"He who has compassion on them will guide them and lead them beside springs of water." Isaiah 49:10

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Does Dobson Speak for Me?

by Fidel "Butch" Montoya

One of the biggest concerns about the news media covering religious news and issues of Evangelicals revolves around the central fact of who actually represents the point of view of this large diverse group.

The on going controversy and questions as to whether the Religious Right is dead or is irrelevant to the issues of the 2008 Presidential election continues to generate more questions and interest in the mainstream news media.

This election year we have seen a resurgence of new voices raising concerns and wanting to be heard. Many members of the Evangelical sector of the Church have tired of being aligned with the voices of the Religious Right and in particular of Rev James Dobson.

In Colorado, a diverse and cross cultural interfaith group of religious leaders are tired of being misrepresented by Dobson and his cohorts at Focus in the Family and have formed “We Believe Colorado.” We Believe Colorado has committed to work together on issues of common interest and to represent faith groups not aligned with the dying breed of the Religious Right leadership.

A question continually bought up, “Is why does the cable and network news media think that Rev. James Dobson speaks for the majority of religious and value voters?” That is one question We Believe Colorado can answer. Dobson and company do not speak for the new voices of religious leaders fighting for justice and righteousness and who have no interest in taunting our faith as a wedge issue.

Faithful America, a national grassroots group committed and motivated by their faith to press for solutions to moral issues of our time, studied some interesting statistics and data after Rev. James Dobson’s crew dug up an old 2006 speech by Sen. Barack Obama on his faith.

You can just see it now, all these researchers at Focus on the Family focusing on finding old speeches by Senator Obama. They found at least one speech they could use to attack the senator.

Faithful America also reviewed the news coverage given to Rev. James Dobson’s unwarranted attack on Senator Obama’s 2006 speech. The critique centered on how the news media allowed itself to be hoodwinked by the Dobson speech machine and take as truth whatever Dobson claimed was news worthy.

We Believe Colorado immediately recognized Dobson’s remarks as mere propaganda from the oracles of Colorado Springs.

The question Faithful America asked was, “What religious story dominated the cable networks last week?”

Given two choices, what story do you think would create more news or opportunities to break it down for more interesting quotes and observations – the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life releasing a groundbreaking survey of 35,000 Americans documenting the diversity and tolerance of people of faith and the growing consensus by people of faith around issues like poverty and the environment or Rev Dobson attacking Sen. Obama’s 2006 speech?

The surprising or alarming answer to the question was the news cable talking heads and pundits chose the out dated 2006 speech.

Given the two choices, CNN, MSNBC, and FOX NEWS on Tuesday, June 24, mentioned the Rev. James Dobson’s comments 189 times criticizing the two year old Obama speech.

The new landmark Pew study and survey barely made the news with just 8 mentions.
This situation gives the impression that Obama’s 2006 speech is a priority in our religious community. Allowing the news media to pick our national spokespeople and issues is something we need to challenge.

Rev. James Dobson does not speak for me or many other interfaith religious leaders and it is time the national news media understands that fact.

To ignore ground breaking news from the Pew Institute for comments from an old speech that occurred two years ago is not only irrelevant to the issues of this election, but also irresponsible. It is merely creating a false narrative and distracts from the important issues of people of faith.

To continue to give Rev Dobson the title as national spokesperson for Evangelical religious leaders and believers is misleading the American public and distorts our values and faith priorities. It also sends a false picture of who we represent.

Clearly, Rev. James Dobson does not speak for me, so to the national media news editors/producers, “Get over it, Dobson is old news and his nasty misleading comments have no room in our efforts to use our faith to fight for justice and truth.”

Fidel "Butch" Montoya
H. S. Power & Light Ministries - Latino Faith Initiative
Denver, Colorado 80212


  1. Fidel "Butch" Montoya,
    Estoy En acuerdo. My name is Steve Van Diest, I work with Project Revive here in Denver and partner with Jude Del Hierro on a ton of issues. I believe you're connected with Frederico Maes and Arturo Vargas.

