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Interview With James Dobson

Aired September 5, 2003 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, CNN HOST: Tonight, top conservative Christian leader Dr. James Dobson. So much in the news to talk about. We'll cover it all. Take your calls, of course. Dr. James Dobson of Focus on the Family for the hour.

One program note before we start. President Bush is going to make a major address on Sunday night, 8:30 Eastern on the subject of Iraq. We will, therefore, be with you live on Sunday night with a special edition of LARRY KING LIVE featuring members of the House, the Senate and others discussing what the president had to say. That's Sunday night.

It's always a pleasure to welcome Dr. James Dobson, the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, the best-selling author of books that include "Bringing up Boys" and a photobook "The Wonderful World of Boys." He comes to us from his hometown now of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

All right. We'll start with, I guess, the most major news of recent weeks. Your thoughts on the controversy over the removal of the Ten Commandment monument in Alabama.

DR. JAMES DOBSON, FOUNDER, FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: Well, Larry, first of all, it's good to be with you again. I always enjoy talking to you.

I've been very involved in that issue in Alabama because I feel that it is of critical importance to the entire country. I think it's important at the top of the program to say that the issue there was not Judge Moore. And it was not the monument and it was not the Ten Commandments. The primary issue was -- and is judicial tyranny. And I think it's time that this court was reigned in.

KING: Shouldn't a court have to judge on a ruling like separation of church and state? I mean, the court is there to determine what is constitutional and what is not. That's directly what a court does.

DOBSON: That is what a court does. But what concerns us is that the courts, this one and the ones that preceded it, have, for 41 years, been making decisions that essentially remove God from the public square. They're continuing to do so. And that is not in the Constitution. The Establishment Clause does not apply in this situation. And if they continue to do that, we're going to be a very, very different country.

KING: But you are not a lawyer, right?

DOBSON: I am not a lawyer. I don't think you can leave this issue just to the lawyers any more than you can leave medicine just to the doctors because it involves the whole country.

KING: No, but you wouldn't have a layman determine what makes proper heart surgery?

DOBSON: No, you wouldn't. But you do have laymen who make decisions about medical care in Congress. Those are not physicians for the most part. These -- these issues transcend the profession. And in this case, especially, considering what this court has done, going back to 1962, eliminating prayer in schools, 1963, eliminating Bible reading, on up 1980, they prohibited the schools in Kentucky from posting the Ten Commandments, it comes on through to last year when that crazy decision came down from the Ninth Circuit Court in California with regard to the Pledge of Allegiance. Those are matters that concern all of us, not just those who are lawyers.

KING: But obviously you thought that they had the right to put the Ten Commandments in the courthouse or you wouldn't have been calling it tyranny.

DOBSON: I do believe that primarily because Justice Moore campaigned on that promise. He said that's what he was going to do. He was duly elected by the people of Alabama. And I can't see any reason, Larry, why the federal court had the, you know, the temerity to come down there and dictate to the people of Alabama to beat up on them for how they decorate their court when...

KING: No, but Dr. Dobson -- the people of Alabama -- you supported candidates who favored segregated schools. Should we have favored segregated schools because the people voted for it?

DOBSON: They did and that was wrong. And that has been rectified, but this is not...

KING: By the court. Rectified by the courts that you call bad.

DOBSON: That's right, and it would be foolish to say that all of the decisions by the courts have been right or have been have been wrong.

In this case, however, if you just look at the city of Washington, the capital, the Supreme Court has in its own buildings three depictions of Moses or the Ten Commandments. The sergeant of arms, every day, begins the court by saying, God bless the United States and this court. It's all over the city. It is in the Capitol building and many, many ways that you can't deny. The Liberty Bell has a scripture on it. It's everywhere. So how do you come down from that perspective to Alabama and impose your will on the people of that state when they haven't even addressed it in the nation's capital? But that's why they're headed. KING: How about this area, doctor, of the Ten Commandments, of the 10, only two are law -- thou shalt not kill and thou shalt not steal. There is no law that says you have to honor your mother and father. In fact, that would be a ridiculous law because then Jeffrey Dahmer's kids would have to honor him and Hitler's children, if they had children.

