the nation’s capital is there to call attention to the efforts of our leaders to strip away our Constitutional rights to worship according to our consciences, and to speak the truth in love? Inappropriate, indeed!
So Dobson could find 2 Chron. 7:14 in his Bible, but he could not be troubled to turn to the New Testament, where Jesus goes on to caution his followers,
And whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward” (Matthew 6:5-6).
Their reward, obviously, is what they desired in the first place, the approval of others.
And yes, according to Jesus, the National Day of Prayer is more than a little inappropriate.
Jesus says instead, and this is clearly not a suggestion,
But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Matthew 6:6).
As New Testament scholar Geza Vermes writes, this insistence on the “privacy of prayer…also has good biblical and Jewish antecedents” (Vermes, 2003). He points out that,
In short, a person inspired and motivated by deep trust does not need to spell out all his requirements, presenting as it were a shopping list to God, or to display his piety in public.
Furthermore, the Gospels show that Jesus himself “frequently chose solitary places” (see Mark 1:35; Luke 4:42; Mark 6:46; Matt. 14:23; Mark 14:35; Matt. 26:39; Luke 22:41; Luke 5:16, 9:18, 28).
Jesus’ eyes, concludes Vermes, “were focused on unwitnessed personal piety.”
Dobson could not get the New Testament right. He did not do any better with the Old: Bearing false witness is a violation of the Ten Commandments, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor” (Exodus 20:16).
As it says in Proverbs 6:16-19:
There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that hurry to run to evil, a lying witness who testifies falsely, and one who sows discord in a family.
Yet James Dobson claims in his newsletter that President Obama is the first president to fund Planned Parenthood when in fact, as was pointed out by RWW, it has been federally funded since 1970. By my count, that’s eight presidents, including five Republicans.
Almost in the same breath, Dobson violated Jesus’ command on public displays of piety and his “Father in Heaven’s” commandment against lying.
Yet Dobson compounds his hypocrisy when he dares to pretend “his is without sin” as Jesus put it, before “casting the first stone” (John 8:7) at those he accused of doing wrong.
I wrote the other day about fake Christians and the danger they pose. James Dobson is a fake Christian. Not only can he not follow the commandments he wants publicly displayed throughout our country and in our public schools, but he cannot be bothered to follow the commands of his own Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Dobson is the worst sort of hypocrite when he insists we obey rules he himself ignores whenever it suits him, and from his propensity to tell lies, we can only assume he serves not Jesus but Jesus’ enemy in the New Testament, the Father of Lies – the very Satan Dobson pretends is threatening our country.
But it isn’t Satan who is threatening our country. It is James Dobson and his fellow fake Christians.
Geza Vermes. The Authentic Gospel of Jesus. Penguin Books, 2003.
Holy Bible. New Revised Standard Version. American Bible Society, 1989.
Image from DIYLOL
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.