Focus on the Family Needs to go Back to the Future

Just prior to the recent presidential election, Focus on the Family Action, the lobbying arm of Focus on the Family, an organization founded by evangelical Christian Dr. James Dobson posted an imaginative letter entitled, “Letter from 2012 in Obama’s America.”  In this hyperbolic letter, the fictional writer lays out a “possible” scenario of what the United States would look like if Senator Barak Obama was elected President of the United States and both houses of Congress were to be run by the Democrats.  Here are some of the proposed scenarios according to Christianity Today:

-The Supreme Court would lean liberal
-Churches that refuse to perform same-sex marriages would lose their tax-exempt status
-“under God” in the Pledge would be declared unconstitutional
-Doctors and nurses who won’t perform abortions will no longer be able to deliver babies
-Pornography would be openly displayed on newsstands
-Inner-city crime increases when gun ownership is restricted
-Homeschooling would become restricted, so thousands of homeschooling parents emigrate to other countries such as Australia and New Zealand.
– “Since 2009, terrorist bombs have exploded in two large and two small U.S. cities, killing
hundreds, and the entire country is fearful, for no place seems safe.”
-Euthanasia is becoming more and more common.
-New carbon emission standards drive many coal-powered electric plants out of business. “The country has less total electric power available than in 2008, and periodic blackouts to conserve energy occur on a regular schedule throughout the nation.”

“After many of these decisions, especially those that restricted religious speech in public places, President Obama publicly expressed strong personal disapproval of the decision and said that the Supreme Court had gone far beyond what he ever expected,” the letter reads.

It suggests that younger evangelicals were the tipping point for Obama’s pretend victory.

“Many Christians voted for Obama – younger evangelicals actually provided him with the needed margin to defeat John McCain – but they didn’t think he would really follow through on the far-Left policies that had marked his career. They were wrong,” the letter says.

The author also proposes that every conservative talk show would have to be followed by an instant rebuttal to the program by a liberal “watchdog” group and eventually shut down by 2010. Another hypothetical scenario is that because no Christian is willing to write books critical of homosexuality, many Christian publishers go out of business.

The author suggests that Bush administration officials who had involvement with the Iraq war would be put in jail.

The author writes, “Many brave Christian men and women tried to resist these laws, and some Christian legal agencies tried to defend them, but they couldn’t resist the power of a 6-3 liberal majority on the Supreme Court. It seems many of the bravest ones went to jail or were driven to bankruptcy. And many of their reputations have been destroyed by a relentless press and the endless repetition of false accusations.”

Upon reading this apocalyptic, I thought it might be good to consider another scenario, based in the same factitious quality and tone.  Using another time machine, I chose to take us back to the year 2000,  specifically on November 6th, the day before the election that saw Texas governor George Bush running against Vice-President Al Gore.  Keeping with the spirit of the recent Focus on the Family letter, just imagine if someone, possibly one of those Democratic operatives, were to have written another pretend letter called, “Letter from 2008 in Bush’s America.”  How would those supporting George Bush have reacted?

Perhaps, the 2000 letter would suggest some crazy scenarios like the following.  Just imagine.

If Republian George W. Bush is elected, America will begin a dramatic decline toward chaos not seen since the Great Depression and an obvious manifestation of God withdrawing His hand of protection and favor from this country.  During the next eight years, if George Bush is elected and reelected, the following conditions will occur:

Within a year of his election, the United States will experience the greatest attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor.  This terrorist attack will be against the symbols of US economic and military might, in New York and in Washington, DC.    In response to these attacks, President Bush will launch a massive propaganda campaign that will propel the nation into two wars resulting in the deaths of over 4,500 troops and over 30,000 wounded service personnel.  Aside from these physical casualties to our men and women in uniform, the US taxpayer will foot the bill to the tune of about $600 Billion directly and by extension, about $3 Trillion. This war will become the longest in US history and least supported since the Vietnam War.

In an attempt to keep their eye on terrorists, the Bush administration will move to allow domestic espionage, opening all kinds of opportunities for spying on citizens, some for their religious affiliations.  This action will allow the National Security Agency and others to conduct secret and illegal wiretapping and spying operation against the people of the United States all in the name of national security.

On the economic front, the Bush administration will pass a tax cut that will favor the wealthiest taxpayers and at the same time increase spending at an alarming rate.  The surplus he inherited from President Bill Clinton will turn into the biggest deficit in national history and as a result, the national debt will rise dramatically.  During George W. Bush’s presidency, the national debt will grow by more than $4 trillion. It will be the biggest increase under any president in U.S history.  On the day President Bush takes office, the national debt will stand at $5.727 trillion. By his last year in office, the national debt will stand at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.

Toward the end of his second term, with two wars still being fought, the US housing and mortgage industry will suffer a huge deflation leading to millions of foreclosures, bankruptcies, and the collapse of many large institutional banks and brokerages.  This will require the US Congress to bailout the lending industry, adding about another trillion dollars of debt to the US Taxpayer. Other world economies will suffer equally. Also, during that time, even though George Bush is an oilman, his expertise will not prevent the cost of gasoline and other oil products from more than doubling in his final year.  George Bush’s friends in the petroleum industry will see record-setting profits, while hundreds of business fail due to the high price of energy.  His slogan, “Compassionate Conservatism” will sound quite hollow.

In the midst of Bush’s terms, natural disasters will occur, but due to the weakness of his government, many will suffer for lack of critical government services.  George Bush will be seen as a reactive president, not prepared for the future.

