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Focus Clarifies Dr. Dobson's Comments on Sen. Thompson

U.S. News story mischaracterized ministry founder's views on possible presidential candidates

Contact: Nima Reza, Focus on the Family, 719-548-4570, culturalissues@family.org

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., Mar. 30 /Christian Newswire/ -- Focus on the Family issued the following statement today regarding a story that appeared Wednesday on the U.S. News & World Report Web site quoting the ministry's founder and chairman, James C. Dobson, Ph.D:

"We welcome the opportunity to clarify Dr. Dobson's remarks that were first reported in Dan Gilgoff's online article titled 'Dobson Offers Insight on 2008 Republican Hopefuls: Focus on the Family Founder Snubs Thompson, Praises Gingrich.' At the outset, it's important to note that this headline is an outright mischaracterization of the views Dr. Dobson expressed. His words weren't intended to represent either an endorsement of former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich or a disparagement of former Sen. Fred Thompson. Dr. Dobson appreciates Sen. Thompson's solid, pro-family voting record and his position that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided.

"In his conversation with Mr. Gilgoff, Dr. Dobson was attempting to highlight that to the best of his knowledge, Sen. Thompson hadn't clearly communicated his religious faith, and many evangelical Christians might find this a barrier to supporting him. Dr. Dobson told Mr. Gilgoff he had never met Sen. Thompson and wasn't certain that his understanding of the former senator's religious convictions was accurate. Unfortunately, these qualifiers weren't reported by Mr. Gilgoff. We were, however, pleased to
learn from his spokesperson that Sen. Thompson professes to be a believer.

"With regard to Mr. Gingrich, while Dr. Dobson spoke positively about his intelligence and his ability to articulate conservative values, he expressed concern about the former speaker's past moral failures. You may be aware that Mr. Gingrich recently appeared on a Focus on the Family broadcast to discuss America's Christian heritage and the threat posed by radical Islam. Prior to the interview, Dr. Dobson asked Mr. Gingrich if he'd be willing to talk about his family life on the air because he felt our friends deserved an explanation. Those who listened to the exchange heard nothing indicating that Dr. Dobson excused Mr. Gingrich's past indiscretions. The former speaker was offered a chance to address the subject openly and honestly, and he did so, stating, 'I have turned to God and have gotten on my knees ... and sought God's forgiveness.' Dr. Dobson firmly believes that Scripture teaches there is redemption available through Christ for those who confess their sins -- were it not so, we'd all be in a world of trouble. Of course, only the Lord knows the condition of individual hearts.

"In conclusion, we would caution friends of our ministry not to believe what they read about Dr. Dobson in the secular media today. Never in the 30-year history of this ministry has there been more isreporting and outright distortion of his beliefs and teachings. It is apparent that those who represent a liberal worldview seek to marginalize him and confuse our friends. Anyone who ever has a question concerning what they read about Dr. Dobson or Focus on the Family is encouraged to contact us for clarification. The chances are they have been misinformed."