Editor’s note: The following message is part of a speech given by Dr. James Dobson to approximately 3,500 people at the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention, several weeks ago in Nashville, Tenn. He was speaking on the topic of his new book, “Bringing Up Boys.”
Below, we begin at the point where Dr. Dobson had just finished discussing the disintegration of the family and the implications of that issue for boys. We pick up his speech as he begins focusing on the attack on both boys and girls within the culture and why Christians must act to defend them.
The world into which children are born now has become a very dangerous place. It’s changed tremendously. When you and I were kids – and certainly when I was a child because I’m older than most of you here – the culture reinforced positive values and attempted to help parents raise those kids properly.
And now, the culture is at war with parents and it is very, very difficult to try to get these kids through the minefield of adolescence without major concerns. And there is an attack on childhood. There are many people out there – and I don’t want to overstate this, but I don’t think I can overstate it – there are many people out there today who see in children an opportunity to change the culture.
And they hate – for the most part – they hate the Judeo-Christian value system. And children are the vulnerable ones. And if they can get control of children and if they can influence children, they can change the whole culture in one generation. And there is now a tsunami coming our way. It is breathtaking to me what’s taking place. I hope you’re seeing it.
I sit there at my desk in Colorado Springs and I hear it every day and I wonder if you’re hearing it. I wonder if anybody else is concerned about it because the children are the ones who are at risk and boys especially are in the bull’s eye. They’re in the cross-hairs.
I can’t go back with the time that I have and give you the history of this attack on children. I’ll tell you what I want to do. Let’s talk about February. Let’s go back to February 1st, two weeks and two days. I said this is coming like a tidal wave. What am I talking about?
Well, eight days ago, one week and one day ago, the National Education Association announced its policy, that they’re disseminating to school districts all over the country, that every child in every school and every classroom in the nation should be taught homosexual – what I would call – propaganda. A child is in school for – public schools – for 13 years and we’re going to start in kindergarten. You think that wouldn’t happen and can’t happen. California’s legislature has already mandated that, and, as of September when the kids came back to school, this is what happened. Every classroom of every school of every year is being taught homosexual propaganda.
So they’re teaching them that bisexuality is normal and that homosexuality and heterosexuality are morally equivalent. And they’re teaching them many, many other concepts. They’re bringing gays and lesbians into the school to teach them what a normal thing this is and answer their questions.
Of course, Christians can’t come in and counter that. That’s California. That’s every school in California. Where in the world are the parents who are holding still for that? Imagine sending your little 5-year-old off to school. He’s wet behind the ears. He is, to use the vernacular, “He knows nothing about nothing.” He doesn’t have the defenses to deal with this. And he carries his little lunch pail and he gets to school.
And can you imagine these children, 5-years old, sitting in a circle around the teacher who’s telling them about adult perverse behavior? And we’re not concerned about that? We shouldn’t discuss that? Why are we not talking about that? That’s just one aspect of this. By the way, 42 percent of the fourth-grade boys in this entire country can’t read, and yet, we’re going to teach them that? Well, that was eight days ago that this occurred.
On February 4th, 12 days ago, the American Academy of Pediatrics announced that gay and lesbian parents, so-called, can raise children and do raise children as effectively as stable marriages where husbands and wives are committed to each other. This is the American Academy of Pediatrics?
February 14th, two nights ago, you may have heard that Secretary of State Colin Powell went on MTV, broadcast internationally, and recommended that kids use condoms. And I’ll quote for you. Listen carefully to the words he used: “Forget about taboos.” Guess whose taboos are we going to forget about? “Forget about conservative ideas.” Guess whose conservative ideas? “With respect to what you should tell young people about, it’s lives of young people that are being put at risk by unsafe sex, and therefore, protect yourself.”
What he didn’t tell them is that the Centers for Disease Control, an arm of the federal government, last year issued a report that the press wouldn’t report on that said, “Condoms do not protect against syphilis, gonorrhea, human papilloma virus, herpes, and most of the other sexually-transmitted diseases.” And yet, here is the secretary of state on MTV, not the secretary of health and human services, the secretary of state making a statement like that. But on and on it goes.
The FDA – Food and Drug administration – issued a statement saying that the morning-after pill, that that ought to be distributed to kids without parental knowledge or approval. And two days ago, 60 women’s groups and health groups endorsed that position by the FDA.
All these things are coming to your school. You don’t live in California. You’ve got kids who go to school in Texas and Oklahoma and the mid-West and the Bible Belt and up in the Northeast. It’s coming there, too, because there is a concerted effort to manipulate the minds of kids.
Now, what’s going on? What’s behind this? I’m sure you’ve heard the debate on stem-cell research. Do you understand what a stem cell is? A stem cell is a cell – in the human being at least – that in the very early stages of development it is undifferentiated. In other words, it’s not yet other kinds of tissue, but it can go any direction depending on the environment that it’s in.
