Family Policy Issues Hanging in the Balance (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Welcome everyone to Family Talk. It's a ministry of the James Dobson Family Institute supported by listeners just like you. I'm Dr. James Dobson and I'm thrilled that you've joined us.

Roger Marsh: Well, welcome to Dr. James Dobson's family talk, the voice you trust for the family you love. I'm Roger Marsh. Thank you for making us a part of your day. Today's program starts the week off with a bang. Our co-host, Dr. Tim Clinton recently sat down with Janet Parshall, a conservative Christian radio talk show host in her own right to discuss the upcoming midterm elections and what is at stake for families everywhere. There's so much to learn with this topic, so let's go there right now.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host known for the program in the market with Janet Parshall, which broadcasts on the Moody Radio Network, over 700 stations. As a radio and television commentator. Author advocate for the family, Janet speaks nationwide on public policy issues that impact family preservation and promotion. In 2005, Janet was selected by President George W. Bush to represent the White House as public delegate to the United Nations Commission on the status of women. She and her husband Craig live in Virginia. They have four children, six grandchildren. Janet, welcome back to Family Talk. Thank you for taking time to join us.

Janet Parshall: Always a delight. Thank you so much for the invitation, Tim.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet, as we get started, lot to talk about, this is a midterm election year, not a presidential election. People are always concerned about voter turnout. Janet, do you think what researchers like George Barna and Pew Research are saying that a significant number of registered voters sit out important elections?

Janet Parshall: Mm-hmm. Well, there's a misnomer often applied to this kind of a cycle, and it's called an off term election. It means the president isn't running and unfortunately the media has made the presidential race the razz-ma-tazz. It's the big parade down the street. All of the focuses on who's going to be President of the United States, which is interesting when you understand the way the government is laid out. Out of those three branches of government designed by our founders, built on the idea that we had a basic sin nature and we needed a system of checks and balances. When you look at enumerated powers, the executive branch, in other words, the president has the least enumerated powers, but it grabs all of the focus for the press.

So let me take you to where we are this year. These are called midterm or off year elections. There is no presidential race, but it is by the way, probably more profoundly significant than those years when the president is running because this will determine the makeup of the Congress. And that takes me back again to our founders who understood that out of those three branches, the most important from their vantage point in terms of how we practice the art of self-governance is the legislative branch. Because that's you and me. We don't go to Washington, but we get to step in and elect those individuals who will then uphold a standard of righteousness, protect the values that have preserved us for 250 years. We'll either demean those things that we hold soul dear to our heart, or they'll preserve and protect and promote them.

Something that Dr. Dobson taught me years ago, values are ultimately caught, not taught, and I began to treasure the privilege, the rights, the responsibility of voting by watching my mama put that into place. So a word to our moms and dads right now, help your children catch the value of what it is to be a citizen of these United States by voting. There are roughly 25 million eligible Christian voters in this country who do not show up. Now I'm coming to you from Washington, DC and I have to tell you, when you just study the history of elections, 25 million people, Tim, can absolutely know ands, ifs, ors, or buts determine the outcome of an election. So I would say to my friends listening right now, if you're a man or a woman of God, don't complain. Get out to make sure you're a voter and let your voice be heard. I can't find any excuse under the sun that's viable or credible that gives somebody permission to sit out this election.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet, things are getting a lot more intense as we head toward this November. Let's talk a little bit about what Governor Glenn Youngkin calls those kitchen table issues that you think are going to drive people out to the polls.

Janet Parshall: Absolutely. Well, by the way, to your very astute observation, kitchen table issues are the issues that drive us. There's a saying that says all politics are local, and what that means is you vote for the stuff that you think is going to impact you directly. You don't want some transcendent, esoteric idea. So I would say the economy absolutely is number one that impacts everybody Putting bread on your table as scripture commends us to do, looking well to the ways of your household. How do you do that when you can't stretch your paycheck?

Which takes us to the second point, and that is the issue of crime. Because of the advent of the 24/7 media cycle, Tim, you and I every single day are watching people that commit crimes that 20 years ago would've never happened. Our grandparents would've been aghast to see this kind of lawlessness in the streets, putting on Green Goblin suits and beating up people in the subway in New York, random stabbings at restaurants when people are there. This lawlessness has people afraid. And what we don't want to do is foment fear in this country. But if crime isn't mitigated, if you want to defund the police, if you allow somebody to go in and rob a thousand dollars of makeup out of a store with no fear of prosecution, if you let a man with a machete in a McDonald's go no bail whatsoever and pending charges, maybe yes, maybe no, you have chaos in the country. So I would say overarching the issues would be the economy and crime.

