Thursday, March 29, 2007

Update on Dobson/Thompson

Yesterday I posted on James Dobson's statement that he does not believe Fred Thompson is a Christian. That statement spread throughout the internet and was discussed on several blogs including this one. Today I received an e-mail that originated with Reuben Watkins of Grassroots Voters. I've cut and pasted the body of the e-mail here:


Last night the posted a link to an article in U.S. News & World Report titled: Dobson Offers Insight on 2008 Republican Hopefuls, Focus on Family Founder Snubs Thompson, Praises Gingrich. The calls and emails were fast and furious and I do mean furious!

This morning I had an opportunity to speak with Brad Miller, Director of Family Policy Council at Focus. We had a great conversation and Brad confirmed what many of us had been suspecting - the article was not an accurate representation of the conversation.

Dr. Dobson had never actually spoken with Fred and did not know Fred's personal viewpoints and beliefs firsthand.. Dr. Dobson noted that Fred's voting record while in the Senate was to be praised and indicated a strong conservative, pro-family position. Dobson did not know Fred to be an outspoken evangelical, which can be considered a negative in some circles. The notion that Dr. Dobson was supporting a potential Gingrich candidacy over others was also false. Brad also mentioned that there is a great deal of excitement among the "religious right" about a potential Fred Thompson candidacy and that Dr. Dobson was not endorsing or supporting any candidate or potential candidates at this time.

I appreciate Brad for the conversation and helping to clear the air on this and I appreciate your ongoing efforts in supporting a potential Fred Thompson candidacy. If you haven't been to the site lately, please take a minute stop by: We are well on our way to our goal of organizing 10,000 Fred Thompson supporters!

[End of e-mail]

You can see that all sides are trying to clarify the statement but the damage may already be done. One of the leaders of conservative Christians is on the record (and on the internet) as saying that Fred Thompson is not a Christian. The second part is that the response by the Thompson camp is that Thompson was baptized into the Church of Christ. To some evangelical Christians, the response may be more damaging than the initial statement.

I also would like to point out something else. I think it is completely impossible for a person to definitively state that another person is or is not a Christian. A person might be able to say "he doesn't act like a Christian" or "he doesn't fit my definition of what a Christian is" or something like that, but someone certainly cannot comment on another's salvation. The relation between a person and Jesus Christ is individual to that person, and only he/she and Christ know the truth.

Hopefully Dr. Dobson was mis-quoted -- I know from personal experience that it happens all too often when dealing with the media.


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Blogger Theresa Fleming said...

Recently, a wide variety of media outlets and blogs ran headlines about Dr. Dobson’s comments about his perceptions regarding Fred Thompson. Specifically, the writer of the article seemed to indicate that he did not feel that Fred Thompson was “Christian”, or perhaps “not Christian enough”. I have always been an admirer of Dr. Dobson and Focus on the Family, and I’m sure I will continue to deeply appreciate their many efforts. And as a devout, Evangelical Christian myself, I do believe that it is important to carefully examine both the stands that candidates take on issues, as well as their conduct in their personal lives.

However, while I'm relieved to hear that Dr. Dobson may have been misquoted, that doesn't change the fact that there appears to be a growing trend among some Christian leaders to engage in these types of personal and political attacks. I do believe that Christian leaders should take a stand on issues they believe in and have the right and should endorse those candidates that they believe will serve our country best. However no human being has the right to pass judgment on the depth of another person’s faith. It is not up to us to decide whether a person is “Christian enough”. That job belongs to God, and to God only.

In the past several years, the widespread attacks by many in the media and in Hollywood on those of Christian faith have spread across this country like a poison that slowly sickens all those that it touches. While the growing frustration among many in the Christian community is certainly understandable, if we allow ourselves to be drawn into these types of attacks, we damage our own community and our own credibility.

Our country has real problems and we need real leadership. We need to stick to discussing the issues we care about and supporting those candidates and elected officials that we believe will lead our country best. As for Fred Thompson, I have heard only good things said about his candidacy. While I do not know him, I look forward to learning more about him, along with each of the candidates who are running this year. It is my hope that every American citizen, regardless of their faith, political party, issues or concerns, will take the time to learn as much about each of the candidates as possible and that every American will take the time to vote. And then I pray that whoever our country elects, will have the wisdom to lead us well, a genuine desire to truly serve the people of this country-all the people, and the compassion and selflessness that will be needed if we are to heal the growing divisions in our country and become once again-“One Nation Under God, Indivisible, With Liberty and Justice For All”.

In God We Trust,

Theresa Fleming

Theresa Fleming is Director and Co-Founder of Moms for Ohio, a statewide political action committee dedicated to helping give Moms and their families a voice in the government which serves them.

9:23 PM  

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