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Interview with Dr. James Dobson

Aired March 7, 2002 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight a neighbor accused of killing a little girl and collecting kiddie porn. A mother on trial for murdering her children.

X-rated entertainment invading your home. Is evil on the loose? Can faith and strong families defeat it? Joining us, Dr. James Dobson, the founder and president of "Focus On The Family," a major Christian conservative. He's next taking your calls on LARRY KING LIVE.

He doesn't guest on many shows. It's always an honor to have him with us, Dr. James Dobson. He's the founder and president of "Focus On The Family." That program is heard in 107 countries. It's celebrating its 25th anniversary this July and he's author of the best-selling book "Bringing Up Boys: Practical Advice And Encouragement For Those Shaping The Next Generation Of Men." It's always good to see him. Our subject tonight, it is a wide and we will cover a lot of bases, is encompassing, basically, the word evil. Popular of late in many circumstances. How do you define it?

DR. JAMES DOBSON, PRES. FOCUS ON THE FAMILY: Well, the very word evil implies that there's a standard some place, that somebody decides what's right and wrong. And it's really interesting to me, Larry, that in the last 20 years or so, the politically correct notions told us that there was no evil, that there was no good and bad, that there was no moral and immoral.

It wasn't until 9/11 that all of a sudden we discovered that, hey, guess what? Some things are bad. Some things are evil. What they mean by that is that it contradicts the standard. And for my money, you know, from where I'm coming from, that standard comes from God.

KING: But you are not like some of your -- if -- a few of your contemporaries claiming that it was the moral aspect of this country that brought on 9/11.

DOBSON: No, I think that would be far-fetched. I do believe that when a country drifts from its faith system, though, a lot of things start going wrong. I don't want to -- would not ascribe to the idea that, you know, that...

KING: We got bombed because of it.

DOBSON: That's right.

KING: How does Dr. James Dobson look at an Andrea Yates?

DOBSON: Well, you know, I am a psychologist, and my Ph.D. is in child development. And I know that there is a such a thing as a post- partum psychosis. It does exist. And what that means when it does exist is the person does not really understand right and wrong. Doesn't know what they are doing.

Now, whether or not see is one of those people, it's for the court to decide. I really can't tell from this distance. I don't think anybody can. But if she didn't know what she was doing, then the law should judge her differently. If she did, it should be very, very harsh with her.

KING: Can you fathom anyone killing their children?

DOBSON: No, I can't.

KING: You who focus on the family, probably more difficult than anyone else to fathom it.

DOBSON: I can't imagine it. That's the reason I'm inclined to believe that she didn't know what she was doing. It's just too horrible to do. You don't drown your own kids like that.

KING: How about those, Dr. Dobson, who say, if there is a God, how could he let this happen. I know we talk about free will and he gave us free will, but he is omnipotent. Therefore, he could have prevented Andrea Yates or at least see she that she didn't have children and maybe other people could get those children. I mean, why?

DOBSON: Of course he could have done it. He is omnipotent and created the whole universe and could do anything he wanted to. But if he prevented us from doing wrong then we'd be puppets on a string. There would be no real aspect to our obedience or our love for him. Everything changes. We would be like birds that build a certain kind of nest, generation after generation, for thousand of years. They don't have any choice. They do it because it's built into their neural structure.

And he didn't make us that way. He gave us freedom. He made us a free moral agent and, therefore, the moment he did that it was inevitable that people were going to make the wrong choice. And when they did, sin came into the world. That's my theology.

KING: You also believe that he loves everyone, including the sinner?

DOBSON: No question. No question about it.

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) the evil act, but he loves the person committing it?

DOBSON: That's correct. He loves every single one of us. Those moral laws I was talking about before are designed to protect us. They come from, I mean if you want to know what he thinks about right and wrong, look at the owner's manual. He made us and he has told us what is healthy for us.

KING: And what happens in your opinions and thoughts, to the Osama bin Ladens later on when they die?

DOBSON: Well, I believe that, again, rather literal interpretation of scripture, I don't have any basis for what I believe, other than the inspired scriptures. And I believe that, not just by what you do, but by dying without forgiveness.

KING: When you see a Yates, a 9/11, do you ever question it? Question God? Do you ever say -- do you ever doubt your faith?

DOBSON: I wrote a book called "When God Doesn't Make Sense." And there are occasions in every life, I don't care how committed and dedicated you are to your faith, there are times when things don't make sense, when the pieces don't fit, when you cannot figure out what's -- what God is doing.

