Dr. James Dobson, leading light of the Christian right, says people are neither born gay nor choose to be gay. They’re just mama’s boys.
LARRY KING: How’s [disgraced evangelist Ted Haggard] doing?
DOBSON: I don’t know. I haven’t talked to him since it happened.
KING: Oh, you haven’t?
DOBSON: I talked to him the day that the news broke and I have not talked to him since then.
KING: Was he sad that day?
DOBSON: Oh, of course. I mean you can imagine he was shocked, he was numb, he even lied about it. There’s a video of him saying that none of these things are true, but they were true, or at least some of them were.
KING: When you say, Doctor, when you say “restoration,” you mean restore him from being gay to not gay or what do you mean?
DOBSON: Yeah, probably that, too. But in Galatians 6.1, there is a scripture that says when, “Brothers, when one of you falls into sin, those who are spiritual should work to restore him gently.” That is the scripture behind the restoration process and that word, and three men, now will oversee discipline, punishment—if there is any, therapy, his behavior, his money, his future and will lead him if he is willing to cooperate, and apparently he is—through a restoration process. We don’t want to just kick him out, I mean, he’s lost his church, obviously, but there’s still concern for him as an individual.
KING: We discussed this before in the past, but not recently: Do you still believe that being gay is a choice rather than a given?
DOBSON: I never did believe that.
KING: Oh, you don’t believe it?
DOBSON: I don’t believe that. Neither do I believe it’s genetic. I said that ...
KING: Then what is it?
DOBSON: I said that on your program one time and both of us got a lot of mail for it. I don’t blame homosexuals for being angry when people say they’ve made a choice to be gay, because they don’t. It usually comes out of very, very early childhood, and this is very controversial, but this is what I believe and many other people believe, that is has to do with an identity crisis that occurs too early to remember it, where a boy is born with an attachment to his mother and she is everything to him for about 18 months, and between 18 months and five years, he needs to detach from her and to reattach to his father.
It’s a very important developmental task, and if his dad is gone or abusive or disinterested or maybe there’s just not a good fit there, what’s he going to do? He remains bonded to his mother and ...
KING: Is that clinically true or is that theory?
DOBSON: No, it’s clinically true, but it’s controversial. What homosexual activists, especially, would like everybody to believe is that it is genetic, that they don’t have any choice. If it were genetic, Larry—and before we went on this show, you and I were talking about twin studies—if it were genetic, identical twins would all have it. Identical twins, if you have a homosexuality in one twin, it would be there in the other.
DOBSON: So, it can’t be simply genetic. I do believe that there are temperaments that individuals are born with that make them more vulnerable and maybe more likely to move in that direction, but it usually is related to a sexual identity crisis.
KING: Our guest, Dr. James Dobson. Always great to have him with us.