As the Q Anon conspiracy theory destroys evangelical families and tears about relationships it shows to the world their hypocrisy about the importance of the family. James Dobson spent his ministry warning about the destruction of the family. And in the end Dobson ended up supporting someone politically who became a key player in this conspiracy theory that is tearing apart evangelical families. Is James Dobson reaping what he sowed in evangelicalism?
“History proves that those who seed extremist ideologies reap a bitter harvest.“
For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’
John 4:37 ESV
When I was involved in American evangelicalism one of the topics discussed frequently is the sanctity of marriage and the family unit. It happened in so many ways, for example James Dobson formerly of Focus on the Family talked about the importance of the family. The sanctity of marriage and the moral threats that come from gay marriage, pornography, secular divorce, alcohol, and other competing sin issues. When I was in Campus Crusade they always pulled the guys aside to speak about the moral sin of pornography, masturbation, pre-martial sex, and other sexual sin issues. Marriage was important as was one’s witness. College and grad school students were explained that the patterns they established in their youth would help preserve their marriage and honor their one day wife and strengthen their family. Also mentioned is how sexual sin harms friendships, lives and creates painful division. I also heard about how friends should be committed to each other in the model of Paul and Barnabas. And then there were fools like me who acted like a moth to the light as I sat in these conferences and church services and drank up all that was communicated. And yet here in 2021 there is another issue that has emerged which shows the problems with this theological teaching but also the hypocrisy as well. And yet this threat comes from within the church. Many evangelicals are today embracing the conspiracy theory Q Anon. According to the Religion News Service 27% of American evangelicals believe in this conspiracy theory. You can read more in, “At Least a Quarter of White Evangelicals Believe in Q Anon According to the Religion News Service.” Yesterday this blog told the story and wrote about a Southern Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia called Spotswood Baptist Church and how much needless division was being created within both families and the church by Q Anon. It actually drove a pastor to quit in frustration. You can read more in, “How Q Anon Resulted in Pastor Jared Stacy to Leave Spotswood Baptist Church in Fredericksburg, Virginia.” Let’s look at some examples of harmed families and relationships that come from Q Anon.
Q Anon Tears Apart and Divides Evangelical Families and Relationships
These are a few of the posts I saw when I was reading about how Q Anon is impacting families, relationships and friendships in adverse ways. All of these posts are concerning evangelicals, or possible religious people.
- A story is told by a younger person of his uncle who is an evangelical pastor who teaches and pushes Q Anon in his church.. As this young person rejects the conspiracy he has to deal with his uncle who questions his faith in God because he does not believe in Q. This younger person rejects the idea that Democrats practice cannibalism and are into pedophilia. The uncle travels to Washington, D.C. to participate in the #StoptheSteal rally on January 6, 2021. The post ends with his aunt begging him to not turn against them, and this individual fearful that he will lose his aunt and uncle.
- Another troubling story divides a son from his parents. A son who grew up in a Christian nationalist family it appears watches his parents get into Q Anon and he becomes disillusioned when his father goes along with it. This son who planned to name his first born son after his Dad decides he can’t do that as he lost respect for him. His mother screams and cuts him off. The son and his wife who want to start a family decide not to involve the grandparents in the children’s lives for the sake of their mental health. All he wants his Dad back.
- A child writes a painful post about how he wants his Mom back. She is infected with HIV and her life is coming to a close. She got involved in an evangelical church whose pastor pushes Q Anon. The mother became angry, bitter, and is spewing racist statements online. The child tries to speak to his Mom to no avail as she spits out conspiracy theories. The situation is so bad that she will not use the United States Postal Service because of this conspiracy. The post ends with a plea for his Mom to come back so they can spend time together.
- This sad story involves a female friend who shared Q Anon with her friend’s Dad and got him involved in Q Anon. Religious messages are being shared calling Donald Trump the new King David. A 35 year friendship is blocked on social media due to conspiracy theories and this person is also dealing with their Dad pursuing the conspiracy theory. Meanwhile her friend continues to evangelize Q Anon. (Quick comment is this now the Great Commission advancing Q and not Jesus?)
