Dobson backtracks on remarks questioning Thompson's faith

Discussion in '2007 Archive' started by gb93433, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. gb93433

    gb93433
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    http://www.abpnews.com/www/1953.article

    Dobson backtracks on remarks questioning Thompson's faith

    By Robert Marus
    Published: April 3, 2007

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (ABP) -- Focus on the Family head James Dobson is attempting to deflect criticism for his recent comments that questioned the Christian faith of a potential Republican presidential candidate.

    Dobson, through a spokesman for the Colorado-based organization, issued a statement March 30 saying a reporter had mischaracterized his comments on former Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.). According to a U.S. News and World Report story posted March 28, when reporter Dan Gilgoff mentioned the possibility of Thompson joining the race for the 2008 Republican nomination, Dobson praised the former senator's conservative record on social issues.

    However, he added, "I don't think [Thompson]'s a Christian. At least, that's my impression."

    In a subsequent conversation with Gilgoff, Dobson spokesman Dan Schneeburger attempted to clarify the Religious Right leader's position on Thompson. He said Dobson "has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian -- someone who talks openly about his faith."

    Gilgoff's report -- written after what he said was an unsolicited phone call from the broadcaster -- quoted Dobson as praising former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), another potential 2008 candidate. Gingrich recently appeared on Dobson's radio show and admitted he had engaged in extramarital affairs -- including one in 1998, as he led the charge against then-President Bill Clinton for lying about his own indiscretion.

    In the March 30 statement, Dobson's press office said Gilgoff's story may leave readers with the mistaken impression that the broadcaster was disparaging Thompson and endorsing Gingrich.

    "In his conversation with Mr. Gilgoff, Dr. Dobson was attempting to highlight that to the best of his knowledge, Sen. Thompson hadn't clearly communicated his religious faith, and many evangelical Christians might find this a barrier to supporting him," the statement said. "Dr. Dobson told Mr. Gilgoff he had never met Sen. Thompson and wasn't certain that his understanding of the former senator's religious convictions was accurate. Unfortunately, these qualifiers weren't reported by Mr. Gilgoff."

    According to Gilgoff's story, a Thompson spokesman disputed the characterization of the former senator and television actor. The spokesman said Thompson is a baptized Church of Christ member. Gilgoff's story also noted Schneeburger's original clarification of Dobson's comments on Thompson's faith.

    The March 30 statement expressed concern that the story may have left readers with the impression that Dobson was endorsing Gingrich. "With regard to Mr. Gingrich, while Dr. Dobson spoke positively about his intelligence and his ability to articulate conservative values, he expressed concern about the former speaker's past moral failures," the statement said.

    In discussing Gingrich, Gilgoff wrote: "While making it clear he was not endorsing any Republican presidential candidate, Dobson, who is considered the most politically powerful evangelical figure in the country, also said that Gingrich was the 'brightest guy out there’ and ‘the most articulate politician on the scene today.'"

    The Focus on the Family "clarification" statement went on to say the group "would caution friends of our ministry not to believe what they read about Dr. Dobson in the secular media today. Never in the 30-year history of this ministry has there been more misreporting and outright distortion of his beliefs and teachings. It is apparent that those who represent a liberal worldview seek to marginalize him and confuse our friends."

    U.S. News and World Report's News Desk blog reported March 30 that an editor had reviewed Gilgoff's reporting and "fully" stood by the story.

    "We feel that Dan's piece was accurate and representative of the spirit of Dobson's comments," Gordon Witkin, the magazine's assistant managing editor, said on the blog.
     
  2. Petra-O IX

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    Dobson will sadly go the same way as Pat Robertson and no one will take him seriously any more. Just like drinking and driving don't mix neither do Politics and Religion.
     
  3. Martin

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    James Dobson has never been one of my favorite people. He is way too political and he is way too quick to compromise truth for political purposes (ex: his buddying with Dr Laura in the late 90s). I think Dobson's problem is that the republican party, which he has put his faith in, has left him and Falwell standing in the cold. Not one of the main candidates for president represent conservative Christians or the beliefs of Dobson (etc). Not to mention the fact that several high profile Christian leaders have expressed positions that are not in agreement with Dobson. Even worse for Dobson is that many Bible believing, conservative, Christians seem to be moving away from the hard-line (pro-republican) political views of Dobson. These type statements by Dobson are his attempt to stay in the game.

    The fact is that the vast majority of these politicians are not true Christians anyway. Very few people will ever convince me that George W Bush is a true born-again believer. Any man who claims that a person can enter heaven without going through Christ (ie. being born-again) is contradicting Jesus (Jn 14:6). I don't care if that person is talking about Jews, Muslims, Americans, or whoever. Those who contradict Jesus Christ, mainly on such an important issue, can't be in a good position. Now I can't say that Bush "is not" a Christian but I can say that I have my doubts.

    I for one am sick and tired of these phony conservatives getting the support and votes of conservative Christians. George W Bush is a big government liberal and not a conservative. I hope that we have learned our lesson.
     
  4. hillclimber1

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    I disagree that he is like Robertson. He is far closer to the Christian position on these ongoing issues that pop up. He will make a few mistakes, but not on major issues, but if he's going to stick with the Republican party, he must urge change within, because the party is leaving mainstream Christianity behind. Dobson is not one of my favorite people either, but he has become THE voice we listen to.
     
  5. hillclimber1

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    I don't doubt GWB's Christianity, but I agree he's no conservative, and don't remember him claiming to be one. But I wouldn't call him a liberal either, as they are his greatest enemy's in all the world.
     
  6. Petra-O IX

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    Dobson keeps pretty seedy company in the likes of Erik Prince. But I do hope that Dobson realizes his mistake soon I would hate to think that he would have to answer to the Highest Authority for being partially responsable for Militant Christianity.
     
  7. UnchartedSpirit

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    i do belive that Dr Dobson is truely scared of not the world's but the United States acceptance of everything and it's rejection of taboo and underground activities...as if the US has a divine protection agains the world or at least a command that this nation must fight against it...i will alyways be in debt to him for "Adventures in Oddessy" but I wish he'd be more family-oriented like FamilyLife's radio programs are.
     
  8. Petra-O IX

    Petra-O IX
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    I still enjoy listening to that Show. You are right though Uncharted Spirit, Dobson's greatest strength is being family oriented but I fear his over-involvement in political activites could possibly bring down a great ministry if he is not careful.
     
  9. TomVols

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    ABP is not exactly known as the most detailed news organization. They never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

    That said, Dobson is not immune from foot-in-mouth disease, though not as given to it as Falwell and Robertson.
     

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