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. TESAP

    TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST WHAT A WOMAN DECIDES TO DO WITH HER BODY IS HER CHOICE.... ALL OF YOU RIGHT-WINGERS/CONSERVATIVES THINK YOUR WAY IS THE CHRISTIAN WAY........ WELL IT ISN'T, WE (THE PEOPLE) HAVE NO RIGHT TO TELL A WOMAN WHAT TO DO WITH HER CHILD. i AM PRO-CHOICE ALWAYS HAVE BEEN ALWAYS WILL BE.....

    I ASK DOBSON AND ALL YOU OTHERS ONE QUESTION........

    WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IN AMERICA IF ABORTION WAS ILLEGAL?

    WOULD THERE BE MORE PROGRAMS TO HELP MOTHERS?
    MORE ORPHANAGES?

    IF ABORTION IS ILLEGAL I THINK ADOPTING CHILDREN FROM OTHER COUNTRIES SHOULD BE ILLEGEAL AS WELL. WE HAVE PLENTY OF AMERICAN CHILDREN THAT NEED GOOD HOMES, HOWEVER MANY ESPECIALLY THE HIGH INCOME PEOPLE ADOPT CHILDREN OUTSIDE OF THIS COUNTRY, WHY?

    WHAT ARE WE TELLING THESE AMERICAN CHILDREN ????

    THINK ABOUT THIS....................... 🙁

    June 24, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  2. kebere mengesha

    When you are against the word of God that time you should know that the time is near to go down . the Bible is always True no matter who you are

    June 24, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  3. queeninatl

    There should be a seperation of Church and state. That is what living in a free America is all about. Our leaders should not rule with hiding behind their faith. It is about equality for all people. We may not agree with other people decisions or beliefs but we should respect each other as human beings. That has been what is wrong with our government today is that the President is making decisions on religous beliefs and not what is good for all people.

    June 24, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  4. Calv1n

    I think we all know who the 'fruitcake' is here, and it isn't Obama.

    June 24, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  5. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I hope people don't use religion to cloak themselves in an attempt to coverup their prejudices. Let God's teaching stand on it's own, one's interpretation is just interpretation.

    June 24, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. Mk

    Dobson would do well to remember he is a mere mortal.
    A preacher NOT GOD. He doesn't get to decide who is right and who is wrong when it comes to the bible. This is the problem with these guys, they have forgotten their place.
    We can remind them all when we vote!!!

    June 24, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  7. Jean

    What A bunch of crap! Go Obama!!!!

    June 24, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  8. Sarah, Northern Colorado

    It's people like this who represent the Christian Right that make the completely normal people who are Christian look bad. You've got to love people whose tunnel vision is so severe that they can't see past their own nose to know that there are other people with other points of view.

    Speaking of which, what ever happened to ol' Ralphie Reed? Did someone abort his vocal cords?

    June 24, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  9. Terry

    All these religious folks just need to get over themselves. Sheesh

    June 24, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  10. Pat G Wright

    Who gives Mr. Dobson authority on the word of God anyway?

    Everyone has the right to their interpretation of the Bible, after all there is only one Heaven and one God. It is a belief system and technically we all have our own interpretation on the Word.

    Senator Obama is right, we all need to read our Bibles and Mr. Dobson does not have the sole "focus" on it's interpretation.

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  11. Dan, Mpls, MN

    Beware. For Christians, the choice is simple. It's either life in Heaven of life in Hell. It's not that hard to figure out which one is closer to following God's wishes. A person who continues to support a war that was started based on erroneous data will surely be destined to go to hell. If you made a mistake and chose to ignore it resulting in more deaths, then Hell is probaly where you will go.

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  12. Rebecca in Indiana

    In corinthians it states that women shouldn't braid their hair or wear gold jewelry! That is the New Testiment!

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  13. Mark G. St. Paul, MN

    Dobson’s claim that Obama’s statement was somehow anti-Christian requires the same type of parsing and twisting of language that Dobson is accusing Obama of. Obama suggests that we read the Bible carefully and in context and Dobson says that’s a smear on the Bible as a whole. Dobson’s argument is so farcical it hardly merits an explaination. Dobson is showing his neo-con stripes by failing to find a spiritual chink in the Obama armor.

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  14. Tony

    Shutup James Dobson! Focus on Your Family and leave our Families alone! Obama 08!

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  15. PSW, Tulsa, OK

    All of you who stated negative comments about James Dobson, think

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  16. john williams san diego, ca.

    i have to go with Dobson on this one before i would believe ANYTHING Obamas three spiritual advisors have to say.

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  17. Steve

    Dobson is a true hero!

    June 24, 2008 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  18. Ik from NY

    Embryos are not the ones that needs protecting. Every one does. The radicals advocate for the children that are not yet born and the ones who have been born and are dying from different kinds of illnesses including poverty which leads them to steal and get burnt in jail.

    More so, I believe that God gave us the freedom to choose and amke decisions for ourselves and be held responsible for them too. If God has such a sound judgment to do so why should any one take that away from us.

    June 24, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. DJ

    Who cares what the bible says? Conservatives quote it to support their hatred of people who are different than them. And then liberals (unwisely) turn around and quote it to try and prove the conservatives wrong.

    How about this as a counter: I'm running for President of the United States, psycho – not minister of your church. Go talk bible somewhere else. It's just not relevant.

    June 24, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Mod

    No one likes a double post, Erik

    June 24, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  21. asha

    Isn't that what all evangelists do "distorting the tradition understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview". No one person wrote the Bible so there essentially isn't a traditional understanding, the majority of the Bible is open to perception

    June 24, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  22. Debra Austin, Texas

    Dobson should continue to rant about Obama. It will continue to show what hypocricy and ideological fanaticism we've lived under for the last 7 years and it was the NORM. The country is tired of the ignorant, biased, and fanatical leadership approved by Bush and McFlip. America deserves better and will be getting better very soon.

    Hopefully, Dobson, Rove, Bush, Cheney, Falwell and the likes will again be on the outskirts of American mainstream thought. Then America will be back.

    June 24, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. Chad R

    I don't think Mr. Dobson is in the position to lecture others about being selective in his reading of the Bible.

    Take the issue of capital punishment: here, I suspect Mr. Dobson follows the 'eye for an eye' God of justice of the Old Testament, rather than Jesus' 'turn the other cheek' God of love of the New Testament. If the New Testament has superceded the Old, then I expect Mr. Dobson soon to come out against capital punishment.

    June 24, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. Kim, Charlotte, NC

    Still trying to fight for votes with fear........

    June 24, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. Dr. Vincent Petrosino

    Dobson and his adherents need to examine their own consciences before DELIBERATELY distorting what Brack Obama said TWO YEARS AGO! Obama has always advocated a genuine and relevant reading of the Bible as a tool to creating greater tolerance for mankind's diversities. Dobson and company have been the literalists who believe their reading of the Bible is the only real reading there is. THINK AGAIN, Dobson. The Bible is open to interpretation for all who read it not just you! If you had read your Bible more cloely you would never have supported the hypocritical George Bush for eight years because he never was the christian you thought he was!

    June 24, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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