Saturday, October 22, 2005

If You Play with Fire, You May Get Burned...

And if you decide to go playing politics, you should not be surprised if you get attacked politically.

Case in point - James Dobson of Focus on the Family. He has, over recent years, become more and more involved in political matters, often in belligerant style. Most recently, he has been focusing on the politics of the federal judiciary, as evidenced in his involvment in the Justice Sunday rallies and the nomination of Harriet Miers.

It would seem that Dobson has been very deeply involved with the Miers nomination almost from the start. If the reports at the Wall Street Journal are correct, Dobson was expressly courted by the Bush Administration with assurances that Miers would vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. His involvement has raised some eyebrows, and may be engendering a backlash - apparently, Arlen Specter is considering calling Dobson as a witness in the Miers nomination hearings because of his involvment.

I am not saying anything here about the fitness of Miers for the post, or why Bush really chose her. So what is my point in all this? Just this. If Dobson does get called before the Senate and roasted over an open fire (not just the Dems would enjoy this - Specter's appointment to the Judiciary Committe was opposed by Dobson), he and his supporters will likely paint it as a martyrdom tale - the brave Christian leader standing in the path of the godless secularists seeking to stack the courts against traditional American/Judeo-Christian values, and being slandered and attacked for his heroic stand.

As Hagrid would say, "Codswallop!" Politics is politics. And Dobson knows this well. As the book Blinded by Might showed, Dobson has been playing the political game for quite a long time, so he cannot be blind to how it works. Now, if one wants to play politics, that's fine. But playing politics is NOT the same as advancing the Kingdom. And when the political wheel turns, and you find yourself on the receiving end of what you've dished out for so long, to cry "Persecution!" would ring hollow to my ears. And it would ring hollow to many more ears as well - ears much more hostile than mine, who would rejoice to see the name of Christ and the Church dragged through the mud yet one more time.

But then again, too many evangelicals cannot see the difference between advancing the Gospel and appointing strict constructionists to the Supreme Court - so if Dobson does decide to play the martyr, it might work. Sad to say.

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