Reports Conflict About Fred Thompson’s Church Membership, Attendance

Posted by Kendall Harmon

A Southern Baptist Convention leader weighed into ongoing debate about GOP presidential candidate Fred Thompson's churchmanship, claiming he attends a Presbyterian church in the Washington area "on a regular basis."

The church's pastor confirmed he has seen Thompson there but suggested "regular" attendance is an overstatement. And a pro-Thompson blogger said many of the now-official candidate's religious supporters would be surprised if the Church of Christ-baptized Thompson is indeed now a Presbyterian.

Questions about Thompson's religious affiliation have dogged the former senator and star of "Law & Order" since Focus on the Family founder James Dobson remarked in March he was under the impression that Thompson is not a Christian.

The Thompson campaign shot back by saying Thompson was baptized into the Church of Christ as a boy in the 1950s. A bio on Thompson's exploratory Web site said he attended First Street Church of Christ while growing up in Lawrenceburg, Tenn., where he learned "the importance of family, hard work, faith and education."

A political science professor at a Church of Christ-affiliated university responded with a tongue-in-cheek "I Saw Fred Thompson at a Church of Christ" Challenge on a blog, observing the former senator "may not be filling out an attendance card at a Church of Christ on Sundays."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsUS Presidential Election 2008

Posted September 7, 2007 at 8:01 am

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1. Bob from Boone wrote:

I hope this cow has been milked enough. Perhaps if James Dobson had not shot off his mouth, there wouldn’t be so much huffing and puffing over this. Whether Thompson is a Christian or not is for him to say, and whether he goes to church every Sunday or not is hardly a determinant of his religious convictions.

I am less concerned about his churchgoing and more concerned with his views of Constitutional government and where he thinks the nation needs to be heading—and how he would lead it there.

September 7, 9:00 am | [comment link]
2. Bob from Boone wrote:

An additional thought: since the Republicans are looking for Reagan Redivivus, and Thompson along with other Republican candidates is claiming to be Reaganesque, his churchmanship shouldn’t matter. After all, Reagan hardly fit the mold of the good churchgoing Christian, yet he was wildly popular as a president.

September 7, 9:02 am | [comment link]
3. FrPhillips wrote:

Since Fred Thompson is a protestant, I’m not sure what the issue is.  As far as I know, amongst protestants generally there is no requirement to attend Sunday services, and therefore no indication that a person has sinned by missing services.  Judging the situation by protestant standards, this would have no bearing on the depth of his Christianity.

Of course, I happen to think this way of thinking is mistaken, but to require something of a protestant that most denominations would not require seems mistaken.

September 7, 9:58 am | [comment link]
4. Nate wrote:

#1—I don’t think that Dobson shooting “off his mouth” hurt Thompson any…Seems like his divorce, remarriage, and spotty church attendance was enough to do that.
A candidate’s religion either matters or it doesn’t.

September 7, 10:41 am | [comment link]
5. Nate wrote:

An additional thought: since the Republicans are looking for Reagan Redivivus, and Thompson along with other Republican candidates is claiming to be Reaganesque, his churchmanship SHOULD matter. After all, Reagan hardly fit the mold of the good churchgoing Christian, yet he was willing to compromise his conservative principles by growing government, countenancing an adventurous military, and nominating middle of the road supreme court justices.

September 7, 10:53 am | [comment link]
6. KevinBabb wrote:

Elrod added. “I could really care less about where Fred Thompson goes to church.”

What a sad thing for one Christian to say about another.

“He married his current wife, Jeri Kehn, in 2002 in the United Church of Christ, a liberal Mainline denomination __not associated with the conservative Church of Christ of Thompson’s youth.__ “

Boy, that’s an understatement of colossal (actually cosmic) dimensions.

September 7, 11:18 am | [comment link]
7. William Tighe wrote:

“His current wife”—as far as I am concerned, that says it all.

September 7, 11:24 am | [comment link]
8. Katherine wrote:

I am delighted, for once, to agree entirely with Bob from Boone.

I would be thrilled to vote for a candidate who exactly mirrors my own political and religious opinions in every respect.  This will never happen.

Dr. Tighe, hang on a few years and you can vote for Bobby Jindal, a Roman Catholic.

September 7, 11:33 am | [comment link]
9. Tegularius wrote:

#7—aka, “his current wife, who is four years younger than his daughter”.

“Morality precedes Scripture”

September 7, 12:31 pm | [comment link]
10. Jim the Puritan wrote:

#2—Ronald Reagan was a good churchgoing Christian (in his case, Presbyterian).  He just never made an issue of it, and back then it wasn’t a litmus test that you had to wear the Bible on your sleeve to be considered acceptable.

September 7, 1:30 pm | [comment link]
11. Bob from Boone wrote:

Hi, Katherine, I’m always happen when there is a meeting of minds, and one of them is mine.

September 7, 1:30 pm | [comment link]
12. Bob from Boone wrote:

Ofcourse,Katherine, I meant “happy.”

September 7, 1:31 pm | [comment link]
13. Reactionary wrote:

In any event, Fred Thompson, a tall, stately actor, will act tall and stately for a few months before giving a dignified press conference withdrawing his candidacy.

September 7, 1:46 pm | [comment link]
14. libraryjim wrote:

I heard this on Rush Thursday, thought it funny and thought I’d quote it, even though I DON’T like his name-calling:

they went out and they asked former DNC chairman, The Punk, Terry McAuliffe, what he thinks of Fred Thompson. Now, when was the last time they found a former RNC chairman to ask what he or she thinks of a Democrat presidential candidate? You know what The Punk said? The Punk said, “I am never again going to take a B-actor for granted. I am never again going to underestimate a B-actor.”

“The world is a dangerous place to live — not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.”—Albert Einstein

September 8, 4:14 pm | [comment link]
15. NewTrollObserver wrote:

Reagan ran on law and order. Thompson played on Law and Order. The similarities pretty much end right there.

September 9, 1:29 pm | [comment link]

© 2014 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.

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