So only eight of them are not -- have anything to do with law. Why have it in a courthouse?

DOBSON: Because the Ten Commandments are symbolic of the fact that our Founding Fathers based the laws of this country on the Judeo- Christian value system. Those Ten Commandments represent that basis and if you go to the -- to the chamber of the House of Representatives, you find depictions on both sides around the upper part of that chamber of the various lawgivers and right in the center, with all the rest of them, looking toward Moses is Moses himself. And he's the only one that looks down on the speaker.

That's where we have been. That is our law. It comes not from the other religions. It comes primarily from the Judeo-Christian value system and the Ten Commandments best represent that.

KING: Then to you, Dr. Dobson what represents separation of church and state? What does that mean to you?

DOBSON: Well, first of all, separation of church and state does not appear in the Ten Commandments anywhere.

KING: I know. But what does it mean? It doesn't belong in the Ten Commandments. But what does it mean to you, separation of -- I mean, you agree with, don't you?

DOBSON: I meant to say the separation of church and state does not appear in the Constitution. It's a contrivance by the court to do what they wanted to do, but which the Founding Fathers did not state.

I believe in the separation of church and state to the extent that the church should not establish a religion. That's what the Establishment Clause says. It says Congress shall make no law establishing a religion or interfering with the free exercise thereof. That's the clause that all of this has come from. There is nothing in there about separation of church and state. So the Congress should not and must not establish a denomination.

But in Alabama, there was nothing that happened down there that relates to that. Congress had no passed any law. The Ten Commandments are not a church. It is not a denomination. And it was irrelevant in this situation.

KING: If the chief judge of a court were Muslim, and put up a Muslim creed, would that be OK with you?

DOBSON: It would not be OK with me...

KING: Why not? DOBSON: ... because that's not the -- that's not the historic foundation of our country.

KING: So you're saying we're a Judeo-Christian country? What right then do non Judeo-Christians have? Don't they have the same rights as you?

DOBSON: The beautiful thing, Larry, about the Judeo-Christian system of values is that it provides freedom. Freedom to worship however you want to or freedom not to worship at all. If the Islamic law were the law of this land, there would not be that freedom. And if you don't believe that, look at the countries where Islamic law rules.

The Judeo-Christian value system because it's based on love, permits people to believe anything and everything and nothing. That's what must be preserved and that's what 's threatened now.

KING: Let's touch other areas as we go to break. We'll be right back with Dr. James Dobson.

And abortion killer Paul Hill, who killed an abortion doctor -- he was executed the other day. We'll ask Dr. Dobson what he thinks about that.

You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be taking your calls in a little while. Don't go away.


KING: It is always great to have Dr. Dobson joining us. He's the founder and chairman of "Focus On The Family", one of the most popular, by the way, radio programs ever in this country. What did you make of the execution of the abortion clinic killer Paul Hill?

DOBSON: Larry, let me answer that in a second? May I clarify something that I said just a moment ago or extend it to explain. We're not in favor of overthrowing constitutional government. Obviously this is not a revolution that we're calling for or even to say that this government is not legitimate.

What we are asking for is the Congress to reign in the courts. It has the constitutional authority do that. And Hamilton and Jefferson and others worried about an imperious court, they worried about an oligarchy that would grab the reins of power and that liberty would be killed in its crib. That's that they were worried about.

So they gave the Congress the right to regulate the courts. And the Congress has not been willing to do that. As a result, you have a lack of checks and balances. The other two check each other. But the third branch of government is largely unregulated and that's our concern.

KING: Do you ever wonder why they didn't use the name God in the Constitution, never appears?

DOBSON: Well, it's in the preamble.

KING: Never in the Constitution itself.

DOBSON: It refers to him as the creator who has given us our inalienable rights and it also refers to the blessings of liberty. Who do you suppose those came from?

