Focus on the Family and Family Talk Radio founder James Dobson, one of the most respected advisers to Christian families in America, Thursday night rejected charges that his description of Barack Obama as the “abortion president” at the National Day of Prayer was inappropriate.
“The people who were there were with me 100 percent,” he told the Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly in an interview.
Kelly raised the issue of Rep. Janice Hahn, D-Calif., walking out during Dobson’s address.
Hahn explained she was upset because it was supposed to be “a nonpartisan day of unity” and said Dobson “behaved inappropriately by going after the president.”
“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 the Huffington Post.
As WND reported, in his address Thursday, Dobson issued a direct vow to Obama: “Come and get me, if you must. I will not yield to your wicked regulations.”
Hahn said 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. James Dobson hijacked the National Day of Prayer – this nonpartisan, nonpolitical National Day of Prayer – to promote his own distorted political agenda,” she said.
Dobson pointed out that there were thousands of people at the event in Washington and another 34,000 prayer events around the country at the same time.
“One person chose to walk out as far as we know, [yet] that’s what everyone feeds on,” he said.
Dobson also noted that he had praised the president for issuing a declaration for the National Day of Prayer, although it was late and didn’t arrive until after the event had started.
He said Kelly’s description of his address as a “scathing attack” wasn’t accurate.
And he explained that “it is very difficult for those who aren’t part of the sanctity of life movement to understand how intensely we feel about the issue of killing babies.”
“The president has not only done everything he could to promote abortion, he let us know before he was elected and people elected him anyway,” Dobson said.
But what became intolerable, he said, was that Obama “determined that people of faith and people of conscience were going to have to go along and be part of it.”
Then he recalled his statements in an open letter condemning the Obamacare proposal that all taxpayers pay for abortions.
When Kelly pointed out that the proposal didn’t make it into the law, Dobson argued that it hadn’t been dropped either. Obama already has changed the law more than three dozen times through executive orders, without consulting Congress.
“If you insist on us paying for abortion, we’re not going to go there,” Dobson said.
Here are Dobson’s comments Thursday:
His interview with Megyn Kelly:
Obama’s support for abortion has been touted by Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest provider of abortion.
In a report on his 2013 keynote address to a Planned Parenthood gala, Cecile Richards, president of the organization, said: “President Obama has done more than any president in history for women’s health and rights. He understands that access to birth control and preventive health care are economic issues for women and their families.
“We fought alongside him to ensure that women’s health access was expanded in the landmark Affordable Care Act, and now we have to fight hard to ensure that the full promise of health care reform is realized for millions of women.”
At the prayer day event, Dobson described how Obama said he would become the abortion president.
“He has made it so that every American will have to pay toward support abortion,” he said, noting the $250 million in taxpayer funds that already goes toward Planned Parenthood’s funding.
He implored listeners to “keep fighting.”
“We can win,” he said. “And keep praying, because that’s what really made a difference here.”
As WND reported, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn issued an injunction April 18 preventing the federal government from imposing on Dobson and Family Talk the mandate to provide abortion-causing agents in employee health insurance.
Dobson wrote then in a note to friends: “We are celebrating and thanking the Lord this morning. Victory is ours. We won our case against [former Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen] Sebelius and the Obama administration.”
Dobson said Judge Blackburn “wrote a powerful statement, which even used pro-life language.”
“He defended my right to follow the dictates of my conscience. It was eloquent.”
He explained then what the ministry and its few dozen employees were facing.
“The mandate requiring that we provide abortifacients such as the morning after pill would have begun on May 1st. After that, if we hadn’t prevailed, fines amounting to $800,000 per year would have kicked in,” he said.
“We would have closed our doors.”
Dobson noted that Alan Sears of the Alliance Defending Freedom, which handled the legal work for his ministry, called it “one of the most significant religious liberty cases in American history, because never before has a citizen been required by a chief executive to take the life of another human being.”
Dobson explained in a commentary why he took the issue to court.
“I believe in the rule of law, and it has been my practice since I was in college to respect and honor those in authority over us. It is my desire to do so now. However, this assault on the sanctity of human life takes me where I cannot go,” he said.
“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 said 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 if you must, Mr. President. I will not bow before your wicked regulation,” he wrote.
More than 100 lawsuits
The Family Talk case was among more than 100 lawsuits brought by religious ministries, individuals and organizations and companies against Obama’s health-care takeover on the grounds it violates the religious rights of Christians by forcing them to pay for abortion-causing procedures.
When the lawsuit was filed on his behalf in 2013, Dobson, who founded Family Talk in 2010, explained: “We are suing [then-HHS Secretary] Kathleen Sebelius for forcing or trying to force all of us to give abortifacient medications to our employees, and I just absolutely refuse to do it. We’ll close down before I’ll do it.”
The vast majority of the rulings in the lawsuits have favored the Christians, but a federal precedent is expected to be set this year by the U.S. Supreme Court, which accepted for argument a pair of cases.
Oral arguments in the Conestoga Wood and Hobby Lobby cases already have been held.
The Obama administration had demanded that Family Talk’s third-party insurance administrator provide abortion-inducing drugs and devices to Family Talk employees.
Whether the employees want the products is irrelevant under the Obamacare mandate, which requires the provision regardless of the beliefs of the employer and employees.
As a Christian ministry, Family Talk’s self-insured health plan excludes coverage of abortion-inducing drugs and devices. But the complaint notes that if Family Talk does not comply with the mandate’s requirements by May 1, it will be subject to fines up to $36,500 per employee annually.
“The government has put religious employers to a cruel choice: ‘Abandon your religious beliefs or be fined out of existence,’” said ADF lead counsel Matthew Bowman when the case was launched. “Thankfully, the Constitution and other federal laws don’t allow that.”
The Obama administration was asked to provide an exemption for religious employers, but officials defined the exemption so narrowly that workers at Christian colleges, nursing homes, soup kitchens and parachurch ministries are not protected.
“According to the administration, Family Talk is not ‘religious enough’ for an exemption,” said Martin Nussbaum of Lewis Roca Rothgerber LLP, who is serving as co-counsel in the lawsuit. “Yet sanctity of life and protecting the unborn have long been core religious convictions for Dr. Dobson and Family Talk.”
Family Talk’s centerpiece is a daily 30-minute radio broadcast, “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk,” that seeks to reach young and old with the Judeo-Christian worldview of the family.
The lawsuit charges the government violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, the First and Fifth Amendments to the U. S. Constitution and the Administrative Procedure Act.
Dobson said then his ministry “believes in living out the religious convictions we hold to and talk about on the air.”
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, author of runaway bestseller “The Harbinger,” also was a speaker for the 63rd annual National Day of Prayer on a date he tells WND holds a special significance in both his book and American history.
Get “The Harbinger” and movie companion “The Isaiah 9:10 Judgment,” or one or more of Cahn’s biblical teaching series productions: “The Masada Mystery,” “The Sanhedrin Secret,” “Hanukkah Endtime Mystery” and “The Secret of the Eighth Day.”