Saturday, May 26, 2018

Doctor Doctor Give Me the News

The first hour of Dr. Laura's show on Thursday, May 24, 2018 was a doozy. As I usually preface these notes about her show, I generally like Dr. Laura and think her show, books, etc. are great and I think she almost always gets it right. She typically does 15 hours of her show a week and she's bound to make mistakes here and here. OK???

There were three calls in that hour I wanted to mention here.

The first (not necessarily the first call, but the first I wanted to discuss) was from a married-with-kids guy who called up to say he was fat and wanted to lose weight. Dr. Laura blamed his wife for the kind of food that was in the house (such as potato chips) and told the caller that he needed to man up and perform the unexplained alpha male maneuver. He's supposed to "be alpha" and tell his wife to only bring healthy food into the house. She never told the guy how to do that. He's just supposed to magically do it somehow, even though his wife has her own mind, and since this was an American or Canadian guy, his wife has all of the real power (unless you want to get illegal). This is kind of like when Dr. Laura says her father saying illegal drugs were for losers/lowlifes, she was set on avoiding them. Yeah, great. But not all kids obey like that.

The second thing I wanted to discuss was Dr. Laura responding to a caller by bringing up a story from her private practice days. This is a repeated story (of course it is... when you've been doing a show a long as she has almost all will be repeated many times, and that's fine) about a set of Jewish parents upset that their son had converted to Christianity (Catholic, if I recall correctly from previous tellings). Dr. Laura says now (and told the family) that the son did it because they weren't being much of a family and the son found a family... The Father, Mother Mary, and Jesus the Son. She says it as though that had to be reason the son converted. He couldn't possibly have genuinely been convinced that this newfound faith was in something close to truth or somehow better or whatever word you want to use than whatever form of Judaism the family practiced. Now, maybe Dr. Laura is leaving something out of the story every time she tells it, or maybe that's what she really thinks. From many other things she's said, it seems to me that she doesn't think theology or religion in general matters all that much as long as you have something and it doesn't tell you to commit terrorism. She went through the trouble of becoming as practicing Orthodox Jew, and if I recall correctly from what I've read (which may not be accurate) she because disillusioned and stopped practicing after she felt betrayed by others... but I'm not sure what that has to do with whether or not Orthodox Judaism has it right. It makes sense if community was her priority above all else. Another example is that family cohesion is much more important to her than a spouse leaving what they perceive to be deception or false teachings or harmful practices, especially for what they sincerely think is the truth or better. To be fair, though, when parents call to complain that their (usually grown) child has left their religious organization or denomination, Dr. Laura usually tells them to accept it and not to interfere, because everyone has their own path.

Finally, she had a caller who had remarried even though they had minor kids (a big Dr. Laura no-no) and Dr. Laura went into comments about the generally kind of situation, saying that divorcing and remarrying means you can't expect kids to obey rules because you didn't.


What rules tell people not to divorce and not to remarry when you have minor children? Dr. Laura's to be sure, but the kids usually don't know that. There are some religious groups that have restrictions but Dr. Laura other statements about religion (see above) imply those rules aren't tied to objective truth. What kid ever says, "Well, I don't have to follow the rules because you, mom, got divorced and remarried?" Now, what Dr. Laura has said at other times is relevant... that the kids are dragged through chaos and made to live with people who have not been their family all along and were not of their choosing, and that sometimes causes kids to act out. But that's not at all how she put it this time. She was very clear that the caller had broken some rule and so can't expect their kids to follow rules. But no parent is perfect. So by that reasoning, kids should never be expected to follow rules.

I hope the holiday weekend is a good break for her. There have been calls lately that had her missing some very important information clearly stated early on by the caller. I was thinking in those cases she must have gotten distracted by something. She's usually right on target and very, very good.

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