James Dobson, influential leader of the anti-gay Focus on the Family and spiritual guru to millions on the Christian right, makes it abundantly clear in an email to supporters that he will not support Republican presidential hopeful Fred Thompson.
The reason? Thompson's not quite anti-gay enough. The email was strategically leaked to the Associated Press:
"Isn't Thompson the candidate who is opposed to a Constitutional amendment to protect marriage, believes there should be 50 different definitions of marriage in the U.S., favors McCain-Feingold, won't talk at all about what he believes, and can't speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail?" Dobson wrote.
"He has no passion, no zeal, and no apparent 'want to.' And yet he is apparently the Great Hope that burns in the breasts of many conservative Christians? Well, not for me, my brothers. Not for me!"
Dobson and other social conservatives want to amend the U.S. Constitution to bar gay marriage nationally. Thompson will "support a constitutional amendment that would prohibit states from imposing their gay marriage laws on other states"—which is already codified by the Defense of Marriage Act and falls short of their goal.
This is wonderful news. Dobson will not support Rudy Giuliani or vote for John McCain under "any circumstances." It will be very interesting to watch his position on Mitt Romney. Although the former Massachusetts governor panders to the social conservatives, there is historic animosity between the Mormons and evangelicals on key doctrinal issues. Social conservatives can casually embrace or reject political candidates on minor political positions. On the other hand, it would be quantum leap of faith for "born again" Christians to embrace a candidate who personally believes Jesus was born again in the 19th century and the Garden Eden was located in present-day Jackson County, Missouri.
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