By John Connolly

NASHVILLE, Tennessee, March 13, 2008 ( –  Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family, called for pro-life citizens to pick up the banner for marriage and the family at the end of the National Religious Broadcasters conference on March 11.

Dobson’s speech, given to a crowd of over 1,400, echoed the speech he made at the funeral of the Rev. D. James Kennedy last fall. He called on the younger generation to carry the pro-life movement into the future, noting the passing of Jerry Falwell and Ruth Bell Graham as recent significant losses for the pro-life movement.

“It causes me to wonder who will be left to carry the banner when this generation of leaders is gone,” Dobson said. “The question is, will the younger generation heed the call? Who will defend the unborn child in the years to come? Who will plead for the Terri Schiavos of the world? Who’s going to fight for the institution of marriage, which is on the ropes today?”

Dobson, who endorsed Governor Mike Huckabee for the 2008 election, expressed concern that American conservatives are de-emphasizing the importance of life as an issue.

“Who in the next generation will be willing to take the heat, when it’s so much safer and more comfortable to avoid controversial subjects,” Dobson said. “What will be the impact on the conservative Christian church when the patriarchs have passed?”

Dobson said last month that he could not vote for Senator John McCain as a matter of conscience. Now that McCain is the official Republican candidate for the White House, Dobson has reiterated his call for strong leaders to give hope and vitality to the pro-life movement.

“Dr. Dobson’s question, ‘Who will be the next generation?’ was more an exhortation than a plea to find others to carry the mantle of righteousness he and his contemporaries have carried,” said Gary Schneeberger, vice president of media relations for Focus on the Family. “He knows they’re out there; many of them are already making a huge difference. The focus of what he was saying was, ‘When the Lord calls you to make that kind of difference, don’t fight Him. He always wins.’”

See Previous LifeSiteNews Coverage:

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