    This past week, Jude and a few other leaders are putting together something called, One Church Metro Denver and we would love to have your voice and input. We're praying to have a unified voice during the Democratic National Convention that isn't shaking of fists, protests, or attacks. We hope to represent the vision of Micah 6:8. Act Justly, Love Mercy and Walk Humbly by praying, serving, blessing and loving the community and delegates.

    On July 10, noon at Confluence, we're hoping to pull leaders from all different backgrounds, cultures, ages, and ethnicities to put our hearts and brains together. We don't want to be misrepresented and have the world and media think Dobson or other radicals represent the church here.

    My email is steve.vandiest@gmail.com. Drop me a note and we can talk more.

    Gracias para tu palabras y vision por Denver y tu communidad.


  2. No matter how unpopular no matter how it goes against any present self-interest-Christians should stand against and vote against any person who has consistently stood for the murdering of innocent children. We can't "move on" to other issues so quickly-this is a tradjedy that has caused BILLIONS of babies to be put to death. Listen please DOBSON does not speak for me either, but I want the word of God to guide my choices-not my race-not my finances-not popular culture. I am the grandchild of an illegal immigrant and immigration reform is important to me-but just as Pastor Dwight Mckissic has so correctly stated-How can I be concerned about civil rights when we have not won the right to life. In fact we can do both but not murdering millions of humams LEGALLY should be every Christians first priority. Some may say "nothing will be done." Not true this election as everyone knows could finally over turn Roe v. Wade. Yes, finally over turn Roe V. Wade. If I have one candidate who has supported abortion even killing babies outside the womb if abortion was intended and one who historicaly has vote pro-life-the choice is clear. PLEASE DO NOT GROW WEARY IN WELL DOING yes there are issues and concerns we are to be active and concerned about starting with over turning the principled understanding that life in the womb can be murdered for convienience.

  3. I appreciate your comments Mr. Montoya and have long believed that too many Christians blindly followed leaders like Dr. Dobson and Pat Robertson. I've had many conversations that ended with "well, that's what Dr. Dobson says". I won't question their beliefs and admire their adherence to what they feel is true. However the agenda they promote is also endorsed by people who believe in outdated and un-Christlike economic, racial and foreign policies.

    In this election, we HAVE to look at the total picture. We Evangelicals have been manipulated for the last 20 years by the Republican party and the conservative movement. All it takes is to say "killing babies" and we move like herds of sheep. It's plain embarrassing.

    This year, let’s consider the abortion issue (yes I'll say the "A" word). But let’s also consider who has the best economic plan, the best environmental plan, the best racial equality plan and the best foreign policy plan. In short, let’s look at who we believe can pull the country forward, not get mired on one or two issues because no candidate will ever align themselves perfectly with 51% of the country.

    Silverchord, I understand your point and admire you for your steadfast beliefs. But please keep in mind two points.

    1. A 2007 study by Johns Hopkins University tried to determine how many civilians were caught up in the tragedies of Iraq. They polled neighborhoods to find out how many Iraqis have died. On average they found that in a neighborhood, 18 people have died. Of the 18, nine were from U.S. ordinance. "Collateral damage" as the term is called in the military. Every day this tragedy continues puts more and more men, women and CHILDREN at risk. I think it will be several years until someone can finally determine how many babies died at our hands. I therefore agree with you that every Christian’s priority is to stop the legal murder of children. And war is a legal act (to the winner). To the mother who just lost her 10 year old son in a U.S. air raid, we are the terrorist.

    2. A recent study on abortion found that 20% of the girls who went through the procedure were the stereotypical unwed teen. The majority were older women with families who couldn’t afford to bring another child into their family or thought it was unsafe to have another child at their age. In 100% of the cases, the act was traumatizing to the woman. So, Silverchord, I would ask you not to be so insensitive and use words like “convenience” when discussing the issue. In no case, is the ending of a child’s life by her mother “convenient”.