By the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, he will have garnered the highest disapproval rating in modern history.  Due to that in part, a Democratic candidate will win the 2008 election and will be joined by a large majority of Democrats in the Congress and Senate.  States that are normally seen as safe Republican bets will reject the Republican Party, some for the first time in decades.

Although these predictions are only possible scenarios and may seem far-fetched to the rational mind, there is always the possibility, given the character of George Bush and his running mate, Dick Cheney that such things could, in fact, occur on George Bush’s watch.  Therefore, be prayerful about your vote.

The sad thing is that there are those who would readily consider and actually believe the 2012 Focus letter, but if they were back in 2000 reading the letter above, would call it a hateful, liberal diatribe, or more directly, an absolute, groundless lie.  To them I would say, “Don’t drink the Koolaid.”

I know I shouldn’t have to say anything, but there are those folks who won’t see the obvious.  So let me clean it up.  In the 2012 letter, Focus on the Family Active is predicting some very dire circumstance to an Obama presidency.  All this without the benefit of God’s stamp of approval.  No one is saying, “Thus saith the Lord.”  Therefore, the predictions should be seen as merely the creation of a fearful mind, not one that relies on the scripture that declares that, “All things work together for good, to them who love God and are called to His purpose.”  Christian should fear not, but be courageous.  The 2012 letter on the other hand is a profession of fear, discord, and faithlessness.  Not one of a sound mind, unity, and faith in the living God.

It has become very clear to me that the actions of Focus on the Family Action is evidence of a para-church organization that is set adrift from the Living Word of God.  Winning the culture wars seem to be tactically, an anything-goes methodology instead of being tethered to the moral code of Christ’s example.  I think the 2012 letter is reprehensible and Focus on the Family should repent for its dissemination.

As for my personal prediction for 2012, I see more Christians relying less on the leadership of the likes of James Dobson, and more on the power of real prayer and love for enemies, real and perceived.

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James Dobson, you owe America an apology – Jim Wallis

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4 Responses

  1. I wrote them a letter about their letter, and posted a good chunk of their reply on my own blog.

    Good post. As someone who used to love FotF resources, I heartily concur with your conlcusions.

  2. Excellent hindsight. A little bare on accuracy but spot-on prediction of 9/11/2001 . . . in 2009.

  3. I believe your blog is no different than Mr Dobson’s letter. You both are not acting in Christian love. You both are placing more emphasis on man and his government than on the sufficiency of Christ no matter our outward circumstances. I find not one instance of Christ involving himself in political rhetoric. He always pointed away from earthly kingdoms and their trappings. When the disciples approached him with such a carnal mindset, He clearly indicated they had no spiritual understanding. We as the church need to stop giving into the temptation of Satan to relate to the world in carnality. Satan rules the kingdoms of this world and we are not of it any longer. We do need to pray for our leaders but not be afraid of speaking the truth about our culture. But we must do so without commending ourselves in anything other than Christ and Him crucified. We are not entitled to an earthly government that performs to a certain set of moral standards or philosophy. If so, then why would Paul instruct slaves to be good servants to their masters? He was not endorsing slavery by any means, but wanted us all to realize we are not defined by our circumstances or political views or any other thing besides new birth in Christ. Thank you for your time.

  4. Paul, you responded to my posting, Focus on the Family Needs to go Back to the Future by saying:

    “I believe your blog is no different than Mr Dobson’s letter. You both are not acting in Christian love. You both are placing more emphasis on man and his government than on the sufficiency of Christ no matter our outward circumstances.”

    Your accusation is without basis. Not only do you not know me personally, but it does not appear that you have read other posts I have written regarding the Christian response to politics. You should know that I was affiliated with a ministry whose motto was, “First the Gospel, then Politics”. Our whole purpose was to teach the plain truth about the ministry of Christ and His Kingdom, especially how it relates to and contrast with secular politics and culture. We were often criticized for our stance.

    You noted, “We do need to pray for our leaders but not be afraid of speaking the truth about our culture. But we must do so without commending ourselves in anything other than Christ and Him crucified.” I couldn’t agree more and that has been my position for over 30 years. I’ve promoted that ideal in the face of many disapproving fellow believers. Your insistence that I am “placing more emphasis on man and his government than on the sufficiency of Christ” is simply in error. I’ve read through my post many times and I’m still trying to figure out how you made your conclusion. If you want to know how I personally feel about the Christian and politics, please read Greg Boyd’s book, The Myth of a Christian Nation. Perhaps that will help.

    As for your statement suggesting that I am not acting in Christian love, you should know that my statements are consistent in nature to the methodology Jesus used to contradict the logic of the Pharisees. He exposed their religion of law by showing its absurdity. This contention was done even though those He contended with were objects of His love. As for the matter at hand, I have contended with Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family on an issue of practical theology as well as testing the merits of what has been disseminated in the national media. These things are clearly politically driven and lack integrity to Christian character and truth. Even though I disagree with Dr. Dobson, I continue to pray for him. Nevertheless, when he or his institution propagate the kind of dishonest literature that was included in the “letter”, I am directed, as you are, to contend for the faith against false statements. The bottom line is that I am contending against bad thinking”, not a bad person. You say that we should not be “afraid of speaking the truth about our culture.” Good point. I agree. I’ll continue to do that especially where Christians propagate false statements such as the Focus letter. You should too.

    For more posts on this matter, see my other posts:
    Revisting the Formula for Healing the Nation
    Is it Last Call for the Christian Politicos?
    Should I, an Evangelical, be afraid of Obama?

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