Did James Dobson lie?

James Dobson is a respected figure amongst American Evangelicals. For decades he has been involved in dispensing practical advice to Christian parents about how to bring up their children in a Christian way.

But Dobson is also politically active. His ministry has directed many evangelical votes to the Republican party over the years for their explicit support of laws that favour Christian belief.

Just recently, Dobson has supported the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. My opinion about this nomination has already been posted.

On the 3rd of October, 2005, George W. Bush made his official announcement that he was nominating Harriet Miers. On the 5th of October - 2 days later - James Dobson announced his support of Harriet Miers on his radio program. During this announcement he said that Karl Rove had given him information that he was not going to divulge that helped him support the nomination.

The fact that Dobson had proclaimed that he had been given "secret knowledge" was jumped upon my the media and also members of congress. Those who had the responsibility to approve Miers' nomination were incensed that Dobson had been given information that they did not have. There was a serious discussion about subpoenaing Dobson to testify before the official committee - which is still a possibility.

Last week, Dobson said the following:
I would have loved to have known how Harriet Miers views Roe v. Wade... But even if Karl had known the answer to that--and I'm certain that he didn't because the president himself said he didn't know--Karl would not have told me that. That's the most incendiary information that's out there, and it was never part of our discussion.

An article just published by OpinionJournal speaks of a conference call made between Dobson and a number of other Evangelical leaders that was made on the day of the nomination. I'll let the OpinionJournal article speak for itself:

On Oct. 3, the day the Miers nomination was announced, Mr. Dobson and other religious conservatives held a conference call to discuss the nomination. One of the people on the call took extensive notes, which I have obtained. According to the notes, two of Ms. Miers's close friends--both sitting judges--said during the call that she would vote to overturn Roe.

The call was moderated by the Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association. Participating were 13 members of the executive committee of the Arlington Group, an umbrella alliance of 60 religious conservative groups, including Gary Bauer of American Values, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation and the Rev. Bill Owens, a black minister. Also on the call were Justice Nathan Hecht of the Texas Supreme Court and Judge Ed Kinkeade, a Dallas-based federal trial judge.


What followed, according to the notes, was a free-wheeling discussion about many topics, including same-sex marriage. Justice Hecht said he had never discussed that issue with Ms. Miers. Then an unidentified voice asked the two men, "Based on your personal knowledge of her, if she had the opportunity, do you believe she would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade?"

"Absolutely," said Judge Kinkeade.

"I agree with that," said Justice Hecht. "I concur."

Shortly thereafter, according to the notes, Mr. Dobson apologized and said he had to leave the discussion: "That's all I need to know and I will get off and make some calls." (When asked about his comments in the notes I have, Mr. Dobson confirmed some of them and said it was "very possible" he made the others. He said he did not specifically recall the comments of the two judges on Roe v. Wade.)
If this report from OpinionJournal is true then James Dobson's comments last week that he did not know Miers' opinion on Roe v. Wade are false. In other words, there is a chance that Dobson publically lied.

All Christians who enter the political world will be tempted to lie. They must not, even if it hurts their career or does not further their political aims. 1 Peter 2.12 is important to consider here:

Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

From the Theosalient Department

© 2005 Neil McKenzie Cameron, http://one-salient-oversight.blogspot.com/

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.5 License.

No comments: