Is Jesus’s family not good enough for James Dobson?

Recently Time magazine published an article written by James Dobson, leader of the group Focus on the Family. The title of the article was Two Mommies Is One Mommy Too Many.

In response, Rev. Jane wrote the following letter to Time Magazine:

Is Jesus’s family not good enough for James Dobson?

Jesus’s great (times 27) grandmothers, Naomi and Ruth, raised Obed. Boaz was a sperm donor.

David’s love for the man Jonathan surpassed his love for a woman.

Biblical scholar Virginia Ramey Mollenkott counted 39 different families and living arrangements in the Bible, of which heterosexual marriage is only one.

We do not know if Jesus had a sexual orientation. He spent time with men and women. The disciple whom Jesus loved lay his head on Jesus’s lap during the last supper.

The prophet John the Baptist came with a message to turn the hearts of parents towards their children. James Dobson’s heart is not turned towards children. He advocates in his books physical violence as a way to discipline a child.

Why would Time magazine publish an article about what is best for children written by such a man?


Posted on December 18, 2006, in Justice, News, Rev. Jane Newall. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Very good points – thank you!

  2. See Jim Johnson’s post on “Straight, Not Narrow” blog on James Dobson’s remarks: where he links to a rebuttal posted on Time’s website (but not in the magazine) and to Wayne Besen’s response to Dobson on his “Truth Wins Out” site.

  3. RE: Is Jesus’s Family Not Good Enough for James Dobson (

    I generally do not comment on internet forums because I feel much gets lost in translation and no real communication takes place, only mudslinging. But in regards to the above post, I feel certain things need to be said. Of course, the Lord does not need anyone to defend Him; however, I would be a disloyal coward if I did not stand up for Him when He is slandered.

    I am not writing to dispute the issue of homosexuality as sin. Anyone with “ears to hear” can see plainly from God’s Word that it is; and to say that it isn’t is to tell people who struggle with this sin that they don’t need the Savior who died to restore them to God and save them from hell like everyone else. That, by the way, is not love; real love is warning the person that the danger is coming–not keeping silence as a way of appeasing those who wish to keep their sin and still call themselves saved. Keeping silent while others are on their way to hell, then, is real hatred of the worst kind.

    I am writing to tell you that in making the point you thought you were entitled to make in your letter to Time Magazine, you crossed a sacred line in making Jesus and His so-called “unknown sexual orientation” suit your own agenda, instead of letting Scripture speak for itself in what is actually a very sweet, non-sexual portrayal of Christ’s love for the “disciple whom He loved” during the Last Supper. In so doing, you have proven only that you are able to re-tell Christ’s story in a fashion that suits your own preferences.

    The fact that the “disciple whom Jesus loved” leaned on our Lord at the supper, at which Jesus showed him tenderness, does not in any way imply sexual love. By your line of reasoning, are we to assume that any time a man hugs a man, or a woman hugs a woman–as a sign of fellowship or comfort–it is a sexual gesture? Why do you automatically assume that it means sex and call Christ’s “sexual orientation” into question? People assume such things because sin has so infected our minds, especially in our over-sexed culture, into believing that affection and sex are synonymous. I venture to say that you deem it so because painting Christ in that light aids you in your cause.

    In reality, there exists genuine, non-sexual tenderness between men which, as in the case of David and Jonathan, may “surpass the love of women”. It is not a sexual love; it is a brotherly affection; it is true Christian fellowship. The male Israelites and early Christians also had a custom of kissing each other on the beard or on the cheek as a sign of greeting and tenderness as brothers in Christ. Paul encouraged them to greet each other with a “holy kiss” (Romans 16:16), much the same way a father would kiss a son or a mother a daughter. It is only colored as sexual in the eyes of the world because, as with everything, sin has tainted our opinions on what true tender affection should be and is in the Bible.

    To imply, in any sense, that Jesus’ love for His disciple(s) was or could have been sexual is to cheapen it, and to slander His name in the process. It is to cast aspersions on the purity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and to re-write His Word, the Bible, to accept as doctrines some of the very sins for which He came to die and save us from. To make that moment between our Lord and His disciple about sex of any kind is to dishonor God and miss the point of the Last Supper entirely.

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