And then after that, believe it or not, abortion and Supreme Court judges tend to tie for the third most crucial issue because that really defines the soul of a nation. Where do we go based on judicial decisions? And the midterms, by the way, determine the makeup of the body that confirms or denies the nominee that a president puts forward. So if you care about who sits on the Supreme Court, you care who sits in the United States Senate. The issue of abortion, clearly on the table posts the Dobbs decision. And I think we're beginning to understand the power of the individual now to vote. You live in a state that says we're going to put a cap on some of these abortion proposals, amen and amen. But you have to put the people in office who had that particular worldview.

Last year, I would've added education to the list that has dialed down just a wee bit because it's been replaced by the serious concerns we have about the economy and crime. So these are all issues that impact mom and dad sitting around their kitchen table. Now you can't get angry, you have to get active. And that's why our conversation, I think today is so crucial. The choice somebody else's, the choice is yours.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet, I know this, that a lot of people I talk to, they're still trying to make their way through a lot of the issues. They don't understand the candidates or where they really are on issues. And Janet, it's critical, isn't it?

Janet Parshall: Tim? I absolutely agree with you. I think it's imperative that we do our homework before we enter into the voting booth. And by the way,, they've got a wonderful voting guide and I'll tell you another resource. Go to somebody that has like my mama a long history of voting. Talk to that friend "Susie, why do you vote? Why is it important? Who are you voting for?" And the last but most important thing is true with the advent of the internet, nobody's without excuse now every single one of us can do our homework. So I would say pray up, study, and show up in that order.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet, I heard a very prominent Christian leader step up to a microphone recently and basically just blurt it out. First sentence, 75% of Christ he said, are filled with fear. The issues are so serious and it's so out of control, most people are filled with anxiety and they're wondering what's happened in culture and what the future holds for their families, for their children, for their children's children. And Janet, we have the vote for the governor in Virginia. I know that that whole mama bear issue popped up. A lot of parental rights seemed to be taken away. Janet, how does all that play into this?

Janet Parshall: I think the first question you have to ask yourself is what's the antidote to fear? And the answer to that is hope. So then I want to step backwards and I'm going to particularly appeal to men and women who know Jesus is their personal savior and subscribe to his word. God hasn't given us a spirit of fear, but power, love, and have a sound mind. Why are we fearful? Do we not trust the fact that the great king of the universe is not sitting in the throne room wringing his hands, wondering whether or not OPEC is going to produce oil? So I want to say to our friends who are in that 75% category right now, "Wait a minute, wait a minute. Where's your hope? Who's your anchor? What is the cleft of the rock that you're hiding in? How can you make sure that no matter how hard the winds howl in the culture today, you are bedrock and who you are?"

And that takes me to your observation about Governor Youngkin. That was a wake up call for the entire culture. First of all, they woke a sleeping giant. And that's moms and dads who say, "Uh-uh, not with my child. How dare you devolve public education from being education into indoctrination?" The purpose of education is to tell somebody how to think, not what to think. And what we've seen lately are these Marxist ideologies that are shifting the classroom into little pods of propaganda where kids are being told what to think based on the change agent in the classroom.

There's an abject failure to recognize that mom and dad are and always will be the best department of health, education, and welfare. But Marxist ideology must necessarily tear down the family because you have to be collectively in one large group led by a few people. The family in its autonomy makes the decisions within the parameters of its own unit what they're going to do. So, the family, traditional values, Tim, all of those things are the last bastion of this sea change that's coming into our country that wants to call good evil and evil good. I got to tell you, from where I'm sitting in Washington, I'm excited, Tim, because the clarity, the distinction between right and wrong, good and evil has never been more clear.

Dr. Tim Clinton: You're listening to Family Talk, a division of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute. I'm Dr. Tim Clinton, your host. Our special in studio guest, radio television commentator, author, advocate for the family. Janet, I want to stay with this transgender identity and ideology that's being pushed. It's everywhere. Janet, I mean, what do you make of how far this is cascading, if you will, off the cliff? What are your thoughts?