The stem cell, if it’s in the brain, develops into a nerve cell or into the substances between the nerves. Or if it’s in the heart, it becomes a heart cell, or if it’s in the eye, it becomes an eyeball cell. Wherever it is, it takes on the characteristic of the surrounding area.
Do you understand that children are the stem cells for the culture? The environment that you put them in is what they grow up to be. And if you can control what they hear, if you could control what they’re told, if you have access to their minds … you can make them into just about whatever you want them to be.
I saw a video the other day of children in Afghanistan and they were teaching these children how they could slit the throats of Israelis. If you teach that to 6-year-old boys, you will have violent men when they grow up. That’s why there is this effort to control the minds of kids.
It’s what’s behind the attack on the Boy Scouts. Wherever children reside, there will be a battle over the control of those kids. The Girls Scouts have already been co-opted and the Boy Scouts have resisted, but that’s what’s going on there.
You may be aware that there is an effort now to lower the age of accountability sexually in the various countries. Here in the United States, it’s 16. That’s awfully early to be allowing a full-grown man to take advantage of a 16-year-old boy. In Canada, it’s 14. In Portugal, it’s 14. In the U.K., it’s 16. In Spain, it’s 12. Is that shocking to you?
You see, there is now an effort to kind of demystify incest and the sexual abuse of children. And the American Psychological Association put an incredible article in its bulletin about 18 months ago that said sex between adults and children is not all that bad. It might even be beneficial. Children are in the crosshairs, and there is reason to be concerned about it.
We also know, and you know, there is almost a total disregard for the value of human life in some post-modern circles. Dr. Peter Singer is a bioethicist – of all things – at Princeton University. He is a tenured professor. Let me read you what he wrote. “Very often, it is not wrong at all to kill a child once it has left the womb.” He said, and watch the words now, “Simply killing an infant is never equivalent to killing a person.”
That is a bioethicist at Princeton University. He was granted tenure after he made these statements. Do you know that it is a $25,000 fine to kill an eagle’s egg and there’s no law at all against killing a child in the latter stages of development in utero?
Have you contemplated actually witnessing a partial-birth abortion? Can you imagine being invited into a women’s clinic somewhere near your home – because there’s probably one near you – where a 16-year-old girl comes in and she is eight-and-a-half months pregnant? You’ve been invited to watch the procedure, and the doctor delivers this little baby right to the top of his head.
And that baby’s about three minutes from delivery and he is brimming with life. He is pink. His little hands and arms and legs are kicking. And the doctor rolls him over and inserts a canula, a tube, into the back of the head without an anesthetic and sucks the brains out of that baby and collapses that head and delivers a dead baby. And it’s not illegal to do that? But you cannot kill an eagle’s egg. Have we gone absolutely crazy? And yet, the procedure continues. To call that kind of outrage political, is itself an outrage.
Dr. Dobson: Thank you.
Dr. Dobson: Thank you everyone. Thank you everybody. Thank you everybody. This burns in my heart. You may remember that Barbara Boxer, the senator from California, on the floor of the Senate in debating partial-birth abortion, said that a baby is not a baby until that child is taken home from the hospital. In other words, you can kill that baby in the hospital. This is where we are headed, a complete disregard for human life.
Those of you who do feel that the church has no responsibility in the cultural area and you have tended to feel our job is to preach the Gospel and all the rest of these things will kind of fall into place, and you haven’t felt it is something that you should devote yourself to because that’s something somebody else is called to, let me argue with you for just a moment.
Suppose it were 1858 and you were a pastor and you lived in Raleigh, N.C., or Richmond, Va. – somewhere in the South. Would it be satisfactory for you to say about slavery, “Well, I’m not called to deal with that issue. I’m called to minister to the people in my church. Slavery is not something I have to deal with,” when you know that men and women are being subjected to involuntary servitude? They can be killed. Their families can be separated. Their children can be taken away and sold like cattle. And you don’t say anything? Is your argument tenable under those circumstances?
The year is 1963, and Martin Luther King is sitting in a Birmingham jail and he is released. And he goes to a church – yes, a church. And from that church, he comes out into the streets of Birmingham and marches for civil rights. Do you oppose that? Is that a violation of the separation of church and state?
What if it were 1943 and you were in Nazi Germany and you knew what Hitler was doing to the Jews and the Poles and the Gypsies and the homosexuals and to many other undesirables? You knew they were being gassed, you knew little children were lined up in the rain naked all day for their chance to go into the gas chambers. Would you say, “We’re not political? That’s somebody else’s problem. I’m not called to address this?”
I thank God that Dietrich Bonhoeffer did not give that answer, and he was arrested by the Nazis and he was hanged in 1945, naked and alone because he said, “This is not right.”
John the Baptist said the same thing to Herod. He said, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And it cost him his head. Since when have we become timid about addressing the moral issues of our day?
