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 in NM

    re Sharon Min.

    "Dobson may be leaning to the right a little "

    If leaned anymore, he'd fall over.

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  2. Phil from NB, Canada

    "I think he's deliberately distorting the tradition understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said, later adding that Obama is "dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."

    I laughed when I read this quote, because that's EXACTLY what Dobson does. What a hypocrite. I'm glad that in Canada we usually don't have all these nut job religious figures interfering with our elections.

    Obama said knock you out!

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Tony Sosa

    I think I see Dobson's point. If Obama is allowed to interpret the bible himself, what use is a hate-mongering narcissist like Dobson?

    Is this even news? Why are these religious clowns given any credence?

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. McSameMcCain on myspace

    Just another hate filled McManiac spewing distortions. Jesus saved his anger for those who professed to be religious. In our day that would be the Robertsons, the Dodsons, the Farwells, the Wrights, the Sharptons and the Jacksons. Anyone in a religious leadership role needs to look to their own souls first before they start messing with politics.

    So tell us Dodson, what do you think of McCain dumping his wife for a younger and richer woman who was his stepping stone into politics? I suppose in your version of the gospel, that is ok?

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Sten, CA

    What Obama said is so true. Dobson, shut your talk show down.

    June 24, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  6. Debbi

    I think Mr. Dobson should leave politics to the politicians otherwise he might lose his IRS status.

    The bible has been interpreted in many different ways, that is why the Christian Religion (as well as others) has so many different denominations.

    June 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  7. Peter E

    Obama needs to learn to listen to pastors instead of inserting his radical politics into religion and telling everyone how to live.

    June 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  8. James

    Dobson ought to consult his Bible again. Jesus never says that his coming invalidated Old Testament laws and customs. I believe the writings of Paul may have said some things could change, but not much, as far as I know.

    Overall, it's more that science caught up with superstition, and we had no choice but to discard these old, baseless traditions. It's not that the religion itself changed, but that overall knowledge of the world increased.

    Personally, I don't want candidates using the Bible for much more than historical discussion. Just because Obama's speech doesn't contain the blatant rhetoric of the socially conservative evangelicals doesn't mean the religion isn't nonsense. I don't want faith trumping rational thought.

    June 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  9. Travis Johns

    Should have been Hillary

    McCain 08

    June 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  10. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    did I miss something?

    the gop paid this guy to say those things or McCain did. which is it ?

    Do you even believe the crap that is coming out of your mouth? if so i have some advice for you, put down the crack pipe and get real.

    June 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  11. judasgoat

    yes; if i were barack i would keep my religion as a private and my thoughts my personal choice and my private bussiness. cause you have so many religions and its inviting comments such as these from rev. dobson a man of god. [so-called] . w/ scatching remarks like his another trap which is easy to fall into. all religions aren't the same. it could be a political minefield. and you have all these preachers on both sides of the aisle who like to chime in on the lime light . when they should be saving souls. sticking to their calling while this world is going to hell. thread lightly on religion so many people worship different theaters of the version.

    June 24, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  12. Sharon in Florida

    Wake up people, it has nothing to do with race.

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. NJ Republican

    Quote....."In the two year old speech".....from the article above giving favor once again to OSLAMA. CNN, you should practice what you preach. Give some slack to McCain when you and the NY Times dig up 10yr old speeches!!!!!

    And I guess if we all don't believe the same thing we are infadells....sounds like another Religion I know

    McCain '08!

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  14. CRPren

    The real puzzler is how a man with the intellectual capacities of a six-year-old like Dobson continues to be put forward as a legitimate representative of Christian theology and biblical interpretation. CNN validates this guy every time it mentions him. He's a joke.

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  15. of course

    Obama is good at distorting everything.

    All he has to offer is lies and propaganda.

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  16. Sam

    People are still clinging to religion?

    Isn't this the 21st century?

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  17. Paul R. Day

    Again Dobson shows his true colors and they are as far from true Christianity as one can get.

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. Jeffrey McCune

    Can we talk about how derogatory and unchristian to call Obamas's interpretaton "fruitcake." And homophobic! We should not give this evangelical radical any attention. I am a Christian, but I am uncomfortable with people using the bible, which is open to interpretation, to guide our government. Please! It is not the bible that is the problem, it is the people–who act innocent–who interpret or re-interpret for their own gain. Please!

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. John W., Milwaukee, WI

    Geez, even the religious folks are starting to understand that Senator Obama is a "Fruitcake."

    I think it's time all we Obama supporters start sending him more money so he can fight both against his perceived blackness and his fruitcakeness – yeah, that will work!

    June 24, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  20. AdamW

    "I think he's deliberately distorting the tradition understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said

    Isn't that the pot calling the kettle black. All of these religious leaders pick and choose which interpretation of the bible they wish to teach and then they judge the rest. They all use the bible to fit their own world view and ideas. Religion should be separate from politics, instead they try and force their world views on the rest of us that do not worship as they do.

    So how can this man or any other judge Obama? Maybe they should cast judgement on each other and their own lies, corruption and crimes.

    June 24, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  21. Peter E

    So, if Bush talks about religion and the Bible he's being 'arogant, exploitative' but if Obama does it it makes him 'leader-like?' Talk about left-wing hypocrisy!

    June 24, 2008 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  22. Obama lies

    If America is full of racists...
    How did Obama get to be the nominee of the Democratic party... without any resume whatsoever and with no experience?

    Maybe it is not a case of "racism" but rather of "reverse racism".

    That is why Obama keeps playing that race card- it works to advance him.

    June 24, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  23. JohnS

    Dobson takes a seat with the Pharisees and throwing stones at others. Obviously his motives are political and NOT about the good news of love, the GOSPEL.

    JESUS CHRIST is all about reaching out to all.
    Dobson promotes division.

    GOD is not that Author confusion but the GOD of peace in all the churches of the saints.

    OBAMA is doing a lot more to unite the American people than Dobson can ever do.
    Uniting instead of dividing is the message Dobson. I pray that the LORD will remove the scales off Dobson's eyes. In the Name of JESUS. Amen

    June 24, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  24. NObama

    Obama considers himself to be god. He defines "sin" as "not being true to oneself". That is a quote from an interview Obama gave!

    June 24, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  25. Anne E.

    Dobson dares to presume he's doing the Lord's work. Best leave that to the Man Himself, because whatever it is you're doing, the Almighty wouldn't lay claim to it.
    I for one would love to have the skeletons in Dobson's closet flushed out for all the world to see.

    OBAMA '08

    June 24, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
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