But you go on, if you are a committed Christian or you have a committed faith. You go on believing. You don't throw everything over because we don't have the capacity to understand everything God is doing. And if you try to force answers where they don't fit, you are going to get in a lot of trouble.

KING: What do you do with your doubt?

DOBSON: I think doubt is natural. God made us. He understands that. And...

KING: Gave you the ability to doubt?

DOBSON: He did, and again without that, the fact that we have faith wouldn't mean anything.

KING: One of the books he wrote and commandments he gave was "thou shalt not kill." That's pretty definitive, right? Ain't no but.

DOBSON: Right.

KING: What about the death penalty?

DOBSON: He was talking there in the Ten Commandments and throughout the scripture to individuals. I don't have the right to kill someone, even someone who has broken the law in an egregious way. But that is different than the commandments that are there to governments. Governments have the responsibility to maintain order. They have the responsibility to protect citizens. That's, I mean, it's very clear, especially in the New Testament that this is what has been assigned to governments. And they do have a right to take a life.

KING: There is a division in Christianity. The pope, for example, believes it literally, that nobody has the right to take any life, any time, anywhere.

DOBSON: There's a division on almost every subject, you know, because we see through a dark glass, as the apostle Paul wrote. We don't have full understanding or vision, but from my perspective, there are some crimes that are so horrific, such as that little girl in San Diego that was taken out of her parent's home and raped and murdered, and left in a, you know, out in the woods some place. That's horrible when that kind of thing happens, just for the pleasure of a man, whether it's the one we've got now or somebody else, I think he ought to pay the extreme price.

KING: Do you think society views mothers who kill differently from fathers who kill or men who kill differently from women who kill?

DOBSON: Well, I think sometimes the courts see it differently. I'm not sure that they could or should, but mothers...

KING: It's evil no matter who commits it?

DOBSON: It is, of course. But there is a tender place in all of our hearts for mothers who are supposedly trying to take care of their children. And I think it is -- it is interesting at least that the courts sometimes favor or lean towards mothers, especially in custody cases.

KING: Our guest is Dr. James Dobson, founder of one of the most popular radio programs ever "Focus On The Family." We've been interviewing him for over 20 years. Started back on radio a long time ago. Doesn't do a lot of this and always glad to have him with us. We'll be including your calls later. We'll be right back.


KING: On the overall topic of good and evil, and we'll touch lots of bases. We're going to solve all answers tonight. We'll get into war and peace and everything.

Are you concerned about the society's increasing, what we call, sexualization of children, impact of the Internet, the popular culture, teen queens?

DOBSON: It would be an understatement, Larry, to say the that I'm concerned about that. That is a passion of mine. And when you look again at little Danielle van Dam, is that her name?

KING: Yep.

DOBSON: ... and what happened to her. You could predict before a suspect was found, you could predict one thing: there would be child pornography in his family, in his home. It's always there. It is always there. Either they are into it by the Internet or they have the actual stuff.

KING: What do you do about it when you have a thing like the Internet, which is free-wheeling? DOBSON: Well, I thought the Congress tried to do something about that. They tried to limit it a little bit, and the Supreme Court said that it wasn't constitutional. That's a big mistake. I mean, we've got kids that are being abused. We don't even hear about all of them. I hear about a lot of them because they contact, or the families contact me.

But you can't trust anybody. A babysitter, 14-year-old, 15-year- old babysitter or sending your little boy into a restroom in a mall. I mean, it is everywhere. It's rampant and that pornography is really -- is primarily responsible for it.

KING: People look at the Internet as truth, right? Someone is contacting you, it must be correct. Can't be wrong if they are on the Internet.

DOBSON: There was a big article in our local paper in Colorado Springs just two days ago, that just talked about this rampant abuse of children through the Internet. And kids are so believing and trusting that they will, on their own, go out and meet somebody. And then they are caught. And it's happening too much. And a lot of it does lead to not only abuse, but death, and we really ought to do something about it.

KING: We are with Dr. James Dobson, the founder and president of Focus on the Family. What's your definition of, and there are many now, I guess, of family? What is family?

DOBSON: Family, I believe, from a traditional perspective, means related by blood, marriage or adoption. That's it.

KING: Can a gay couple be a family?