- In what appears to be a possible evangelical family, a husband is deeply into Q Anon. He hung up on his parents when they took the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile the husband explicitly warned his wife not to get the COVID-19 vaccine otherwise divorce would be initiated. She would become the tool of the devil. The wife is trying to figure out what to do and asks is there a theological case that can be made for taking a vaccine?
- A child writes about how the families church descending into Q Anon and how the pastor teaches that COVID-19 is a myth. There is no harm in COVID. Also shared are how persecuted evangelicals will become in the United States, and how ANTIFA is a threat to the church and pushes anti-Semitism about George Soros from the pulpit.
- A Catholic writes a post about his evangelical in-laws being radicalized by Q Anon. Its threatened their relationship as they have attacked others for wearing face masks, attacking science, attacking Catholics and calling for people to be executed on Facebook. His evangelical in-laws have had a close call over face masks within Costco. This Catholic is worried about his 15 year old brother-in-law. He was pleading for help from his Catholic uncle because his evangelical parents have broken from reality. The evangelical parents still believe Trump is president and cling to independent prophets. The post discusses contacting child protection services out of concern for the 15 year old’s mental health.
- A former evangelical/fundamentalist is converting to Judaism. Parents were abusive earlier in life, and it appears the mother has gone into Q Anon and possibly become more radicalized. Kyle Rittenhouse who killed two people in Wisconsin is a hero because the protestors deserved death. Parents have become much more anti-Semitic and crack Holocaust jokes. For Christmas they wanted to give their daughter who is becoming Jewish a box with ashes until brother convinces them otherwise. Parents are anti-maskers and anti-vaxxer. Family has become more strained.
- Daughter who rejects Christian doctrine writes about her family becoming a part of Q Anon. They have mixed the Book of Revelation and their views. Daughter wants her family back and is afraid of violence.
Incredible Hypocrisy and How Individuals Like James Dobson Contributed to the Problem
All of those posts up above are heartbreaking. If you are not moved by the families and relationships being torn apart by a conspiracy theory then I can not help you. But when I also think of what evangelicals have warned about for years and what actually happened, its also troubling. Its like in Campus Crusade, I heard about how secular society was going to reject truth and lead our culture and country into a post truth era. The reality is reversed, it was the evangelicals who rejected facts and today lean upon alternative facts who charged forward into the post truth era. When I think of all that James Dobson said about the family isn’t it ironic how things are turning out? Q Anon is a cult, its more of a political cult though about a third of evangelicals have embraced it. At its core is the mythical aspect of Donald Trump fighting pedophilia. Now when you consider this situation remember James Dobson has been one of Trump’s strongest evangelical supporters. Last summer in 2020 James Dobson sent out a letter to his followers saying that unless evangelicals united behind Donald Trump there would be another Civil War in the United States. It is classic evangelical fear mongering. This blog wrote about it when it happened and you can read so in, “James Dobson Invokes the Threat of Another Civil War in the United States Unless American Evangelicals Support Donald Trump” and “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.”
So what are the odds of all this coming together now? The man who made his mark in ministry warning about the destruction of the evangelical family supporting someone for re-election who plays a key role in this conspiracy theory that today is actually tearing apart evangelical families and relationships. Does anyone else find that ironic? In the Bible Jesus said you shall reap what you sow. Is James Dobson’s hypocrisy coming home to roost? Or in other words is he reaping what he sowed? While I disliked and lost respect for James Dobson his behavior in the past year stunned me deeply. But when I grapple with this Q Anon conspiracy that I am hearing about inside evangelicalism its profoundly disturbing. Once again the hypocrisy of evangelicals is on full display to the world. But I will be honest with you, this blog didn’t see this conspiracy theory coming. And evangelicals are deeply into conspiracy theories as I saw that as well inside evangelicalism. But rallying behind a conspiracy theory that says Democrats practice cannibalism and pedophilia? I don’t know what to say to that situation. But I find it hard to believe that James Dobson can say that he lived a life well when his actions ended directly contributed to this situation. This post is not one that is easy to write but I hope many will stop and reflect upon James Dobson’s behavior. Is what he sowed in fear led to a reaping through a political cult conspiracy theory called Q Anon? This blog is inclined to say yes.