Dr. Dobson: In 1983, I was invited to Washington, D.C., for a banquet that featured Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Thank God for Francis Schaeffer. He saw everything we’re going through today. He laid it all out. He said there was a connection between abortion and infanticide and euthanasia. And on this occasion, he was talking to a very small group that was there about the Christian’s involvement in the military, and especially when it involved war.
And he said, “It really comes down to this.” I’ll never forget this. I was a young man. I was just beginning to try to understand what was going on in the culture at large. He said, “Suppose you were walking down the right side of a street and coming down the other side of the street is a very cute little 6-year-old girl, and she’s skipping along and she’s alone and it’s night time. And just as you got parallel to her, a big man, a six-foot man, jumped out of the bushes and grabbed her and began assaulting her and abusing her. What is your obligation to that child? Do you have any responsibility?”
He said, “I submit that you do. You should cross that street and put your life at risk, if necessary, to save that little girl. That would be your moral responsibility.” And he said, “That is what we were doing in World War II. We were trying to save the little girls, the Jews, the Gypsies, the Poles, the others, and to rescue those that were living in tyranny.”
I submit to you all that there are little girls in our culture. Who are the little girls that we’re called to defend? The unborn child? Would Jesus’ words, “Inasmuch as you do it unto the least of these, my brethren, you do it unto me,” would it apply to that little helpless child who can’t even speak for himself? He doesn’t have a voice. Can you say, “That’s political? I won’t get involved. I’ve got to take care of my church. I’m not going to take care of that. That’s not my responsibility. Others are called to that.” I don’t believe so.
How about the newborn? How about that little girl who’s left to die on a porcelain table somewhere? What about the elementary school child who’s going to be taught about homosexuality and has no one to defend him or her? What about the teenagers that Colin Powell was talking about who are going to be told, “Go ahead and have lots of really good sex, just do it in a safe way”? And more and more we see now that euthanasia is coming and as it is in Holland, involuntary euthanasia may be right around the corner. Do we have a responsibility to those little girls? I think that we do.
And this last thing. Dr. John Corts with the Billy Graham organization told a story about himself and it really grabbed me by the throat. He said when he was 16 years of age, he went to a farm with about eight of his little cousins and they couldn’t wait to get there. And when they arrived, there was such excitement among all the kids. He was the eldest of them and they couldn’t wait to get in the field. They wanted to go pitch hay and they thought it’d be fun to ride on the tractor and they couldn’t wait to get out there.
But the grandfather wouldn’t let them go. He was very reluctant to let them go and they whined and cried and begged and finally, he went to John and he said, “John, you can take those kids to the field, but don’t bring them back early. You keep them out there until the end of the day. I’m telling you, I don’t want you to bring them in early.” And he said, “I will do that, Grandfather,” and so, they all got on the hay wagon and the tractor pulled them out to the field and they began working out there.
And very, very quickly, the kids got tired and they started complaining. It was hot and it was miserable and they wanted to come back. And he said, “No, Grandfather told me to keep you out here,” and they cried and they complained, but they stayed there.
And at lunch time, they were really exhausted and most of them were crying. They were very upset and they wanted to come back in. It was very hot. The sun was overhead and the hay was down their backs and it itched and they wanted to come back. And he said, “No, Grandfather told me to keep you here.”
And about 3:00 in the afternoon, a big storm cloud came over, big black clouds, and the kids got scared. They really wanted to return, but he kept them there. He kept the order of the grandfather.
At about 5:00, he said, “All right, it’s time to go.” He got them all on the hay wagon and they went back to the house. And after they had had their baths and they got something to eat and they rested a little bit, they were all very proud of themselves for what they did.
And then, the grandfather told John why he wanted them to stay in the field. He said, “This farm has been successful for one reason. Through the years, we have stayed in the field when we felt like coming in. We’ve stayed out there and done what we needed to do, and I wanted those kids to have the experience of staying with something through the day.”
And John made his own application for that, but you can see what it means to me. We’re in that situation now. It’s tough. It’s hard speaking against the tide of public opinion, the media, the entertainment industry, the Congress, the libraries, the professions – all of those forces that are making fun of us. Yes, you’re right. You’re right. They’re calling us “religious right” and “far right” and “religious extremists” and it hurts.
I can tell you at Focus on the Family, we’ve had bloody animal parts brought to the front door. We’ve had our building spray-painted. We’ve had lies told about us in Denver and in Colorado Springs. That’s not fun. And we’ve been called “extremists.” And the easiest thing to do would be to quit.
But God has called us to stay in the field and we will do that as long as we have breath in our bodies. And I beg those of you who are here to do the same. Thank you everybody.
Dr. Dobson’s book, “Bringing Up Boys,” which he mentioned at the start, and which this speech was based on, is available now from WorldNetDaily’s online store!
Dr. James Dobson is America’s foremost authority on the family and the founder and president of Focus on the Family, a nonprofit organization that produces his internationally syndicated radio programs, heard daily on more than 5,300 radio facilities, in approximately 100 countries worldwide, by more than 200 million people.