Janet Parshall: Well, let me just talk like an old fashioned Bible church kid, because I really can't look at the world any other way. The core of this is spiritual rebellion. I'll tell you who affirmed our gender. God did. When he designed us, He determined whether we would be a man or a woman. Now my heart breaks for these people. And this is your world, this is your forte, Tim, but these are people who are broken. There's such a profound brokenness here. If you look in the mirror and you don't even see who you are, the image of God, made in his image, divinely determined to be either a man or a woman, something is broken and you need comfort, you need counsel, you need prayer.

Now, the culture by the way, roars in as it does and says, "Wait a minute, we can fix this for you. Let's do all kinds of mutilating surgeries. Let's uptick your possibility of cancer. Let's take away your ability to procreate. Let's throw a bunch of pills at you and mess up your brain so we don't understand anymore what hormones should be produced. And we'll get you out the door." Well, I'll tell you what happened at Vanderbilt University because of all the fancy media that we have right now. There's undercover footage that Vanderbilt says, "Yes, we do it to kids younger than 16 and we do it because there's gold and them there hills." Now that's my translation. But the bottom line is these are feeders. Just this week I read an article by Planned Parenthood talking about how much money they're making with puberty blockers. It's money, money, money. And my mama taught me when I was little that the love of money is the root of all evil. So this isn't about kindness toward other people. This isn't about repairing broken hearts. This is about keeping the coffers filled with gold coins any which way they can.

But it's also at its root a question of identity. And by the way, for people trying to connect the dots here, we talk about critical theory. This is a manifestation of critical theory. Again, tearing down who you are so you can be rebuilt up in the image of somebody else. We are divinely fingerprinted to search for significance. So that the ultimate end of that journey is finding our significance in the person of Jesus Christ. And I'm going to use this word because I can't think of a better one. This push to damage and mutilate people is nothing short of demonic. And the last bastion to this being a wholesale slaughter of the American culture is the church.

Now, will the church stand up and say, "Wait a minute, you're not going to force me to say that a cat's a dog and a dog is a cat." And the reality of that declaration, Tim means it comes with a cost. I just discovered this week about a gal who was in the nursing system in the state of Michigan for 17 years, impeccable record, lovely woman adored by her peers, but the University of Michigan and the Michigan healthcare system came along and said, "You will push gender affirmation surgery, you will use specific pronouns, and if you don't, there will be a cost." She came back and said, "I'd like an accommodation for my religious beliefs." They held a, well, for lack of a better word, a kangaroo court. And during the course of this meeting, they called her evil. They told her she wasn't allowed to bring her Bible to work. They told her that she was not allowed to bring her religious beliefs to work.

I'm sorry, what part of American law and history does that represent? But if they're starting to do that in the United States, oh friends, buckle your seatbelt, it's going to be an interesting ride. And when it's all said and done, I want to be found among the faithful. I am unashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ no matter what the cost. We're coming up, and just around the corner we've got the International Day Prayer for the Persecuted Church. We know discrimination now, but discrimination always precedes persecution. And that day may come in the United States, and I'm not fearmongering, I'm just saying gird your loins and listen to Nehemiah as he's repairing that broken wall around Jerusalem. He said, "When you hear the sound of the trumpet, fight for your families." That trumpet is blaring. The question is whether or not we will respond accordingly.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet, as you opened up this particular segment, you talked about brokenness, and I know you, you're a woman with deep compassion and we are talking about broken lives. And so this gets a little sticky for a moment and I want to go there in this brokenness piece, people will begin to call you a hater if you don't affirm what they want in their life. And so you become the bad person. You get played into a corner here that you don't care, you don't really understand the journey they're on or what they've lived through, et cetera. Janet, and this is where truth and love has got to come together here. Speaking truth is love. And Janet, take us down that road. What do you say to Christian parents and others who are struggling right here?

