Dobson Accuses Obama of Distorting the Bible

Barack Obama has had some success in reaching out to compete for the evangelical vote. While he might receive the support from some religious voters who do not follow the political agenda of the religious right, the far right is certain to oppose him. James Dobson plans to attack Obama with accusations of “distorting” the bible. AP reports that this attack will air on Dobson’s  Focus on the Family radio program on Tuesday. Dobson criticizes Obama over a speech given in 2006 where he referred to his difference in approach to religion with 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?” Obama said. “Would we go with James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s?” referring to the civil rights leader.

Obama has often included reference to religion in his speeches, but has made clear his belief in separation of church and state. Their differences are actually over matters far more significant than their interpretations of the bible, which would not be of significance in a political campaign if not for the problem that the religious right also desires to impose their view of the bible upon others.  Dobson objects to beliefs on religion and public policy similar to those Obama expressed during a debate last year:

But what I also think is that we are under obligation in public life to translate our religious values into moral terms that all people can share, including those who are not believers. And that is how our democracy’s functioning, will continue to function. That’s what the founding fathers intended.

While Dobson objects to Obama’s views on religion on public policy, he has also stated he will not vote for John McCain. After being spoiled by the Bush year, only a full blown theocrat is now acceptable to him.

Update: In writing the above I initially used a statement from Obama which illustrates the views which Dobson is attacking. I’ve have since dug up and quoted from his actual speech from 2006 which Dobson is referring to.

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  1. 1
    myhome7 says:

    The funny thing is, for anybody who claims to love Jesus, and who claims to desire to serve Him by obeying His words (as written in the bible), they would find themselves agreeing more with Obama’s statements than Dobson. Number one being that Jesus called His followers to LOVE their enemies. You can’t do that and be killing them at the same time. Thus the reason the defense department could not stand up to His teachings. The conservative christian right lives, for the most part, in total opposition to Christ in this regard. They would rather kill their enemies than to bless them and do good to them. Jesus also preached that we should take care of the poor… hmmm… sounds more like a democrat to me. The CCR would rather the poor get a clue and figure out how to get rich like them or deal with their sorry state of life and be quiet about it. Jesus also said that we should not get involved in matters of the world (ie. politics)… ooops! That’s one of the favorties of the religious right. So, if you want to accuse anybody of distorting the bible, I would have to say the finger more clearly points to the CCR as the distorter of the bible, rather than Obama. At least Obama has the honesty to recognize what results would follow a radical obedience to Jesus… no more defense department… that would be funny! Now that would be faith like Jesus said to have!

  2. 2
    Dave says:

    “But what I also think is that we are under obligation in public life to translate our religious values into moral terms that all people can share, including those who are not believers.”
    What a pious position – is he trying to say morality is linked only to those who believe? And an evangalist accusing others of twistiing the bible ? isnt  that the pot calling the kettle black?

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    “is he trying to say morality is linked only to those who believe?”

    No, that is pretty much the opposite of what he is saying. For example, in his full speech he said, “I do not believe that religious people have a monopoly on morality.” Obama is arguing against the belief of the religious right that beliefs based upon religion are sufficient to determine government policy.

  4. 4
    cneil says:

    I agree with Dobson that Obama is supporting an irresponsible interpretation of scripture.  If you look at what Obama actually said, I don’t think any serious Bible scholar would accept the false dilemma that he created.
    However, it is a pretty strong leap to not vote for the man because of that one speech.

  5. 5
    Ron Chusid says:


    No, it is Dobson who is making things up with his theological arguments.

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