I'm becoming increasingly disheartened with Dr. Dobson. Don't get me wrong, he's done some fantastic work for marriages and families. His organization, Focus on the Family is tops. I have no bones to pick with the group.
My beef is with Dr. Dobson and his increasing sense of self-importance in the political arena. News organizations often call on him, usually to ridicule his views and pick him apart, but he now sees himself as an important person in the political arena. He's found a loophole in the non-profit rules that allows him to pre-empt his own Family themed radio show and use it as a soap-box to expose his political views and arouse fear among his listeners.
Strong words? Maybe, but like most in the Christian community he has taken to using sound bites and carefully chosen rare cases to build a mountain that he then turns into a landslide and dumps it upon his under-informed listeners. Making himself out to be an expert when what he really is is an alarmist.
Take his most recent broadcast (as of this writing). Using this disclaimer that the broadcast was funded by "Focus on the Family Action - a non-tax-exempt foundation", he takes the time away from the issues of family and children that the radio time is usually used for and spent the half hour in a outright attack on Barak Obama. The issue? Abortion.
Now, hear me on this. I hate abortion. I honestly feel abortion is murder. I would like nothing better than for every single abortion clinic in the world to shut down. I would like to see organizations such as Planned Parenthood go out of business. That is my personal view. However, the only thing worse than the holocaust of millions of aborted babies would be to make the practice of abortion illegal, endangering the lives of millions of women who would then seek illegal means to obtain abortions.
Let me clarify. The way to end abortion is not through legal channels. I've said it before and I'll say it again, you cannot legislate personal morality. While you can legislate rules for the common good, like "Thou shall not commit murder" and "Thou shall not steal", you can't control what's in an individuals mind. In spite of what laws are passed, people are still going to break them because their personal morality does not line up with the "public morality" that has been legislated. We, as a country, have tried to impose a morality that the public as a majority did not agree with. It was called prohibition. If you took history in high school I don't have to explain to you how that went over.
Like it or not, Roe v. Wade opened the door. Now we cannot close it, not through legal means. The way to close it is to reach out to individuals and stop unwanted pregnancies. Only then, once there are no longer any unwanted children will abortion stop. (I realize it's more complicated than that, but I'm getting away from my point.)
Ok, so there's that. Like it or not, abortion is here and cannot be stopped through legal channels. However, Dr. Dobson (among others) don't see it that way. He believes that government must act and any candidate that doesn't agree with his point of view is not worth voting for.
That was his attack upon Barak Obama in yesterday's broadcast. (I personally am not fully schooled in the senators views on abortion, his voting record, or any public statements he has made on the subject. However, being a member of the Democratic party, their stand on abortion is very clear.) Dr. Dobson got on his radio show - this particular episode funded by his "FOTF Action" thing- and basically said "don't vote for Obama, he likes killing babies because he won't outlaw abortion". That's not an exact quote, but if you listen to the broadcast that's what you'll hear. Dr. Dobson clearly has an over-simplistic view of abortion laws and is making himself out to be some kind of political expert when he is not.
My opinion? I am not sure I have one yet. I am waiting for the debates between Obama and McCain to hear from their own mouths rather than what is filtering through the media. I hate abortion - as I said - but there is SOOOOO much more at stake in this upcoming election. The wars, foreign relations, so-called "gay marriage", oil prices, illegal immigration, etc. etc. Declaring that we should or should not vote for a candidate based one or two issues is irresponsible, narrow minded, and ridiculous.
I urge those in the Christian community with a public pulpit to give your constituency all the facts and not sound the alarm on any one axe you may have to grind. The world is much more complicated than most Christians see it. Give them the opportunity to open their views a little and not keep their focus on just a few things. While our focus and trust should always be on Christ, that doesn't excuse us from being educated citizens. While we should always approach any decision with humility and prayer, that doesn't mean we should just close our eyes and trust God to guide our hand. Let's turn off Dr. Dobson and his fear-mongering and be educated and responsible. Then trust God to take care of the rest.