DOBSON: Not in that sense, no. And I think that gay couples have difficulties trying to be a family in that sense.

KING: You would not allow them to adopt children?

DOBSON: Oh, I definitely would not.

KING: Would not because?

DOBSON: No, because there is so much research. I mean, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of articles and studies in the journals that show that children do best when you have a mother and a father providing role modeling for those kids and who are committed to each other.

KING: But you would agree that there are many gay couples who have children, raise them well and many heterosexual couples who have children and don't raise them well.

DOBSON: Yes, but you don't base your policies on the exceptions. Children who are raised in homes where there are homosexuals, first of all, have only one role model, whichever it is, male or female. And they also tend to be confused in their gender. There are a lot of studies like this. I mean...

KING: Do you think...

DOBSON: ... it is really not just speculative. This one is definitive.

KING: Do you think homosexuality is a -- do you think, for example, Rosie O'Donnell, it's an example because she's currently in the news, do you think she chose to be the way she is?

DOBSON: Oh, I don't, no. I think it's a big mistake for people, uninformed people, to say that homosexuality is chosen. It usually isn't.

KING: Since it isn't, what can you do about it if you are it?

DOBSON: Yes, well, it is possible to change, first of all.

KING: You believe that?

DOBSON: Oh, again, Dr. Spitzer is the psychiatrist who did the most to change the policy of the American Psychiatric Association saying there is nothing wrong with homosexuality. It's not really a...

KING: Because of what you just said, since you were born with it, you had no choice. You didn't choose it.

DOBSON: He's come all the way over to the other side and now says that it can be changed in some individuals because it's not genetic. It isn't chosen, but it's not genetic, either.

KING: Can't be genetic. Well, it could be genetic.

DOBSON: Well, it can't be. It can't. If you have twins, identical twins, they'd both have to have it if it's genetic, but they don't.

KING: In a free society, though, you want them to have all the same rights that you have, right? Have the right to have their own programs, the right to work?


KING: You would not deny them the right to live in your building? Or would you?

DOBSON: Oh, certainly not. But me let tell you...

KING: Would you not want them to live in your apartment building?

DOBSON: No, let me say it flat out. Every human being is entitled to respect and dignity. Even those, and, probably, particularly those with whom we disagree. So it's not a matter of respect and it's not a matter of not having the same rights. Where we get into difficulty with the homosexual activist community is that we disagree with their agenda and the things that they want because that's very different than the...

KING: Don't they want just what every other person has?


KING: What do you want that's more than you and I have?

DOBSON: Well, homosexuals want to, first of all, change the definition of marriage, which is a major problem for us. The family was designed for a purpose. And if you go to tampering with it, the whole thing crumbles. See, if two men can be married or two women, where do you stop that? Two men and three women? Four men and one woman? You open the polygamy debate again. And the Supreme Court ruled on that in 1876, where you get into, if the -- let's put it this way. If the family means everything, the family means nothing. If it does not mean one man and one woman, and it start -- you just begin to include a circle of love. Some people would like the family just to be a circle of love. Well, what happens when somebody falls out of the circle of love? Well, then they're not in the family anymore. And it just creates chaos.

KING: But there have been societies where there -- I think in Tahiti years ago, before missionaries and others came, where everyone raised the children and communal families. And it seemed to work.

DOBSON: Well, I would have to see that to believe it. There have been cultures of where homosexuality was rampant too. In ancient Rome, ancient Greece, Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament.

KING: It's in the Bible, isn't it?

DOBSON: Oh, yes. It's there. And so, that's an interesting thing too. If it were genetic, it would be a constant in various societies.

You know what else would happen? If it were genetic, it would gradually disappear from the gene pool because they don't reproduce as often. And so, over 5,000 years, it would go away. But it is not chosen and it is not genetic. It has another origin.

KING: Dr. James Dobson is our guest. The host of -- founder and president of Focus on the Family. We will be including your phone calls. Don't go away.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He's ugly. You don't even know him. And I really...

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Justin, I've had you. What happened last night was for fun. You wanted me, and I wanted you. That's all it was. (END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Now, as you said -- that's from the program "Queer as Folk" -- they didn't choose that. Make that clear. They're gay because they're gay. We don't know why they are gay; they're gay. Does that program offend you?

DOBSON: Well, I haven't seen that program, so I don't know.

KING: Did that scene offend you?

DOBSON: Frankly, I was talking to you and I didn't look at it...

