Well, I’ve been wrong all this time. It’s always been my opinion that if someone says they’re a Christian, they’re a Christian — I’m not going to nit-pick fine theological distinctions with someone, and if they want to claim the soiled and tattered title of Christianity, they’re welcome to it. An important figure in American religion and politics, James Dobson, has shown me to be wrong. He has his own special definition of “Christian”.
“Everyone knows he’s conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for,” Dobson said of Thompson. “[But] I don’t think he’s a Christian; at least that’s my impression,” Dobson added, saying that such an impression would make it difficult for Thompson to connect with the Republican Party’s conservative Christian base and win the GOP nomination.
Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Thompson, took issue with Dobson’s characterization of the former Tennessee senator. “Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. “He was baptized into the Church of Christ.”
In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson’s claim. He said that, while Dobson didn’t believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless “has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith.”
“We use that word—Christian—to refer to people who are evangelical Christians,” Schneeberger added. “Dr. Dobson wasn’t expressing a personal opinion about his reaction to a Thompson candidacy; he was trying to ‘read the tea leaves’ about such a possibility.”
Thompson has said he is leaving the door open for a presidential run and has won plaudits from conservatives who are unenthusiastic about the Republican front-runners. A Gallup-USA Today poll, released Tuesday, showed Thompson in third place among Republican and Republican-leaning voters, behind former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain.
I have to marvel at that. Suddenly, the ranks of the un-Christians have swollen immeasurably; a lot of the people I honestly like who go to church but aren’t jerks about their religion, i.e., they don’t proselytize, have been excommunicated by Pope Dobson, and are on my side in the War Against Religion. I have suddenly learned that none of the members of my family are Christians anymore — they may be a bit shocked to hear that, since they still go to church, but heck, High Authority, the Word of God’s Holiest Representative in North America, is not to be gainsaid.
Any of you readers who are not true Christians in the eyes of Dobson might as well give it up now and join me in total godlessness. When the Republic of Gilead is established and the Dobsonites run the country, you’re going to be up against the wall with the rest of us heretics, anyway.