Sunday, September 03, 2006
Ted & Jim
A letter to the editor in 5280 magazine sparked my curiosity. It was in response to the July 2006 article written by Eileen Welsome about James Dobson and his Colorado Springs dynasty, Focus on the Family.
Part of Welsome's article dealt with Dr. Dobson's interview of serial killer, Ted Bundy. I saw part of the interview in a video from the television special, "Natural Porn Killer". I am amazed that Dobson swallowed Bundy's hook, line and sinker attached, and ran with it, but Dobson did have an agenda: pornography. He was part of the Meese Commission's report on pornography and violence against women. He got what he wanted and Ted Bundy helped him.
Bundy, ever the showman, the darker incarnation of P. T. Barnum, who said, "There's a sucker born every minute," found suckers in Dr. Dobson and Florida State Attorney John Tanner and his wife, Marsha. Bundy gave them what they wanted, his word that he wouldn't have become a serial killer if he hadn't been exposed to hard core porn. Dr. Dobson, fresh from visiting peep shows and XXX-rated movie theaters in New York City, was convinced Bundy talked about the kind of porn he experienced while researching pornography for the Meese Commission. It isn't what Bundy meant.
Bundy was talking about the old pulp detective stories. Playboy and magazines of that kind did not exist. However, Bundy's porn of choice was cheerleader magazines sold to and full of pictures of teenage girls, hardly what one would consider pornography. Dr. Dobson left Bundy and faced the media outside the prison walls and told them Bundy had repented his crimes and named pornography as the culprit. What Bundy was unable to do with his showmanship in the court room when he defended himself or by his letters to other serial killers and promises to lead investigators to each and every one of his 100+ murder victims he accomplished with his last grandstand play by choosing Dr. Dobson for his last televised interview.
We believe not always what is true but what we want to hear. Dr. Dobson got what he wanted, an indictment on pornography made by an accomplished liar and charming sociopath who wanted to give his daughter and stepson a way to remember him that didn't include the horror he left the families of his victims. When cheerleading magazines can be characterized as pornography and even the Sears catalog can be used to fuel sexual fantasies, where do we draw the line? Is pornography the real culprit or merely an easy target for a witch hunt?
One interesting side note is John Tanner's touching display of feeling for Bundy when he describes how Bundy served communion with flat Coke and stale bread. Tanner and his wife were touched and Tanner characterizing the communion as the most significant and moving experience of his life.
I learned a great deal about Dr. Dobson by reading Welsome's article. I learned more about him by watching him on camera and reading what his friends and detractors have to say. He may believe he is "perfect and without sin" but I do not. The last man who was claimed to be perfect and without sin was crucified. I have yet to see the nail prints in Dr. Dobson's wrists and feet or the marks from the crown of thorns thrust on his head. Until I do and until he has been translated to heaven, I will continue to believe what my eyes and ears tell me.
Ted used Jim and Jim used Ted and they both got what they wanted.