KING: Well, if God gave us liberty, then he also gave the power of the courts to express their thoughts. Right? Gave us all the same powers.

DOBSON: Well, we believe in the rule of law. But there are times when you answer to a higher law.

KING: But you don't -- would you take the higher law into your own hands?

DOBSON: No, I think this is an absolutely wonderful system of government, but it is not perfect. And there are liberal elites who would like to take advantage of the loopholes that are there and I think it is time for the Congress to speak and I believe they're going to on the federal marriage amendment and on the three other bills that are pending before Congress.

KING: Do you -- what do you make of the execution of Paul Hill?

DOBSON: Well, we did not support what Paul Hill did. Obviously you can't be pro-life and pro-death at the same time. And that was a wrong thing to do. A terrible -- it was murder. And he was tried in the courts and found guilty and was executed. End of story. It is a sad thing.

KING: Do you have thoughts on the death penalty itself?

DOBSON: I believe in the death penalty. I believe especially in those cases where egregious crimes have been committed, children have been raped and killed, I don't know how you can allow those people to live. So I do believe in the death penalty.

KING: The Texas antisodomy law was struck down by the Supreme Court 6-3, consenting adults. What do you think?

DOBSON: Well, there is another example of it, and the fact that that law was struck down is only a part of the concern that constitutional lawyers are expressing now. Our concern about this is with regard to the rationale that the majority wrote, actually Justice Kennedy wrote it. And I consider him to be one of the most dangerous men in America, because he departed from the moral foundation, for those kinds of laws.

Forever more it would appear that those decisions will be made not by moral principle, but by, what's called customary law, enormity of law or what is going on in Europe, which was cited, or what is going on in Canada. And he also quoted, of all things, the Kenzie Study which was based on absolute fraud. And so the rational for the majority was very, very troubling. KING: Why, Dr. Dobson, do you care about what could consenting adults do since you talked so much about freedom with their own privacy? Why does that interest you at all?

DOBSON: Well, what I care about is the institution of the family, which is under attack today. And from the way that decision that ruling was written, it is clear that the court is heading toward same sex marriage. This is quickly as they can get there.

That's why there is a scrambling on Capitol Hill now to deal with that and the possibility of a federal marriage amendment. That will destroy the family, which will destroy the nation and I think eventually have a major impact on western civilization.

KING: Can homosexuals have a family?

DOBSON: Homosexuals can be, you know, committed to each other. And they have freedom to behave in the ways that they do, but they cannot be a family. They cannot be married. I mean, virtually every culture in the history of the world has considered marriage to be between one woman and one man.

And this fad that is sweeping the world right now is dangerous because it undermines the legal basis for marriage. Larry, here is the crux of it right here. If two men or two women can marry, then there is no way a court could deny three men and two women or any combination thereof.

And therefore, you reopen the polygamy debate and people are calling now for group marriage. Michael Kensly, the liberal columnist, had an article in the "Washington Post," essentially making a case for group marriage. I don't believe that homosexuals really want to marry, most of them. They're all different and some have different views.

KING: What do you think about domestic laws that protect the right of the partnership, the right of the partner to have something to say on the death of the partner?

DOBSON: Well, that provision is not so troubling. There are -- there is an effort now create marriage in everything but name only. And that also undermines marriage. I think that's where the homosexual activist community is going. I think they want to destroy marriage and then re-create it in their own -- according to their own interpretation, with all of the benefits but without the commitment that depends -- that means so much to children.

KING: Why would they want to destroy marriage? Why would they not -- if they want to destroy it, why do they want to be married?

DOBSON: I don't think they want to be married, most of them. If you start -- if you're looking at the literature now, after this success that is being achieved in Canada and the Netherlands and other places around the country and when it is beginning to look like they might achieve gay marriage, now the goal line has moved and they're talking not about gay marriage, but about destroying this institution and then remaking it without commitment.

Many, many homosexuals are not committed for life. The research shows that they have as many as 300 to 1,000 partners in a lifetime. Why would they want to commit themselves to a binding relationship that prevents that.

