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. charell williams

    I think it is great that we have, excuse me, will have a President that speaks on religion directly. I think the fruit cake comment is being taken out of context. The comment to me sounds like he meant there is a cake with only fruit, you are excluding many things that are good for all man. So when you think of something that includes as many people as possible that want to also contribute good things are bound to result. Also the fact that he is open to cross religious barriers and have relations with people of other faith is great. But with that comes great responsibility to know the person your dealing withs customs. Personally I think it should be taught in schools about different religions just so that we can have a basic respect for one another. I have been reading my bible often the last year and each time I read, I learn something, or I can relate a past event to what I read and can see it from a different perspective.

    June 24, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Kang

    take your bible thumping elsewhere dobson. no one cares about that cursed tome anymore.

    June 24, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  3. Clifford R.

    Wow. They had to dig a speech from 2 years ago. Keep digging repubicans, still not going to win. Its funny how the Dems aren't doing this to Teflon John.

    Besides, What did Obama say that was bad?

    June 24, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. Craig

    yes. dobson and his ilk are the only ones allowed to pull random phrases from the bible as long as they support their narrow views...

    all the rest are heathens.....

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Proud American

    Hey Dobson,
    Who died and made you the sole interperter of the bible?!? Man this is the crap that gets under my skin. I hope America is smarter than this fool.

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. paul

    Dobson Is a nut but Obama is no better.

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Rob

    Ah yes Dobson...

    Dobson did not directly take on Obama's comments – rather he used the old (very old) method of attacking the messenger.

    Come on Dobbie – certainly you should be able to actually argue point by point rather than throwing stones.

    Or, are you afraid to get into a real discussion about the bible and Christianity on the facts instead of on talking points and throwing stones?

    June 24, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Kevin

    Um, Nancy, the Constitution never mentions "seperation of church and state". Not once.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Michael Hecht, State College, PA

    Shame on you for giving attention to this fraud. So, McCain's campaign strategist, who lobbies for terrible dictators, says a terrorist attack in US would be good for McCain and his chief economic adviser sponsored the bill that created the Enron scandal and likely caused the surge in oil prices, and all CNN can do is talk about whether Obama flip flopped on flap pins and now what this charleton says about the bible.

    Have you no shame??????

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Irish

    When are people going to wake up and see these "fruitcakes" for what they really are-bigoted, judgemental, know it alls. I am sick of these religious "zealots" sticking their noses in where they don't belong. Obama is 100% right. For once, we have someone who can tell the difference, see the difference, and make a difference.
    Go Barack Obama! The Republicans are going to get everything they deserve for bringing down this wonderful country like they have. It's shameful, it really is, what they have done.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Mark from Texas

    It is absolutely fascinating that all of you talk about hate, but seem to some of the most hateful, beligerent people I've seen on the web. Just look at the words you are typing.

    Also, I'm astounded by the number of people here that think they understand the Bible and have no idea what they are talking about. There are new and old covenants in the Bible. The new covenant doesn't change the sins, it just changes the consequences. Leviticus is applicable in stating that being a homosexual is a sin. However, the new covenant changes the repercussions. Try actually READING your Bibles.

    I believe homosexuality is a sin. However, I am commanded to love my neighbor and I will do so. It isn't my place to judge them. That DOES NOT mean that I have to accept or condone the actions of my neighbor. Also, as a Christian I am commanded to share my beliefs with the world. Whether or not you accept or listen is your choice, but we do have a duty to God.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Upon Further Review

    You can help McCAIN bomb bomb bomb Iran for the Bible Dobson.You have blood on your hands already for backing Bush last time out .

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. Brian

    This is why we have a separation of church and state. I think my imaginary friend meant this and you think he meant that. It is easy to cherry pick what you want from the bible and justify almost anything. If Mr. Dobson likes I can find a lot of examples in the New Testiment that most sane people would not want to base public policy on. (Divorce, women ministers, interest rates, criminal justice, etc.)

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Ted

    Dobson is a fool.

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. Carol

    Dobson is just another one of these holier-than-thou nutjobs who, any day now, will have some scandal that he's gay or some kind of perv that hides behind his "religious convictions". How many times have we seen it?

    Who cares what he thinks?

    June 24, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  16. Stan

    Bravo to Bart, from Terre Haute, IN for spotting the hypocritical nature of what Dobson said. Dobson is a hack who selectively quotes the Bible as a literal evangelical work when it supports his world view, and just as quickly dismisses a literal interpretation when it does not. Wouldn't want Leviticus 11:11 to interrupt your Surf 'n' Turf at the Ponderosa, would you now Jimmy?

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Lisa

    Dobson and his gang has been distorting the truth of the holy word since he started. He outta be ashamed of himself! I know in my heart that the devil is stoking up the fires for Mr. Dobson when he finally gets to judgement day.

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Praying for America

    Mr. Dobson we can all read the bible for ourselves. That is what we all should be doing. Not leaving it up to anyone elses interpertation.

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Freedom from Oppression

    Excerpt from Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, written in 1779 by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, the basis for the religious protections guaranteed by our Constitution.

    “That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right.”

    Therefore, it should not matter to any true American if Obama was a Muslim, which he is not, but still it should not matter. Why does it seem that the true enemy is EXTREME fundamentalism coming from a variety of religions, especially Islam and Christianity.

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  20. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Yes y'all. The above comments point out that this is CNN not the national enquirer. why print tabloid drivel?
    Dobson supports McCain, the life long woman chaser?

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Sharon Minnesota

    To fulfill the whole law of the Old Testament, Jesus said to "Love the Lord thy God with all thy strength, with all thy soul, with all thy heart and with all thy might, and thy neighbor as thy self". Everyone born of God will apply this law to themselves. We would then have a perfect world.

    Politics will not save you, nor any person running for office. One person, one vote. The rest is just hot air.

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. Braden

    Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
    Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

    I think Jesus was refering to you, Mr. Dobson

    June 24, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. whathefunk

    What is wrong with these people? They are really struggling with the thought of a Black man being president. Unbelievable.

    June 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  24. Doug Gulfport, FL

    Thanks for giving Christianity another black eye, Dobson. Your comments and attitudes towards those different than you are not at all similar to the Christian church in which I was raised.

    June 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. PJ

    I couldn't agree more with Obama. In fact, I wish he'd make that same speech today. A lot of people could stand to hear it again.

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