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. just pixels

    If the "Old Testament" is irrelevant, at least we can stop arguing about whether the Ten Commandments belong in public places.

    June 24, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  2. Patrick Simmons

    Now that James Dodson is campaigning for John McCain, he is trying to distort the reality and attack Obama for no reason. Shame on you Dodson! We evangelicals are not fools who are so indulged in the type of attacks that you have promised to wage for the McCain Campaign. You are not different from Senator Joe Liberman. You are a hypocrite and you will one day account for what you are doing.

    Patrick.
    Madison, Wisconsin

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  3. RM

    It's interesting to finally see how Rev. Wright's gutter misinterpretation of Christianity has influenced Obama's religious and political views.

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Dave

    As a Canadian, I cannot imagine why you Americans allow small-minded, creationist-thinking, non-taxpaying parasites like the evangelical cadre to hold such significant sway over your place in the 21st Century.

    As hard as it might be for you to accept, there ARE lessons that you can learn from the rest of the world. Europe, for example (who's currency is now much stronger than your own), has largely rejected any role for religion in politics.

    Go to church every day if you so desire, but for God's sake keep the religious mothpieces away from the halls of power if you want to prosper in this millenium.

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. What Antichrist?

    It's OK. Now that the design for the presidential seal is complete, it's time to go to work on the Obama bible.

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. Dem in CA

    I think we all know who the real fruitcake is. Dobson is only upset because Obama's criticism is apt and fits Dobson and his kind to a tee.

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Enlightened Voter

    Texas Trail Dog – get a real life!
    Sharon Minnesota – sweetie, Obama didn't criticize dobson, dobson critized Obama. You people are so filled with hate you can't even listen or get your facts straight.
    OBAMA 08 & 12

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Ian, Canton, Oh

    James Dobson is probably right about this particular issue, but it's irrelevant now 2 years later. Why bring it up?

    Otherwise, Dobson is an idiot much of the time. I listen to Christian radio on my commute, and every day they play one of his "Real Family Life" tips. He essentially believes most people are sheep to be led and he can't stand the thought of intellectuals challenging tradition or religious authority. If it was up to him, we'd all be living as the Amish.

    June 24, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  9. Independent

    Well, looking who is calling a fruitcake a fruitcake.....

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  10. Ohioan

    I'm not a Dobson fan, but as a Catholic, I remain dumbfounded how anyone who identifies themselves as christian can vote for a pro-abortion candidate for president. For things like local sheriff or state governor, yeah, other priorities can get the nod, but the president appoints the Supreme Court Justices. Do the pro-abortion fans want to discuss those casualty rates?

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  11. Randy

    Dobson is just another "has been" trying desperately to get back into the spotlight...just like Karl Rove. Two geeks trying to be popular!

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Jerry in Boston

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

    Pot...Kettle....etc etc.

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. Bob

    Dobson and the evangelicals distort the bible all of the time to justify their deranged proficies

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. Nancy Watson

    James Dobson should read HIS bible! The "antiquated dietary code" is part of the Jewish dietary code in force today. Only seafood with scales are "kosher". Shellfish (shrimp, etc) are not kosher. Shellfish are not eaten by muslims either.

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Shelly in IL

    (divide).. sorry

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  16. basanti

    why is religion election issue in US while if islamic leaders talk about religion, even in their own country, we tell them to separate the two. why cant we lead by example?

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. A. Murphy

    So only Dobson can make a correct interpretation of the Bible ? This guy isn't even going to vote for the President of the U.S.. I say keep religion out of all politics ( see Iran )!!!

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Jo

    Per Dobson Obama is quoting the old testament that is not folowed anymore.......but he still favors and make all his followers pay Tithes????

    The Lord will see you in the last day.

    June 24, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  19. JIMMIE W BECK

    THERE IS THIS MOSIC OF OBAMA THAT IS COMING THROUGH.

    AN SLIP AND SLIDING IVY LEAGUE LAWYER WHO DOESN'T EVEN NO WHO HE IS. A PERSON WHO'S CORE VALUES ARE IN THE MAKING. THE EYES OBAMA SEE'S THROUGH ARE NOT OF AMERICANS. A PERSON WHO SHOWS BRILLANTS AND YET NIEVENESS OF WHAT THE REAL WORLD IS.

    OBAMA COMES A CROSS AS A PERSON WHO IS DEALING WITH PAINFUL ISSUES OF HIS OWN.
    SINCERELY, JIMMIE W BECK

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  20. Justin Wilmington, NC

    What else can be said that hasn't already been echoing for decades? It's sad to think that this country was founded on the basis of freedom from religious persecution, and now we are creating the same hate and building the same walls our forefathers sought and fought to relieve their sons and daughters from.

    Until we can actually separate the biased and prejudiced theocratic mindset from Government, we'll never have a Democracy. And that's shameful.

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  21. pete

    Dobson, YOU HAVE NO CLUE.The so called conservative party has been hijacked and is controlled by Satan. WAKE UP before you lead our churches to destruction

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  22. Joe, Chicago

    Obama has a great sense of the Bible and of Religion. His historic "Call to Renewal" Keynote speech (this one that is being critcisized by this Dobson fellow) was, and still is, meaningful and authentic.

    I challenge all those who question Obama's faith to actually take a second to look up this speech and read it through.

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  23. Jinny Lee

    Oh please....Dobson...you don't represent GOD....you represent YOU.....

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  24. Tim from Buffalo

    This is perfect Mr. Dobson, while you mobilize the left Obama can work on the independants!

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Former Hilary supporter

    God did not change his mind. And Obama is no expert on the Bible, that's evident. He is just proving beyond the shadow of a doubt he is just as ignorant on the bible as he is about running the county.

    June 24, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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