KING: What do you make, Dr. Dobson, of what former Senator Alan Simpson, Republican Conservative said? He's against the constitutional amendment on establishment of marriage, but said it should be left up to the states.

He says as our country gained knowledge of homosexuality, we learned it is not a mental disease or threat our families. The real threat to family values is divorce, out of wedlock births and infidelity. He doesn't sanction gay marriages but says how are gay men and women to be expected to be able to build stable, loving relationships if we try to reinvent it?

DOBSON: Larry, why would you have expected anything different from Alan Simpson? He is a social liberal. He voted that way in Congress. And what he made the case for there was exactly what I'm talking about. He said in that op-ed piece that marriage should be a private matter. In other words, the government has no compelling interest in supporting marriage. It should be a private matter that could consist of more than two people, that you can do anything you want to with it.

You start doing that and, first of all, the next generation is seriously at risk and the institution of the family itself is in danger.

KING: We're going go to break, come back...

DOBSON: I'm sorry. I just disagree really strongly with what he had to say.

KING: I gather that, James. Our guest is Dr. James Dobson, the founder and chairman of Focus on the Family. We're going to go to your calls. Back with more subjects to talk about with this never dull guest.

Don't go away.





KING: Was that just fun to you, Dr. Dobson, or was it offensive?

DOBSON: It was very offensive not only to me, but I'm sure to millions of people around the country. But the MTV Awards where that occurred has a history of doing this sort of thing. You may remember two or three years ago Howard Stern pulled his pants down and mooned the camera and the audience. They do it for publicity. They do it for sensation.

You know, somebody said a number of years ago that if you set yourself on fire, people will gather around to watch you burn. And that's essentially what they're doing. They set themselves on fire they get attention, they -- they get talked about on LARRY KING LIVE, and they do what they intended to do.

The problem is that that show and MTV is the most watched channel in the world. And most of the people who watch it are very young. And some of them are in their early teens. That's scary.

KING: But would it make someone be a lesbian by seeing two girls kiss?


KING: What's what the harm?

DOBSON: Yes. The harm is it is part of this continuing effort to desensitize people to homosexuality, and to set them up for changes in the law and eventually changes in the family.

It all moves in that direction. If you look at the sitcoms, Larry, almost every one of them now has a homosexual in a very respected role and then you have some straight guy who is a complete clod and a fool and that's kind of the thing that they're working on. That's -- you know, what's the progra? "Queer Eye for a Straight Guy" (sic) or whatever it is. It's the same thing. You got four homosexual men and one fool that they're working on.

KING: Let's go to calls for Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman, Focus on the Family.

Anaheim, California, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thank you for taking my call.

KING: Sure.

CALLER: The question I have is why does the extreme Christian right doesn't believe in the First Amendment and feel that they have the right to shove their faith down my throat?

KING: Doctor?

DOBSON: Yes, well, in the first place, your use of the adjective extreme there I think reveals your bias. And nobody...

KING: In fairness, Doctor, you use it with regard to the left. If there is an extreme left, there there has to be an extreme right. You don't think there 's an extreme right?

DOBSON: There is an extreme right but I don't think we represent it.


DOBSON: And people like you and others, Larry, almost never use that term extreme left. It's only extreme right. And those that are holding to views that 30 years ago, everybody in the country believed are now considered to be somehow off the wall and I certainly don't consider myself to be one of them.

KING: I've used both terms. So in fairness, Dr. Dobson, I think there is an extreme left and an extreme right. And they often meet each other coming around the circumstance.

DOBSON: There is an extreme right and I think Paul Hill was a representative of the extreme right. But merely believing in scripture and believing in the things that the Founding Fathers obviously believed does not represent anything extreme to me.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more. He's still got a half hour to go and it's always great to have him with us and we'll be including a lot more of your phone calls for Dr. James Dobson on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE.

Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Program reminder, President Bush on Sunday night addresses the nation about Iraq. It is at 8:30 Eastern, 5:30 Pacific. We'll follow it with a live live edition of LARRY KING LIVE Sunday night. Senators, congressmen and others, and your phone calls. Normally on the weekends, LARRY KING LIVE is either a new show or highlights of previous shows. But we'll do a live live show Sunday.

