Published in the Holland Sentinel on October 15, 2007 -
James Dobson is a courageous leader and a battle-scarred warrior. He has gone head to head with the best of them and has done a wonderful job of defending Christian values in the political arena. He has earned our respect and deserves our prayers.
However, just as John Kerry's war record didn't make him a good president, Jim Dobson's record does not make him right about the 2008 presidential race.
Dobson has allowed his pride to cause him to publicly vow "never for the rest of my life to vote for anyone who would kill innocent babies." Making this a personal vow is not the problem. The problem is that he has tied his position to the front-runners for the 2008 presidential election and is publicly encouraging millions to follow his lead. If that happens, Hillary Clinton will most certainly be the next president.
According to most major polls, if the general election were held today, Rudy Giuliani would face Hillary Clinton for president. If this scenario becomes a reality, pro-lifers will be forced to choose which pro-choice candidate would be the best of the two to defend the sanctity of life. According to the Dobson plan, pro-lifers should not vote for either candidate.
Promoting our values can never be accomplished by refusing to vote. A non-vote for Rudy would be the same as casting two votes for Hillary.
American citizens not only have the right to vote, but the responsibility to vote. We have a duty to ourselves, our children and our country to make sure that the best candidates are elected. We never have the luxury of having "ideal candidates," who meet 100 percent of our expectations. In every election, we must choose the best person for the job, from the field of available candidates.
There are also times where we may have to set aside our pride in order to make sure the wrong person does not get elected. The 2008 election could present such an opportunity for the pro-life citizens of this country.
If Dobson wants to take a biblical approach to this situation, he should go back and study the books of Daniel and Esther in the Old Testament.
Daniel was taken captive to Babylon and forced into slavery as an assistant to some very evil kings. He did not refuse to work for them because their pagan practices clashed with his religion. Instead, Daniel held true to his faith and honored God as he worked directly with and for the evil kings.
Esther was chosen to be the queen of a pagan king. She could have gone out of her way to avoid selection, but instead, she gave her best for the sake of her Lord. In doing so, God used her to save his people from complete annihilation by having her convince the pagan king to change his position.
Neither of these Old Testament heroes wanted the task appointed them. Surely they would have preferred to remain with other godly people. However, when the time came, they did what they had to do for the sake of God's plan.
If God gives us a choice between candidates A and B, we do not have the option of choosing D, none of the above.
I would never vote for Rudy, or any other pro-choice candidate, in a primary election. However, once the lots have been cast and I am forced to choose between bad or worse, I will prayerfully make the godly choice.
Dobson's Option C is the promotion of a conservative third-party candidate. Unfortunately, there is not enough time to establish a viable third-party candidate for the 2008 election. First, we need to keep Hillary from becoming president. Then Dobson and company can focus on building a third party.
The solution to the Dobson problem is simple. Americans need to make sure that we don't have two pro-choice candidates on the presidential ballot next November. That battle can only be won in the primaries.