Sunday, June 29, 2008

Dr. James Dobson released from captivity, imposter flees

Thoughtful Christians who find Dr. James Dobson's Focus on the Family Q&A in their church bulletins every month have long wondered how the author of such modest, carefully nuanced, well-balanced, insightful advice on family life and child raising could make such an unmitigated fool of himself commenting on electoral politics, state and federal courts, environmental stewardship, and other public issues. The shocking answer was revealed recently when the real Dr. Dobson emerged from twelve years of confinement, reporting he had been kidnapped by Karl Rove in 1995, while a look-alike imposter has apparently been making political pronouncements on his behalf.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson was found bruised and slightly malnourished but otherwise unhurt by the side of a rural highway near Grand Junction, Colorado, last month. Dobson told police that he had been kidnapped and kept in a basement for over twelve years, with no way to guess in what state he was held captive. Police are searching for a man who has apparently been posing as Dr. Dobson during the entire time he was in captivity. Mrs. Dobson told detectives that while she was preparing breakfast early in the morning, the man she believed was her husband had suddenly turned off the radio in the middle of a news broadcast, stepped outside, and taken off in his car. She has not seen him since, and heard an hour later of her real husband's escape.

"Karl invited me to a meeting with his new protege, a reformed alcoholic who had failed repeatedly in business named George W. Bush," recalled the recovering Dobson from a hospital bed. "I wasn't impressed; I reminded Karl that while we rejoice over every repentant sinner, we don't let them sing in the choir right away. Karl kept telling me that W was one of Billy Graham's finest pieces of work, and I finally said, OK, I'll give Billy a call when I get home, and I would give Karl a call afterward. He sort of smiled wanly as he walked me out of the office, and the next thing I remember, I was waking up with a terrible headache in this tiny concrete block room with the door locked."

Dobson professed shock that Rove's protege, a newly elected Texas governor at the time of their meeting, had twice been elected president of the United States. "I never got any newspapers, and the only TV I watched was on carefully prepared video tapes. I had no idea how old the news or programs were when I saw them." Dobson was also unaware of the devastating attacks of September 11, 2001, the war in Afghanistan, the invasion of Iraq, or the monumental national debt run up since January 20, 2001. He was, however, allowed to watch hundreds of hours of reporting on the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

"When the president commits a moral indiscretion, the most important thing is to pray for him" Dobson observed. "But frankly, making political statements or analyzing current events is not my priority right now. My family comes first, and I have a lot of catching up to do with my beloved wife and our dear children. I'm sure that's what Jesus wants me to devote my time to. Ministry will have to wait until I am firmly grounded. I would just say to anyone who thought they were following my advice, find yourself a good church home. There are thousands of loving congregations to choose from. Remember what Jesus said to the pharisees when they tried to trick him into political pronouncements."

With the disappearance of "Rove's Zombie," as some Focus on the Family staff have begun to call the imposter, competing factions have immobilized the publisher. A handful of long-time employees, who had been assigned to handle family and child matters, while being kept out of the loop on all other issues, are claiming to be the conservators of Dobson's real legacy. While several top aides have resigned, the agency's webmaster insists that until a court determines who is the real James Dobson, everything on-line will remain just as it is, and there is some question whether the current board members have been properly identified.

Rove, a recently retired White House aide, did not return phone calls, but a brief statement faxed to 137 daily newspapers asserted that the man found by the roadside in Colorado is an imposter, probably working for the Democratic National Committee, the National Council of Churches of Christ, or the French government. "Rumor has it that this guy is saying, at the time he allegedly disappeared, he was on his way to sit down over barbecued ribs with Molly Ivins to find some common ground. That proves he was and is not the James Dobson I knew" Rove's press release concluded.

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