Throughout Focus on the Family's broadcast on the Ted Haggard scandal this Monday, James Dobson and his guests took special care to distance themselves from Haggard while unwittingly empathizing with their disgraced former ally's submission to what he called his "dark and repulsive" desires.
Syndicated radio host Ravi Zacharias confessed that he had cried himself to sleep the night before ("I've been weepy all day," Dobson interjected). Zacharias then related an unintentionally hilarious tale about a trip by Rev. Billy Graham to Paris in the early 1960's.
According to Zacharias, Graham wandered the Left Bank one night after delivering a sermon and witnessed "all this nightilfe available to him." But rather than succumb to temptation, Graham locked himself in his hotel room and left the key outside. Thanks to this bold tactic, he survived the night without morphing into a black-bereted existentialist.
The lesson of this story, Zacharias said, is that, "We need to have a healthy respect for the power of seduction."
Dobson's first cousin, H.B. London, who is charge of ministry outreach for FoF, revealed, "Though we're talking about Ted Haggard today, I guarantee you there are 50 or 100 cases like this breaking across the nation today."
Another guest, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Al Mohler, insisted, "I think one of the biggest dangers here is solitude. Someone has to be there to interrogate and investigate every aspect of our lives." (Is Mohler aware of the Bush administration?)
Finally, Dobson's co-host John Fuller piped up. "If you're struggling with sexual temptation," Fuller told his listeners, "Focus on the Family is here to help, and our number is 1-800-A-FAMILY."
Apparently Dobson and his movement have a lot more to hide than Ted Haggard. More seamy scandals are inevitable, but don't expect that to stop them from projecting their shame on others.