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. RELIGIPHOBE

    "Good luck with that, Dobby-boy." We aren't even hardly moved by your tongue-jerked allegations hedged by bigotry, unbelieveable ignorance and preemptive strike politics. Go bury your head in the sand and read YOUR bible. Then, maybe, just maybe you will make it to the promise land. Watch that dirty little thorny sty in your mustard colored eye...

    June 24, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  2. Texas Trail Dog

    TO JIM – ARE YOU AN ATHEIST? THAT'S JUST WHAT I THOUGHT. I BELIEVE YOUR TYPE OF RELIGION MUST RUN RAMPANT THROUGHOUT OBAMA'S SUPPORTERS. I CAN'T BELIEVE THAT YOU PEOPLE ARE STILL SO AFRAID OF ONE WOMAN LIKE HILLARY. BUT THIS IS A FACT AND IT IS SO OBVIOUS FROM YOUR PEOPLE'S COMMENTS. YOU ARE SO SCARED TO DEATH OF THE WOMAN. WELL SHE'S HELPING OBAMA NOW SO WHY DON'T YOU SHUT UP. ALTHOUGH HER HELP IS NOT GOING TO BE ENOUGH TO GET OBAMA ELECTED. THE SNAKE HASN'T COME OUT FROM UNDER OBAMA'S LOG YET ONLY THE LITTLE RATS HAVE COME OUT SO FAR. BUT TAKE IT FROM ME A BOMB IS ABOUT TO BE LAID FOR OBEMIE AND MIHATEAMERICACHELE. HAIL TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE U.S. JOHN McCAIN.

    OH YEAH! BOY DID OBAMA'S SEAL DISAPPEAR WHEN HE WAS TOLD HE BROKE THE LAW WITH HIS COPYING OF THE PRESIDENTIAL SEAL. HE'S SO STUPID AND YOU PEOPLE WANT HIM IN THE WHITE HOUSE. ATTORNEY GENERAL DO YOUR JOB AND ARREST THIS MAN. HE HAS BROKE TH LAW WITH DEFACING OF THE NATIONAL EMBLEM OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

    June 24, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  3. Shane

    That's the problem with certain religious people. They don't understand the concept of separation of Church & State. I like how religious people are so critical. What happen to respecting other people's views.

    June 24, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. Stephina

    I dislike the far right as much as I dislike the far left. Both are comprised of radicals.

    Dobson = Far Right
    Obama = Far Left

    McCain in 2008!!!

    June 24, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Tyler in Raleigh

    I am glad we have Dobson here to tell us which verses are "antiquated", which are "fruitcake" and which ones we are supposed to follow.

    Someone make this guy a pope so we can all bow to his Holiness. Its not like we have freedom of religion or seperation of church and state or anything after all.

    June 24, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  6. Erik

    Why is anyone stil paying attention to these shamans?

    June 24, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  7. larry buchas

    This nut job is exactly the kind of person George Carlin warned us about.

    Go back and read your bible, Dobson.

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  8. White/female/age 55/Texan

    And, I would like to add to my former post that this group of ultra conservative right wing zealots is the reason I finally left the Republican party in 2006. I say yes to separation of church and state. They took over my party with the help of Rove. (And they don't even realize they were used). They drive me crazy. And, yes I am a Christian (Methodist).

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  9. Cliff Marginal

    Dogson? That which we call a rose...

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  10. Erik

    Why is anyone still paying attention to these shamans?

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  11. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    Dobson, modern pharisee that he is, routinely yanks little treasures out of the Old Testament and uses them to suit his own dark prejudices against gay people, women, you name it. It seems that "the pot calling the kettle black" is the essence of conservative Christianity in America. His actions make clear that he is unfamiliar with the essential message of the New Testament...to not judge. But thanks to his rants and McCain's flip flops, some badly needed changes may indeed come to America after these seven tragic years.

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  12. Broad street buddy

    Obama distorts the Bible by advocating abortion??

    Obama never enslaved a group of people and force fed them the bible and christian names. He never came to another country and forced everybody in that country to convert to christianity or die (and if you didnt understand, because you speak entirely different languages you still die). He never burned women alive after accusing them of being witches. I have never met a witch in my life, however thousands of women in the past have died after being accused of being a witch. He has never started a war in order to kill millions of people based on the fact that he thought he was doing gods work (Bush).

    Obama is advocating that it is human to err. and it is divine to forgive. If some women errored and or sinned (what ever sinned is) then they should be forgivin and givin a chance to make it up. If god is really as great as some people believe, do you think he gave us free will and the right to choose for no reason??

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Wil Welsh

    I was wondering how long it would take for somebody to distort and demonize one of the most salient and thoughtful speeches by a politician on the topic of faith in America into a series of partial quotes cropped to his aims.

    The feigned outrage over this speech is shockingly similar to that received by Obama's address on race in America. Only the most ardent of racists were able to distort snippets of that overwhelmingly positive and clear-sighted speech into a statement of negativity. Its curious that Dobson is using the same exact tactic to his aims... The similarity makes me question his authenticity.

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  14. TESAP

    texas trail dog seek help........ 🙁

    BARACK THE VOTE PEOPLE 🙂

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  15. Jake

    Yeah Obama '08, vote for the people, yeah Obama '08, vote for the people........

    This guy has liberals brainwashed. Time will prove that Obama is a fraud.

    June 24, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  16. CBK

    Yes...Please shut Dobson's mouth. I agree,he is just trying to get his 15 minutes of fame.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. Lauren

    Obama has a distorted world view? And just whom are we supposed to listen to? Some wind-bag who thinks he has all the answers? Oh wait...

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  18. Timbo

    People who don't read the Bible frequently quote OLD Testament things such as stoning. These acts we find strange were clearly outlawed in the NEW testament are by no means to be followed today. I am an Obama supporter, I am voting for him, but too many people say inaccurate things about the Bible.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  19. Lee

    Just to be clear, perhaps Dobson should make a complete list of all the non-modern, antiquated parts of the Bible that no longer need to be followed.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Matthew

    Wow, liberal spite in this country is at an all time high. How incredibly ironic.

    As for separation of church and state, it doesn't appear in the Constitution. Good try though. I love that Obama supporters are trying to trumpet the Constitution, except when it comes to the Second Amendment, or to economic liberty, or to states' rights...Pathetic.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  21. Other Issues Matter

    How Obama interprets the Bible is irrelevant ... it's how he interprets the U.S. Constitution that matters to me ... and I have to agree with Dobson on this one. Obama's a nut job who has believed his own hype–and his interpretation of our country's most sacred document is more like a liberal editing job.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  22. Andy J, NY

    @ Dobson must want free publicity:

    There are more than 2 candidates running for President. You are an idiot. Maybe he will vote for Barr or Nader.

    Either way, to not vote for these frauds, McCain and Obama, is a sign of protest. I don't agree with it, but i can understand it.

    People who don't conform to your ideas still have the right to speak. You are a typical liberal fascist.

    Until YOU are ready to let people speak their minds, maybe you are the one who needs to shut the food chute.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  23. Is He Serious?????

    Did the article just say that this guy is commenting on a speech that happened TWO years ago???

    Give me a break.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  24. Bill

    Dobson only wants to reference what he wants to reference from the Bible. Perhaps he believes he should take the position of the Supreme Court and help the nation out by decyphering the Bible on a case by case basis. One thing is beyond debate. Dobson knows fruitcake interpretations of the Bible.................

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  25. Jeff - Illinois

    As a Christian, I don't consider Neocon supporters to be Christians. Any supporter of Bush has nowhere to stand in discussing the Christian faith.

    June 24, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
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