    And please don’t say “BILLIONS” in relation to Roe v. Wade. You know that’s just not true.

    The Republicans who ran on the Pro Life agenda and promised change held the white house and both houses of Congress for over four years. Yet no legislation on abortion ever came up for a vote. How is this possible? And what makes people like you Silverchord think that this time it will? Don’t you see that you’ve been used for your vote time and time again? I understand the belief that it might make it to the Supreme Court again, but that’s going to be harder than it seems. There have been some issues heard and those have lead to better oversight when a minor is involved. In those cases all unwanted pregnancies should be treated as a tragedy and we as Christians need to be with them to help in any way we can.

    We have difficult, difficult days ahead and we need the best and the brightest leading the way. Either candidate would make me prouder than our current leadership. As Hispanics, we need to do our part and VOTE. We also need to get involved in our communities and schools and take part in community clean up events, school functions and public hearings. All these things increase our public well being, our sense of self worth and our self esteem. And when we have this, we can be a mighty force of change in our world. But we have to “believe” first.

    Dr. Dobson does not speak for me

    Felix Posos Jr.
    Orange County California

  4. As "hispanics"? Sir the scripture plainly states believers should not identify ourselves according to the flesh-we are one in Christ and I will vote as a Christian. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17-are you even making the slightest effort towards Christian unity.

    It is very fashionable and selfish to find reasons why immigration reform should be placed above abortion in this election. Abortion is murder. And I apologize if you understood my comments to be referring to only post Roe V. Wade-but even that number is blasphemously in the 10's of millions. You see we are promised reward when we do for the "least of these." Is there any more "least" than a human being regardless of race in a mother's womb? That is reason alone to fight this issue until it is eradicated as foundationaly and principaly immoral-JUST LIKE SLAVERY.Abolitionist focused on that until it was no more. Are immigration laws in principle "immoral?" No. Every nation has them-some are unfair and need to be changed like Mexico's anti-white immigration laws during the 1830's and some laws in America today. There were other unfair laws during Americas age of slavery, other immigration laws for that matter that could be considered unfair. Think about that for a minute please.-BUT true Christians knew that slavery needed to be eradicated first. Many people spoke about slavery and it's relative importance during that time much the same way you speak about abortion. "It's wrong but innocent people died in Iraq" Ok. I am officially against innocent people being killed starting with innocent children by the millions here in America due to abortion. Have politicians made promises they have not followed through on? Sure other issues you claim are of more importance will and have had unfullfilled promises attached to them as well! However this election is recognized by all major "watchers" of this issue the one that could outlaw the legalized practice of murdering innocent babies of all races-including those ALREADY born which the abortion failed which Obama voted to allow the murder of these babies. Sir.Why do you accuse anyone of following "Dobson"? Who cares what he says! The scripture plainly makes abortion murder. The scripture does even come close to speaking with clarity (not to say they are not addresses) and I mean with clarity the issues you find of more Christian importance. It is Christian importance you are concerned about isn't it sir? I pray I can become fully like Paul who counted everything according to the flesh "dung" now that he was in Christ. I am asking you to at least reply once more. This is not my blog but please try not to throw up "straw-men" examples to equal out the systematic legalized infantacide of countless children. This issue was important to the early church and was Martin Luther King's inspiration when other Pastor's told him it would be better to just move on. We do not hear their voices-and science has proven they do cry during certain term abortions-but we will hear them-for God hears them now. One last consideration-maybe if we removed this most fundamentally bigoted and evil law from our culture and began to value life from the foundation up-your other concerns that involve valuing life would have more impact. Until then to care about and call for the change anywhere else in our society if it means supporting murdering babies is the very essence of hypocrisy. Regard others more important than yourself. I humbly pray I will always. I truly thank you for responding and prayerfully wait for your continued correspondance. Please sir, Pray.