James Dobson Invokes the Threat of Another Civil War in the United States Unless American Evangelicals Support Donald Trump

James Dobson sent another letter to his followers and invoked the prospect of a second American Civil War unless evangelicals supported Donald Trump. This post is preserving Dobson’s letter. This blog will write a response analyzing this letter and point out the problems and concerns with James Dobson’s letter. 

“Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts. Perhaps the fear of a loss of power.”

John Steinbeck

So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. 17 Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens.[d] He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.[e] 18 He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession

James 1:16-18 NLT 

James Dobson

James Dobson who used to lead Focus on the Family wrote a rather warped letter to his followers the other day. This blog wants to analyze and write a response to what James Dobson writes below. To ignore this would be appalling. The history is problematic and it highlights the problems in American evangelicalism with Christian nationalism. But below you can read the letter that Dobson composed.

Dear Friends,

As I write this newsletter, voters across this nation are only a few short months away from the next general election. What an ominous time this is for our 244-year-old republic. Its future hangs in the balance. The choices we make on November 3rd will send this nation down one of two dramatically different paths. The wrong decision will be catastrophic. I agree with former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, who said recently that the next election will be “the most important since 1860.”1 He also warned that if we appease or ignore the violence and anarchy occurring in the streets, it might be the end of civilization as we have known it.2 Those are sobering words coming from a man who has stood at the pinnacle of national power.Mr. Gingrich referred to the significance of 1860 because that was the year Abraham Lincoln was elected president. I’m sure the Speaker would agree that the following election of 1864 was also critical to the future of the nation. Lincoln and his opponent, Maj. Gen. George McClellan, were in a hotly contested campaign for the White House that could have gone either way. The “war between the states,” as it was called, had been raging for three ghastly years, and the entire nation was staggered by reports from the bloody battlefield.

Lincoln was running for a second term, and he campaigned on the promise of finishing the war and preserving the Union. These were momentous times for the young nation. During the first week of January 1863, the President signed the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing the slaves.

Democrats and their presidential candidate, Maj. Gen. McClellan, initially campaigned on a “peace platform,” pledging to end the war and send soldiers home. As the election approached, he talked more about negotiating to let the South establish a separate government whose cornerstone would be slavery. If McClellan had been elected, there would have been no foreseeable end to the inherent evil of buying and selling human beings and treating them like cattle. Thus, the Civil War was a struggle for the soul of America.

The summer before the election, the war was going badly for the Union. Lincoln, in fact, was convinced he was going to lose the election.3 He wrote the following memorandum on August 23, 1864, asking his Cabinet to accept the grim prospects for his re-election. These are his words:
This morning, as for some days past, it seems exceedingly probable that this Administration will not be re-elected. Then it will be my duty to so cooperate with the President-elect as to save the Union between the election and the inauguration; as he will have secured his election on such grounds that I cannot possibly save it afterwards.4

No wonder Lincoln dealt at times with depression. Clearly, the Union was a hair’s breadth away from losing the war. But then, the tide began to turn. One historian wrote, “The political landscape shifted dramatically when Gen. William T. Sherman took Atlanta in early September. This major military shift, coupled with the severe internal strife within the Democratic Party, solidified Lincoln’s chance at victory.”5

As you know, Abraham Lincoln and the Republicans won the election of 1864 in a landslide. McClellan was defeated by more than 500,000 popular votes and 191 electoral votes. An estimated 78 percent of Union soldiers cast their ballots in favor of Lincoln. McClellan took just three states: Kentucky, Delaware, and his home state of New Jersey.6 Less than two months after Lincoln’s inauguration, he was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth. He is said to have been the “last casualty” of the Civil War.7

Why have I recounted our Civil War history and the election of 1864 at this time in our history? It is for two reasons. The first is to consider some striking similarities between then and now. Our nation is divided like no time since the Civil War. Lawlessness and anarchy stalk the cities as angry mobs riot, burn, loot, rob, and kill innocent bystanders. Cultural monuments are being destroyed. Scores of people have been shot. Our courageous police officers are being brutally attacked by the same people they have vowed to protect. A man and his son stopped to ask for directions, and he was gunned down on the spot. A one-year-old baby was shot in the stomach while he sat in his stroller. The child died at the hospital.

