FOF's James Dobson: A Rogue Elephant in the GOP 'Big Tent.' (Founder of Focus on the Family to Wage a Crusade to Correct the Republican Party's mistakes)(Editorial)
James Dobson is spoiling for a fight. Speaking to a conclave of conservative leaders in Phoenix Feb. 7, the religious broadcaster launched into a tirade against the Republican Party's "betrayal" of conservative Christian voters.
The GOP, Dobson told the Council for National Policy, has accepted the contributions and grassroots activism of "the pro-moral community," but has not delivered on its agenda.
"Does the Republican Party want our votes - no strings attached - to court us every two years, and then to say, 'Don't call me. I'll call you.' And to not care about the moral law of the universe," growled the Focus on the Family (FOF) founder. "Is that what they want'? Is that the way the system works'? ls this the way it's going to be'? If it is, I'm gone, and ill go, I will do everything I can to take as many people with me as possible."
Dobson's list of issues he wants addressed contained the usual Religious Right litany: religious school voucher subsidies, abortion restrictions, attacks on gay people, public school bashing, defunding of the National Endowment for the Arts and opposition to the appointment of Supreme Court justices and other public officials who don't toe the FOF line.
Dobson was particularly incensed that the Republican National Committee recently shot down a resolution banning party funding for candidates who support so-called "partial birth" abortion, a late-term procedure the Religious Right is seeking to outlaw. He bitterly denounced the procedure along with the GOP's "big tent" philosophy that tolerates people with pro-choice views on abortion or other contentious social issues.
"We're not talking about partial birth abortion here." Dobson raged. "We're talking about murder during delivery. We're talking about infanticide. I want to tell you all something from my heart: there is no tent big enough for me and people who will do that."
In the upcoming months Dobson has vowed to wage an all-out crusade to correct the errant GOP leadership. He is sure to have help from his Washington political operative Gary Bauer, head of the Family Research Council.
Bauer, who is reportedly considering his own presidential bid, grumbled to The Washington Times that no Republican leader has responded to Dobson's complaints.
The Dobson gambit richly illustrates the central problem that many Americans have with the Religious Right and its activities. The Colorado Springs theocrat and his allies just don't seem to understand the realities of living in a pluralistic democracy.
In America political parties are not churches, and public policy is not synonymous with religious doctrine. In a nation that separates religion and government, narrow sectarian theology cannot be the basis for law, and religious authorities cannot expect to issue edicts to political and governmental leaders. …