Cross-posted from Mike Malloy
Salon has more:
"Christian evangelical and longtime religious right leader James Dobson depicted himself as locked in an epic struggle with President Obama over abortion and contraception more generally, at one point going so far as dare the president to 'come and get [him].'
"'President Obama, before he was elected, made it very clear that he wanted to be the abortion president ... He didn't ... make any bones about it, that this is something that he really was going to promote and support, and he has done that, and in a sense he is the abortion president,' Dobson continued. 'And early on, in his first term, he announced ... that every American that gets insurance, which would be almost all of us, would have to pay a surcharge ... and that we would have to pay it and that would go towards the support of abortion.'
"Dobson then proceeded to read something he had written years ago, an explanation of why he would never pay Obama's pro-abortion surcharge.
"'I will not pay the surcharge for abortion services. The amount of the surcharge is irrelevant. To pay one cent for the killing of babies is egregious to me, and I will do all I can to correct a government that lies to me about its intentions and then tries to coerce my acquiescence with extortion.' Dobson continued, saying, 'It would be a violation of my most deeply-held convictions to disobey what I consider to be the principles in scripture. The creator will not hold us guiltless if we turn a deaf ear to the cries of his innocent babies.'
"'So come and get me, Mr. President, if you must,' Dobson challenged. 'I will not yield to your wicked regulations!'"
Remember, Dobson wasn't screeching at his his flock of fanatical followers, he was speaking at a government service to our nation's legislators. They weren't universally pleased. Rep. Janice Hahn (D-CA) walked out after Dobson called Obama "the abortion president."
In an interview with The Huffington Post on Thursday, Hahn called the speech deeply "inappropriate" and a violation of the event's symbol as a nonpartisan day of unity...
"'He goes on about health care and ... providing abortions, and at that point I stood up and I pointed my finger at Dr. Dobson and I said, 'This is inappropriate!' and walked out,' Hahn told HuffPost.
"'Dobson just blew a hole into this idea of being a nonpartisan National Day of Prayer. It was very disturbing to me ... and really a shame,' Hahn, the co-chair of the weekly congressional prayer breakfast, added. 'James Dobson hijacked the National Day of Prayer -- this nonpartisan, nonpolitical National Day of Prayer -- to promote his own distorted political agenda.'
"The event, sponsored by Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), was organized by the National Day of Prayer Task Force, a conservative evangelical Christian non-profit, whose chairwoman is James Dobson's wife, Shirley Dobson."
So there you go. This is what happens when politicians climb in bed with evangelicals. And at the risk of climbing into a specious argument, hasn't every president since Roe v Wade was decided in 1973 been "the abortion president?" Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush the father and Dim Son -- none worked to overturn the law.
An even larger question might be why, given that the semblance of separation of church and state still exists, is there a celebration of "national prayer day" in the halls of our legislative branch? It's a mixed message at best, and serves at least as a tacit approval of government-sanctioned prayer.