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James Dobson


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James Dobson of Focus on the Family has a weekly newspaper column. Here's todays edition:

Reading trouble most likely biological

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We have a six-year-old son who is a late bloomer and is having trouble learning to read. Even though he is immature, I don't understand why this would keep him from reading.

A: It is likely that your late-maturing youngster has not yet completed a vital neurological process involving an organic substance called myelin. At birth, the nervous system of the body is not insulated. That is why an infant is unable to reach out and grasp an object; the electrical command or impulse is lost on its journey from the brain to the hand. Gradually, a whitish substance (myelin) begins to coat the nerve fibers, allowing controlled muscular action to occur.

Myelinization typically proceeds from the head downward and from the center of the body outward. In other words, a child can control the movement of his head and neck before the rest of his body. Control of the shoulder precedes the elbow, which precedes the wrist, which precedes the large muscles in the hands, which precedes small muscle coordination of the fingers. This explains why elementary school children are taught block letter printing before they learn cursive writing; the broad strokes and lines are less dependent on minute finger control than the flowing curves of mature penmanship.

Since visual apparatus in humans is usually the last neural mechanism to be myelinated, your immature child may not have undergone this necessary developmental process by his present age of six years. Therefore, such a child who is extremely immature and uncoordinated may be neurologically unprepared for the intellectual tasks of reading and writing. Reading, particularly, is a highly complex neurological process. The visual stimulus must be relayed to the brain without distortion, where it should be interpreted and retained in the memory. Not all six-year- old children are equipped to perform this task.

Unfortunately, however, our culture permits few exceptions or deviations from the established timetable. A child of that age must learn to read or he will face the emotional consequences of failure. This is why I favor either holding an immature child out of school for a year or homeschooling him or her for several years.



Question: If Dr. Dobson can understand that peoples brains develop in different ways and different rates, why is he such a gay-basher? Many of us have been saying essentially the same thing about homosexuality for years.

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I'm not sure you are looking at it the 'right' way. He is saying that even an immature child, who will likely develop into a 'normal' child at some point, should be kept segregated from the general population. See? No conflict in his attitude at all. :icon_geek:

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Question: If Dr. Dobson can understand that peoples brains develop in different ways and different rates, why is he such a gay-basher? Many of us have been saying essentially the same thing about homosexuality for years.

Semi-satirical comment: :icon_geek:

Looking at Dobson's acceptance of biological answers and in his comments on the other question on the above link about adolescent experiences and maturity, I think we can only draw the conclusion that Dobson's gay bashing is the result of him being subjected to environmental doctrinal conditioning.

This good news is that this shows that bigotry and prejudice is not genetic, but is in fact a conditioned response, showing that hate is learned and is not a natural state of mind.

Therefore we should immediately encourage the set up centres to decondition these poor (bigoted) souls, so that they may become fully loving human beings, not only tolerant, but accepting of the many diverse forms of human love.

These bigoted people are therefore, mentally ill, and need our help and compassion, whilst they unlearn their stupid prejudices.

They may also need to be locked up to protect the community from spreading their hatred.

I know some will say that they cannot be treated, and should therefore be put on a register to be made public so that we know where they are at all times. After all, we don't want a bigot living in the house next to us, do we? Personally I think that is going too far, I am sure they will respond to therapy sessions that restore their basic humanity and helps them develop their lost sense of compassion.


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You're a very compassionate man, Des. Personally, I come at this from a public health point of view: such people form a vector for a sickness that has reached epidemic proportions, that effects not only their own lives but those of everyone around them: intolerance and hatred. All our efforts to cure this illness have gone for naught, so my feeling is that there is only one solution: quarantine.

It is my belief that we must move the last few sane, loving people out of texas - Blue, I have room in my house for you and your mother already set up and ready to go - and then move all those infected with bigotry and hatred to the state of texas and place a high tech fence with proper border patrols around the perimeter. This is, I believe, the only way to prevent their sad and debilitating illness from infecting the currently healthy populations.



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While I can see what AJ means, I can't fully agree. Since hatred is not a natural state, all those children born in his fenced off Texas would need to be removed to prevent infection. I should also point out that quarantine is not the only treatment for the sick or injured, excision is also viable under some circumstances. (Oh, I'm being so very naughty)

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