by Ted on May 2, 2005

Some interesting posts at Non Prophet, the Colorado Springs-based blogger who previously revealed that Focus on the Family had distributed Michael Moore’s home address. He’s been writing about Soulforce, a group that protests against the use of religion to condemn gays from a Christian perspective.

Soulforce protestors recently attempted to deliver this letter to Dr. James Dobson at Focus on the Family’s Colorado Springs headquarters. The Reitan family were arrested for trespassing when they entered the premises with the letter (photos here.)

Non Prophet was on the ground to interview the Reitans after they were released. Check it out.



Keith M Ellis 05.02.05 at 10:49 pm

“Phil: They wouldn’t let us deliver it to Dr. Dobson and when they said they wouldn’t let us deliver it to Dr. Dobson they said that he was out of state. We asked if we could deliver it to Mr. Daly, and they said that if we stepped onto their property we would be arrested, and they did arrest us.”

Is this supposed to be outrageous? Because, for example, I wouldn’t want a group of anti-gay or pro-life protesters entering my yard trying to hand deliver a protest letter that I said I didn’t want.

‘Course, it’s only better press for them to have them arrested. It’d make more sense to take the letter and then toss it in the trash.


Ted 05.02.05 at 11:27 pm

I don’t think that it’s supposed to be especially outrageous; it’s how I’d expect any civil-disobedience situation to play out.


Joe 05.02.05 at 11:42 pm

Midemeanor trespessaing is now worth covering here? Interesting.


Ben 05.03.05 at 12:25 am

The interesting thing, as I see it, is that while a reported 1,000 people demonstrated at FOTF, in the end only a single Christian family was sent to enter the grounds with the intention of delivering a letter. It was not a mass rush at the building by a mob, it was three people dressed in suits. If FOTF was paying attention Mr. Daly would have gratiously taken the letter and it would have been over. Instead a Christian family was arrested.

Soulforce got the better of them. It might not be obvious at first glance, but they played their hand very well here by having FOTF arrest three very nice people when they could have acted with grace.

The story isn’t about misdemeanor trespassing. It’s about families.


Mary 05.03.05 at 12:36 am

Y’all missed the dull clang of irony in Ted’s first sentence: the guy charging people with trespassing (technically correct, within his rights, yadda) distributed Michael Moore’s address to a large number of people on his mailing list. I don’t know if Moore and his family faced any in person harassment because of that widespread publication to a less than friendly audience, but the risk was there.


Keith M Ellis 05.03.05 at 12:58 am

“I don’t know if Moore and his family faced any in person harassment because of that widespread publication to a less than friendly audience, but the risk was there.”

I didn’t miss that point. But I don’t find the implicit argument persuasive. I don’t really think the comparison is valid, firstly. Secondly, I don’t really disapprove of the publication of the home address of a prominant public personality.


Publius 05.03.05 at 2:37 am

Apples? Oranges?

Oooh… can someone please post here “Dr.” James Dobson’s *home* address? I want more people to know what it is.


cbl 05.03.05 at 2:38 am

“But I don’t find the implicit argument persuasive.”

But the putrescent tang of hypocrisy seems to hang in the air…

And the name “Focus on the Family,” which is supposed to sound wholesome and upright, actually sounds sinister and inhuman, if we consider the kind of focus they are training upon the families Moore, Reitan, etc.


Keith M Ellis 05.03.05 at 6:34 am

“Oooh… can someone please post here ‘Dr.’ James Dobson’s home address? I want more people to know what it is.”

Me, too. But CT doesn’t have a large or angry enough readership for it to do enough good.


jet 05.03.05 at 8:01 am

Moore’s address was published in an effort to start a letter campaign and that gets equated to sending your goon squad after him? I hope that type of thinking never makes it into government, as I can already see the headlines. “Prominent conservative arrested on charges of incitement to violence for publishing the address of a prominent film maker and requesting that people mail the film maker their concerns about his work.” And we all know that asking people to mail Moore was just a code phrase for “go Charles Manson on him”.

CT, seeing evil everywhere.


DGF 05.03.05 at 8:26 am

CT, seeing evil everywhere.

I hope the irony of stating this in defense of the Christian right isn’t lost on you.


almostinfamous 05.03.05 at 8:30 am

jet. if you are naive enough to believe that there isn’t a section of the far right that indulges in violence. you also are naive if you don’t believe that that section overlaps (at least in part) with the target audience of such organizations as mentioned here.

if there is evil, and you don’t happen to own peril-sensitive eyewear, then you get to see the evil. it doesn’t take keanu-vision to see that FotF and the CC, and other Ralph Reed/James Dobson led right wing ‘movements’ are, essentially, quite evil. just look at what they encourage. if that doesn’t put the fear in your heart, you must have a much much stronger heart than i, which is probably due to the very same peril sensitive glasses you choose to wear


Ted 05.03.05 at 9:12 am

Hmm. This is just my interpretation, but I think that the dull clang of irony is very dull here, indeed. Focus on the Family behaved in a perfectly predictable manner to Soulforce’s protest. They weren’t particularly inspiring or exemplary, but I can’t really hold organizations to the “always be inspiring and exemplary” standard.