KING: It was one boy discussing his love for another, the night they spent.

DOBSON: Well, I'll tell you what does bother me is that you have got a generation of boys who are watching sitcoms on television and in movies and in programs like that who never see the opposite, who never see a father who is dedicated to his wife and children, who is mature and not a post-adolescent crazy like most of them are, and most of the sitcoms do have a very respectful gay character, and it's propaganda. And that bothers me because kids grow up...

KING: (UNINTELLIGIBLE) you can't be a respectful gay?

DOBSON: Bet your pardon?

KING: You can't be a respectful gay?

DOBSON: Yeah, but you, you know, you ought to have a respectful heterosexual father in a traditional role every now and then. There is -- there are none, Larry. There are none, and kids grow up...


DOBSON: ... no role models of what it means to be a man.

KING: Your book on boys is, what, number eight on the "New York Times," I think. And why did you concentrate on boys growing up?

DOBSON: Primarily because boys are in a great deal of trouble today. Most parents don't know that, but it's being discussed in the university child development clinics all across the country. The boys are, compared to girls, doing more poorly in almost every index. I mean, there are pages of it. They are six times more likely to have learning problems. Three times more likely to be on drugs.

KING: What do you think is the core of that?

DOBSON: The core of it, above all else -- in fact, there are 17 chapters in my book, and all of them relate to this one way or another -- the problem with boys is the disintegration of the family. It affects boys more than it does girls.

KING: And I know you study these things, so you back that up. DOBSON: Everything in there is documented, yes.

KING: You were critical of Secretary of State Colin Powell's remarks about condoms. He said -- it was a long statement, but in part he said, "in my own judgment, condoms are a way to prevent infection, therefore I not only support their use, I encourage their use among people already sexually active." Would you say to people already sexually active, that you say not to use condoms?

DOBSON: I would tell them that what's called safe sex ideology is a lie. It does not work. That's...

KING: It's safer, isn't it?

DOBSON: It is not.

KING: Condom is not safer than no condom?

DOBSON: It is not. As a matter of fact, National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control, the two agencies of government whose responsibility it is to take care of the nation's health, issued a report which was stiff-armed by the press, was not talked about, because this is -- you talk about political correctness, June of last year, that said there is no clinical evidence whatsoever to say that syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, the human papilloma virus, on and on it goes, have a reduced incidence of infection with condoms.

KING: Really?

DOBSON: And when you -- when somebody as respected as Colin Powell stands up, not in a panel to be debated, but on MTV, and tells kids all over the world that this is going to protect them, it's just not true. It's most uninformed.

KING: One thing is true, it prevents pregnancy.

DOBSON: Sometimes.

KING: Well, it's a better shot than without it, right?

DOBSON: It does, by the way, reduce the risk of AIDS by about 85 percent. That it does do. The others it doesn't. But, you know, it's a fatal disease. And with a 15 percent failure rate, and that's short term, and you do that long term, even there you are going to wind up with the disease.

KING: Were you surprised the White House backed him up?

DOBSON: They didn't.

KING: I thought they did?

DOBSON: Ari Fleischer backed him up. The next day, he said we stand shoulder to shoulder. Well, this is something else that the media didn't choose to tell the American people. The next morning after we did a program on it, other people were talking about it, the president went to St. Luke's Catholic church in New York City, and he gave a speech where he absolutely contradicted Colin Powell.

KING: He said he favors abstinence.

DOBSON: He said abstinence is the only real way to prevent disease.

KING: But he didn't say Colin Powell was wrong.

DOBSON: No, he didn't, and I wouldn't expect him to. There's no sense fighting in his own administration. But he did come out and say, this is my policy, I believe in abstinence, and he backed it, Larry, with $135 million.

KING: We are going to go to your calls in a little while for Dr. James Dobson. Want to switch gears a little and go to war. Not war with you, discussion about war. Violence and the reaction of violence to it. I guess you support aggressive retaliation, but it also has been shown historically that some of the great men of the 20th century, Gandhi and King, let's say, both favored pacifism. To stand up and not swing brings you great results. Both seem to prove it. Make a point?

DOBSON: In some cases, but I might remind you that Neville Chamberlain tried that in World War II. He tried appeasement of Hitler. He tried not to...

KING: Appeasement isn't pacifism.

DOBSON: No, but he tried not to irritate him. He gave in when there was a conflict...

