The Spectacle Blog

For Shawn on Dobson

By on 10.1.06 | 7:48AM

Point taken on Dobson, Shawn, and I never presumed you were one of the pundits who wrote from assumptions rather than real reporting. You're too good for that.

You raise the crux of the argument when you wonder whether Dobson's rhetoric contributes to stasis rather than moving the issue ahead. The time frame 97-98 is significant here. I wrote a column called "My Christian Radio Can Beat Up Your New York Times" at about that time, and pointed out that I could listen to a whole day of Christian radio and hear nothing about politics. At about that time, on the issue of abortion, that began to change in 97-98, with Dobson and D. James Kennedy leading the way.

Why did they do that? Kennedy is plainly conscience-stricken and feels that he has to speak out against mass murder. Dobson plainly stated that he was fed up with the Republicans in power doing nothing about abortion, and threatened to leave the party and "take a lot of people with me." Made the cover of Time Magazine, he did.

So, tactically, are they doing the right thing? I don't know that either would find the question meaningful at all. They did what they had to do. And if Dobson took the issue to God in prayer and felt moved to speak out, that's the way he believes and practices his belief. I am not put off by the formulation that "God told me" to do something at all. God has told me to do some things, too.

Dobson and Kennedy and many others have left the tactics to other people. All that counts for them is the passion.

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