June 24th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
15 years ago

Dobson accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/24/art.dobson.gi.jpg caption="Dobson takes aim at Obama on his radio show."](CNN) - One of the country's leading evangelical leaders is accusing Barack Obama of deliberately distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.

In comments aired on his radio show Tuesday, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson criticizes the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee for comments he made in a June 2006 speech to the liberal Christian group renewal.

Watch: Dobson's comments on Obama

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

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asks in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay 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."

"So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now," Obama also said to cheers. "Folks haven't been reading their Bible."

Watch: Can Obama court the Christian Right?

On the radio show Tuesday, 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.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (527 Responses)
  1. Ken Austin, TX

    Just shut up! Geez.

    June 24, 2008 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  2. Steve

    Dobson is a dangerous idiot.

    And if Obama loses this election because we're tolerant of all faiths (or lack of faith), this country deserves to go down the tubes.

    June 24, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  3. Nancy McKinney

    I keep trying to remind myself of what the constitution says about religions, wait, wait, wait....

    oh yea,


    Ps: this is Dobson's opinion, I happen to DISAGREE

    OBAMA 08!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  4. Dobson is Dumb

    Desperate times call for desperate measures. Barack made a very good point that he is the president for ALL the people, not just religious people. That's why there should be a seperation of church and state. I believe in God, and I go to church for a reason. I want to hear about my faith in my church, period. Not from some presidential candidate.

    Enough, this Dobson is grabbing at straws. I suspect he's not getting enough money in the offering plates.

    June 24, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  5. TESAP

    ??? HMMMMMMMMMM?????



    BARACK THE VOTE PEOPLE............... 🙂

    June 24, 2008 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  6. Katerina Ivanovna

    And exactly WHY is this relevant now?

    I'm a Catholic faithful to the Sacred Scriptures and I'm not offended by these comments. How is Obama's theology "confused"?

    June 24, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  7. James Carville

    "Fruitcake" interpretation of the Constitution. We know what codeword that means.

    Isn't it a really funny coincidence that every 4 years when we have a Presidential election, some State Supreme Court decides to legalize Gay Marriage?

    Funny how that works. Gets thos evangelicals into the voting booth, though.

    June 24, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  8. Stupid Is As Stupid Does

    Wow, you can really tell the GOP is losing. They're bringing out the zealots.

    June 24, 2008 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  9. Non-issues

    What a nut! So pick and choose what you want to take from the Bible and that is less perverse and distorted? Seriously...go focus on your family and be quiet.

    June 24, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  10. JC

    This is so pointless-
    Just another feeble attempt of the GOP trying to dig at Obama.

    Obama '08!

    June 24, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  11. jesse

    Lord, please save me from your followers. ESPECIALLY James Dobson, hate-filled abomination of a person.

    June 24, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  12. Loretta from California

    and this is why we need a separation of Church and State. Thank you President Jefferson.


    June 24, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. Not For Prime Time

    Let Dobson keep talking. Does the GOP have any more crazies, bring them all out. I smell victory in the air.

    Obama 08

    June 24, 2008 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. Jeb

    Obama should stop, only Dobson should be allowed to distort what the Bible says.

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Enlightened Voter -

    I wholly and unequivocably agree with Obama, i have never nor will never take the literal word of the Bible. We need to learn tolerance and not kow tow to these evangelical, terrorists who know nothing about the will of God and only about their egos. They are fanatics and need to open their hearts. Thank you Obama for your excellent judgment unlike this clown whoever the heck he is.

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. mary

    Why is this even a news story? It's not news worthy. Who is Dodson any way?

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  17. richard

    James Dobson is a hack.

    Who does he think he is dictating how the bible is to be interpreted?! There are many interpretations to the words of the bible, and few are wrong. It matters only how YOU interpret the words.

    I wish these evangelical "leaders" would stop pretending that they are all high and mighty and the rest of us don't know jack.

    Too often are they proven to be scumbags!

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  18. right source

    Dobson should be thinking about his OWN soul survival. At the day of Judgement where shall HE if his eyes.........................

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  19. Sam

    If you could only interpret the Bible one way as Dobson suggests, there would only be one Christian faith. The dozens of Christian sub-religions are due, in part, to the Bible being interpreted at least as many ways as there are sub-faiths. If Dobson is the scholar he claims to be, he should know that. Otherwise, he's just a reactionary religious neocon making trouble. He should be given a large, loud, round of being ignored.

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  20. Alex

    I don't know this guy, but these type of articles just fuel those radical christians.. we should leave them alone and stop fueling them...

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  21. rachel

    Whats new? Obama is always distorting something his stance on public funding and nafta(hey not so bad after all?) are only a few examples of him distorting things to fit his platform. Hey though the DNC wants him so everyone who doesnt support his opinions be prepared for Obama to tell you to get over it, and if you don't like that be prepared for the media and obama to tell you you are nothing but a uneducated racist just like Obama's typical white grandma.

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  22. Josh in NJ

    And when he is elected he will Re-wright(pun intended) the bible and take out all those pesky chapters. Come on people let's make an issue of all of the stuff that actually matters. Obama is the man this time. I sat by and watched for eight years as my country let a C- student sit in the oval office. This time I want the valedictorian and nothing else. I am entitled to a goverment that I can be proud of!
    President Barack Hussein Obama will truly inspire and change the world!

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  23. Venus

    Give me a break! This guy is just getting his 5 seconds of news!

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  24. Robin

    You have to be really daft to listen to this kook.

    Obama 08

    June 24, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. NickNas


    Get a bunch of GOP paid for " Experts to slam Obama. McCain won't do it himself cause he will be made to look to stupid.

    SOOOOO Is this guys a VERIFIED CONSTITUTIONAL SCHOLAR?? NO!! Barack H. Obama IS.... so who do you think I am going to listen to??

    What a weak attempt here McCain. You are going to have to do MUCH beter than that.

    Best thing is Obamas Camp doesn't have to make up ANYTHING about McCain. There are VOLUMES of Film and Video and documentation on McCain already available and verifyable that will bury him.

    June 24, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22