Our guest is Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family. He is a best-selling author. Recent books include "Bringing Up Boys" and a photo book "The Wonderful World of Boys." Back to your calls. Atlanta, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry, I would like to know why -- whether Dr. Dobson would like to comment on a statement made some years ago by Reverend Bailey Smith, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, who addressed the convention and said, and I quote, "God does not listen to the prayers of Jews because Jews do not believe in Jesus Christ." That's a quote. And I hear a lot of such anti-Semitic statements coming from southern Protestants.

KING: Dr. Dobson, want to comment?

DOBSON: Well, I'm not a southern Protestant. I am a Protestant. I would not endorse that statement. Only God can tell us who he listens to, and I think it is pretty, you know, presumptive to say that God hears one person's prayer and not another's -- another. He has a very special relationship with the Jewish people. He has a covenant with them. That's in the Old Testament. I still believe it. So I think it's really kind of silly to say that he does not hear the prayers of anybody on the face of the Earth.

KING: But there are some, some fundamentalists, who believe that if you do not believe Christ is the Savior, you will not go to heaven, right?

DOBSON: Well, I'm one of them. I do believe that.

KING: Well, then Jews won't go to heaven.

DOBSON: Well, if they don't accept, him that's true.

KING: But they don't.

DOBSON: Larry, I have only the scripture to go on. I have no authority to do anything that isn't written there. And Jesus himself said I am the way, the truth and the life. And he said that no man gets to the father, gets to God but by him. And that's what is in the scripture. So what am I going to do with that?

KING: So therefore you -- if a Jew dies not believing in Christ, he does not go to heaven?

DOBSON: Well, you asked me that question when I was here previously, and I told you the ultimate decision there is up to God, and he told us not to judge each other. I am merely reflecting what Jesus said about himself. And that's what I believe.

KING: Tampa, Florida, for Dr. James Dobson, hello?

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for your guest is, it has been said that we're in the end times. If this is true and we actually know this, is there anything we can do to prevent it, or is it a case that we don't want to prevent it because we realize the end times are preordained?

KING: Good question.

DOBSON: It is a good question. And I don't know the answer to it. I'm not a theologian, as I've said a number of times on this program, and I don't know whether we're in the end times or not. I'm troubled by some of the things that I see. And -- but through the millennium, people have thought they were in the end times, and it turned out not to be true. So I don't know, that is kind of up to God. It is totally up to God. And he says in the scripture that only he knows the times and the date.

KING: Waxhaw, North Carolina for Dr. James Dobson. Hello.

CALLER: Thank you, gentlemen, for taking my call. I was a registered voter in Vermont when Howard Dean was governor. And when the issue of civil unions was raised, the law was quietly passed and the voters demanded that there be a revote because so few people knew that that initial vote was taking place.

The revote was taken, and the majority of voters did not approve this law. However, the public representatives, who were spearheaded by then Governor Dean, voted their conscience, so to speak, and chose to enact the civil unions act anyway. My question for Dr. Dobson is, as a conservative, how would you best recommend that people speak out against civil unions, and more importantly, the strengthening of the family, when the publicly elected officials have the option, in theory, to vote their conscience and do what they personally feel is the right thing?

DOBSON: Well, you're making the case I was trying to make earlier. And it's a very, very important one. The court has ignored the will of the people and has gone on its own way. Again, this was the oligarchy that the founding fathers were concerned about. I mean, you just look at the Pledge of Allegiance by the 9th Circuit. Eighty- nine percent of the American people disagree with that decision. It doesn't matter. It is, you know, proceeding through the judicial system anyway. After that decision was handed down, the Congress was scared to death, and Senator Daschle, you know, fell all over himself getting to the microphones to say he disagreed with it.

The Senate voted 99 to nothing to say that they disagreed with that decision. But there it goes. It doesn't matter what the other branch of government thinks. And it doesn't matter what the people think. It is only what the court wants.

