Give James Dobson A “Time Out” (March 1995)

The appointment of a leading evangelical proponent of corporal punishment to a federal commission has been criticized by the Freedom From Religion Foundation.

“James Dobson deserves a ‘Time Out,’ not political favors,” wrote the Foundation in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Robert Dole, who appointed Dobson to the Commission on Child and Family Welfare, under Health and Human Services.

“We question the statesmanship demonstrated in appointing a religious demagogue to serve on a federal commission, rewarded with taxpayers’ money,” said the Foundation.

Dobson will receive $450 per day when the Commission is in session, plus per diem expenses. A minimum wage worker would have to work two or three weeks to earn such a fee. Dobson heads the multi-million dollar “Focus on the Family,” headquartered in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

The Foundation criticized Dobson’s advocacy of spanking children, even toddlers, and his eulogies to “physical pain” as the ideal learning experience (in Dare To Discipline).

The group also criticized Dobson’s homophobic statements, and work to belittle the constitutional separation of church and state.

“Even the Girl Scouts have not been safe from his wrath,” the Foundation noted, pointing to an article in Dobson’s Citizen magazine last year, criticizing Girl Scouts’ open membership to nonreligious girls.

The Foundation observed that a bumpersticker popular in Colorado Springs aimed at Dobson says, “Focus on your own damn family.”

“Dobson should not be allowed to force his fundamentalist, pro-corporal punishment agenda on this prestigious commission.”

The Congress-mandated Commission, with 15 members, held its first meeting in January, 1995, and is studying custody and visitation rights.

Thanks to Church & State for background information.

Freedom From Religion Foundation