"...Focus on the Family founder James Dobson has dealt a potentially devastating blow to Fred Thompson’s presidential aspirations, saying the former senator is not a Christian.
"Everyone knows he’s conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for,” Dobson – considered the most politically powerful evangelical figure in the U.S. – said in a phone call to Dan Gilgoff, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report.
"[But] I don’t think he’s a Christian. At least that’s my impression.”
Thompson’s spokesman Mark Corallo took issue with the statement.
"Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. "He was baptized into the Church of Christ." (source)
If Dobson had spoken with Thompson and the former Senator had disclosed that he wasn't a Christian...well, then that would be one thing. But who is he to presume what someone's faith is? None of his positions are contrary to "God's law"...so what prompted this proclamation? It's not like he's lobbying to let off murderers and voraciously pro-choice...
I guess he realized how un-Christian this statement was...as there was some backpedaling shortly after...
"Focus on Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger sought to clarify Dobson’s statement, telling Gilgoff that while Dobson didn’t believe Thompson belonged to a non-Christian faith, he "has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian – someone who openly talks about his faith.
"We use that word – Christian – to refer to people who are evangelical Christians. Dobson wasn’t expressing a personal opinion about his reaction to a Thompson candidacy.” (source)
This is pretty cool, in the past I've never liked a candidate enough to get annoyed and defensive over criticisms...
(Cross-posted at Draft Thompson '08)