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. Susan, PA


    Why is everybody getting seconds of fame criticitsing Obama?

    Shame on CNN.

    June 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  2. Robert

    Why does the media give credibility to these nutcase Evangelicals? There is nothing Christian about this bunch. The exact opposite actually. Why does McCain get a free ride from these people – and the media no matter what he or his entourage say?

    June 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. Godwin

    Is Dobson suggesting that some sections of the bible are irrelevant? If he's a true christian, he should know that every word matters. Obama's reference is 110% accurate, and we should follow the constitution and separate church and state!

    June 24, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. Blue Texan

    Let the man speak. He does more harm than good and underscores the intolerance of the religious right for any belief that is not theirs.

    Let him rant and rave because he is the Pharisee who just doesn't understand Jesus' law of love.

    June 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Greg, NY

    "Once you leave the womb, conservatives don’t care about you until you reach military age. Then you’re just what they’re looking for. Conservatives want live babies so they can raise them to be dead soldiers."

    – George Carlin

    June 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  6. Phil, FL

    Separation of church and state.

    If he wants to preach for political reasons, tax his church money – might help with the economy, or at least shut some of these idiots up.

    June 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  7. Bobby tray

    Dobson is accusing someone distorting the Bible? Go Figure! I love the conservative religions and their veiw that anyone who interpretes the faith different from they are corrupting, distorting it and are being revisionists. There was a time when mainstream politics and faiths realized the need to work together to make this nation great! Accepting each other does not mean agreeing. These conservative religious figures will never get that. . .

    June 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  8. cheekbrown

    Dr. Dobson is the fruitcake.

    Obama '08!

    June 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. Earl

    Another religious nutbar trying to make the headlines.with free airtime....geez..I listened to this Dobson talk......try sitting through a sermon with this guy....I'd be asleep in notime. Maybe he's like Swaggart and trying to lure prostitutes into his car.

    I'm sure a background check on Dobson will show quite a few skeletons, like most televangalists. (ie Baker,Swaggart)

    Get on the bandwagon with McBush preacherman...you'll go down with him too.

    Separation of Church and State?....did I sleep through that one?

    June 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  10. Damon

    Bring it on Dobson, we are ready for you. Your arms are too short to box with God, and God doesn't like ugly. And he aint too crazy about pretty either. It's what's in your heart.

    Obama 08

    June 24, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  11. Chris from NY

    Having been a Christian pretty much all my life, I have issues with people who think that their interpretation of the bible is the only way to understanding the bible. Dubson is a man who doesn't support McCain because he disagrees with him on many issues and is now sowing discourse among evnagelicals so they can't supoprt Obama.

    Who told this guy he has the right to decide for others on what they ought to think or believe? Christ was born for all nations and for all people. For one man to lay claim on God like he knows God more than any one else is not only ludidcris but out right unholy.

    I have always said that the people we expect to see in heaven may not actually be seen in heaven. Not for anything than the fact that they can't remove the log in their eyes before trying to remove the speck from some else's eye.

    June 24, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  12. Tim Childs

    Mr. Dobson, go back to theology school and get your money back. You have NO CLUE what the BIBLE is teaching us. There is no such thing as a "Traditional" understanding of the bible. Keep your opinions to yourself.

    June 24, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  13. Natalie

    Dobson, that poor fool, is just making Obama's point. The exact problem with teaching directly from the bible is that there are large parts of it that are outdated, unnecessary, or irrelevant.

    If one wishes to use their religion as a basis for their political beliefs and decisions, it must be from the morals and essence of the religion that they draw from, not words taken directly from an ancient document that fails to adapt to the times we live in.

    June 24, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  14. ps

    Dobson, Lou Dobbs, Rush, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, O'Reily all are same same clone. I see a trend here, = race baiting and fear mongering = relegious fanatism.

    June 24, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  15. Patrick-Oregon

    James Dobson has no place in the whole political conversation. He is about making money and spews intolerance to feed fear and get attention. Mr Dobson, you need to read your bible before its to late, God will always forgive a sinner, even one to your magnitude. You have blood on your hands.....

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  16. BL

    Oh dear god. The fact of the matter is virtually any interpretation of the bible is a distortion because none of us know the exact meaning. Churches have split over the most minor differences.

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  17. Rich

    Yeah, if anyone is going to distort the Bible, it should be those who do it for a living like Dobson!


    Obama 08!

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  18. Stephanie

    If more American's read their Bibles we wouldn't be having these discussions; Obama wouldn't even be in the running.

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  19. Latigo

    Unlike everyone else here, I'm wondering why Obama needs a religious advisor for his campsign. Last I knew there is suppose to be separation of church and state in tthis country, and Obama IS running for President last time I checked. I'm sure of some evangelist were running for President, there would be Hell to pay from the liberals nd the ACLU over this issue. Why not with Obama?

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Kenneth Texas

    I am so thankful I am a non-believer and can ignore idiots like Dobbson.

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  21. Dobson must want some free publicity

    Is Dobson not voting in November or what? He can’t be voting for Obama for him to go pull up quotes from a speech given in 2006 and criticize the man for it. Since he isn’t voting for McCain and it doesn’t sound like he’s voting Obama Dobson doesn’t have the right to say anything about any candidate. People who don’t vote don’t have a voice so should exercise that entirely by just shutting up. That includes the mad Hillary Supporters who claim they won’t vote.

    Personally, I can never agree with any candidate on every single issue, for that to happen I would need to run myself. You pick and choose the issues that mean the most to you.

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  22. james

    This is sad, and I am an evangelical. Dobson is stuck on stupid as Rev. Wright would say. Sadly Dobson doesn't realize that many of us young believers will vote for Obama because he just isn't a one issue candidate.

    June 24, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  23. monica

    Dobson makes millions of dollars misleading my fellow Christians and manipulating scripture to justify his own sick views. For example, he encourages parents of gay/lesbian children to exclude their child from the family. His teachings are not sound, and he is guilty of exactly the same thing that he accuses Obama.

    June 24, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  24. jen

    Lets see...Dobson, Rudy, Charlie Blacks comments, a prize for inventing a battery, off shore drilling, pander, fear card etcetera. I think the writing is already on the wall, and it will be a blowout for Obama.

    June 24, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  25. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Does Dobson's 'modern day' beliefs include divorcing your crippled wife to marry a heiress? In the words of McCain, "That's not until death do us part! IS IT?"

    June 24, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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