KING: Do you want all of government then by -- by the vote of the people, you don't want representative government?

DOBSON: No, I believe in a representative form of government, but again, the founding fathers established this system of checks and balances. I go back to what I said...

KING: But then you can vote your congressman out. But we don't have a government of referendum.

DOBSON: No, but you can exercise your right to vote.

KING: Of course.

DOBSON: And if the Congress votes against a federal marriage amendment, I think that ought to be a campaign issue in the next election.

KING: Plant City, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Dobson. Thank you, Mr. King. My question is, well, I'm a Christian and I respect and I'm with the same mind set as Dr. Dobson. I greatly appreciate his work. My question is, in our society, how do we live with and also teach our children how to live with homosexual people, show them Jesus' love, without accepting or condoning their behavior?

DOBSON: Well, again, that's a very, very important question, because we're called as Christians to love and respect everybody to treat each other with dignity and respect, and there is no place in the Christian theology or life to hurt other people and attack other people and wound other people, or deprive them of their civil rights. On the other hand, you don't have to agree with them, and especially their agenda. And in this case, the homosexuality activist community has an agenda that we feel would be very, very harmful to the family and to the country. You have to oppose that, while accepting the dignity and the humanity of the people that you disagree with.

KING: Nashville, Tennessee, hello.

CALLER: Hi there.


CALLER: I heard that private citizens in Alabama have filed a lawsuit to get the Ten Commandments monument moved back. And I'm wondering, Dr. Dobson, if you know anything about this or what the status of that is?

KING: I think it was thrown out, wasn't it, doctor? I believe a lower court threw it out, I think.

DOBSON: Well, it is my understanding that the same judge that made the ruling in the first place that removed the Ten Commandments has now overthrown -- or thrown out that petition. But it will go on to a higher court, and hopefully it will get to the Supreme Court, although I don't have a whole lot of hope for what happens there.

KING: We'll take a break and be back with more phone calls for Dr. James Dobson. Don't go away.


KING: I know your interest in family extends to families everywhere, Dr. Dobson. What is your thoughts on what is going on in Iraq?

DOBSON: Well, my heart breaks for what is happening to families there. But I really believe that the situation is better now than under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and his two sons and the others that tyrannized the people for so many years. It is going to take a long time to recover from that.

You don't rebuild a society quickly. And I think the president is doing everything he can. And the military doing everything they can to restore order there.

KING: Fort Riley, Kansas, for Dr. James Dobson. hello.

CALLER: Hi, I'm Mike Witt. And my question for Dr. Dobson today is what do you think about homosexuals raising children?

DOBSON: You know, social science is rarely unanimous. You get contradictory findings and you have different factions that agree -- that think different things. But on this one, it is almost unanimous. Almost every one of the studies show that children do best when they're raised in a home with a mother and a father who are committed to each other. And who stay together. And when they do that, the incidents of all of the adolescent problems and the other things, drug abuse and learning problems, all those other things goes down.

So I don't believe that homosexuals should be able to adopt. Children are entitled to two role models if that's at all possible. A man and a woman. And they're not fully complete and don't fully understand their own sexuality until they see that contrast.

So I think homosexual adoption is something that 15 years ago was unthinkable. But in this wave of successes by the homosexual community, that is where we appear to be headed. I hope not.

KING: Do you agree, doctor, that an unhappy heterosexual marriage can produce problems in children?

DOBSON: Oh, certainly can, but you go with probabilities. And the probabilities are far greater that if you have a man and a woman committed to each other in a stable marriage, that children do better. And especially boys do better. Sorry.

KING: Especially boys, really?


KING: Interesting.

San Bernardino, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Dr. Dobson. I greatly appreciate your show here in California that comes on KKLA. I wanted to ask you, I am greatly concerned about the domestic partnership bill that is headed to the governor's desk here. I'm so embarrassed to even admit that I'm a long-standing Democrat, but that will be changed very soon and in particular with this current recall coming up.