KING: King didn't give in. He fought, but he fought without striking anyone.

DOBSON: Do you think that Hitler could have been defeated by that approach?

KING: I don't know. I don't know. I'm asking you the question. Do we give a little weight to -- you think God sort of loves the pacifist?

DOBSON: Let me tell you what I think. My view of that came from Dr. Francis Schaffer (ph) who was a philosopher. He's gone on to heaven now, but in 1984 he died. In 1983, I heard him speak in Washington, D.C., and he addressed this very issue. He said: "Suppose you were walking down one side of the street, you are a man, you're a big, healthy man. Coming down the other side of the street is a little girl who is 6 years old, and she's just skipping along, and a molester jumps out and grabs her and begins attacking her, and raping her. What, as a Christian, is your obligation in that moment? It is to cross that street and put your life at risk if you have to to take care of her."

And he said, going back to World War II, he said, you know, "Hitler was killing the Jews, the Gypsies and homosexuals and Poles..." KING: So you're saying in some cases it works, as it did with King and Gandhi. Gandhi overturned a whole nation without lifting a finger.

DOBSON: Yeah, and he was dealing with democracies in both of those cases. He was not dealing with a dictatorship.

KING: England was a democracy in India? Little Rock was a democracy?

DOBSON: Well, certainly more than a totalitarian regime like Adolf Hitler or Stalin. My goodness, Stalin killed more people than Hitler did, some people say 35 million people. I just can't see anybody sitting down like Gandhi did on the street trying to influence Joseph Stalin.

KING: But religious leaders have accomplished things. I mean, Gandhi was a great -- you'd agree was a great figure?

DOBSON: Well, he certainly accomplished a lot there. No question about that.

KING: King didn't do bad either.

DOBSON: He did, and I'm a fan of his.

KING: We'll be back with more and your phone calls of Dr. James Dobson.

Tomorrow night, the cast of "Everybody Loves Raymond." And on the weekend on "LARRY KING WEEKEND," Saturday night, repeated highlights of interviews with David Letterman. Sunday night, highlights of interviews with Ted Koppel. We'll be right back.


KING: A couple of other things and then to your phone calls for Dr. James Dobson. Survey just released: American religious identification. Nearly 29.5 million Americans, that is double the number from 12 years ago, say they have no -- they have no religion at all.

DOBSON: That's a very sad study. That was in "USA Today" today and I had a chance to read that. The good news is that 81 percent say that they do have a faith, but 29 million say they do not. That has major implications for the future of this country, in my view.

KING: Your wife told me something I didn't know, that we have, by decree of Harry Truman and another decree from Ronald Reagan, a national day of prayer.

DOBSON: yes.

KING: When?

DOBSON: They signed the bills that created the national day of prayer, but it was the Congress that passed it. Unanimously in both cases. Reagan it was 1988.

KING: Truman '52. But when...

DOBSON: Oh, the second Thursday -- the first Thursday of May, and this year it's May the 2nd. And, I mean, there are people all across this country that are praying on that day. My wife is chairman of the national day of prayer, and we had 30,000 prayer gatherings last year. She's doing a great job.

KING: It's Constitutional?

DOBSON: Oh, yes, of course it is.

KING: Because you don't have to do it.

DOBSON: You don't have to do it. In her case...

KING: No money is spent by the federal government?

DOBSON: No money -- it's not supported by the federal government. It's a designated day of prayer. And people of all faiths can celebrate it, in whatever way they want.

KING: Do you think prayer works?

DOBSON: No question about it.

KING: Do you think a gay person could pray himself into being not gay?

DOBSON: I don't think a gay person or a straight person can solve his own problems, because it's a matter of the heart. Most Christians, conservative Christians, anyway, believe we were born in sin, all of us, all of us, not just those that we disagree with, and the only way to deal with that is through the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

KING: And when prayers aren't answered, what do you say?

DOBSON: God is sovereign. You asked him, but as Jesus asked him in the garden of Gethsemane, he said, not my will but thine be done. In that case, God said no.

KING: Jesus also said turn the other cheek.

DOBSON: He did. That's what we should do. I try to do that, do you?

KING: Yes. Ain't easy sometimes.

DOBSON: Unless there's a little girl coming down the street.

KING: That's right. Santa Ana, California, hello.

CALLER: Hello. I am -- I have a question for Dr. Dobson.

KING: Sure. Go ahead.