Soulforce did this to draw attention to themselves and their mission, and to point out FOTF’s position on gays. I agree with them, and I thought that it was great that Non Prophet interviewed them, so I linked.

jet, if FOTF thought that it was an appropriate mission of a Christian organization to start a letter writing campaign to a filmmaker who didn’t attack religion or families, they could have distributed his office address. A flood of angry letters to Moore’s home, where his wife and daughter live, carries the unmistakeable message, “We know where you live.” It was thuggish and thoughtless at best.


jet 05.03.05 at 9:17 am

dgf, that was certainly intended ;) Don’t we all become what we hate?

almostinfamous, that’s right, I had forgotten about the several attempted attacks on Moore culminating in his gruesome Manson-esque murder by religious fanaticals. You’d think the FBI would have stepped in after the first attempts and shut down Focus on the Family. But no, poor old Moore was gunned down in the streets after his home address was released to the public in that insidious plot to murder him by Focus on the Family. How could I have forgotten all that? Perhaps because none of it happened.


jet 05.03.05 at 9:22 am

Ted, when I read your comment I got this picture in my head of some nut sitting at his computer. He hears “You’ve got mail”, opens his mailbox, says “So…… that’s where the bastard lives.” (Kind of a Far Side-ish notion that this killer was only restrained by not being able to find Moore’s house)

If someone was pissed off at Moore to the point of violence, finding his home address would be the easiest part of the planning.


Sam Dodsworth 05.03.05 at 9:48 am

If someone was pissed off at Moore to the point of violence, finding his home address would be the easiest part of the planning.

So, in essence, you agree with Ted that there was no reason for Dr Dobson to have anyone arrested?


jet 05.03.05 at 9:59 am

Having annoying assclowns barge into your place of business to give you a hard time, is plenty of reason to have them arrested. Now if they would have mailed their letter, instead of trying to hand deliver it, perhaps we’d have more parity to the situations.


Hannibal Lector 05.03.05 at 1:30 pm

That’s our Jet: always ready to defend rightwing assholes.


jet 05.03.05 at 2:56 pm

Why thank you, I appreciate that.

What was that famous quatation attributed to Voltaire? Something about fighting people you disagree with, no. Perhaps defending people you fight? Maybe it was something about defending the rights of others to disagree with you. Certainly less and less a theme here at open minded CT.


cbl 05.03.05 at 3:20 pm

“Having annoying assclowns barge into your place of business to give you a hard time, is plenty of reason to have them arrested.”

Yes, but its even more annoying to have repressed “assclowns” (not my terminology) come to one’s house in secret and commit acts of vandalism:

“We have had “fag” on our driveway, raw eggs in our mailbox, pink paint balls peppering the front of our home, lamp posts broken, unsigned letters filled with terrible messages mailed to our home and Jake’s car window smashed into a million pieces.”

Given the influence of FOF, Assemblies of God, et al. in Colorado Springs aI don’t imagine the police are going to be too interested in hunting down the perpetrators, at least if they can help it. I mean, they probably aren’t even ‘hate crimes,’ and never will be if FOF and their ilk get their way.

This kind of thing can happen anywhere, but the “Focus” on the evil of homosexuality and its supposedly intolerable effects on every possible family in every possible world makes such harassment far more likely, given a large enough population of the spineless and mindless. So who can really say what the intent of publishing Moore’s address was? Information begets action that might not have taken place otherwise.


jet 05.03.05 at 8:05 pm

You have my full sympathy; and please understand, I share your distaste for the FOF et al who would persecute those they disagree with. But I’ve never had the police do anything for me. When my house was robbed, it was I who tracked down my stuff. When the window in my truck was shot out, the cops didn’t even bother to take the bullet as evidence. When my sister witnessed a shooting, the cops pulled her out of school in front of everyone, making sure the killers knew she’d been questioned. After she was as attacked and carved up, to keep her quiet, the cops never arrested anyone (The guys who attacked her were later killed for poaching crack on the wrong corner. Their deaths were especially horrific and I can’t help but take some pleasure in that.) So you might be attributing normal cop behavior to special influence by the FOF.

But Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry summed up, much more eloquently than I ever could, how I feel about those who would trade Liberty to keep their mailing address from being made public by a few assclowns.


boomer 05.03.05 at 10:02 pm

This story is about Christian gay kids that grow up in a home where their Christian parents have been taught, by Dr. Dobson, that there is something wrong with them, something that can be fixed, something that needs to be treated, something that should never be accepted. That is so sad, and on this particular point Dr. Dobson helps to ruin good people. That is what Jacob is talking about in the Non Prophet site interview. Forget if publishing Moores address was stupid (which I think it was). This is so much more important. There are kids growing up in homes where they are not accepted.

If you were a gay teenager, who do you think would be better parents? Dr. Dobson, expert on building healthy families, or Jacobs folks?


Randi Reitan 05.07.05 at 12:18 pm

This is Jacob’s mom, Randi, and I would like to answer that last question …. without a doubt I would not want any gay child growing up with Dobson as his parent. We were told by a pastor who listens to people like Dobson that Jacob should “change” and if he didn’t he would live a life that was dark, secretive and sad. We will do all we can to stop the fear and misinformation Focus on the Family teaches.

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