Friday, August 04, 2006

Nonprofit Times Honors Hate Monger

Each year the Nonprofit Times, a trade publication for those of us in the public benefit sector, releases its "Power and Influence Top 50" - The 2006 honor roll was released this week, and I am shocked and insulted by one of the additions to this year's list.

The honoree I refer to is Dr. James Dobson, founder and chair of Focus on the Family. About Dr. Dobson, the NP Times says:
"Nobody is better at dancing along the tightrope of 501(c)(3) status and the political process than Dr. Dobson. What he and the organization do is closely watched for guidance by other evangelical organizations and by federal regulators."
For this he receives honors? The "leading business publication for nonprofit management" adds somebody to their list of 50 top leaders for bending the rules regarding lobbying by nonprofits in order to spread hate?

Yes, I do not feel the need to be gentle with this issue. Dr. Dobson certainly doesn't hold his tongue when discussing people he doesn't care for. Take this excerpt from his June 2006 newsletter:
"This effort represented an audacious attempt to reshape the beliefs and attitudes of an entire generation, beginning with the youngest and most vulnerable. In so doing, they hoped to undermine the Judeo-Christian system of values in two or three decades and open the door to radical ways of thinking and behaving. It was a brilliant plan, hatched in Satan's own lair.

"Not since Adolf Hitler prepared a generation of German and Austrian youth for war has so grand a strategy been attempted. Kids were then, and still are today, sitting ducks for those who would subject them to carefully designed propaganda."
What grand evil is Dr. Dobson talking about here? Who are the sinister people that are as bad as Hitler and Satan and who are after our children? Homosexuals, of course. Let Dr. Dobson continue:
"The campaign to isolate children from their parents and to indoctrinate them with humanistic ideas is being waged primarily in the public schools. That is where eventual victory or defeat will occur. At this moment, the traditionalists are being mauled. Gay and lesbian leaders have [even] begun a campaign to have topics of concern to homosexuals included in textbooks used in California schools."
I want to be careful to stay on topic here. This is not where I want to debate the merits of acknowledging the historical contributions of gays and lesbians (and whether or not that constitutes "propaganda"). What I wanted to write about today were the merits (or lack thereof) of honoring a hate monger on a list of nonprofit leaders.

Whatever you may think of gay rights, comparing individuals to Satan and Adolph Hitler is deliberately hateful speech. For Dr. Dobson, it is not enough to simply discuss the merits of certain public policy. He must make his adversary something evil, something to be feared, and something to hate. That is his point in making these statements.

Dr. Dobson does not belong on the NPT Power 50. His appointment to the list has made a mockery of the list, and of the Nonprofit Times.

(Cross-posted on the Nonprofit Consultant Blog and Random Thoughts, Notes, & Incidents

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  1. It is disappointing to hear that you feel that Dr. Dobson is a hate monger. He certainly has a different viewpoint from you and expresses it quite powerfully. However, he loves children and constantly seeks to provide the brightest possible future for them. His organization's work is responsible for holding countless families together and providing a better tomorrow for our young people.

    I would encourage you to read some of Dr. Dobson's books to gain a more thorough understanding of his work. I truly believe that you will have a different perspective after doing so.

  2. I don't doubt Dr. Dobson's love of children, or his good intentions towards them. What I take issue with is his habit of demonizing his opponants (in the example it was homosexuals).

    I believe he would be far more effective at championing children's causes and families if he demonstrated love and understanding.

    My rant was not to say he's not entitled to his viewpoint, or even to his style of rhetoric - the point of my rant was to say that this type of speech should not be honored as "nonprofit leadership."

    I do thank you for your comments, and for your polite tone. This type of civil exchange of opposing ideas is what I desire, and what I believe Dr. Dobson works against.


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