– James Dobson, When God Doesn’t Make Sense (1993), 192.
First question we must ask ourselves is, “Why?” Why did God feel it was necessary to slap down Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, to knock him off a horse so bad he suffered broken bones – a fractured clavicle, a fractured scapula and several broken ribs. After all, James Dobson is so “genial and pleasant” as WIOU radio host Peter Heck says and as bigger a hater on gays and lesbians as can be imagined: “Homosexuals are not monogamous. They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth.”
But poof. There is James Dobson down off his horse and hurt.
From Family Talk Radio:
Saturday, September 10, 2011
At the end of an incredibly busy spring and summer, Dr. and Mrs. Dobson have been able to spend a few days away from the office. While enjoying fellowship with friends in Montana, Dr. Dobson took a fall while horseback riding. He suffered a fractured clavicle, a fractured scapula and several broken ribs. He is in good spirits. Please pray for a speedy recovery for Dr. Dobson.
First the obvious: You have to figure, first of all, a flood would be a waste for one man. A typhoon or a hurricane are out of the question in land-locked Montana, though I suppose a freak blizzard would have been do-able, or a lightning strike. There are all sorts of natural disasters a deity can use to slap down pesky mortals.We will likely never know why a horse was made the agent of misfortune for this plucky fundamentalist.
But punishment it must have been, because to judge by Dobson’s prior thoughts, we can only conclude that for some reason, God saw fit to knock Dobson off his high horse and feed him some metaphorical humble pie.
Remember back in 2008 when Dobson prayed for “rain of biblical proportions” to afflict Barack Obama when he appeared at Invesco Field in Denver to accept the Democratic nomination for president? Dobson wasn’t asking for showers. Noooooo. He wanted rain of biblical proportions:“abundant rain, torrential rain … flood-advisory rain … I’m talking about umbrella-ain’t-gonna-help-you, swamp-the-intersections rain.”
In other words, because he hated Obama so much, he wanted Denver to be flooded and thousands, perhaps millions, inconvenienced at the very least. Certainly a flood of the sort he was praying for would have killed some people, left others homeless and destroyed millions or even billions in property.
He said later he was joking, but that’s a sick f-ing joke in anyone’s book.
And there was no attempt to turn this into a joke after the fact. Do you remember after 9/11 when Dobson was asked whether “God withdrawn His protective hand from the US”? This was Dobson’s answer:
“Christians have made arguments on both sides of this question. I certainly believe that God is displeased with America for its pride and arrogance, for killing 40 million unborn babies, for the universality of profanity and for other forms of immorality. However, rather than trying to forge a direct cause-and-effect relationship between the terrorist attacks and America’s abandonment of biblical principles, which I think is wrong, we need to accept the truth that this nation will suffer in many ways for departing from the principles of righteousness. “The wages of sin is death,” as it says in Romans 6, both for individuals and for entire cultures. “
Ouch. God smote almost 3,000 people according to Dobson, because he was suffering from divine levels of pissoffedness.
So Dobson is one of those who unequivocally thinks God punishes people for their behavior. The obvious conclusion is that God is punishing James Dobson. In the fundamentalist mindset, easily explainable, garden variety natural disasters simply don’t occur. The hand of God is always seen, always responsible.
I put it to you that it stands to reason if God will sent terrible storms to wipe out thousands that smiting one man is no challenge at all.
Enter James Dobson on his horse.
Execute divine smackdown, WWE-style.
Apparently, James Dobson departed from the principles of righteousness. I’m not one to argue with YHWH when he’s doing his smiting, but I feel it’s proper to speculate.
I will just offer this: given Dobson’s words above he definitely feels God will lift a hand to smite people he doesn’t like and collateral damage is meaningless. I mean, he doesn’t care who gets in the way. Therefore his decision to strike down Dobson and Dobson alone in Montana should be viewed as a commendable surgical godly strike. I mean, you’ve got to be impressed. He could have knocked everyone in Montana down, after all, and would have if it had been in answer to Dobson’s prayers. Praise be.