It's Recess-time Somewhere

Proud Member of the Reality-Based Sandbox

June 28, 2005

Focusing on James Dobson's Family

World 'O Crap takes a little time out today to Focus on James Dobson's Family. James Dobson being the rabid wingnut head of Family Research Council, in case you don't already know.

Anyway, reading the Focus on the Family call to arms reminded me that
we haven't focused on Dobson's family for a while. So, let's check in with
surfer dude (and author of Be Intolerant: Because I'm With Stupid) Ryan

Ryan has been divorced! What's more, his first wife is apparently
still alive, and so this second marriage constitutes adultery!

Yes, Ryan was formerly married to Cezanne N. Williams of Seattle (some
sources say that her name is Danita, so she possibly went by a nickname,
or maybe the other sources are just wrong). They seem to have met at
Biola University ("a private Christian university based on evangelical Christianity"), where in 1994, she was the assistant manager of the
women's soccer team, and he was one of the team managers. (She was
apparently an accomplished athlete. While attending her private
Christian high school in the 80's, she set some school track records. And
as a junior and senior at Biola, she won soccer awards in 1992 and 1993.
However, I can't see where Ryan won any athletic awards.)

Ryan graduated from Biola in 1995, after having dropped out of another
Christian university and being a loser for a while. After graduation,
Ryan's Dad got him a job at the Family Research Council, and he reportedly
married Cezanne in 1999. Dad bought the newlyweds a nice condo in
Southern CA (well, it should have been nice for the price). But the
marriage didn't last, and the couple were divorced in 2001.

A letter from Exit and Support Network tells a fascinating story.

I just found your website today because I was doing some research into
Focus on the Family. My mother and I are born again Christians. Now my
mother has been listening to Focus radio programs for many years and
receiving magazine and Christmas cards from the organization. She knew
that James Dobson's son was married to a Danita Williams in 1999
(because we live in Seattle and Danita is from a nearby town). Anyhow,
my mother found it odd that Focus never published any family photos
showing Ryan and Danita so she called up Focus on the phone. The
operator there sounded scared and wouldn't give a straight answer...
then I started hunting for information and learned only today that Ryan
was divorced back in 2001 and that apparently some Focus employees
have been fired just for talking about it.

My mother suspects that Danita is a black woman and this had/has
something to do with James Dobson never publishing any photos of the
couple (my family happens to be black by the way).

There's also a nice list of 'Seven Secrets for Wives' with illuminating commentary as well as the rabid wingnut response to the Ten Commandments decision over there at World O' Crap. Go read the whole thing. It's good for you!

And if anyone can figure out what "SUBMIT TO YOUR HUSBAND’S HEADSHIP" means, you get bonus points!


  • At February 14, 2008, Blogger Ian said…

    After I came across your article, I wrote to Focus on the Family to ask about it.

    They wrote back:
    You’ll be interested to know that the Dobsons have addressed this situation openly in response to any inquiries that are made. That said, it might be helpful to explain that Ryan and his former wife, Cezanne, divorced in the summer of 2001. Obviously, we must not invade the young people’s privacy except to say that Ryan was completely opposed to the dissolution of the marriage and that the biblical grounds that have permitted him to remarry are consistent with the scriptural understanding of abandonment.
    Well, they seem to be not trying to hide it from me when I asked...

  • At June 25, 2008, Anonymous Sarah said…

    Scriptural understanding of abandonment???? Would like to read the passage on that one, haha!
    (Says a person who grew up in a similar family situation as Ryan who also became divorced, and was surprised that it did not seem to make him more open or compassionate about other people--see "Intolerant."

  • At November 05, 2009, Blogger Rissa said…

    You want the scripture?
    Read Matthew 5:31-32. If there was marital unfaithfulness on her part, then the grounds for divorce are Biblical and Ryan CAN remarry.

    See also 1 Corinthians 7:15.

  • At November 07, 2009, Blogger lovingGodlivinglife said…

    The fact that the author of this post resorts to name calling seems very childish....
    Also, Christianity is all about forgiveness and growth. Read the story of Ruth when you have some time. She was a nonJew yet through her second marrage she is in the lineage of Christ

  • At January 08, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Isn't it interesting how when people have no basis to stand on they resort to name calling. The word of God is the truth. Go Ryan, your ministry is great. your stand on abortion shows your true colors. God bless you!