What began as a justified and lawful protest in response to George Floyd’s senseless murder by a rogue police officer has morphed into violence for the sake of violence. Hatred flows in the streets, including vitriol directed at the President of the United States or anyone who dares to support him or his policies. Constitutional rights to freedom of speech and religious liberty are being trampled. There is also widespread belief that violence and anarchy are being organized and funded by powerful forces that are maneuvering America toward a socialist dictatorship. There is always a kingmaker behind such lawlessness. Most disturbing is open talk of another civil war. It is troubling to even utter those words. The last time Americans faced off against each other, 600,000 soldiers died. May God forbid it from happening again.

During the revolution of the 1960s, I recall a ubiquitous bumper sticker that read, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” It was a catchy phrase that made sense to those who opposed the Vietnam War. But my reaction to it then and now is “What if they gave a war and only one side came?” That question keeps me awake at night. There are multiple millions of passive Americans out there today, many of them Christians, who are clueless about what is happening to their homeland. They are losing something precious and irreplaceable. Do they not understand that their children and those who are yet to be born will live in tyranny if we fail them on our watch? Countless young men and women have laid down their lives on battlefields around the world to protect liberty and our way of life. Now, what they purchased for us with their blood is slipping away. Disengaged people won’t lift a finger to preserve this great land. They won’t take even a few minutes to go to their polling places to vote. There are also thousands of pastors who won’t allow voting registration tables in the lobbies of their churches. Don’t they know or care that America is on the ropes? Hordes of angry anarchists are salivating over the next election, hoping to push America over a cliff. If they succeed, as Newt Gingrich said, Western civilization will never recover. Is there anyone left who believes some things are worth dying for? Aren’t there patriots out there such as Patrick Henry who said in defiance of British tyranny, “Give me liberty or give me death!”? That was the spirit during his day. The Declaration of Independence closed with these words endorsed by the signers, “We pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” They knew they would be hanged if they lost the war. Why did they do it? Because they loved their country enough to die for it.

How I pray for the emergence of silent, intimidated Americans who will come out of their hiding places to let their voices be heard on Election Day 2020. There must be tens of thousands of ministers in our midst who, like the Black Robed Regiment of the Revolutionary War, will strip off their clerical garb and fight valiantly for religious liberty. If these men and women of faith and conviction don’t come to the rescue of their country, it is doomed.

During the Civil War, untold soldiers gave their lives to preserve the integrity of the United States of America and to end the tragedy of slavery. Here is the question of the hour: Are you and our brothers and sisters willing to carry the bloodstained banner around which our predecessors rallied? We will know the answer on November 3rd.

That brings us to the second reason I have addressed the Civil War and the election of 1864. It is to remind us that voting matters. Each presidential campaign has been important, but some have had jaw-dropping and nation-shaping consequences. I believe we are at such a pivotal moment now. You can be certain that America will be forever changed by the political party that gets its supporters to the polls. They will win the day—and the future.

Unfortunately, the majority of Christians have a record of not showing up on Election  Day. It is unbelievably sad. As many as 75 percent of them sit on their hands, apparently assuming that their votes don’t matter. They are wrong. Voting ALWAYS matters. George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000 by 537 votes in a nation of 130 million registered voters. Many down-ballot contests have been won or lost by a single vote.

I plead with you to register and vote in this presidential election. I won’t try to tell you who to vote for because you can figure it out for yourselves. But I will suggest how you might evaluate the situation we face. I’ll close with seven critical issues that have stunning significance for the nation. Please think hard about them, and then go to the polls.

1. The Next Generation

There is a fierce battle being waged now in the nation’s classrooms for the hearts and souls of our children and grandchildren. Those of us who are passionately committed to the Judeo-Christian system of beliefs are losing our kids right before our eyes. They are being force-fed a radical curriculum that is godless, anti-American, and sexually perverse. Make no mistake, the left and secular culture are manipulating the minds of your sons and daughters every day of the year. I urge you to be extremely careful about those whom you set in power over your children. Protect them with your very lives.

2. The Sanctity of Human Life

All life is sacred and is a gift from Almighty God. But as you know, America has the blood of innocents on its hands. Since 1973, more than 60 million babies have been murdered through abortion and countless lives have ended by euthanasia. This is the most tragic holocaust in the history of the world! Some states have even passed laws allowing wounded and suffering infants to lie alone on porcelain trays after somehow surviving unsuccessful abortions. They will die without the comfort of their mothers’ breasts. If that doesn’t touch your heart, you are without compassion. I hope you will not cast a single vote for any politician who supports such wickedness.

3. Marriage and Family

The family is God’s original building block for society. Marriage continues to serve as the foundation for every dimension of human life. Everything of value rests on it, including procreation and the care and training of children. If that ground floor is weakened or undermined, the entire superstructure of civil society will come crashing down. But listen carefully: powerful and highly funded forces, including LGBTQ and other leftist entities, are determined to destroy the family as an institution. It is already on its knees, and its future is grim. Before you vote, find out what position the candidates have taken on this issue. Then vote accordingly.

