Over the years, Religious Right activists have blamed gay people for everything from the fall of the Roman Empire to the rise of Nazi Germany. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, took this line of thinking to its logical conclusion recently when he asserted that gays will usher in the end of the world.
Speaking at a political rally in Oklahoma Oct. 22, Dobson blasted gays as sexually promiscuous radicals bent on crushing traditional marriage.
"Homosexuals are not monogamous," Dobson assured the audience. "They want to destroy the institution of marriage. It will destroy marriage. It will destroy the Earth."
According to a report in The Oklahoman, Dobson asserted that marriage is collapsing in nations that tolerate same-sex unions. As an example, he said that 80 percent of all children in Norway are born out of wedlock.
As usual, Dobson got the facts wrong. Just under 50 percent of births in Norway are out of wedlock, not 80 - and the trend got under way in the 1970s, long before that nation began recognizing same-sex unions in 1993.
In Norway, the majority of unmarried couples who have children live together. The arrangement is so common is has a name - samboerskap. The government treats couples like this more or less the same as married couples, which may explain why some never bother to officially tie the knot. They already get the same benefits.
In any case, Dobson never bothered to explain why same-sex partnerships would lead heterosexual couples anywhere to stop getting married. Like other Religious Right leaders, he frequently makes the assertion that because two things occur at roughly the same time, that one must have caused the other. In fact, this is a common fallacy of logical thinking.
No one doubts that Dobson's opposition to same-sex unions is sincere. But his inability to make an argument against it without resorting to scare tactics and "junk science" speaks volumes about Dobson's integrity. And what it says is not good.