    Mr. B

  • At June 28, 2010, Anonymous fair/logical said…

    My take on this is pretty simple.. If someone is offended by your value system and they cannot find a basis for a coherent argument against said values.. they will try to appeal to the baser/darker side of people. For example,the words "I suspect she was black"-- I fail to see the relevance of that.. if she were..and this is just someones suspicion..why does it matter? What does a lack of family pictures prove?!!Oh I know that someone might say maybe the Dobson's are prejudiced..ashamed of her skin color..but isn't that just sordid speculation? Anyone can speculate.. if she did happen to be an African American someone might say race was the reason for the divorce!Assumptions make one look foolish!

  • At January 15, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ryan, Thanks for what you're doing for us young folks out here. I'm seventeen years of age and your ministry has helped me in so many ways!!!

  • At December 27, 2012, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    World-o-crap is a good name for this blog...That's what it is. Full of distortions.

  • At May 28, 2013, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    What happened between Ryan and his first wife is their business, not mine.

    I've only read this one entry on your blog, so I don't really know what you do here. With this entry, you've opened a door for self-examination and discussion. Any of us, including myself, can be full-o-crap about anything at all, including our ideas about the Dobsons. So thanks for this entry and for the opportunity to read responses to it.

    My take-away from this blog entry is that I should look at myself and my own views and behaviors before pronouncing judgement on anyone else for their beliefs, views, or behaviors because I could be misinformed, gossiping, falsely witnessing, or otherwise lost in a World-o-crap. This is a blessing, I think. Thanks again!

  • At April 10, 2014, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I guess asking isn't a problem. I would like to be clear on divorce whether Ryan or any other person we should see it from God's perspective.

  • At March 25, 2017, Anonymous Professor Steve White said…

    My name is Professor Steve White. We are the ones who opened this Pandora's to much box. If you do your research you will find the International Article With full color images of me and my Black wife, Ruth, from The Los Angeles Times Newspaper on Dr. Dobson. It was written August 1988 or 89. I would have to look in our book, but I am sure with some research you can find the actual writing.

    We have written a book called Life Through the eyes of an Interracial Couple, which details the knowledge we have on Dr. James Dobson, and what happened when we were invited to The Focus On The Family Headquarters based at that time in California. We now live in my wife's home state of Colorado, ironically where Dr. Dobson fled to after the heat seemed too much for him to bear on the topic of Interracial issues from the press.

    Although we have documented in our book what we know, it saddens us that generations of Interracial Couples and their families have left the Faith in Jesus Christ as a result of Dr. Dobson.

    To Ryan's marriage,the reason there is little information on Ryan Dobson'sfirst marriage,is a lot of information was scrubbed from the internet years ago. We have been in the public eye since 1981 and have appeared on everything from CNN, E! Entertainment on the subject of Interracial Couples. We were warned that if we shared the information from within the Dobson organization employers could be fired.

    If you all really want to have this conversation,please let me know

    In His Service,

    Professor Steven White

  • At March 25, 2017, Anonymous Professor Steven White said…

    You can reach me on Facebook Steven White

  • At July 12, 2017, Blogger MikkiOC said…

    I knew Ryan quite well. He was an assistant youth minister for Saddleback Church in Orange County, CA. We had just moved from Eastern Pennsylvania and my daughters were 13 & 15. Saddleback was highly recommended to us. Rick Warren was the head preacher. I sent my girls to youth group during the week until I found out a young adult from the group, James Ryan, was letting my under aged daughters drive his car. I immediately took over the youth group meetings to my home. James Ryan confessed to me several evenings at the youth group meetings that he and his wife, Cezane, were separating because her cervical physical issue would not allow them to have children. James Ryan told me he was Dr. Dobson's son and recounted several remembersnces of awful experiences with his mother and father. Ryan never mentioned that Cezane was black (which would have made no difference to me as a Christian anyway). It just seemed to be a dark, ugly secret for the Dobson family. Ryan wreaked havoc in my life with my teenage daughters. It was a horrific time for our family. I have zero respect for Dr. Dobson, his family and Focus on the Family. All lies and fraudulent.

  • At January 26, 2018, Blogger Sandra said…

    So Ryan "confessed to me several evenings at the youth group meetings that he and his wife, Cezane, were separating because her cervical physical issue would not allow them to have children" provokes more unflattering questions.

    If this is true, I suspect Ryan is not holding up his end of the vows he made when he married Cezane - to love and cherish in sickness, in health....

    Wonder what the truth is? But then God knows and no one will fool Him.


Post a Comment

<< Home