I wanted to ask you what can we do hear in California for those of us who back several years ago voted against prop 22 which would have attempted to legalize gay marriages here?

DOBSON: Well, you have raised a point that, again, is very, very important. The state legislature in California is also absolutely out of control. That's being said all across the country. And they're doing things that no other state legislature is doing.

Right there in California you mentioned it, the proposition 22 defined marriages between one man and one woman. It passed by 69 percent to 39 percent. And they don't pay any attention to that. And now they have sent this bill to the governor. But beyond that, last week you may be aware of the foster care bill that they passed which requires all foster parents to go through homosexual training and propaganda and to not say anything to their children about homosexuality that would not be in keeping with the homosexual view point.

What that means is, that those are committed Christians and those that have strong moral commitments simply will not be foster parents. It makes no sense.

KING: But you'd teach people to love everybody. To love homosexuals. So shouldn't we learn about dealing with each other? What's wrong with that?

DOBSON: Well, because there's propaganda in that. You've got these kids in the foster care system, Larry...

KING: Who are told what?

DOBSON: They have no parents. They have no one to fight for them. They haven't seen a mother and a father committed to each other. They're totally vulnerable and then you expose them to homosexuality and you create all kinds of sexual identity problems.

KING: To Chicago, Illinois, hello.

Chicago, hello.

CALLER: Hi. I was just wondering -- first of all, thank you for taking my call. If somebody could explain to me the logic of how my 17 year committed relationship with my partner threatens the heterosexuals in my neighborhood. We've been here for 17 years. I haven't seen an explosion of homosexuality. I haven't seen divorce gone rampant.

I just want to know what the connection is to my private relationship with my partner and my threat to the heterosexual marriage model. I don't see it. You've also threatened, or you've also mentioned that my relationship threatens my country and again I find that such a huge leap of illogic. I can't even fathom that I'm watching...

KING: All right, doctor, what would you say to them.

DOBSON: Well, first of all, the example that's been given in research methodology is called a case of 1, a study of 1. You don't look at 1 person and establish your public policy on that basis.

When you look at the nation as a whole. It thrives or falls on strong committed, heterosexual marriage. And to the degree to which it does not accomplish that, it does threaten the stability of the country and it especially threatens the next generation.

KING: We'll take a break. We'll be back with our remaining moments, some more phone calls with Dr. James Dobson as well. Don't go away.


KING: We're back. Before we take the next call, Dr. Dobson, what do you think of California recall idea in general, and, number two, should Arnold Schwarzenegger's interview with a soft core magazine years ago count against him?

DOBSON: Well, it's not what he did 20, 30 years ago that concerns me. It's the fact that he is a flat out admitted social liberal. And the kind of problems that I just talked about coming out of the state legislature there are not going to be bettered with this man, or at least I fear they're not. You know, he's in favor of Roe v. Wade, he has not said anything that would give us any comfort with regard to gay marriage or the other things. Those are the current issues that worry me about this man, and I happen to like McClintock.

KING: And what about the recall itself? Do you like that idea?

DOBSON: I do. That's democracy. That's giving people the opportunity to express their concerns. If their representatives don't do what they said they were going to do or if they fail, the people should have a right to throw them out.

KING: In any state.

DOBSON: And have a vote on it.

KING: In any state?

DOBSON: Sure. Certainly.

KING: In any state. East Liverpool, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hi. My name is Linda, and I just want to say, what an honor it is to talk with Dr. Dobson. I'm a home school mom. I am using reproduction of "The McGuffey Readers" that's part of our curriculum. They're packed full of scripture and moral values, and my question for him is where and why did we stop as a nation teaching our children about God and his role in the founding of our country and in the founding fathers' lives?

DOBSON: Well, that's just been a slow leak. And as I've said today, the courts have played a major role in that change. "The McGuffey Readers" are wonderful. That goes back to the mid-1800s. And that's how most people, most children learned to read at that time. And in some states, we had a 90 -- better than a 90 percent legitimacy rate -- I mean a 90 percent -- what's the word? They can all read.