CALLER: I wonder if there is any possible solution that marriages, children and relationships can be protected by pornography that goes actually everywhere, on TV, Internet, stores, just simple ads, if there is any way that we can be protected, and in order to, I don't know, to grow as a healthy society?

DOBSON: Well, unfortunately with the laws the way they are and the interpretation of the Supreme Court.

KING: The First Amendment is a hangup isn't it?

DOBSON: It is and it's very difficult to deal with that. Although in 1973, in a case called Miller versus California, the Supreme Court ruled that not everything is covered by the First Amendment, and there is what's called obscenity, which goes beyond that and you can deal with that. Unfortunately, very few states have the will to do it, and certainly in the last eight years, the Justice Department has not had the will to do it.

KING: What'd the judge say -- I can't define it, but I know it when I see it. Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for Dr. James Dobson, hello.

CALLER: Hello. It's a real honor to speak with you Dr. Dobson. My question in simply this, in your learned opinion, what do you think is the biggest contributing factor for the moral decay of the family? Thank you and good evening.

DOBSON: Ah. Well, there are many things. This is not a very family-friendly environment in culture. I mean, just look at what the Congress has done for 32 years, they have taxed the institution of marriage at a higher rate than those living together without the benefit of marriage. There is a bias against the family. That won't explain all of it.

KING: Everyone in Congress, 99 percent of Congress is in a family.

DOBSON: You tell me, but that's a source of great irritation to me because Republicans and Democrats simply refuse to fix that. And as a result, families that are raising kids and loving kids and send them off with lunch pails every day and tucking them in at night are taxed at a higher rate. That's not right.

But getting more to the point of her question, I think the biggest problem facing the family is nothing more complex than fatigue and time pressure. We are working ourselves to death, literally. We don't have time for each other. We don't have time to talk together and be together. We don't even have time to have sex together. We don't even know each other and we frequently don't know our kids. Then what happens is you begin to drift.

KING: What put the culture that way? Emphasis on success? Monetary gain? Capitalism?

DOBSON: Materialism, getting the values out of whack, selfishness...

KING: Greed?

DOBSON: Greed. My goodness, this is a greedy country. And we are just working and working and working, and sometimes, sometimes, it would help to just sit down and say, is this the way we want to live our lives? You know what? Many, many wives are now saying this is too much. I'm going home. And there is a movement back toward full- time motherhood.

KING: What is Dr. Dobson's thinking about an Enron?

DOBSON: Well, that takes me out of my comfort zone. I'm not a business person. I -- all I can say is from what I know, which is not an awful lot, from what I know, it is an inexcusable that some executives walked away with tens of millions of dollars and other people lost their savings. That -- I just can't imagine that.

KING: When we come back we'll talk more about good and evil. We'll talk about Dr. Dobson's thoughts. There's been some division in the Christian community about Islam. Also more of your phone calls. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. Don't go away.


KING: President Bush says that we are not in any war against Islam. Pat Robertson says I take issue with our president in regards to his stand of saying Islam is peaceful. Franklin Graham, son of Billy Graham, called Islam evil and very wicked religion. What are your thoughts?

DOBSON: Let me plead some ignorance at this point again, Larry. As I said, I'm a psychologist. I'm not a theologian or reverend. And so I'm certainly no expert on Islam. I can just tell you again what I understand. Whether this is accurate or not, I don't know. I'm told that there is probably more variability in Islam than there is in Christianity. And we know how varied Christians are. And so there is a range of attitudes toward violence. We certainly know that there is a group at one end of that thing that blew up the Trade Center and what we see in Afghanistan.

KING: Executed a "Wall Street Journal" reporter, Daniel Pearl.

DOBSON: Horrible, horrible. And I've seen videos of children in Afghanistan being taught how to cut the throats of Israelis and so on. So there is a very violent component to that. I'm sure there's some peaceful Islamics at the other end, Muslims at the other end.

KING: Aurora, Illinois for Dr. James Dobson. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. I so appreciate your ministry, Dr. Dobson.

DOBSON: Thank you.

CALLER: Going on to the boys situation here. I have four boys. My second is nearly five and he is extremely physical and I've kind of figured out over the last six months or so that he is displaying nearly all of his emotions in a physical way. And my main concern is how do we, as his parents, shape these physical responses so that they are appropriate or do I need to teach him how to respond in a different manner?

