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. SheriBaby

    Dobson is the fruitcake!

    June 24, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  2. Guy in NC ( 200,000 over Clinton)

    I would love to hear the Conservatives try and defend slavery. Automatic loss for McCain. We have them where we want them. Doing and Saying anything. The smears and pettiness are typical. Chalk up a BIG win for Obama this fall.

    Obama '08

    June 24, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  3. balanced reporting please

    I guess if any crazy says anything bad about Obama it gets printed on CNN, but if anyone has real question, then forget it!

    Who is this guy and why is he all of the sudden some voice of the republicans?

    I can see where this is heading.....

    He does not speak for me and I am not voting for Obama.

    June 24, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  4. LR - Maryland

    What a waste of time... can they talk about their own church issues and look for ways on making a positive impact in the world....

    June 24, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  5. Michael, Farmington, NH

    "His own confused theology"? Is there any kind of theology other than confused theology? It's madness from start to finish, I don't care if it's the Old Testament or the New Testament. It's frightening to think that our politicians can be and are influenced by the superstitious writings of primitives... our modern children know more about the universe than the "wisest" sages who penned the Bible. We know so much about the universe and how it works and we have developed our own morality... the Bible has outlived its usefulness and it's time for our politicians to take a more progressive road than the antiquated one that religion provides.

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  6. TK, Dallas, TX


    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. ProundToBeRepublican

    This guy needs to get lost why is he talking on what obama said in 2006. It is true the Evangilical republicans think they are the only christians to go to heaven, but the truth is they are the last people God wants in heaven. If God was here today he will go the Poor, he will go the humble, he will go the Opressed, he will go the to those who love everyone regardless of their believe finally he will go the liberal christians. Republicans are the Rich people who would distort the bible to manuplate the weak minded people .

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  8. Down with Obama

    That isn't the only thing the evil Obama distorts!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. Matthew

    Can't STAND Dobson. And I happen to be a believer in Jesus and reader of the Bible. Political/religious mudslinging is something that a person who is really living the way of Jesus just wouldn't do. The Bible doesn't need to be "defended" – IMHO, what has soured the right wing/religious conservatives is a white-knuckle belief that they must be on the defensive, that it's their duty to protect the name of God & his Word. If God is really who these people believe he is, the last thing he needs is protection. And if God is who Jesus said he is, then people like Dobson – the religious "Pharisees" of our day – are the ones who are going to be protected!

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  10. blu

    CNN: Why are you giving any credence to Dobson? Stop it ...please.

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Independent in Iowa

    Hey – I haven't read one negative comment about Hillary in this post. How refreshing!!

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  12. Mike

    Why is any credence given to a minister about the constitution? Get religion, ministers and churches out of political punditry.

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  13. kim hussein taylor portland, oregon

    oh please, like this FRUITCAKE has ANY credibility!

    dobson and his neocon ilk need to read THE CONSTITUTION, cuz THAT is what we use as our guide for governing the country (WHEN WE DONT HAVE CRIMINAL NEOCONS IN THE WHITE HOUSE, THAT IS).

    how these hateful people can say they are christian is beyond me-they are hypocrites!!!!

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Bibek ME


    Trying to divert the news from black's comment GOP and CNN?

    You can't fool us this time.


    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  15. Dave in VA

    Dobson is simply afraid of being irrelevent after supporting the disastrous policies of the past 8 years.
    When he actually gets his doctorate in theology I may be more inclined to listen. There are far more learned men than JD to turn to for info about the Bible or religion.

    June 24, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  16. AMW


    June 24, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  17. ANGIE

    who is this guy he comes out of nowhere for a little bit of fame all reverends preist etc ought to be ashamed of their selves for wanting some fame every body has their own belifs on religion and the bible KEEP THE RELIGION AND CHURCH OUT OF POLITICTS

    June 24, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  18. Obamarama

    Dobson hasn't seen any facetime in awhile and thinks people have forgotten about him. So just say something outrageous to get anyone to "look at me". Talking heads so really sit quietly unless they something truly to share. He's too self-righteous!

    June 24, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  19. Ben

    Dobson uses the Old Testament to support the death penalty. I don't see how this is any different. I think it would be interesting if Dobson tried to use the Sermon on the Mount to justify his political positions...because they wouldn't stand up.

    June 24, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  20. Kelly in Tx for Obama

    "I believe in God – I just don't trust anyone who works for him" – Author Unknown

    That about says it all.

    June 24, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  21. Myke of Maryland

    Dobson is an old zero!

    June 24, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  22. Mary

    Please allow Senator Obama to talk about issues that effect us
    daily and stop the hate. This is so sad that this negative
    emotion is not better spend on being responsible for our family and ourselves.

    Grow up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 24, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. Michael Shores

    When I saw the headline, I thought there may be a story behind it. When I saw that the source was Dobson, I was disappointed in CNN. I expect Fox News to endow the rantings of such an extremist with the aura of authority. How about some coverage of the issues instead.

    June 24, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  24. NYC


    June 24, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. Anita from Arizona

    Since when is the Old Testement no longer relevent? I always thought the Bible, old and new, was relevent. Religious faiths of all types have been picking and choosing things from the bible to believe in. This guy's got some nerve saying the Old Testement is irrelevent.

    June 24, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22