KING: Literacy.

DOBSON: Illiteracy (sic) is the word I'm looking for. And I thank you, speaking to the caller, that you dedicated your life to raising those kids. Home schooling is a tough assignment. And you're obviously very committed to it.

KING: Speaking of that, what do you think of school vouchers?

DOBSON: I think vouchers are an idea whose time has come. You may be aware, Larry, that the Congress just authorized vouchers for the District of Columbia. It's the first time ever that -- on the national level, this has been done. And, you know, it will introduce competition, and competition always makes enterprise better.

KING: Staten Island, New York. Hello. CALLER: Yes, hi, Mr. King, Dr. Dobson. This is a great privilege to be allowed to ask you a question. And I just want you to know that we have been listening to your radio station for almost the past 30 years and have been involved with your ministry and receive many resources from you. You are a man of integrity, and I'm very happy that I'm able to tell you this right now over the phone, that your family has been a blessing to us, just your integrity has really...

KING: Do you have a question, ma'am?

CALLER: Yes, the question is that my husband and myself, we go to a church here in Staten Island. And we have a burden (ph) for young people. We understand that your daughter is involved with the youth ministry now, and we were just wondering if she was doing seminars throughout the nation at this time?

DOBSON: Both my daughter and my son have just written books. My daughter's book is called "Let's Talk." And she is speaking around the country. My son Ryan is speaking to 500,000 kids this fall in various concerts and things that he's attending.

So I'm proud of both those kids. They are solid Christians. They love the Lord, and they're both very, very concerned about the -- what is happening to the younger generation. And I am, too. But thank you for your kind comments. I would love to meet you sometime. Why don't you come to Colorado, Springs and we'll say hello.

KING: Ruston, Louisiana, hello.

CALLER: Hi. Hey, Dr. Dobson. I want you to know how much I love Focus on the Family, and your counseling center helped me through a rough time this past week. And it was just a pleasure to talk to them.

My question is, I'm a single woman and I am struggling because my family, sister, brother, parents, they are as ethical as can be, but they don't want me to talk about Christ. They don't want me to, you know, share my love for him, and I feel like they turn a deaf ear. And I know that I can pray for them, and I do, but I didn't know what my next step should be, and if you have anything to read about sharing your faith with your family. I know that we should share our faith with the world, but the family seems to be the hardest part. But thank you and God bless you.

DOBSON: Oh, thank you. I take my instruction, again, from the scriptures. That means the world to me. And Jesus never forced himself on anybody. And in fact, when he was speaking to 5,000 people at one time, and they left, and he turned to his disciples and said would you go, too? He did not, you know, try to behave in tactless ways that took away the rights of people to make their own decisions. I believe we live that life in front of people, and when we do, they usually want to know why we have something that is working. And that's the time to share it and not to force it on somebody.

KING: We only have a minute left, doctor. Do you ever doubt your faith when you see terrible things happen in the world?

DOBSON: Well, Larry, I wrote a book on that subject that you and I talked about at one time called "When God Doesn't Make Sense." And there are circumstances that I can't figure out. And in fact, I worry about those that think they can figure them all out. And that's where faith comes in. And you just leave it in his hands. And there are, you know, all the time there are things like that that concern me.

KING: As always, thank you very much for joining us. We look forward to our next visit.

DOBSON: I enjoyed it, Larry. Thank you.

KING: Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman, Focus on the Family. He's a best-selling author. Recent books include "Bringing Up Boys" and the photo book "The Wonderful World of Boys," and it came to us from where he broadcasts his program, Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs.

I'll be back in a couple of minutes to tell you about the weekend. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night, we'll repeat our show dealing with the life and times of Elvis Presley. And Sunday night, both Aaron Brown and I will be here. So will Paula Zahn. Aaron and Paula will co- anchor the 8:00 Eastern time hour. That will include a 15-minute address on Iraq from President Bush, and then we'll follow live at 9:00 with guests dealing with the same topic.

So we're back again Sunday.


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