DOBSON: That is an outstanding question, and I appreciate your asking it because boys are like that. That's the way they are. I tell you, when I was writing this book, women would come up to me and say, what are you writing? I said a book on boys and they would smile and they would say, hurry because they have seen that physicality. And many women who weren't raised with brothers are really shocked by the sheer physicality, by the smells and the sounds and the confusion and chaos of boys. So get used to it. That's the way they are made.

And they're made that way for a purpose. I think God designed them that way. So you don't want to change that. You don't want to beat that out of them. You want to shape it and mold it and you do that by organized sports. You work that energy out of them and allow them a place and time to be who they are as boys. It's a great question.

KING: Glendora, California. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Love your show. Watch it every night.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Dr. Dobson...

DOBSON: Hello.

CALLER: Hi. On the heels of President Bush, I created a Web site called because I think we are in the last days according to the Bible. Do you think that's why evil is increasing at such a horrific rate these days?

DOBSON: Well, again, I'm not an authority on end times in that sense. But I sure see a lot of evil. And it is certainly out there.

KING: Do you believe there is an end time?

DOBSON: I do believe that. I don't have any idea when it's coming. I don't know where we are on that timetable.

KING: Do you think evil is increasing?

DOBSON: It's always been there. I'm reading a book right now called "April, 1865" on the last month of the Civil War. Evil was horrible, not just on the frontlines but throughout the culture. Have you read it? I love that book. But, again, it is very, very violent. And in the state of Missouri, they were just killing people indiscriminately. So evil is not a new thing. Certainly World War I and World War II.

KING: Do people figure out why people ever killed at all? I mean, it's stupid. DOBSON: Well, King David wrote about it. He said in sin did my mother conceive me and it was in the genes. All of us inherit that. It's who we are. The notion that we are born good and we only learn to do evil, if that were true, surely there would be a culture where we don't teach kids that. But there's not one. We are all that way.

KING: Is John Walker, the young man who -- the American who went over and joined the Taliban, is he evil, as you define it?

DOBSON: He is certainly misguided, and he certainly, I would think, we are judging him and he hasn't been tried yet. And he is innocent until proven guilty. But I think he has broken the law from what I've read in a very egregious way.

And if he has, the fact that he's misguided and was mishandled by his parents doesn't change anything. If you're going to change that, then you just clean out all of the prisons because most of the men in prison were misguided and mishandled by their parents. If he has done what I think he has done, he probably should pay for it.

KING: How about when private lives of public people, we learn about, let's say, a Condit and a Levy, a Clinton and a Lewinsky, Congressman Dan Burton (ph) fathers an illegitimate child. Henry Hyde admitted to an indiscretion years ago. We keep hearing about this all the time. How do you react to that when you see public figures who often quote God?

DOBSON: Yes. Well...

KING: Hypocrisy.

DOBSON: We are very flawed individuals. I want to tell you my prayer for myself is that I will finish strong and not make one of those stupid mistakes that will embarrass the cause of Christ. That's my passion.

KING: How do you deal with temptation?

DOBSON: One thing is accountability. You have got to have somebody that knows what you are doing and is willing to say, you're not doing what's right. We are going to hold you accountable. I have got 11 board members who are committed to me. They love me, but boy, can they tell me no. And I think everybody needs somebody that they are accountable to because we can all fall into that.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments. Get in another call or two for Dr. James Dobson. Don't go away.


KING: Jasper, Missouri, for Dr. James Dobson. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Dr. Dobson, the answer might be in your "Bringing up Boys" book that I'm reading right now, but we are told to love every person regardless of their, you know, their religion, their beliefs. DOBSON: Yes.

CALLER: How do I -- when my 8-week-old son gets older, how do I teach him to love every person, even a homosexual, but not to embrace the lifestyle that they lead?

DOBSON: Well, again, that's an excellent question, and I think you specifically set out to teach that. Love is the centerpiece of the New Testament. I mean, that's the teaching that Jesus gave us, and that has to characterize everything that we do. And when you respond to anybody in a way that's not loving, you are not following him.

But at the same time, you do have to teach right and wrong, good and bad, and evil, and things that are harmful. You know, the approach to homosexuality, again, and I know, Larry, this is controversial stuff, and people get angry at me for this kind of thing, but you can love the homosexual. You can. You can care for them.

KING: If his boy turns out to be homosexual, he's going to love him just as much as he loves any child?

