Saturday, April 7, 2007

Fred Thompson and the Evangelicals.

Even though he has yet to officially declare his candidacy, Fred Thompson has already been scrutinized over not only his politics but his spiritual beliefs.

Focus on the Family founder James Dobson has dealt a potentially devastating blow to Fred Thompson’s presidential aspirations, saying the former senator is not a Christian.

"Everyone knows he’s conservative and has come out strongly for the things that the pro-family movement stands for,” Dobson – considered the most politically powerful evangelical figure in the U.S. – said in a phone call to Dan Gilgoff, senior editor at U.S. News & World Report.

"[But] I don’t think he’s a Christian. At least that’s my impression.”

Thompson’s spokesman Mark Corallo took issue with the statement.

"Thompson is indeed a Christian,” he said. "He was baptized into the Church of Christ.”

Whatever the case, I don’t believe a Presidential candidate’s religious status is the most important aspect (and I say this as a Christian myself).

What should be of paramount concern to all Christian conservatives is a candidate’s aspirations to uphold the Constitution. I take great comfort in Thompson’s statement on Roe v Wade:

"I think Roe vs. Wade was bad law and bad medical science. And the way to address that is through good judges. I don't think the court ought to wake up one day and make new social policy for the country. It's contrary to what it's been the past 200 years."

What’s also very revealing in that statement is Thompson’s belief in judges who actually hand down rulings based on laws in place rather then legislating from the bench. Whomever is elected President in 2008 will likely face the prospects of nominating at least one justice to the Supreme Court of the United States (Liberal justice John Paul Stevens will be 87 in two weeks). As it stands right now, the SCOTUS seems to be evenly divided, with Justice Anthony Kennedy appearing to be the “swing vote.”

It stands to reason that a President Thompson would nominate constructionist judges in the mold of Antonin Scalia and John Roberts.

Therefore, if our Constitutional rights are protected, this would go much further in maintaining religious freedom than the Christianity of a sitting President.

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