James Dobson Killed "God"

No, not by his own hand. Nor was it that God (we'll explain). It's just that the urge to fight dirty burst forth after reading Media Matters' June 7 report about a sermon by John MacArthur, a pastor in California, that Dobson broadcast on his "Focus on the Family" radio show:

"'You know a society has been abandoned by God when it celebrates lesbian sex.' MacArthur further argued that as a result of America's abandonment, the destruction of a major U.S. city 'could happen' and that 'God would be just in any calamity he brought upon us.'"

Media Matters recorded Dobson's reaction: "I happen to agree with what John MacArthur was saying on this day." Okay, Dobson, you asked for it. In his recent book "Pistol: The Life of Pete Maravich," author Mark Kriegel narrates the little-known story of how the legendary basketball star died when only 41. In his final years, the troubled Maravich found solace in Christianity. On January 5, 1988 he was due to be interviewed by Dobson on his radio show.

But first, Kriegel writes: ". . . there was a more urgent matter. Dobson. . . was also an avid ballplayer, playing pickup games three times a week at the First Church of the Nazarene in Pasadena." Dobson gathered other players together including Ralph Drollinger, who had played for a championship UCLA team. While Maravich hadn't played in a while and didn't look well, "'Dr. Dobson was not screwing around,' says Drollinger. He 'was intense, like this was the NCAA Final Four. . . Dobson wanted to tell all of his cronies how he schooled Pete.'"

He schooled Pete all right. Maravich soon began to sway and his eyes rolled back in his head, which Dobson held to prevent him from swallowing his tongue while Drollinger administered CPR. When the EMS crew arrived, it was unable to rouse him.

Maravich died of a heart defect. But it was Dobson's zealotry, manifested on the court as sure as in the pulpit, that helped trigger the death of a basketball god.

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