4. Religious Liberty

The first item listed in the Bill of Rights addresses the issue of religious liberty. All the other enumerated rights flow from that fundamental freedom. That is why it is alarming to recognize that this right to worship and honor God as we choose is under vicious attack today. The courts have done the greatest damage, but now an entire sub-culture is trying to bring down the Christian faith. Whether it has invaded your private world or not, it is at your front door. It was this primary concern that led to the Declaration of Independence and the Revolutionary War in 1776. We can’t compromise one jot or tittle within that fundamental right. Fight for it with every ounce of your strength and determination. Don’t let the government close the doors of your church or tell you when you can sing praises to the Lord Almighty. They have a devious agenda, and it is dangerous. Be ready to go to the mat in defense of what you believe. And let this passion influence how you cast your ballot in November. Here I stand. Will you join me?

5. Capitalism v. Socialism

It is difficult to believe that for the first time in American history, our nation appears to be thinking about trading our democratic way of life for the tyranny of socialism. I can hardly catch my breath. Could we really consider abandoning the beloved system of government that was designed to be of the people, by the people, and for the people? Is it true that up to 40 percent of millennials and others are prepared to surrender their liberties in exchange for the absolute authority of the state? Democracy and capitalism have made ours the most powerful and successful nation in the history of the world. Are we really considering scuttling the system that has served us for 244 years in exchange for what some people call “free stuff?” I pray not! But that option awaits you in the polling booth.

6. The Judicial System

Given recent rulings, we know that judicial overreach has almost ruined this great nation. Justices and judges are constitutionally charged to interpret the law, not make law. But again, and again, they have overstepped their authority and brought us atrocities such as abortion on demand, same-sex marriage, and the so-called “separation of church and state,” which doesn’t appear in the Constitution. Most recently, the Supreme Court handed down one of its most egregious rulings since Roe v. Wade. It is the case of Bostock v. Clayton County. This decision was not based on constitutional law but on the whims of six justices. It created a new legal definition of sex out of thin air. Lawyers tell us that this ruling will affect every dimension of culture and haunt the nation as long as it endures. Please don’t vote for politicians who will expand, rather than limit, the power of the judiciary.

7. The Nation of Israel

Scripture tells that those who bless Israel will be blessed (Genesis 12:3). Our prayer is that the next Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. will continue to promote and cultivate a vibrant bond of friendship with the nation of Israel, which is our only ally in the Middle East. Anti-Semitism and all forms of racial discrimination are inherently evil, and we condemn them categorically. We are a nation that is dedicated to “freedom and justice for all” (The U.S. Pledge of Allegiance).

I could list dozens of other issues that should be considered as we vote on November 3rd. I will end with this final statement from Abraham Lincoln. He said:

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have.”8

Let us come boldly before the throne of grace and ask God for His mercy on America.


Dr. James Dobson

P.S. This just came to my attention. Would you like to see where America may be headed if it abandons the sanctity of human life? New Zealand recently passed legislation that allows abortion up to the moment of birth, for any reason. That means a baby can be killed for sex-selection purposes or for the presence of disabilities, such as a cleft palate, Down syndrome, or yes, being born alive after a botched abortion. Do you shudder at those grotesque words? Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had promised, if elected, not to allow any kind of deadly discrimination, but she broke her word. We can anticipate something similar happening in America if anti-life factions prevail.

13 thoughts on “James Dobson Invokes the Threat of Another Civil War in the United States Unless American Evangelicals Support Donald Trump

  1. Okay.
    This is the equivalent of Dobson’s 2008 “Letter from the Future” from Christians under Hellish Persecution by the the Secular Humanist/Homosexual Obama Dictatorship.

    With the addition of an End Time Prophecy tie-in about “The Nation of Israel”. Very familiar with that one from my time in-country, i.e. The Gospel According to Hal Lindsay and Christians For Nuclear War. Support Israel 1000% or God Will Spew Thee Out Of His Mouth, for no other reason than Israel is the Fulfillment of Prophecy, THE clock ticking down to Armageddon. Anti-Semitic Zionism.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It also sounds like Nixon’s description of “the silent majority” back in 1968. Fear tactics to cause people to make poor choices (although, none of the choices in the ’68 election were that great after Bobby Kennedy’s assassination). Yes, I was a fifth grade who kept track of election coverage via the newspaper, magazines, and the news. Blame it on growing up in San Francisco (went to my first protest against the Embarcadero Freeway when I was 4! We have a photo of me on my dad’s shoulders, surrounded by protest signs).
    Dobson would definitely not have approved of my upbringing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • 1968 – when George Wallace went third-party and effectively ran for President of the Confederacy. Had one of the best turnouts in history for a third party candidate. The American Independent Party — like all American third parties except for the Progressives, founded to run one candidate (the founder) for one office (President). And like all the others (except the Progressives), went into a death spiral after one election.

