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. Independent for Obama

    I'm not a big religious fantactic, but I thought the Bible could be interpreted in many ways. It has been misinterpreted for centuries. And please note this interpretation was made 2 years ago. So my question to Dobson is....why now????

    June 24, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  2. Jim

    Great now the Puma pack and republicans pretending to be Dems will come out yapping off about Obama always distorting things like public financing even though his money is from the public and he's actually saving taxpayer's money...crawl back in your whole's and save your breath...you fake Puma republicans would be helping clinton with her debt but you're just republican lieing scum that got us in this mess, how do you like being owned by china?

    June 24, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  3. Mable

    Oh God, another interpretation of the bible from some religious zealot. Just what we need in this election season. Bring back Hillary, at least she was sane, sometimes.

    Obama 08

    June 24, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. AA


    The pot calling the kettle gay.

    Ask him/them about the alter boys.

    Or does that not matter to you warriors of faith?

    Love or hate. Peace or abuse. It's your choice this fall.

    June 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Dennie

    The devil is always in the details, or sometimes the devil is just in the devil. Go some place and sit down Dobson. You don't deserve 15 minutes, maybe about 15 seconds of fame.

    June 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  6. LET IT GO

    Let start talking about the issuse. I'm so sick and tired of hearing from people who are coming out of the woods just to make a buck. Who and the heck in they right mind would listen to Dobson. I would like to know in what way Obama is distoring the bible, Please do me a favor go back from were you came from. Give me a break, let's started talking about things that matter to the amercian people.

    June 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  7. Angus McDugan

    The posts so far show exactly where Obama supporters stand concerning religon. Please take a look at what you are saying. You are making the Democratic party look like they could care less about God.

    June 24, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  8. Watermann

    OMG, who left the door of the zoo open?

    June 24, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  9. Jim

    Dobson is the "fruitcake" who seeks to divide, rather than unite. He should be praising Obama for being a man of faith with knowledge of the Bible and its teachings!
    I see nowhere that Obama says anything suggesting what Dobson says about "leading by the lowest common denominator of morality."
    Dobson apparently has no tolerance of anyone whose reading of the Bible differs from his personal conservative views. He is the type of religious leader that Jesus himself decried.

    June 24, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Peter Ngalaxi

    NGALAXI from St. George, Utah

    I believe senator B. Obama has than more to reach people of faith than Sen. Mccain. I believe Sen Mccain is a true Patriot, but he lacks habilty to run our Economy, and his surronded by Evil Snakes like Mr. Black , who sees TERRORIST ATTACKS AS A "BIG ADVANTAGE".

    I have been with GOP for most of my life... but in November I will vote for ISSUES,


    June 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  11. James

    I never hear Dobson defending the poor Iraqi lives lost almost daily in Iraq, or blasting racism, or privledge for whites etc...so hypocritical

    June 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. Ge-ria

    Of all people, James Dobson should know that no one has a hand on interpreting the Bible. It is the inspired word of God and if Dobson is a servant of God, as he claims, he should know that the Bible consists of the Old and New Testament. Dobson is confused because he is interpreting the bible according to the Dobson doctrine. What gives him the right to denounce another person's belief and interpretation. Just becauase he has a Ph D in theology. The Lord Jesus did not have a degree, neither did Paul. They both quoted the Old Testament and delivered the message that we are now living under the law of grace. Dobson should go into a room alone, forget what he has learned and pray to God to lead him back to the basics: "By grace you are saved, not by works"

    June 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. sandy

    Here we go again! When are these theologans going to finally get the message that church an state are seperate and should stay that way. I also agree with what Obama says. Sad, that the GOP has bring these types of people out to distort what Obama has said. PLEASE vote for Obama in 08

    June 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. Karen

    Mr. Obama is entitled to his opinion same as you. Its none of your business if Obama disagrees with YOUR biblical interpretation. Mind your own business.

    June 24, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  15. Pat Riot

    Those who refuse to be ruled by God are doomed to be ruled by men. It is surprising that a "Constitutional lawyer" has no grasp of the intention of the founding fathers. The rights of every individual as they were written are granted by a divine power. The Constitution doesn't give you the right or priviledge to anything. Instead it is a promise to protect those rights that are inherent.

    June 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  16. JohnInOhio

    James Dobson, in the 1980's said that the theme song for the Mr. Ed TV show, if played backwards, was a call from Satan.

    Sorry, Dobson has NO credibility.

    June 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  17. rachel

    Its funny people keep saying that the only people who agrees withh someone who calls obama out is someone who wasnt gonna vote for Obama any way. You guys are wrong on that stance. I went to a rally in milwaukee when our Govenor Doyle was campaigning for re-election. Obama Camaigned for him in Milwaukee. At the time I thought Obama was smart, didnt feel the need to be in a stuffy tie and present him self as something other than he was and I really liked him. I learned however through the primaries that Obama was the very thing that he said he was fighting politics as usual and old washington.

    June 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  18. Pam

    This is why so many people don't like "Christians".

    June 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  19. Michael

    I am with Obama on this one. If Dobson believes that we should abandon the Old testament and move into the New Testament, then why does the Christian Right insist upon preaching hatred and intolerance which, according to them, find its roots in Leviticus?

    June 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  20. The Lady

    Please there are so many different opinions of what the bible says who can say who is right and who is wrong. As long as you server GOD is what matters.

    June 24, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  21. NoMcSame

    Obama is right. Dobson and many others use the Old Testament to call on us to pay our 10% every Sunday but the New Testsment calls out for us to be a cheerful giver. They pick and choose all the time. Dobson is nothing more than a christian taliban. Preach the word and stay out of politics. He pushes a republican agenda that is full of death and destruction. He as most of the other so called high power preachers will fall when the good Lord expose him. McSame want to Kill, Kill, Kill and Dobson stands right behind him in his wrong doings.
    Obama08 with or without the PUMA people

    June 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  22. The real Rush Lim Shady

    well, I guess maybe Dobson wants a shariat style governance to be followed in the US, the only difference being the Bible instead of the Quran

    June 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  23. Chris

    Wow Dobson...have you never heard of separation of church and state? You know, not everyone thinks that the Bible should be the guide for our government, nor is everybody even Christian.
    Hate to burst your bubble, but these comments are just plain stupid. I would be scared if a major presidential candidate wanted us to all abide by the Bible. Trust me, I have nothing against religious (or even really religious) people–until they try to impose their religion on me.
    Agreed with Marble's comment, by the way. Well, not really–I wish all of these idiots would go away (not to imply that Hillary is an idiot, just better to have a Democratic nominee....).
    Obama '08

    June 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  24. nhs

    Dobson IS a fruitcake.

    June 24, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Ria

    I think Obama is a good candidate for many reasons but in the case of mis-representing the Holy Bible – the word of God – I cannot support him. I agree that Mr. Dobson should call him out for it as there are many people who will be misled by Obama's views of the bible.

    The point is – the Bible does speak out against abortion, homosexuality as it does adultery – despite what your stance is on it – and if you are a true Christian you will understand that.
    You cannot say that you are a true Christian and misrepresent the bible in that way.

    June 24, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
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