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Dobson Doesn’t Know When To Quit

Jim Burroway

December 15th, 2006

Earlier this week, James Dobson, of Focus on the Family, published a commentary in Time magazine concerning Mary Cheney’s announced pregnancy with her partner Heather Poe. Dobson claimed that ” the majority of more than 30 years of social-science evidence indicates that children do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father.” In making his case, he named two researchers, Dr. Carol Gilligan and Dr. Kyle Pruett, while misrepresented their findings. Dr. Gilligan and Dr. Kyle Pruett separately wrote letters in which they condemned Dobson’s misuse of their research and demanded a retraction and apology.

But Dr. Dobson is having none of it. Focus on the Family has decided to ratchet up the controversy by sending out an E-mail to their many thousands of supporters asking them to inundate Time with letters in support of Dobson’s article. This is apparently intended only for Dobson’s supporters, since you won’t find it anywhere on Focus’ web site:

Gay-activist groups have mobilized to oppose an editorial in Time magazine written by Dr. James Dobson. Write the publication’s editors and let them know that you appreciate them publishing “Two Mommies Is One Too Many,” Dr. Dobson’s piece on why children “do best on every measure of well-being when raised by their married mother and father.” …

Homosexual-advocacy groups posted Internet and email alerts this week expressing “outrage” that Time published Dr. Dobson’s essay. Supporters of same-sex marriage, parenting and adoption are trying to challenge long-standing social science data that children do best with a married mother and father, claiming that newer research discredits these findings — a claim that many respected experts in this field reject. As part of this effort, gay activist organizations are asking their supporters to write Time and complain that Dr. Dobson’s essay is inaccurate.

The boldness of this outright lie is startling. Nobody is “claiming that newer research discredits” Dr. Dobson’s position. In fact, the exact opposite is happening. The very research that Dobson tried to appropriate doesn’t say what he claims it says. And those very researchers who Dr. Dobson mentioned by name are now expressing their outrage at being misrepresented to support a conclusion that they do not share.

It’s not just “homosexual activists” who are outraged. It is well-respected scientists. And it is everyone else who values common decency and integrity, commodities which are in distressingly short supply at Focus on the Family.

You can write to Time yourself and let them know what you think. Letters to the editor should be about 200 words or less, and sent to letters@time.com.

See also:

Dr. Kyle Pruett Speaks Out Against Dr. James Dobson — On Video
A Third Researcher Condemns Dobson
Dr. Gilligan Speaks Out Against Dr. James Dobson — On Video
Dobson Doesn’t Know When To Quit
James Dobson Misrepresents Research In Time Magazine

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