They came from California to Colorado Springs, lured by the open spaces, the gigantic tax breaks approved by the geniuses who run our village and, most of all, by messages from God himself sacred guidance delivered to them via the incessant sound of barking dogs that only they can hear.
Just last week, for example, the group's Order of the Holy Knights responded to a clear message from the Lord by voting unanimously to hate all left-handed dwarfs named Roger. (Footnote: They rescinded the vote 20 minutes later when they discovered the "message from the Savior" was actually a beagle chasing a cat through the Focus parking lot.)
Now, Focus is under attack again. This time, the criticism stems from last week's decision by its charismatic leader, the Rev. Jim Jones, I mean Jim Dobson, to endorse Mike Huckabee for the Republican presidential nomination. Huckabee, by the way, will speak in our village on Friday, Feb. 22, at a private event at The Broadmoor. And right here, I'd like to be the first to say "Welcome!"
Anyway, the former Arkansas governor whose own family tree didn't exactly develop deep roots, if you know what I mean doesn't believe in evolution.
Dobson also has his doubts. From his CitizenLink Web site: "... naturalistic evolution which boils down to the claim that all living things, including humans, are a product of undirected, natural processes. Intelligent design challenges that claim."
Loyal followers see this so-called "intelligent design" when they enter the $55 million Focus on the Family palace in our village and marvel at how the lavish marble staircase takes them both up from the lobby and, later, back down.
Dobson, you might recall, refused to endorse likely Republican nominee John McCain and said he might not vote at all in the November election. That stunning announcement caused many of the independent-thinking Focus on the Family loyalists to become nervous, wander away from the flock and get attacked by wolves.
Sean Essex, in a letter to the Denver Post, said Dobson and his followers "are acting like spoiled children who don't get their way." Dobson responded by throwing his Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers sippy cup across the room, soaking Tigger with apple juice.
The endorsement of Huckleberry, I mean Huckabee, has brought heavy criticism from the crazy people who believe in ridiculous things like fossil evidence and molecular biology instead of the more likely scenario involving God clapping his hands and creating humans "on the third day." (Executives at The Broadmoor, where Huckabee will be part of the Leadership Program of the Rockies, believe God used Day Four to create their hotel. And, apparently, Days Five and Six to surround it with the prison-like fence to keep most of us the hell out.)
Dedicated Post letter-to-the-editor writer Jim Balcerovich reacted this way: "The "I'll take my ball and go home' attitude Dobson and others like him have when they don't get their way ... shows they are an embarrassment to our party."
In a terse rebuttal, Dobson denied being an embarrassment and added that he and other evangelicals don't even use the word "balls" because it sounds dirty. The exception, obviously, is their colleague Ted Haggard, who uses the word like it's going out of style.
In light of all the criticism of Dobson for his sharing Huckabee's view that evolution is a myth, I feel the need to defend the Focus folks just as I always have. Frankly, that's what friends are for. So I stand tall today and, with a great sense of pride and in an unwavering voice, I say this:
If you ever get a chance to see Mr. Huckabee, or to sit and listen to Focus on the Family executives, or to get a good look at their devoted followers, well, you'll have your doubts about evolution, too.
Listen to Rich Tosches on MY99.9 Thursdays at 8 a.m. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.