A charged crowd of about 6,000-7,000 greeted Dr. James Dobson at the first of six “Stand for the Family” rallies, filling Charlotte’s Cricket Arena in North Carolina with thunderous applause.
The rallies are sponsored by Focus on the Family Action, the public policy arm of Dobson’s Focus on the Family organization, to encourage more Christian participation in the upcoming election in which key issues such as same-sex “marriage” and abortion are to take center stage.
"The issues before us are so very critical. I mean, it's now or never," Dobson told them. "I really believe that the institution of the family is going to survive, or fail, in the next year — and probably this year. It is hanging on the ropes, literally. And so many people of faith, so many good people have sat around — sometimes myself included — for 35 years and let everything we care about erode away. And it is time to say, 'Enough is enough.' "
Other high-profile Christian leaders Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council; Bishop Wellington Boone of Promise Keepers and Gary Bauer, president of American Values and a former Republican candidate for president also spoke during the rally.
Dobson stressed the importance of voting by telling the crowd of threats posed by activist judges, who often times do not rule in favor of values held by the majority of American people.
To drive his point further, Dobson asked the crowd a series of questions to which the crowd answered in thunderous applause each time.
"Do you believe that prayer in schools should be legal again?" he asked. "Do you believe the Bible should be read in public schools? Do you believe there should be prayer at athletic events? Do you believe there should be prayer at graduation ceremonies? Do you believe the Ten Commandments ought to be posted on bulletin boards in schools? Do you believe our children ought to be able to say the Pledge of Allegiance? Do you believe there ought to be a ban on the horrible procedure of partial-birth abortion?"
Upon finishing the last question, Dobson received the most thunderous applause of the night.
"I hope they're listening in Washington," Dobson said, "because that is the sentiment all across this country.”
Referring to Missouri’s landslide vote earlier last month, in which 71 percent of voters supported traditional marriage, Dobson said, “Every one of those issues that I just listed is a 70-percenter.”
Dobson also made a call in support of the Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA), a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman throughout the nation. The proposed measure was stalled in the Senate on July 15.
On Sept. 19, one day before the FMA heads to the House of Representatives, Dobson will join a stellar line-up of Christian evangelical leaders including Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberties Commission, Shirley Dobson, and Perkins to urge Christians to inform their state delegates of their support for traditional marriage.
"If we want godly government — how do you think we get godly government?" asked Perkins, who devoted his stage time to refuting the Top 10 excuses Americans give for not voting.. "By putting godly people in government."
The former Louisiana state legislator also told Christians to not shy away from involvement in the political arena.
"So often as Christians we want to disengage from politics," Perkins said. "We need to see this as a mission field. And send missionaries into government.”
While the rally did not endorse any political party or presidential candidate, every attendant received a voter registration form and reminded to vote their values.
Another “Stand for the Family” rally will take place tonight in Raleigh, North Carolina before the event heads to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, (Sept. 27), Shreveport, La. (Sept. 28), Sioux, S.D. (Oct. 4), and Rapid City, S.D. (Oct. 5). Each event will begin at 6:30 p.m.