- (Photo: Focus on the Family / File)
The “Focus on the Family” radio program, founded by prominent conservative Dr. James Dobson, will be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame despite efforts by homosexual activists to keep it out.
Heard on more than 1,000 stations across the United States by millions of listeners weekly, the 30-minute program is one of the largest and most respected resources for practical, emotional and spiritual support for families in the world.
Its election into the Hall of Fame is the result of online balloting that began in May and ran through July 15 following its nomination earlier this year. The program won in the “national active” category, which includes “active broadcasters who have made at least 10 years of significant contributions to the industry on a national level.”
At a staff assembly Friday morning, Dobson said he was “especially pleased” by the news of the program’s election to the Hall of Fame “because the wonderful people at Focus on the Family deserve it.”
“Our radio program has not been a solo effort,” he said, according to a released statement. “It has been a symphony performed by more than 10,000 people over the past 32 years. I am indebted to them all.”
Jim Daly, president and CEO of the Focus on the Family ministry, added: “To have Focus on the Family honored in this manner means we've made a difference in families all over the world.
“That Dr. Dobson’s listeners recognized the excellence and relevance of the content of the daily broadcast and voted to give him a much-deserved win shows Dr. Dobson’s influence is as strong as ever in the hearts of his fans, as well as in the culture,” he stated.
Not all, however, were pleased by the announcement last week by the National Radio Hall of Fame & Museum Steering Committee, whose principal responsibility is to nominate individuals worthy of the honor for induction.
“It is an affront for the Radio Hall of Fame to honor James Dobson, a right wing demagogue, who built his radio empire on the backs of gay and lesbian people,” stated Wayne Besen, executive director of the group Truth Wins Out (TWO), the gay community’s response to Dobson’s Love Won Out ministry.
“We vow to stand up and protest this outrageous insult and let the world know that Dobson is a dishonest, hatemongering ideologue,” he added in his released statement.
The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) also decried the announcement, claiming that Dobson “has used his expansive, well funded media platform to perpetuate false and misleading information which contribute to putting gay and lesbian families in harms way.”
“GLAAD urges the media to scrutinize and shed light on Dobson’s record of inaccurate claims about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and include an in-depth analysis of his distorted and defamatory statements,” the group expressed in a released statement Friday.
Although Focus on the Family is dedicated to serving, strengthening and defending families worldwide, the Christian nonprofit organization has often received criticism from the homosexual community over its biblical view of marriage, which it holds as between one man and one woman, and over its Love Won Out ministry, which sets out to offer hope to those who struggle with unwanted same-sex attractions.
While many within the pro-gay community claim homosexuality is inherent, most within the conservative community believe it is a personal choice – as evidenced through the significant number of individuals who have left their past homosexual lifestyles and adopted heterosexual ones.
The “ex-gay movement” has particularly garnered a number of critics over the harmful nature of some forms of “reparative therapy.”
Dr. Dobson, who founded Focus on the Family in 1977, has been one of the most vocal opponents of gay “marriage” in America and is considered a powerful leader within the conservative evangelical community.
His comments on homosexuality, which are often picked up and blown up by the media, have made him an outstanding target for pro-gay activists.
TWO, which had led a campaign earlier in the year to keep Dobson out of the Hall of Fame, has vowed to protest the National Radio Hall of Fame & Museum’s annual dinner – to be held Nov. 8 in Chicago - over Focus on the Family's induction.
According to The Gazette newspaper in Colorado Springs, where Focus on the Family is based, Dobson plans to attend the Hall of Fame's formal induction ceremony.
Besides "Focus on the Family," the hall inducted radio personalities Art Bell, Howie Carr, Charlie Tuna, and Michael "Mickey" Luckoffi, head of San Francisco radio station KGOAM. Posthumous inductees included disc jockey Dick Whittinghill, and talk show hosts Jesse Cain and Bob Collins.
Voting for the 2008 Hall of Fame inductees this year was open to the general public for the first time, adding to votes generated by all active members of the Museum of Broadcast Communications and/or National Radio Hall of Fame and the over 2,000 radio historians and industry leaders selected to participate.
“Focus on the Family” is reportedly the first faith-based radio program to be inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame.