June 24th, 2008
12:45 PM ET
13 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. Johnny Salami

    This is an honest question: is there anything in the Bible that specifically talks about abortion?

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

    To Nancy McKinney, et. all:

    Please READ THE CONSTITUTION

    June 24, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  3. Suzanne

    Dobson, who thinks that he alone is authorized to interpret the Word from God from the Bible is a hypocrit, a racist, and a bore. Who and what made him the 'enlightened one' ? Frankly, he and his ego, scare me silly.

    June 24, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  4. R.I.F.

    Sharon Minnesota June 24th, 2008 11:56 am ET

    You really are making it to easy to point out that you are a life-long ultra conservative. Just admitt it and stop this whole charade about being a "if not Hillary, then McCain" person. You're funny.

    June 24, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Truth B Told

    COME ON NOW THAT'S ONE OF MCSAMES POCKET BOYS, OR HOW THE REPUBLICANS CALL THEM "THE GOOD OLE BOYS"! YOU HAVE NO SHAME!!!!

    OBAMA 08

    June 24, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Ramon, San Juan , Rico

    This buffoon is calling an intelligent man like Sen Obama a fruit cake? Give me a brake! .. He is the biggest fruit cake.. On one hand they say that the whole Bible is inspired by God and should be taken literally, then , on the other hand, they criticize Obama for quoting verses that are indeed in the Bible and which they believe in and would love to make into laws if they could make the USA the Christian theocracy they would like it to become someday.

    June 24, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Anonymous

    Dobson is also distorting the Bivle to his particular purposes. The Bible has always been a collection of different texts based on the current view of ethics and "politics". And so have the interpretations of it.

    One thing is certain. The Old Testament is quite bloodthirsty (compared to current established western ethic). The New Testament is more forgiving and Jesus Christ clearly states (or was cited as stating) that what's of Ceasar should be left to Ceaser and also something along the lines that "whoever has no blame should cast the first stone". So why doesn't Dobson stay clear of politics?

    June 24, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  8. Evangelical Independent

    The only fruitcake here is Dobson.

    To my fellow evangelicals – don't buy the party line. Vote for individual candidates based on their merits. Don't vote for a candidate simply because we're told by "religious leaders" to be lock-step Republicans. Guys like Dobson need to focus on what is truly important and keep their noses out of my political choices.

    June 24, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  9. James in Oregon

    Dobson is an idiot.

    June 24, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. countrygirl54

    Mr. Dobson should know a lot about "fruitcake interpretation" of the Bible as his ministry is based on Cafeteria style Christianity.

    June 24, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  11. NObama

    To Nancy McKinney, et. all:

    Please READ THE CONSTITUTION. The constitution prohibits the ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION by the government. That is all. I feel that the liberals would die defending the right to teach the Koran in public schools as well as the right for schools to prohibit the teachings of christianity.

    What hypocrites you all are.

    June 24, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  12. Steve

    Freedom of religion should include freedom from religion if one so chooses. As much as I dislike both candidates, I feel a relief that neither is a religious fundamentalist.

    June 24, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  13. Foreign Observer

    I hadn't heard of Obama's remarks earlier, glad I have now. It's about time someone in a position of power and influence pointed out the complete lunacy of Biblical literalism, and I applaud Mr. Obama's courage in calling it as it is.

    June 24, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  14. Mainely Carol

    WHY does CNN and others give license to this type of religious wing nut garbage? Ratings or to undermine Obama?
    WHY does today's CNN's report from Preston on the ' Campain of Shock and Awe' include and fully rerun a commercial Full of lies and distortions; ( and of course trotting out Rev. Wright again) thus promoting this type of trash? Ratings or to undermine Obama?
    WHY does CNN focus on Black and WHITE so much? Ratings or ?

    I use to trust CNN to be balanced, but the trend is clear. They are clearly not in the middle on this election. This type of right wing slanted reporting is sad.Maybe they need to go back to good journalistic reporting and see what balanced is : Watch old Russert tapes.

    June 24, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  15. Brian Barnett

    Why is it that Dobson was not able to express his feelings about Obama's statement in a more timely fashion? Why wait until he was the presumptive Democratic nominee? Could it be that leveling such rhetoric at one candidate among many would not have garnered the attention that his remarks gather now?

    June 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  16. Jason, Texas

    He's a freak'n nut.

    June 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Rex

    Dobson and his like are the most dangerous.
    I used to listen to him when I was a foolish Repub. Thank goodness for the eye-opener.

    June 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  18. Dealt

    Dobson is also distorting the Bivle to his particular purposes. The Bible has always been a collection of different texts based on the current view of ethics and "politics". And so have the interpretations of it.

    One thing is certain. The Old Testament is quite bloodthirsty (compared to current established western ethic). The New Testament is more forgiving and Jesus Christ clearly states (or was cited as stating) that what's of Ceasar should be left to Ceaser and also something along the lines that "whoever has no blame should cast the first stone". So why doesn't Dobson stay clear of politics?

    June 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  19. independent

    i see,this dobson guy is one of those people with direct contact to GOD.he's just another hypocrite who thinks he and his followers have a monopoly on GOD.these "GODLY" religious leaders lead their 'flocks',into stealing money from the old and the sick.well,your religion is not my religion,and it has no place in our politics.i cant believe all the leaders of religious groups,who think they have ownership of our nation,and can influence our political leaders to follow their misguided rhetoric.get out of our politics!hypocrites!

    June 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  20. catjax

    Whatever suits him, he's there...

    June 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  21. David Higgins

    This is one of those theological arguments that has made me laugh at those involved in the argument for years. These differences between the old and new testaments makes me ask the question, "when did God change his mind?"

    June 24, 2008 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. Bonnie

    Will the "evangelicals" please stay out of politics...there is no reason according to our constitution for them to poke their nose there. The vast majority of AMericans or Christians for that matter do not agree in any with their ideas and beliefs. I'm tired of them broadcasting their "sermons".

    June 24, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Mar

    Trail Dog, Stay on the trail in TX and don't pollute the airways with your distorted paranoia. Go Obama!

    June 24, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  24. Peggy - Tx

    James Dobson probubly thinks 99.99% of everyone elses interpretation of the Bible is wrong. James sees himself as the one and only true interpretator of the bible – I personally do not care what James Dobson thinks!

    June 24, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  25. Vahan from Canada

    You Americans have a great new leader with new ideas ready to take on the world. Stand up for Obama, he will change the way things are thought about. Why does the dirty concept of religion always have to come up. All the old men screaming about God and religion are simply uptight about their inadequacies and love to point at others. Stop for a moment and let the fresh breeze blow in. Let a candidate question everything you believe in. This is what democracy is, this is why the "greatest generation" went off to war and died. DEMOCRACY. FREE SPEECH. FREE THOUGHT. You need to question the status quo. Question everything, but do not hate. Talk to each other and get this ugliness out of the shadows, where silence loves to hide.

    June 24, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22