Dear Dr. Dobson and Mr. Colson,
I note with some interest that you have continued to comment on my proposal for a temporary fast from politics. Unfortunately, your comments have fantastically misrepresented my position. Chuck, here is what you wrote in The New York Times:
David Kuo cites the idea that evangelical Christians take a two-year fast from politics ("Putting Faith Before Politics,' Op-Ed, Nov. 16). Hmmm. What would have happened if Christians over the last two years had taken a leave of absence from politics?
Here's what would not have happened:The Bush administration would not have taken on the issue of slavery in Sudan, AIDS in Africa or global sexual trafficking. We wouldn't have seen Congress pass a ban on ''partial birth'' abortions or take on prison rape and prisoner rehabilitation, or highlight the horrors of persecution in North Korea. And what about Christians in public office? Leaders like Sam Brownback and Frank Wolf, who have risked their lives to go to troubled spots of the world to protect human rights and human dignity, would have just stayed home. Christians should be engaged in public life as instruments of justice and righteousness. A two-year fast? No thanks.
And Jim, here is part of what you said on Larry King Live:
Then finally -- finally -- what's he do? He says that values voters should take two years off. To whom would you say that, other than evangelicals? Would you say that to homosexuals? Would you say that to feminists? Would you say that to Jews? Would you say that to African-Americans? Just don't care about your issues for the next two years. That is nonsense, and I can't figure out why the guy wrote the book except maybe to make some quick bucks.
What is abundantly clear is that both of you have either never read what I wrote in Tempting Faith or that you have chosen to ignore it, distort it, and try to caricature it in such a way as to demean the idea.
To make it easier for you, here is a quick synopsis of my argument:
1. Our hope, as Christians, will never be found in an oval office, on a judicial bench, or in a legislative body. Our hope is found in Jesus.
2. Jesus' name is being destroyed in the name of partisan politics such that people now identify him more with issues like abortion and gay marriage and with wickedly partisan attacks than they do with the Good News.
3. Politicians use Christian voters for their money and for their votes and do not much care about their agenda. Becoming captive to any political party is a mistake because no captive has a powerful voice.
4. Perhaps it is time for Christians to take a temporary "fast" from politics, which means that they use their time, money, and attention for the hands-on work Jesus calls Christians to perform, humble themselves before God, put the politicians on their heels, and display to all Americans that Jesus is more important than the next political race.
5. The fast, however, does not mean politicians should leave office, staff should leave jobs, or anyone should stop voting. That sounds like anarchy which, I suppose, is what you want it to sound like. One doesn't fast from things that are evil; one fasts from things that are good but that need to be brought under control, under God's control.
6. Out of this fast several things might happen -- millions of Americans might actually take a second look at Jesus and give him a new chance, all of those "Christian" political leaders we've elected over the past few decades might actually stand up and become better leaders, and everyone might return to the political arena with a clearer perspective on the values that matter most. And, oh yeah, maybe the "values" of "Christian" organizations like the Family Research Council might change just a bit. After all, though they may think so "defunding the ACLU" is probably not the second most important thing in the world to achieve.
Jim, Chuck, I welcome an honest debate or a discussion on these points, but also ask that you cease misrepresenting what I have written. Because what I find most alarming about your comments is that you both seem either incapable or unwilling to examine matters of faith because of how they might harm your political positions.