Dobson semi-apologizes to Fred! for claiming he isn’t a Christian
posted at 8:35 pm on March 29, 2007 by Allahpundit
He’s peeved that U.S. News & World Report represented his remarks as a political “snub” when it was nothing of the sort. That’s fine, but that wasn’t what offended people here. The offense came when his spokesman implied that even if Fred!’s a Christian, he’s not Christian “enough.”
Hotline has the complete text, but here’s the meat of it:
With regard to your possible acceptability as a candidate for president, I commended your consistent support of pro-family positions. However, I said while I had no first-hand knowledge of your religious views, I was not aware that you had professed to have made a Christian commitment. If so, I said, that might discourage support from some Christian conservatives. The remarks were not intended to represent either an endorsement of Newt nor a disparagement of you. Instead, as my media representative explained in a follow-up call to the reporter, Dan Gilgoff, the comment reflected my efforts to “read the tea leaves.” Let me say again that I told Mr. Gilgoff I had never met you and didn’t know if my understanding of your personal faith was accurate or not. What he wrote was quite the opposite.
Here’s how Gilgoff described the subsequent call with the spokesman:
In a follow-up phone conversation, Focus on the Family spokesman Gary Schneeberger stood by Dobson’s claim. He said that, while Dobson didn’t believe Thompson to be a member of a non-Christian faith, Dobson nevertheless “has never known Thompson to be a committed Christian—someone who talks openly about his faith.”
“We use that word—Christian—to refer to people who are evangelical Christians,” Schneeberger added. “Dr. Dobson wasn’t expressing a personal opinion about his reaction to a Thompson candidacy; he was trying to ‘read the tea leaves’ about such a possibility.”
Dobson seems to be saying now that he didn’t know whether Fred was a Christian of any stripe. His spokesman seems to have said that he didn’t know him to be a “committed,” i.e., evangelical Christian. Or am I missing something?
I’m the last guy here to whom any of this might matter, so you tell me: is the rift healed now? Apology accepted/all better?