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'Friends' turn on Dobson 

"Dobson Thanks God for Brutally Wicked Ruling" was the tiny, but grabby, headline on an "open letter" accusing Focus on the Family chairman James Dobson of "misleading" Christians about the Supreme Court's April ruling outlawing so-called partial birth abortion.

That's right. Dobson accused of being, of all things, pro-abortion, because he celebrated the ban on late-term abortion and right in the middle of his hometown daily newspaper. Say what?

The poorly written, though exceedingly graphic, 3,292-word manifesto went on for four long columns. It filled the entire broadsheet page A11 of The Gazette one day last week bashing Dobson for perverting what it means to be pro-life, accusing him of becoming a moral relativist and calling on him to repent.

From the ad, which probably cost more than $2,000: "[Dobson] wrongly assert[s] that this ruling finds, "no constitutional right to slay a healthy, nearly born baby by stabbing it in the back of the head and vacuuming out its brains, all without even anesthetizing the child.'

Need more? "The court ruling you rejoice over, Dr. Dobson, results in the legal preference for "reasonable alternative procedures' for killing "late-term' children. These reasonable alternatives include "a leg might be ripped off the fetus,' "friction causes the fetus to tear apart,' "evacuating the fetus piece by piece continues,' "10 to 15 passes with the forceps,' "ripping it apart,' "dismemberment.' And you "applaud the court.' We rebuke you."

So there was the ad, sitting there like a truck covered with billboard-sized depictions of aborted fetuses parked in front of Palmer High School, and what does The Gazette do? In classic form, its editors ran a wire story from the Associated Press about the advertisement in its own newspaper. Now that's just lazy.

Beyond Colorado Springs, the ad caused an uproar,mostly because the men of course they were all men who bought the ad may not have as much money or power as the Focus on the Family chairman, but they are certainly players. Which caused some to suggest great fissures forming within the anti-abortion movement.

We're talking about the anti-choice titans of the industry here: Alan Keyes, Flip Benham, Bob Enyart and Colorado Right to Life attacking, in the ad, not just Dobson but also the National Right to Life, the Christian Coalition, the Family Research Council and more.

So does this mean a big split? Not likely. A better explanation probably lies in that sage advice from Mom: "Be careful, the company you keep."

Keyes, a former presidential candidate whose latest failure was losing to Barack Obama in 2004 for one of Illinois' U.S. Senate seats, is on record saying AIDS is rooted in moral crisis, and homosexuality is "the unbridled sort of satisfaction of human passions [that] leads to totalitarianism, Nazism and communism."

Benham is the Operation Rescue/Operation Save America guy, master of publicity stunts such as baptizing Norma McCorvey, the "Jane Roe" of Roe v. Wade, in a backyard Dallas swimming pool a decade ago, surrounded by TV cameras.

Enyart? Oh boy. Somebody pass the popcorn. The former adulterer and radio talk show host once spent almost two months in jail after incidents in Colorado Springs and Jefferson County in which, well, let's just say he walloped his stepson so hard you could, according to the boy's biological father, "see the imprint of the stitching off of the belt very clearly." (Enyart still reportedly supports "spanking.")

After the ad appeared, Focus on the Family righteously battled back, convincing the National Right to Life to repudiate its rogue Colorado chapter. Focus wrote its own "article," which appeared on its Web site, in which Colorado state Sen. Dave Schultheis, R-Colorado Springs, reported that he knows of no one "more committed to the sanctity of human life" than Dobson.

Undaunted, by the end of the week Enyart had announced on his Web site that he'd been contacted by the Washington Times, which had offered him a "major discount" to run the epistle in the Moonie-owned newspaper.

"We need to raise $7,000 almost overnite [sic] to do this," Enyart wrote. "If you can help, please call ... "

That, my friends, is what we call milking a dry cow.

degette@csindy.com

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