James Dobson on Obama

A few disclaimers before I begin. First, my candidate didn’t make it past the primaries. As for which of the two viable candidates (yes, two. I may have some libertarian ideals, but they have no chance at this presidential election) I’m leaning towards, I think it makes little difference to this discussion.

CNN has an article regarding some things Dobson has said about Obama. Personally, it sounds to me like Dobson is raving. His arguments and jabs are half-baked at best. That works for Ice Cream, but not so much for logical discussion. I try to keep politics off of my blog. But I really can’t stand aside at this point.

First, Dobson criticizes Obama for saying that we can’t use the Bible as the sole document regarding how we govern. As evidence for this Obama puts forth Leviticus and Deuteronomy. To be sure these are some tired arguments. Obviously, a proper understanding of those two books makes them far less offensive than they might appear at first glance. But that is neither here nor there. Obama is right we can’t govern based solely on the Bible. Our world is not the Ancient Near East. It’s not even the modern middle east. Obama is also right when he says, “So before we get carried away, let’s read our Bible now. Folks haven’t been reading their Bible.”

Dobson’s response to this? According to CNN, “Dobson said Obama should not be referencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.” Now, this isn’t a direct quote. So one must be careful. But I really, really hope that Dobson didn’t say anything remotely close to “[certain Old Testament books] are no longer relevant to the teachings of the New Testament.” If that’s the case then I don’t think it is Obama who has no clue about how to read and interpret the Bible. CNN also reports that Dobson said the following (direct quote): “‘I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology,’ Dobson said, later adding that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.'” Again, I don’t think Dobson has any clue here, nor does he have any business being the arbiter of what is or isn’t “biblical understanding” or “confused theology.”

CNN reports that Obama also asked a, in my view, legitimate question concerning what brand of Christianity one might govern by. In this case the Senator from Illinois actually mentions Dobson, “Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s?” I think that is exactly the issue. Now, of course, Focus on the Family came back with some argument that Obama was calling Dobson a racist. I don’t think that’s what Obama was doing at all. I think he was legitimately pointing out that we have Dobson on one extreme and Sharpton on another, and they will probably never agree on which brand of Christianity should be taught in schools, or which brand should be used to determine policy. He wasn’t comparing the two of them, he was contrasting the two of them. It’s a common practice, in rhetoric.

The solution? Christianity should stay out of politics and instead focus on helping the poor, blind and lame. After all, what could be more pleasing to God than taking care of widows and orphans? I hardly agree with everything Obama has ever said about faith, but I certainly find myself agreeing more with him than the self-appointed arbiter of Evangelicalism.

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8 thoughts on “James Dobson on Obama

  1. Dobson doesn’t like Obama because he’s a Democrat, and on top of that, he’s a Democrat who dares to talk about faith issues.

    The blasphemy!

  2. Religious Right being the religious right.. if they had it their way this country would look like the Taliban governed Afghanistan. People walking around with canes in the street whacking people for doing the “wrong” thing. Executing homosexuals and the like.

    He blamed 9/11 on abortion… and he’s a Fox News regular. Thus making him an unstable partisan hack.

  3. Rev. James Dobson needs to stop. Senator Obama is not a preacher. Look at the Real Issue…Invasion of Iraq/ Money sent to Iraq/ Mismanagement of money in Iraq for infrastructure when the government receives the money from oil/ Foreclosures/ Homes losing value/ Veterans not receiving proper medical care/ Veterans’ Hospital fiasco near the backyard of the Whitehouse/ Recession/ Higher and higher Gas prices/ Mortgage Crises/ Mortgage Fraud/ Tainted food/ Lead-based toys/ “No Child Left Behind” that has allowed for 50%+ high school drop-out rates in many American cities/ higher unemployment/ students not receiving loans especially those who want to attend 2 year colleges/ etc. etc. etc.

    These are the Real Issues and religion is involved in some of the present administration and Senator McCain’s policies. McCain has voted 95%+ of the time for these policies….Iraq—non-management of mortgage fraud which is Federal—-therefore stealing from another. Reverend Dobson needs to talk about these situations and quit acting like a closet Republican….oh yes, is his Church a non-political affiliation that does not have to pay taxes?

  4. May I put in my two cents worth?
    Then I think Rev Dobson is urgueing to suite his on morality and at the same time contradicting his own thinking.
    First, he says we should not be refencing antiquated dietary codes and passages from the Old Testament that are not longer relevant to the teachings of the New Teastament. Now, which antiquated dietary codes should we leave out?
    If it wasn’t for for the Old Testament, why do we have to fight about whether there was real creation in seven days or there was simply an evolution to the present life? Or is this the best of those dietary codes for keep sake?
    If Senator Obama’s suggestion is an attempt to lead by the lowest common denominator of morality, then my question to Rev. Dobson is, why do you infer to the Old Testament as antiquated and therefore not to referenced upon? DOn’t we all pick and choose what suites our agenda of the moment?

  5. The first para is barely readable…

    Anyway, there is nothing new here. Just the death throws of an antiquated regime/organization. Finally, I am optimistic that the US will move beyond Calvin and the Salem witch trials and join the rest of the modern world in a rational, free-thinking existence.

  6. Rev. Dobson, shame on you!!!!! After all, you interpret the Bible to fit your needs. How do we really know how the original writers wanted us to interpret what they wrote in the Bible. I believe that you show that you are a religious “fruitcake” because if someone has a different interpretation it’s not right just because you think that you know everything about the Bible. Well, you are not God!!!!!!

  7. Of all people, Mr. Dobson–being a man of the cloth–should know that there are indeed Christian churches that do hold that the Old Testament dietary laws are binding on Christians. Seventh Day Adventists, which claims to have over 15 million followers, does adhere to OT dietary laws and such. Is Mr. Dobson now deciding which so-called churches are legitimate and which are not? Don’t the heretical evangelicals believe in sola scriptura and that no man can tell another how to interpret scripture?

  8. I grew up a fan of Dobson (because my parents are fans of Dobson’s). Some of the things he’s written are legitimate, even helpful (i.e. his acceptance of masturbation as normal and acceptable, at least in the formative years).

    But in this current electoral climate, Dobson has struck me as nothing short of juvenile. The attitude I get is one of a small boy saying, “No! If we can’t play by my rules then I’m not playing!” I mean, to give up one’s right to help decide the next president of the United States because you don’t think he’s conservative enough . . .

    My main point is that I’m disappointed that a man who is supposed to be a model for Christian families (such as mine) can set such a puerile example.

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