Saturday, March 31, 2007

My Friends at the AFA and Focus on the Family Need to Face the Facts

James Dobson, Founder of Focus on the Family

This is one of the hardest columns I have ever had to write. If I thought my private letters had gotten through, I doubt I would have done it.

Don Wildmon is the founder of the American Family Association. It is a fine Christian-effected group that I was a part of through their Arkansas Affiliate for many years. James Dobson is the founder of Focus on the Family. For many years Wildmon and Dobson have been friends. Wildmon has long been willing to use the influence of his network to effect civil government. For the longest time, Dobson stuck with family issues. As I have heard it told, with urgings from Wildmon, Dobson's conscience got to him when he saw how fast the culture was deteriorating, and he jumped into politics as well.

Dobson gave a Dan Gilgoff wide access to his organization so that the man could write a book on it. The result is "The Jesus Machine". I can tell by the title that the book will not be favorable to Dobson. But that is not my biggest worry. My biggest worry is that Wildmon's organization, One News Now, is seeing the whole journey through rose-colored glasses. Look at the congratualtory tone they take in this article toward the book. The article leads with talk about how important Focus on the Family has been to our "public policy successes". What successes would that be? We are on defense, and the defense is not going very well.

They give us quotes like, "the ministry, he says, has been instrumental in helping that bloc of faith-based voters achieve more in the past few years than at any time in history." Are they kidding? That is just a line from the left to make us into a bigger boogie man so that the irrational fear some have of AFA and FOF is raised to even wilder levels. AFA and FOF had better not believe it is a true evaluation of the political-social landscape. In my view, that would reflect a dangerous lack of realism with respect to where Christian voters are in this country. And they had better face the facts about that or they are going to lead us right off the cliff.

(continued- click SATURDAY below and scroll down for rest of article, or if sent straight here just scroll down)


Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

The average Conservative Christian knows that this claim is somewhere between wrong and delusional. Why don't they know it? Wildmon does not seem to be the type of man who confuses "success" with getting invitations to state dinners (where the staff laughs at them behind their backs after they leave). But while that may not be the problem, there is a problem.

Maybe they are just trying to encourage their friend Dobson after the recent difficulties he has faced in this arena. Even that could be a mistake if they are encouraging him, and themselves, to keep doing what they have been doing. Its not working.

Christians have not "achieved more in the past few years than at any time in history." The statement is absurd. We are more isolated than at almost anytime in history. The Democrats are trying to steal votes by using religious sounding words connected to their same old culture-of-death and politics of envy ideas. The Republicans are trying to distance themselves from the "divisive social issues" that Dobson and Wildmon are concerned about.

Look at the top three candidates for Predident on the Republican side, the ones the media is pushing. Not one of them should be even remotely acceptable to Dobson or Wildmon, yet to believe that article you would think they had more "pull" than ever before. That's crazy talk. They are being marginalized, even within the Republican party.

What examples did the article give of their great success? The only one mentioned was "how Focus on the Family's Ohio affiliate was instrumental in getting President George W. Bush re-elected in 2004 by getting a traditional marriage amendment on the ballot that year".

Getting Bush re-elected? That's the big success? The man has delivered nothing for them. He has ignored their agenda completely, and pushed one that most of their people don't like. Sure Kerry would not have either, but then the liberals would have been blamed for the disaster that would have been the Kerry presidency. As it is, Dobson and Wildmon are taking the heat from swing voters for foisting the incompetence and obstinancy that is George W. Bush off on the American people. And the rub is that we get nothing from our agenda accomplished.

Thanks to Dobson, Wildmon and some others, the uninformed middle now thinks that "the religious right agenda" means an adiministration like the Bush regieme. We Christians are taking the hits for the redux from Bush's disasterous open-borders globalism and big-spending, big-brother policies. Those aren't our ideas. They are not our agenda. We are just getting the blame for them.

Some might argue that we got two Supreme Court justices that will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. No. They have not done that, nor did they say they would do that, nor did Bush promise to appoint justices that he thought would do that. Anyone who thinks otherwise was just hearing what they wanted to hear. Bush tried to slip one pro-abort by us (Harriet Miers) and got caught. What's to say he didn't succeed with the other two? All I know for sure is that they have an expansive view of government power, and a correspondingly small view of civil liberties and we may one day come to regret that.

No, it is time for Christian leaders to face the facts squarely. The Republican party wants their votes, but not their ideas. They want their help, but not the baggage that is associated with them as the culture increasingly swings against us.

We are losing because the team we are backing will not even make an eloquent defense of our policies, much less attempt to enact them. So the other side wins by default. More and more Americans are persuaded by secular arguments because the people we put all our political chips on refuse to make our arguments.

Dobson and Wildmon, like Esther, may have been put in their positions for such a time as this. They must decide if they are going to continue to put all their chips on a Republican team that has not advanced, or even articulated, their agenda. To make the right decision, they need the right facts. The facts are not that "everything is fine". Its not fine, but its not hopeless either. We just need an old wisdom and a new strategy.

7:07 AM, April 01, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

12:43 PM, April 18, 2007  

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