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. Kevin

    David Higgins, you hit the nail on the head! Did Jesus STOP being a Jew? Why isn't Dobson a Jew?

    June 24, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  2. Danel

    My goodness this coming out now after two years?? First of all Obama is running for president of the United States. He did not claim that he is running as a theologian. Dobby is trying to smear Obama so the bible thumping red necks will not vote for him.

    June 24, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  3. Tracy

    Do people still care what big bucks Evangelical preachers say about anything? Haven't we found enough of these closeted freaks to be as corrupt and dishonest as anyone they ever pointed their judgemental finger at?

    June 24, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. Child of God

    America was formed due to the providence of Almighty God. It was allowed to prosper and flurish for 200 years due to the desire of its people to honor and worship the Creator. As we have taken our eye off of Him and focused on our own self interest, we now see what a mess we are in. Just reading the hateful, hurtful, condescending, venom spewing comments, gives me good indication of our future discord with the future. Dr. Dodson is correct in his comments and offers it as a warning.

    June 24, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. Bill OHIO

    Finally, Some that will call Obama for what he is. Plain and simple. By November, the people of this country must realize 4 years of Obama Nation would be devestating in many, many ways.

    June 24, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Jose

    Why is CNN reporting on this?

    Dobson has his own radio show for which to spout off his opinions. The people who listen to Dobson are mostly people who will not cross party lines and vote democrat.

    Honestly though, the speech Dobson is talking about was one of the major reasons I decided to support Obama. He has it right that decisions should not be made solely on religious beliefs.

    June 24, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. ls

    Dobson, being a evangelical leader, failed to realize that by expressing judgment with criticism regarding someone else's faith, shows that Dobson knows little about the Bible.

    But again, a person like Dobson may never know, no matter how many times he reads it.

    June 24, 2008 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  8. DFinFL

    If it weren't for people like Dobson, most Americans would consider evangelicals to be reasonable fair-minded people rather than dangerous religious extremists.


    June 24, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  9. Nemo

    READ THIS! As a Christian I know for a fact that Dr. Dobson has twisted the Bible himself. He indorses women as pastors, (now I don't want to get into womens lib, just stating the facts) when the bible forbids it. His grandmother was a preacher. Also what is he a Doctor of? This guy is a hypocrate. Anyway as for the two candidates, same old sh_t, differant piles.

    June 24, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  10. Conor

    People who believe in religion should swing from the gallows. Then maybe humanity would finally make some progress...

    June 24, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  11. Matt

    Right here is a perfect case of evangelicals picking and choosing scripture they want to follow. They'll quote Leviticus until they're blue in the face to denounce homosexuality, yet strangely avoid the other laws handed down in the Old Testament. Obama was right, maybe people should actually read their Bibles for a change before they open their mouths.

    June 24, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. jwhite0536

    What makes anyone a "leader in religion" anyways? I have my own thoughts on faith and fairy tales so if I were to ask 300 million people to send me a buck or I'm going to be taken by "God" and half of them did it, would that make me a leader? New Testament, Old Testament. Whatever. Let's get real and deal with our issues as a nation without talk of who interpreted a fairytale wrong people.

    June 24, 2008 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Fokas on the Humanity

    Thank you, Dr. Dobson. Obama's fruitcake is more nourishing to our conscience than your half-baked plate of hateful cookies.

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  14. Mr. Neutral

    Wow. Way to go Dobson. Pot. Kettle. Black.

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  15. P, CA

    Anyone that reads into the Bible more than "this was a good story" is distorting it. It is a book. It may be the most published, translated, and recited book in history, but that is only because it has a history and people follow that history (pardon the pun) religiously.

    The Bible is as physical as the Church is. I'm not one for spirituality or God either, but if I was, I feel like ANYTHING physical, be it book or organization, would only serve to limit the "limitless".

    All you religious nut jobs need to go bless someone else for a while. We're trying to live and you're not helping.

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  16. Christian Female Republican 4 OBAMA!

    In John 8:7 (New International Version) it states But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her."

    James Dobson and Focus on the Family had an avid listener in me until I listened to them devote the majority of today's broadcast to bash and defame the character and spiritual beliefs of Barack Obama.
    James Dobson is an old psychologist that's trying to get his last 15 minutes of fame and he used his radio show to try and hurt the Obama campaign.
    Dobson is hurting Barack Obama's campaign just as much and maybe even more than Rev. Wright!
    Dobson admitted today that he's not even a minister so why in the world is he so concerned about Obama's opinion of the Bible!
    James Dobson needs to use all his psychological training and do a psychological evaluation of his own sick twisted mind and leave Obama alone.
    To everybody agreeing with Dobson, you need to remember two words "Obama 08!" You are going to see change we can believe in...

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Tony

    WAY TO GO REX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Glad to hear you escaped and are now thinking clearly and in control of your own mind. Those republicans and evangelicals are a dangerous bunch!

    Welcome back!

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. Chuck

    Hey! Sharon Minnesota:

    Dobson has for may years attempted to shove his religion down peoples throats. Does it ever occur to you that millions of good Chritian people in this country differ with his so-called Christian ideology. Please remove your blinders and embrace others outside the Dobson narrow-minded world.

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. jackson

    Well, I'm sure that is what Jesus would have done

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Love Huckabee

    Obama is correct. But what Dobson doesn't want you to know is the bible is to be taken literally, but you have "rightly divide" it. In the old testament it barred the Israelites from shellfish, to separate them from the other religions and people, not because it was evil.

    Now, in the New Testament God told Peter to eat these same foods, even though he is jewish, and not supposed to eat them. The point, it's not a sin, it's a matter of distinction between groups of people.

    I think Dobson is an idiot. What Obama said was correct. This coming from an evangelical Christian, who voted for G. Bush.

    Christian folks are some of the worst most racist, egotistial, inhumane people, but there are many, like myself, who just want to spread the gospel of Jesus, and make sure others know his love.

    You can't govern based solely on the bible, but you can add bible beliefs that help govern.

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  21. Sarge in Florida

    Once again the right winged IDIOTS spread hate and BIGOTRY and hide behind the constituation.....I say take away their tax staus and see what they have to say...Really pissed off at them.

    June 24, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  22. independent jim

    Dobson doesn't seem to care that people are being killed in Iraq needlessly by his "pro-life" president. Check the bible on that one Dobson and see who's twisting the bible to suit their own world view.

    What an idiot!

    June 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  23. Swiss in Canada

    Just ignore the guy! He is cpompletely nuts!!!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  24. Janel, St. Paul, MN

    As a Christian, I find Dr. Dobson's comments offensive. Senator Obama was sharing his beliefs. Certainly each of us interprets the Bible as it speaks to us. Few among us are Bible scholars, but as Christians we rely on the words of Jesus who teaches us through the word that we are to "love God with our whole heart and mind, and to love our neighbors as ourselves."

    Dr. Dobson's ridicule of Senator Obama's remarks are disturbing and sad.

    June 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  25. George

    Obama won't win anyway so I fail to see what all the fuss is about.

    June 24, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22