James Dobson's Focus on the Family hosted a forum this week for candidates in Colorado's 5th congressional district, home to the Focus empire. There was plenty of the usual palaver, but the Republicans' perspective on the war was particularly troubling.
Bentley Rayburn spoke of opening Iraq to the word of Jesus.... Rayburn, a retired Air Force major general, framed several answers in terms of what "we as Christians" would do. As he has throughout the campaign, he described the war in Iraq as a battle against radical Islam and said establishing a democracy in Iraq would send a message.
"That will open up hope within these countries for the gospel of Jesus Christ to change hearts," he said.
I suppose there are reasonable arguments to support the president's open-ended commitment in Iraq -- I can't think of any, but it's possible -- but creating an environment in the Middle East that's hospitable to Christianity isn't a persuasive selling point. It may fit in with Bush's talk of a "crusade," but it's probably not helpful, diplomatically.
--Guest Post by Steve Benen, The Carpetbagger Report