Janet Parshall: Tim, just the way you framed that is illustrative of why I have such, such unbridled respect for you. Because you are emblematic of what it means to have that perfect balance of truth in love, not truth or love. And let me go to this idea of weaponizing empathy. I'm going to look to Jesus. He's always my example in all things. I am so glad that Jesus loved me so much he didn't leave me where I was at. So the woman caught in the act of adultery, this unbelievably powerful scene. And Jesus says to her, "Woman, where are you accusers?" And she says, "I know not Lord." And then he says, "Neither do I accuse you." He didn't leave it there. That's empathy. He then gave her truth and said, "Now go and sin no more." It's not an either or proposition. It's truth and love, not truth or love.

I interviewed a woman recently who wrote a book called Transgender to Transformed. And in her brokenness, she felt that she was a man, not a woman. And she went through the top surgery and she just recently had reconstructive surgery to try to put back in some manner or shape or form what God had created in her originally. And she said with tears in her voice, she said, "Janet, I look down and I'm thankful for what I have, but it's not real. It's artificial. It's not as good as what God gave me. I will always, always regret what I did." You want empathy. Empathy means you don't feed into someone's brokenness and here's a stretch, but you know this in your DSM there's a bonafide diagnosis. If you're talking about all the ways in which our perception of who we are can be diluted and can become very mutilated, what we do is we try to treat the whole person and say, "Why are you thinking like that? Where is the brokenness coming from?"

So to moms and dads in particular who are struggling with the child who said, "Mom, I'm the other person." Now first and foremost, don't ever give up on the power of prayer and the prayers of a righteous man avail with much you bang on the gates of heaven for your child and you do not stop. Number two, you love them. You understand that they're broken, but a good parent doesn't facilitate a wrong decision. Christ doesn't do that in our life. He's our example. He loves us and then moves us in the direction that we need to go exactly as we need to do for our children. So dial down the roar of the culture. Get your vertical relationship right first with Jesus Christ. Go to him. "Give me the power, the strength, the authority, the wisdom, the discernment, all those things you promised me now, for the benefit of my child." And then hang fast to this. As much as you love this child and their brokenness right now, it pales in comparison to the love that Jesus has for your child. Don't ever let go of that fact. He doesn't give up on us. We don't give up on them.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet, I want to stay here just for one more moment. You know this transgender ideology is so prevalent. I want to say this to parents, our listeners, that if they think it's not happening in their town that it couldn't happen to their kids. I just think we need to think again, this is everywhere. And I want to say, if you don't talk to your kids about it and let me add vote for candidates, by the way, who see the way you do. Well, to quote Dr. Dobson, I'd say you're probably going to lose your kids. You'll lose them to this immoral, depraved culture.

Janet Parshall: Let's talk about the government because there's a tie in here to the elections, and again, I think it's imperative for moms and dads to understand that you may have to stand fast. Is it going to be easy? Not necessarily, but the election helps determine, by the way, who gets to sit in Congress, who determines whether or not there can be hearings on Capitol Hill, on whether or not a state has permission to say in our state there will be no gender conforming surgery on minors. Let me go back to Governor Youngkin. You brought him up before. Governor Newsom. Governor Youngkin, this is a study in two governors.

So you've got Governor Youngkin now who's just put in place a policy that says if a child comes to a school in Virginia and says, "I'm Tommy, I want you to call me Susie, change my pronouns," that teacher is now required in the state of Virginia to go to the parents. There's a novel idea to go to the parents and say, "Susie and Tommy, okay, do I have your permission?" If mom and dad say no, boom. It stops right there and it doesn't go any further. In other words, there's now a trigger mechanism to go back to accountability to mom and dad. That's the way it always should have been.

Governor Newsom, on the other hand, is now opening his state like he wants to do with abortion by the way, as he adulterates and blasphemes surgery on billboards, trying to promote abortion in the state of California, he's now decided he got traction with that. Let's take one step further. Let's go to transgenderism. So he's making it a safe harbor state where if a minor comes to California, the minor can get the gender affirming surgery without the benefits of the parents. Let me tell you what that is. That's legal kidnapping. That's a totalitarian regime. It is anti-family. It's anti everything we've believed are the core principles of us here in the United States.