DOBSON: You're going to love him anyway. Absolutely. You're committed to that child. But there still are some things that are harmful, some things that are hurtful to themselves and to others. And you also have to teach that. It's a balance between love and justice, if you will.

My first book, "Dare to Discipline," had a little scale. It was a little one line and a little triangle like this, and right at that fulcrum, there was on the one side the word "control" and on the other side, "love." And raising healthy kids is getting those things in balance. You tip it either way, and you run into problems. You tip it, you know, in the direction of oppressive kinds of harshness and meanness and don't love the child very much, you create all kinds of problems with it. You tip it the other way and there's a permissive kind of love that lets a kid do anything, and there's no control, you create another kind of problem.

And it's kind of hard to get that in the middle, but that's where it comes from.

KING: You taught pediatricians, right?

DOBSON: I taught -- I was a professor of pediatrics, I did research at children's hospital just down the road from here.

KING: And you were a psychology major at USC?

DOBSON: Child development.

KING: A lot of people think you are a theologian.

DOBSON: Yeah, you've done a lot to...

KING: I used to call you reverend, I know.

DOBSON: ... make people think that.

KING: You are not a reverend at all?

DOBSON: I am not. And I would be more than happy to be able to say that I am.

KING: So you are a lay Christian?

DOBSON: I am. Yeah. I just don't have any training in theology. I know what I believe. A lot of what we've talked about today is simply my belief, my understanding of scripture. And I'm absolutely committed to it, but I have no academic...

KING: I have a few other quick things, a little information here on the Daniel Pearl Foundation. There is a Daniel Pearl, I mentioned from earlier, memorial trust. This is for his wife and child. It's not tax deductible. It's a memorial trust. If you'd like to learn more about it, write to them, care of Robert Laughlin -- l-a-u-g-h-l- i-n, he's vice president of JP Morgan Trust Company of Delaware, 500 Stanton-Christiana road, 2CS, Newark, Delaware, 19713. You can contact our offices at CNN in Washington, by the way, if you don't get this down.

Or if you are interested in cross-cultural understanding, there's the Daniel Pearl Foundation, care of Gibson, Dunn and Crutcher, and they are at 2029 Century Park East, suite 4000, Los Angeles, California, 90067. What should we make of the Daniel Pearl story?

DOBSON: Well, we've been talking about evil in this program. Here's a good circle around to that, that that was evil. I mean, how could anybody -- I don't -- I really don't understand how people have said in recent years that there is no evil. It's moral relativism is what they are talking about.

When you remember, if you knew at all, that Jews, little children, in World War II, stood naked in the rain all day to go into the gas chambers. And we say there is no evil? That's the most untenable statement I've ever heard, and yet many people believe it. Moral relativism is the god of the university today.

KING: Are the people who look the other way also guilty?

DOBSON: Of course. Of course. And this is why, you know, I spend as much time as I do talking about our social responsibilities. I want to help parents raise their kids. I want to deal with marriage and other aspects of family life.

But I also must speak for the underdog. And that little baby out there that doesn't have a voice, you know, that is going to be killed in the eighth month of gestation without anesthetic, somebody has to speak to that. And I guess I'm elected. Yeah, partial-birth abortion.

KING: How about the stem cell research? Were you opposed to that too?

DOBSON: I'm not opposed to stem cell research, I'm opposed to embryonic stem cell research. You know, there is stem cell research that's going on with bone marrow and blood and other sources. Sure. And that's very exciting research.

But when you start killing pre-born children to get those cells -- you know, for that matter the umbilical cord is a source of stem cells. But when you start raising, as the way the debate is going now regarding cloning, and that's going to be debated in the Senate very shortly, to create a life so that we can cannibalize that baby and use him for our purposes, that crosses a line for me.

KING: I'm going to have you back.

DOBSON: Thank you, Larry. It's always good to be on the program.

KING: Dr. James Dobson, founder and president of Focus on the Family, author of "Bringing up Boys. Their 25th anniversary of that programs comes up in July.

We'll let you know about tomorrow night and the weekend ahead right after this. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night on LARRY KING LIVE, the cast of "Everybody Loves Raymond." Over the weekend, highlight interviews with David Letterman and Ted Koppel. And Monday night, Connie Francis.

Thanks for joining us on this edition of LARRY KING LIVE. Next, it's "NEWSNIGHT" in New York. Here he is, the host, the host, Aaron Brown. Aaron, the host.




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