      Remember Humphrey’s 1968 triple-H logo?
      It was an “HHHumphrey” with the three “H”s mooshed together into one continuous letter of four vertical strokes and one horizontal.
      52 years later, I remember it because where I was the bumper stickers got “Evil-ized” into “HHHorsemeat”.


  3. Pingback: Considering James Dobson’s Irresponsible Comments About the Civil War and Other Topics Reveals How He Missed His True Calling. Dobson Should Have Been a Fluffer on a Porn Set | Wondering Eagle

  4. As usual when James Dobson comes up, once I actually read what he wrote, it’s way less bad than it seems.

    Here are some things he says about the civil war: like then, we are now polarized; like then, now voting matters a lot. He says that other people are talking about civil war, and that civil war would be really bad. All four of those statements are true.

    He doesn’t even tell people who to vote for.

    Which factual assertions that he makes does anybody disagree with? That would be an interesting conversation. I’ll go first: Bostock v. Clayton County will not actually “affect every dimension of culture and haunt the nation as long as it endures.”


  5. My experience with and observations of James Dobson:

    When I was first in-country for the Evangelical Circus (an end-of-the-world cult in all but name), Dobson was a regular on Christianese AM radio with “Focus on the Family”. His best-seller “The Strong Willed Child” was heavily pushed on his show.

    In retrospect, “Stong WIlled Child” looked on childrearing primarily as a Power Struggle between the parent and child, a battle of wills which the Parent Must Win. Problem is, in Power Struggle there is nothing but win or lose, dom or sub, top or bottom.

    During this time, FotF was based in Arcadia, CA, a little bit north of where I grew up and not far off one of my alternate routes to and from work. I remember attending one FotF live event, where one of the subjects touched on was how Secular Schooling weakens America compared to other countries where Discipline and Top-Down Teaching still predominated. (In retrospect, the tone was like a milder version of magazine editorials in Guns & Ammo and Soldier of Fortune ranting about “Spoiled Rotten Baby-Fat Americans” vs the “Rugged Communist Supermen”.)

    Then in the Eighties (when I was still detoxing from the Gospel According to Hal Lindsay, with residual panic attacks), Dobson was still on the radio. Things I remember from around this time:

    * Dobson as being in some sort of Christian Inner Ring in the Reagan White House, involved with the Meese Commission and its report on Pornography (a frequent subject on Dobson’s radio show).
    * Dobson diving into the Satanic Panic, a Grand Unified Conspiracy Theory of a secret Illuminati of Satanists everythiwer, controlling everything except for Born-Again Christians. (Kind of Mythic, actually.) My link to this one was through Dungeons & Dragons, which Dobson denounced on his show.
    * Dobson denoucing “Satanic Music”, using Pat Benatar’s “Hell is for Children” as his type example. Anyone who actually listened to that song for less than a minute would have known the song was denouncing Child Abuse. (Dobson was a big proponent of Christian Spanking; maybe the song hit a little too close to home?)
    * And sometime in the stream word came out about Dobson telling how he took a belt to his dachshund to show the dog who’s boss.

    After the Eighties I was out of that loop and didn’t hear much about Dobson until he surfaced again as one of Bush 43’s Christian connections. Sometime during this period, FotF moved to a new HQ in Pomona, just across the 57 Freeway from Cal Poly Pomona (where I went to college in the late Seventies; I remember driving past the future site of FotF HQ which at the time was overflow fields for Cal Poly’s school of Agriculture).

    Then came 2008 and Dobson once more came to my attention. With a “Letter from 2012” sent back as a warning to 2008 from a Near-Future Persecution Dystopia caused by Obama winning the election and unleashing the Secular Humanists and HOMOSEXUALS against the Christians in a Second Holocaust(TM). I remember it hit every Christian Culture War talking point of the time. The letter is no longer available on the Web; however, here is the Internet Monk posting and comment thread on the subject:
    “It was called Focus on the Family. Maybe you remember it. They used to do some good work until fear of homosexuals drove them over the cliff with most of their constituency in the car.”