So again, don't get mad. Go out and vote. Pick the people who understand the traditional family, who understand these values that have protected and preserved us because politics is about advancing a worldview. Either you advance a worldview that says the state owns your child or you advance the worldview that says children are a blessing from the Lord and there is a high level of accountability to all other institutions surrounding the institution of the family before there's an intrusion into the family. The choice is ours. As a voter, you can't complain if you haven't showed up at the polls. It's just that simple.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Yeah, Janet, the word politics always kind of throws people sideways, but I've heard recently from Jenny Corn, a good friend that we both know. Jenny said, "Tim, politics matter because policies matter and policies matter because at the end of the day, it's all about people. It's about individuals, it's about families." The very thing we've been talking about today on the broadcast, and Janet, if we don't see that, then we're missing the point. Sammy Rodriguez, a good friend that we've had on the broadcast many times, Sammy said, "Tim, majority of the issues we're talking about are not political. They're biblical. They're biblical at the core." Janet, take us there because there seems to be a movement to take out people of faith to make their voice disappear.

Janet Parshall: Yeah. This ties into what you said earlier, Tim, that 75% of Christians are saturated with fear. If that's the case, all you have to do is weaponize language and you make fearful people so afraid they won't show up at the polls. Sammy's absolutely right. If believers would understand that at its core, these are biblical issues, then we vote the Bible. So you take a look at the people out there and you say, "Based on their voting record, which one has a history of upholding those biblical values and protecting, promoting and enshrining those values in such a way as to protect the greater good?" That's what government's responsibility is biblically. It's to protect the greater good.

So we show up and do this, The world is doing exactly what the world does without Jesus. What in the world is going on in the church. When the King of Creation writes with a pen and says, "I've put before you this day, life and death, now choose life," which is one of a myriad of verses that underscore the personhood of the preborn, then how in the world is that categorized as a political issue? So we've got the flow here wrong. Stop worrying about how big your building project's going to be because you might offend somebody, and the only anecdote for that is the absolute precious, transcendent, immutable word of God. We don't apply it, we don't subscribe to it, we're lost people.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Janet, closing word here. I want to bring it home to moms who are maybe driving their kids to school right now, and it seems pretty dark and ominous evil in a lot of ways. I've had that conversation with Dr. Dobson many times recently. And in a culture where truth is dying, can you give us some hope, Janet, and where our strength comes from? And I know that at the end of the day, it's all about suiting up and showing up too. In other words, we need to pray, we need to engage and vote, but can you give us a word of encouragement as we go?

Janet Parshall: Well, I think we just are reminded that truth remains on the throne. Truth does not get redefined. Truth is not moved by the winds of culture. Truth sets the captive free and you and I need to be wholly and completely unashamed of that truth. It took the chain of sin away from my life. It can take the chain of sin from anybody's life. There are hurting people out there who have tried to fill that hole in their heart with everything under the sun, but Jesus, when we talk about these cultural issues, it's a wonderful starting place to take people to the center of truth, and his name is Jesus.

And I would just offer this last word. I love going back and studying history, and Samuel Adams said this about this precious privilege of voting. He said, "Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote, that he's not making a present or a compliment to please an individual, or at least that he ought not so to do, but that he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country." Voting is a solemn act. What believer would abandon that precious right, that responsibility, that high calling to put into office people who will determine policy that can protect our families. The choices is ours.

Dr. Tim Clinton: Pray, engage, vote. Let's suit up. Let's show up en masse for such a time as this, and I know on behalf of Dr. Dobson, his wife, Shirley, the entire team here, we chip the hat to you and pray that God would continue to strengthen you, Craig, your entire family, and the work that you're doing in this hour. God knows we need warriors on the front line. Thank you so much for joining us.

Janet Parshall: What a delight to be with you, Tim. Thank you so much.

Roger Marsh: What an insightful and inspiring time with Dr. Tim Clinton and Janet Parshall today here on Family Talk. We love Janet here at the JDFI. Hope you enjoyed their conversation as much as we did. And now in the spirit of this timely interview, one final note to pass along to you. The 2022 midterm elections are just over two weeks away, and the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute has created a 2022 midterm election voters guide. This handy resource is yours free to review online and to download and share. Just go to the homepage at and sign up in the upper right hand box to get a simple reference manual of the distinctions between your likely choices on the issues, policies, and positions that you will decide upon at the polls this November. While that's all for today's broadcast, hope you join us again tomorrow, and until next time, I'm Roger Marsh for Dr. James Dobson and Dr. Tim Clinton and all of us here at the JDFI wishing you God's richest blessings for you and your family.

Announcer: This has been a presentation of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute.
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