June 25th, 2008
11:49 AM ET
6 years ago

Obama says Dobson 'making stuff up'

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(CNN)— Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday night evangelical leader James Dobson was “making stuff up,” when he accused the Illinois senator of distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.

“Any notion that I was distorting the Bible in that speech, I think anyone would be hard pressed to make that argument,” Obama told reporters on board his press plane Tuesday night.

Obama's past comments came front and center Tuesday when Dobson criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee’s June 2006 speech on his Focus on the Family radio show.

Watch: Schneider reports on Obama v. Dobson

In the speech, Obama suggested that it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting that some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.

Earlier: Evangelist accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asked in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?"

Obama responded Tuesday saying the speech underscored the notion he is a man of faith and highlighted the importance that people like him who find faith important “try to translate our concerns in a universal language so that we can have open and vigorous debate.”

UPDATE:
Responding to the comments, Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus Action, said "There is no need to 'make stuff up' as it relates to Sen. Obama's interpretation of Scripture and the role of religion in the public square."

"His statements and record make clear his questionable perception of both. To argue that the Sermon on the Mount invalidates the Defense Department - as if Jesus Himself didn't have anything to say about the existence of good and evil and the need to combat evil - is about as deep as anyone needs to go to understand where the senator is coming from," Minnery also said. "He is editing God's word to fit his liberal worldview, and the more exposure his views on these matters get, the more obvious this will become to American Christians."

soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. Loretta from California

    If you think HE is creating lies..........WAIT!!!!! I expect a lot worse from the GOP. I'm waiting for the Lie of all Lies. The BIG one.

    DEMOCRATS UNITE!!!!!

    June 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  2. Janice

    Dobson needs to stick with his medical practice and leave the Senator and his two year old message alone. Senator Obama's time is now. Those old dogma style politics will not work this time.
    Obama08

    June 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  3. Mike, Syracuse, NY

    I guess Obama doesn't believe in the moral principles found in the bible. Mr. Brilliant should understand the difference between the Old and New Testaments, and hence is references to slavery, etc. are bogus.

    June 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  4. NYC

    DOBSON IS THE RADICAL IN THIS STORY JUST LIKE THE ISLAMIC EXTREMIST. THIS GUY ISN'T ABOUT GETTING ALONG IT'S HIS WAY OR NO WAY . WHAT IS IT THAT SOME PEOPLE CANT SEE HE IS DANGEROUS.

    June 25, 2008 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  5. Jim in Atlanta

    Obama is a shyster. His attempt to go after the evangelical vote is insincere and deceptive. It’s about time some one called him out on in since McCain certainly isn’t doing it. People need to wake up to the fact that Obama doesn’t stand for anything. Just look at his record or lack there of. He’s accomplished nothing in his political career. This white male catholic Democrat and Hillary supporter will be giving his vote to John McCain in November.

    Still for Hill 12’

    June 25, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  6. @everyamericans

    I think we have had a enough of the religious radical right hijacked by Gdubya trying to force the interpretation of the Bible down our throats.

    Not This Time!!!

    Obama is right on this issue. Taking his words out of context to pander to the religious right is not only WRONG, BUT DEAD WRONG!

    McShame doesn't have a clue about our religious faith or values; considering the fact that he has cheated on his first wife to marry another for her wealth; that's not a family value americans needs!

    June 25, 2008 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  7. Roderick Vesper

    I'm completely amazed that Dobson's comments didn't mention "in my best selling book" somewhere. Dr. Dobson is only concerned with the publicity of this comment and how it will help make his next book a big hit also. He can't make it five minutes through his own radio show without bragging about one of his books. I am a christian and I am often appalled at his attitude of self importance. I give little credence to anything he has to say about politics or doctrine for that matter.

    June 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  8. Dobson who?

    Hey Dobson, read the following line aloud on your daily radio address. "I am a christian! I apologize for being self-righteous and judgemental bastar*!!"

    June 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  9. kescia

    In 2006 Obama was speaking on how people of faith can make the most impact in the public square. Obama realized their is a separation of church and state for a reason–namely people like this Dodson. These are the same religious hypocrites who support the death penalty, but want to outlaw abortion; who supported slavery, Jim Crow, lynchings, gender discrimination. The same hypocrites who oppose programs to help the poor and support children. Give me a break!
    Let people of good faith come together over what we can agree on and leave the rest to God.

    June 25, 2008 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  10. Ken

    Yeah, Dobson said that Obama was wrong in referencing the old testement in his speech and not referencing the New testement, So does he have a problem with Courts displaying the ten Commandments?

