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. James, SC

    Hey Dobson,

    These statements did not come from Obama. Don't you remember that he is Muslem? Wait, wait let's inform the 1 in 8 that Obama really is Christian. Wait, wait again. let's see. Obama professes his Christain faith and people don't believe him. Clinton said she is a Christian and don't ask any more questions and everyone believes her. McCain says don't ask him anything and everyboby calls him a good Christian. Now, the right-wing nuts are accussing Obama of being a bad Christian-Muslem.

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  2. Crush Rush


    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  3. Franky

    Hey Dobson, JC(Jesus Christ) just called and said, "Where the heck have you been at?"

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  4. Sebastien

    The zealousy of American Christians scare me.

    We have nothing like that in our country.

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  5. papac

    Its funny that Dobson would say that since the Old Testament is where the anti-gay justification comes from.

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  6. M. Winners, Mesa, AZ

    Man, I thought Dobson was a nutcase until I read the rantings of this "Texas Trail Dog"!
    Run for cover America! We got one who's clinging to his guns and bible and he's ready to go postal on us! He's been out in the hot Texas sun to long I guess...

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  7. tiffany jackson

    Uh Oh- The RIGHT is freaking OUt

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  8. sk

    I don't know what religion Barack Obama believes in...but I cant tell you one thing, it sure is different. Anybody who would listen to that manic idiot Wright for 20 years should keep the Bible interpretation to themselves. I'm so sick and tired of this guy. If his spiritual advisors are anything like Wright was he needs to keep it in his own household. He really does not have it together. God save us!!

    Still love Hillary!

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  9. Obama

    YOu kidding me? WHAT A JOKE HAHAHHA

    June 24, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  10. Darin Poage

    Is Dobson distorting his own interpretation? What's is to say he is the authority on what one should take from the bible. i find it disgraceful that CNN would even report this as news. More like republican propaganda to make Obama look bad, and not judge him on the issues he stands for. Which by the way Christian-right are more in line with the teachings of Jesus.

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  11. Marie

    Dobson is a fool. Why does CNN and other media give this outrageous divisive jerk a forum? C'mon CNN

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. Daniel L

    Sorry, but to all of those people who believe that the USA was founded on Christian values: what are these uniquely Christian values that aren't found in any other religion in the world?

    In fact, what are these values that aren't found in atheist people?

    Unless, of course, you're talking about loving Jesus, in which case I'm going to go ahead and burst your bubble by letting you know that the US Constitution never says that you have to love Jesus, it never says you have to keep holy the Sabbath, and there has never been a law in US history that has said such things.

    I'm sorry, but to say that "the USA was founded on Christian values" is not only erroneous, but arrogant as well.

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  13. Joe - Chicago, IL

    God. Biggest flip-flopper of them all. I'm voting for Zeus.

    Oh wait, this is a presidential election?

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  14. Michael

    A nation which combines its love of imaginary deities with its politics is in a sorry state indeed.

    The American political process is a fascinating one but the insistency by some to insert God into the mix is distressing.

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  15. Ryan

    Oh, I get it. Only conservative evangelicals are allowed to distort the bible for political gain.
    OBAMA '08

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. Anne

    Nancy McKinney:

    The words "separation of church and state" are not even in our constitution.

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  17. Peter E

    Obasma is a terrible politician. Now he thinks he can be a pastor to us too, re-interpreting the Bible with his liberal politics??? That's disrespectful and arogant!

    June 24, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. Hootenanny

    Well if Dobson had any credibility, it's gone now.

    Christian for Obama.

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  19. Pat Va

    I am a Christian, but I despise the "religious swiftboating" of Dobson and his ilk. Same old tired methods used in '04 election cycle. We will not fall for it again!!!

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Christian in Oklahoma

    Mr. Dobson:

    You are a sad commentary for Christian love.

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  21. Bean

    James Dobson is a hateful biggot, and shouldn't be taken seriously.

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |


    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  23. Franky

    Ohhh and watch out Dobson!! I'm sure the devil agrees with you....

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  24. Sharon in Florida

    This is how Obama really feels and what we have known for a long time. It may just be hitting the media out in the open now but it as been available to watch the videos of his speeches like this for a very long time. We dislike him for good reason, and there's more than this.

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  25. sandy

    The only thing the term fruitcake applies to here is James Dobson.

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
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