James Dobson: We Have Not Raised the White Flag

Conservative evangelical giant James Dobson of Focus on the Family made a rare interview appearance on Fox News Tuesday to articulate that neither he nor the pro-family movement have raised the white flag.

"We're not going anywhere," Dobson stressed to Fox's Sean Hannity.

Dobson, who recently stepped down as chairman of the Focus on the Family board, went on the news talk show to set the record straight about media reports indicating that he conceded defeat in the culture wars.

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London's Telegraph reported last week on Dobson's "farewell" speech to his staff in February.

"We tried to defend the unborn child, the dignity of the family, but it was a holding action," Dobson said, as reported by the Telegraph. "We are awash in evil and the battle is still to be waged. We are right now in the most discouraging period of that long conflict. Humanly speaking, we can say we have lost all those battles."

Several news outlets picked up on Dobson's speech and also interpreted it as the religious right admitting defeat in moral battles.

But Dobson said on Fox's "Hannity" that the media had only reported half of his statement and intentionally left out the rest.

What the evangelical leader said that day to his staff was: "Humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all those battles, but God is in control and we are not going to give up now, right?"

"The left wing media is itching for members of the pro-family movement to put up a white flag and declare the culture war over and to just hand the country to them," Dobson commented. "So they will take a statement like that, which was made to my staff; it wasn't a press release."

Dobson explained that the statement to his staff was in reference to the election.

"It would not be accurate not to admit we lost the White House, and we lost the House, we lost the Senate and we probably will lose the courts, and we lost almost every department of government with this election," he said on Fox News. "But the war's not over. Pendulums swing and we'll come back. We're going to hang in there.

"It's not going to be a surrender."

Dobson noted the "terrible things" that have been happening under the Obama administration, including the reversal of the Mexico City Policy, which prohibited funding for overseas abortion providers, and overturning a Bush policy that banned federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Obama is set to also rescind a conscience rule that protects healthcare workers who refuse to participate in abortions and has indicated that he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would prohibit any state from denying a woman the right to an abortion.

"Admittedly, Obama won the election and he has the right to set the policy. But in setting that policy he has changed or destroyed many of the principles that we worked so hard for," Dobson said on Tuesday. "The Freedom of Choice Act is hanging out there someplace that would roll back every single piece of legislation ever passed in any of the states to limit abortion and maybe even partial birth abortion will come back."

"Those things are very, very troubling," he continued. "But we believe they're temporary."

Dobson doesn't believe the American people have shifted in their moral standing on abortion and marriage and although the pro-life and pro-family movement has lost many battles, he stressed that the war was not lost.

"[S]peaking ... as a Christian, we're not called to be successful. We're called to be faithful and that's what we plan to do," he told Hannity. "We will have our day, I want to say to everybody out there who's concerned about the unborn child, about the meaning of marriage, about the conscience clause."

"This is a discouraging time but in tough times good people hang in there and wait for things to change and we pray a lot."

Dobson, who founded Focus on the Family, resigned as chairman in February as he continued relinquishing leadership roles. He stepped down as president and CEO in 2003.

He made clear on Tuesday that he did not retire or leave the family ministry but said "it was time to pass [the leadership] along and let a younger generation take over."

Currently, he continues to host the Focus on the Family radio broadcast which is heard on 1,500 radio stations and has 220 million listeners in 150 countries.

"I'm working as hard as I ever have and that has not changed," he said.

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