    (The “Letter from 2012” reminded me of earlier “I Send This Back In Time To You As A Warning” Persecution Dystopias I saw in Christian magazines shortly after the Jonestown Massacre. Those could all be summarized as “One World Government (TM) brands Bible-believing Christians (TM) as ‘Cultists’ (TM) and Stamps Them Out in a Second Holocaust (TM)”, Persecution Dystopia Type 666-B without the outboard motor.)

    By this time, FotF had moved again, to “The Christian Culture War Redoubt” in and around Colorado Springs.

    And at some point during this period FotF had a major scandal. Oe of the high-ups in an FotF affiliate – a go-to guy on Protecting Biblical Marriage(TM) – got caught at an airport with a rentboy (same-sex male prostitute) travelling companion.

    And now Dobson Rides Again, as another Christian Leader/Court Evangelical iat the foot of Trump’s Throne. With this latest “Armageddon Letter” (manifesto?) like his 2008 Letter from 2012 prophesying what will happen if The Enemy wins this election.

    During all this, I wonder if (like Rush Limbaugh) Dobson showed a “hardening of the attitudes”, becoming more grim, humorless, extreme, and fanatical as time passed and he kept doubling down. (With Limbaugh, it was because he’d listened to his own PR for too long until he not only believed it but it BECAME him. Two other examples of this were Elron Hubbard – con man who ended up believing his own con as Absolute TRVTH — and a well-known Austrian with a funny little mustache who ended up taken over (like “The Tragedian” in The Great Divorce) by his originally-deliberate Invincible Fuehrer public persona.)

    Plus look at Dobson’s hot-and-cold political career, hanging around the Seat of Power:
    * Christian Kingmaker under Reagan & Bush 41
    * Persona Non Grata under Clinton
    * KIngmaker again under Bush 43
    * PNG again under Obama
    * And Kingmaker again at the Court of Trump, one of many Tabaqui the Jackals clustered around the latest Shere Khan.
    That back-and-forth in-and-out whipsaw had to have some effect on him.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dobson was also big in my church–especially being a fellow Nazarene. I remember my parents taking me to my grandma’s church once to watch a Dobson movie on the Strong Willed Child–who I learned was Me.

      I wonder if Dobson’s 2008 letter inspired a paranoid rant I got from a “friend” around that time. He was one of those Orthodox converts who do it because Evangelicalism isn’t conservative enough. Also a Libertarian who thought Obama was practically the Evil One himself. I’ve come across his old e-mails recently, and their rants about coming persecution from Obama for being Orthodox, and the destruction of America because of abortion. None of it came true, and made me wonder about his sanity.


      • He was one of those Orthodox converts who do it because Evangelicalism isn’t conservative enough.

        More ORTHODOX Than Thou?

        I’ve run across Net Orthodox like that. Instead of SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! SCRIPTURE! their answer for anything and everything is ORTHODOXY! ORTHODOXY! ORTHODOXY! Fundamentalism is a state of mind that can attach itself to any belief system.

        And Fr Orthcuban has stated that the Orthodox way to flake out is the “Monk-a-Bee”, where said Ultra-Orthodox imitates an Orthodox monk in hair, beard, and clothing. Often becoming More Devoted Than Thou and More Ascetic than any actual monk. Oh, and somehow NEVER putting themselves under the authority of a bishop or abbot like a real monk. With Evangelicals it’s YEC and the End of the World; with Catholics it’s “Mary Channeling” Private Revelations; with Orthodox it’s Monk-a-Bees.

        I’m pretty sure FotF’s Letter from the Future was an inspiration for those rants stuffing your inbox. Timing and content are too similar. There was a lot of paranoia about Obama, primarily because he inspired a lot of really scary fanboys (which association kept his campaign staff facepalming and doing damage control); after the dust settled, he turned out to be a fairly average President.

        Liked by 1 person

      • One of the books I’m in the middle of reading now is Three Views on Eastern Orthodoxy and Evangelicalism. I’ve never studied Eastern Orthodoxy much and it is interesting to see how its problems are similar and different.

        My brand of evangelicalism is closer to the EFCA’s “agree on a few core things and agree to disagree about the rest,” which doesn’t seem to be the Eastern Orthodox way of doing things.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Donald Trump is a fake Christian. James Dobson please do not mix politics with religion or Christianity. Shame on you.
    God is looking at your heart.Look at some Christians like Jerry Falwell Jr. they don’t practice what they preach. Lots of preachers and Christian’s are falling from grace.

    Liked by 1 person

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