Faith 2016 News

James Dobson joins evangelicals for Trump

(RNS1-JUL14) National Day of Prayer Chairwoman Shirley Dobson and her husband, religious broadcaster and political activist James Dobson, bow their heads with President Bush and wife Laura during a May ceremony in the East Room of the White House. SEE ``CHRISTIAN-RIGHT,'' transmitted July 14. (White House photo)

Hi resolution version of RNS-DOBSON-QANDA020813a.jpg(RNS) James Dobson has endorsed Republican nominee Donald Trump for president, further boosting the candidate’s standing among evangelical voters.

The Focus on the Family founder released his endorsement on Thursday (July 21), hours before Trump took the stage to accept his party’s nomination on the last night of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

And, while he said he made the endorsement only on behalf of himself and not on behalf of Focus on the Family or his Family Talk organization and radio program, he noted, “Most evangelicals I know have decided for various reasons that they will really have only have one choice for president, and that is Donald J. Trump.

“I believe it’s a good choice. America needs strong and competent leadership,” he said.


RELATED: 7 conservative Christians who are not supporting Trump


Dobson, a member of Trump’s evangelical advisory board, had attended the meeting last month in New York City between Trump and nearly 1,000 evangelical Christians. Dobson made headlines when he announced the candidate recently did “accept a relationship with Christ” and was now a “baby Christian,” something Trump still has not acknowledged.

The decision to endorse Trump came in direct response to Sen. Ted Cruz’s speech the night before at the convention, a Dobson spokesperson confirmed to RNS. The Texas senator was booed when it became clear he would not formally endorse the candidate.

Dobson, a psychologist, author and radio host, previously had endorsed Cruz.

In his endorsement, Dobson noted his enthusiasm for Trump’s choice of running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence. Pence signed Indiana’s controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act as governor and had supported causes important to evangelicals as a congressman, opposing abortion rights and same-sex marriage.

Dobson also said the presidential nominee has been “unwavering in his commitment to issues that are important to evangelicals such as myself.” He pointed to Trump’s promises to “appoint conservative Supreme Court justices, preserve religious liberty, rebuild the military and defend the sanctity of human life.”

Trump’s positions on abortion have varied, with him saying he was “very pro-choice” as late as 1999. Dobson said he chose to evaluate Trump based not on his past but “on what he says are his current convictions.”

“I believe God can change the hearts and minds of people and I celebrate when they support principles of righteousness,” the evangelical said.

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins also said for the first time Thursday night at the convention he would be voting for Trump.

Other evangelical leaders who are supporting Trump include pastors Mark Burns and Paula White, who both delivered prayers at the Republican National Convention; Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., who spoke on the last night; pastor Robert Jeffress of Dallas; and Ralph Reed of the Faith & Freedom Coalition.

Burns, White, Falwell, Jeffress and Reed all are members of Trump’s evangelical advisory board.

About the author

Emily McFarlan Miller

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for RNS based in Chicago. She covers evangelical and mainline Protestant Christianity.

27 Comments

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  • Of course Dobson does. Power, money, and dominion. That’s all its EVER been about.

  • What is one more hate group endorsing Trump? Focus on Family can join the white supremacists, Islamaphobes, and nativists who have already backed The Orange One.

  • Or maybe Dobson is just taking the common-sense route. The lesser of two evils is clearly Trump. The evil of two lessers is clearly HILLARY.

  • “Focus on the Family”, aka Focus on the Sex Lives of Others, getting itself in the news yet again.

  • The Anti-Christ temps with power, money, and prestige. This man is the reason the young are fleeing religion.

  • He should not be endorsing anyone. The one thing that should not have become political is religion. I deplore the fact that the Republican party equates itself with christianity, and Evangelical Christians equate themselves with Republican party. I, Christian, have been told that I am going to hell because i am a Democrat. My response? Then I guess all my Thai Christian friends are going to hell as well, eh? None of them are Republican. Of course none are Democrat, either.

  • Years ago FOTF decided that “fixing’ the family meant pointing fingers at those outside the church. The bible is pretty explicit about addressing the problems within the church, not outside. I believe that if they had stayed true to their mission we may not have the turmoil that we have in this country today. Jesus said to take the log out of our own eyes before taking the speck out of someone else’s. Clearly he forgot that early on.

  • But that’s not what Dobson said. He’s claiming that Trump is a born-again Christian and has turned to “righteousness” out of “principle.” Any reasonable observer knows that’s a complete pile of nonsense. If you truly think that Trump is the lesser of two evils, go ahead and vote for him. But not because he’s had some kind of conversion.

  • Mullah Dobson and his cabal have very little to do with religion except how it has functioned for him as a tool to money and power.

  • Dr. Dobson just reaffirmed to a few million millennials that their suspicions regarding Christianity is correct. If the goal is to keep young people from ever investigating the church great job!
    Trump is a serial liar who made his fortune off the backs of drunken gamblers being served by barely dressed hotties. Jesus would disown him.

  • Sorry, that’s all the choices on the 2016 menu. Either way you will get some fresh evil on your plate.

    It’s just that Hillary will give you Botulism on top of it all !!

  • …….Jesus weeps when He hears Dobson’s name……..an apostate like Franklin Graham…….

  • What, you don’t think Hillary and Bill ALSO got power money & prestige? Did you know her annual intake is Nine Figures?

  • Dobson just drove a nail into Jesus in the name of Christ! So terribly sad and blind!!!

  • You mean Hillary no longer invokes her Methodist Liberal Social Justice Religion pedigree anymore? Really?

  • Jesus went down to the hookers, pimps and money lenders – and Republicans (publicani).

    Trump is several of those things.

  • Donald Trump in unabashedly in favor of regulating abortion and killing unborn children in some circumstances. How is James Dobson’s full support for someone who supports killing babies in some circumstances ever going to end killing babies? We live in a political system that lauds compromise. Wanting desperately to make the king of his choosing, Dobson has lead so many Christians down the road of compromise that there are precious few who still hold that it wrong to kill an innocent person for any reason.

  • Bologna. Tom Hoefling is running for president, and I am voting for him. If Hillary wins people like you will blame people like me for throwing the election. If Donald wins people like me will blame people like you for throwing the election.

  • I just lost all respect for James Dobson and am incredibly disappointed.

    Hillary Clinton is a dignified, lifelong Methodist and supporter of childrens’ causes. She worked to keep her marriage together when it would have been much easier to walk away.

    And Donald Trump, the sleeze merchant who runs the Miss Universe exploitation fests, the serial philanderer who throws his wives away when a prettier younger model comes along, is the candidate supported by Focus on the Family.

    Simply staggering hypocrisy.

  • Not all American Christians are hateful and greedy. There are a few good ones who actually follow Jesus, rather than Leviticus.

    See The Christian Left on Facebook.

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