Thursday, September 18, 2008

Dobson & Political Satire: A Dangerous Mix

Although this story hit the press a few days ago, I am just now getting wind of it: Forum sells 'Obama Waffles' with racial stereotype. When I first heard about these waffles, sold in a box depicting a headdress-wearing Senator Obama and containing other possibly offensive material, I didn't think much of it because it is an election year. Political satire, no matter how off-color, is all part of the battle. But I later learned that these waffles were sold at a forum co-sponsored by Focus on the Family Action. Focus on the Family Action is the lobbying venue created by Dr. James Dobson who founded Focus on the Family, a Christian organization aimed at "redeeming families, communities and societies worldwide through Christ." Both organizations are extremely conservative and right-wing, and it is their right to fight for the causes that move them. 
But I am struggling with the "Christian" aspect of these organizations (or organization since the two are so closely linked). If Dobson's mission is to redeem families, communities and societies, how is that achieved when he platforms discriminatory practices? 
It is such a shame because Dobson has the opportunity to share with millions his views and resources on family-related issues such as parenting, childhood development, education and relationships. But I am utterly turned off by his indirect endorsement of this product...satire...or whatever you want to call it. Discrimination, racism and closed-mindedness has never brought together families, communities and societies. Usually those devices tear people apart.
The forum took place during the same weekend that Governor Palin was satirized on Saturday Night Live. Both satires are criticized for being off-color, but in my opinion political satire is part of the campaign. Satire can bring humor to these intense and often ugly campaign weeks. But let's leave satire and it's implications to the pros such as SNL. Dobson and his cronies have no business highlighting satire when it crosses a line that negates their entire mission. Last time I checked, SNL does not claim to bring together families, communities and societies. But Dobson does make that claim, and I wish he would understand that antics such as platformimg off-color humor turn people off from God and Christianity. It's such a disappointment because now, more than ever, our leaders and communities could benefit greatly from God and the fundamentals of Christianity.

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