    I'm confused but believe that no religious doctrine should be in the public square. Democracy Rules

    June 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  11. Frank, Atlanta, GA

    God Bless you Senator Obama.

    Keep the faith and keep up the good fight for us all !!!

    VOTE OBAMA 2008....IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO DO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  12. Kenneth M

    IT SOUNDS LIKE DOBSON IS MAKING THINGS UP. SAY WHAT YOU WANT OBAMA IS AT LEAST A RESONABLE PERSON. ANYTHING THAT SMACKS OF JUST REDICULOUS OUGHT TO BE DISMISSED AS OUT OF HAND. YOU DONT HAVE TO VOTE FOR HIM, BUT DONT PAINT HIM AS SOME MANIAC. THE GOP HURTS ITSELF EACH TIME IT DOES THAT.

    June 25, 2008 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Enlightened Voter

    Obama is a Harvard Educated Constitutional Law Scholar. How dare dobson debate him on this issue, it is unthinkable. Dobson is an evangelical terrorists.

    June 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  14. Hello kettle, this is pot

    Barack Obama accusing Dr. Dobson of making stuff up?

    June 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  15. Kevin

    Hang in there Barack. It's going to get worse than this. DO NOT LET THE ACCUSERS change your message of Hope, Change, and a new, better America!

    Obama 08

    June 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  16. Brian Boyd, Staunton, Va

    Right-wing, Bible thumping hypocrites have nothing better to do than to start up controversy. HEY BUDDY! THOSE IDEALS HAVE LEFT OUR NATION IN A STATE OF DISGRACE. YOU MAKE ME SICK.

    June 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. Hello

    Im not voting for Obama but he is right her. This Dobson guy is a freak. Like he dosent read and take from the Bible what he feels fits his view ? Give me a break. All of them pick and choose from the Bible what they want to preach from the Bible!

    June 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  18. Marge

    I am not a supporter of Barak Obama, in fact I have no peace about him in any way shape or form. If one is to call himself a Christian and understands the foundational truths about scripture then one would know that abortion and gary rights are an abomination to the Lord. I realize that no one man has all the answers, however, if we acted on the prinicples of scripture as our forefathers did of our great country the United States, then we would be in much better shape. Barak Obama is not the leader for this country...he has his own agenda!

    June 25, 2008 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  19. Jeff - Illinois

    I don't know if it was posted on the previous article about this subject, so I'll say it again: As a Christian, I do not consider any supporter of the Neoconservative factions in our nation to be a reasonable source of commentary on anything related to the Christian faith. Sorry, Dobson, but most people know by now, that the so-called "Christian Right" is further from true Christianity than just about every other demographic group in the nation.

    June 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  20. Terry

    Perhaps Senator Obama should keep his comments on the Bible to himself until he actually reads the whole thing & understands it? But then, his example of Bible interpretation at the "church" he has been attending for years doesn't give him much of a chance of that, even if it really mattered to him.

    June 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  21. Reform is always good

    oh yes! thank you Barack! Dobson drives me nuts. Talk about someone who distorts Biblical scripture to match his own personal distorted beliefs, oh yes that would be Dobson! this man is nuts. nothing he promotes has any basis, validity or empirical evidence to back it. whether it's the promotion of hitting children, or condemning homosexuality (don't be scared, Dobson, no one wants you that way!). More fear tactics - thank you, western religion, for producing a monster like dobson. Put him in his place, BO!!!

    June 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  22. Down with Obama

    LMAO Obama is a nut case...how can Dobson be making stuff up when we heard it come straight out of your mouth OBAMA!!!!

    Tell CNN to quit making up polls. you have a 2 -3 point lead in the polls over McCain. I would bet that you are really behind in the polls if the truth be known....something you don't know about Obama...truth!!!

    June 25, 2008 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  23. franco

    Interesting that when God-fearing Christians, like Dobson, who se daily program, Focus on the Family, has done so much to strengthen family values, voice their concern, rabid liberals, like Obama and the left loonies go after him with vengeance. So much for liberal religious tolerance.

    June 25, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  24. Candy - Virginia

    Isn't Barack a constitutional law scholar? And who the heck is this dobson clown?

    June 25, 2008 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  25. Jim in FL

    As we have all seen, Obama's version of "faith" is ever changing. His "religious" acquaintances and mentors seem to have nothing to do with faith and religion. And when politics say its time for his "religion" and "mentors" to get thrown under the bus, under the bus they go !

    June 25, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
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