James Dobson Is an Evangelical Agenda-Setter

By Patricia Rice Post-Dispatch Religion | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), September 3, 1995 | Go to article overview

James Dobson Is an Evangelical Agenda-Setter


Patricia Rice Post-Dispatch Religion, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


JAMES C. DOBSON IS telling anyone who'll listen that the agenda for the United Nations women's meeting in Beijing this month is hostile to the family.

"It's one of the most radical, atheistic crusades in the history of the world," the Colorado psychologist said at a news conference here recently.

When Dobson speaks, millions listen.

As founder and president of Focus on the Family, the 18-year-old lay Evangelical Christian communications empire, Dobson is an agenda-setter for the 1996 presidential campaign.

"He should be taken seriously," said Randall Balmer, an expert on the Evangelical movement and religion professor at Barnard College in New York. "He is becoming increasingly political."

Numerous St. Louisans listen to Dobson daily. His organization pays six local stations to run his radio shows. KSIV-AM (1320) airs his half-hour show four times daily and it is one of it most popular shows, said Dave Powell, station production director.

Across the country another 1,500 radio stations including a Spanish language station in Kansas City air his programs. One of his two monthly newsletters reaches 2.5 million supporters, he said. His ministry publishes nine Evangelical Christian magazines. Children are entertained by "McGee and Me", the ministry's 12 video series aimed at developing virtue.

His 14 books on Christian family advice line shelves here and across the nation. One, "Dare to Discipline," sold over 2 million.

Last month, his ministry spun into cyberspace. Through a contract with America Online, Focus on the Family has its own "home page" where users can call up the Focus library, radio listings, and excerpts of radio stories and magazines. No Problem Is Too Small

On radio Dobson, 59, chats front-porch-style. Speaking in a gentle western twang, he tells how families became stronger using ideas from the Gospel.

No problem is too small. He suggests solutions for thumb sucking and children stalling about going to church. He talks about caring for aging parents and squabbles between couples on how to squeeze the budget to contribute to Christians causes. He takes on addictions and spouse battering. His chatty scripts avoid psychological jargon, which he mastered in the 1960s while studying for his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Southern California.

He weaves in his family life - his wife Shirley and their two adult children, his late father, grandfather and great-grandfather - all of them ordained ministers. Tuesday, he talked about how his wife never spends much money because she grew up poor and feels guilty about luxuries.

Some 200,000 people a year visit his Focus headquarters near Pike's Peak in Colorado Springs, Colo. The lucky ones meet the blue-eyed, gray-haired slightly built man by chance. His 1,300 employees fill three limestone-trimmed brick office buildings on a 47-acre campus. The ministry runs on a $101 million annual budget, raised through sales, donations, and grants from private foundations. Dobson takes no salary, he said. Book royalties support his family, he said.

The heart of the evangelical outreach is a 100,000 square-foot white, high-ceilinged room where scores of employees sit at in roomy cubicles facing video display terminals. They answer his mail; he puts the volume at 250,000 letters and phone calls a month. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

James Dobson Is an Evangelical Agenda-Setter
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.