June 25th, 2008
11:49 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama says Dobson 'making stuff up'


[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.obamadobson.gi.jpg caption="Obama says Dobson is "making stuff up.""](CNN)— Sen. Barack Obama said Tuesday night evangelical leader James Dobson was “making stuff up,” when he accused the Illinois senator of distorting the Bible and taking a "fruitcake interpretation" of the U.S. Constitution.

“Any notion that I was distorting the Bible in that speech, I think anyone would be hard pressed to make that argument,” Obama told reporters on board his press plane Tuesday night.

Obama's past comments came front and center Tuesday when Dobson criticized the presumptive Democratic nominee’s June 2006 speech on his Focus on the Family radio show.

Watch: Schneider reports on Obama v. Dobson

In the speech, Obama suggested that it would be impractical to govern based solely on the word of the Bible, noting that some passages suggest slavery is permissible and eating shellfish is disgraceful.

Earlier: Evangelist accuses Obama of 'distorting' Bible

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asked in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK 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 - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?"

Obama responded Tuesday saying the speech underscored the notion he is a man of faith and highlighted the importance that people like him who find faith important “try to translate our concerns in a universal language so that we can have open and vigorous debate.”

Responding to the comments, Tom Minnery, senior vice president of Focus Action, said "There is no need to 'make stuff up' as it relates to Sen. Obama's interpretation of Scripture and the role of religion in the public square."

"His statements and record make clear his questionable perception of both. To argue that the Sermon on the Mount invalidates the Defense Department - as if Jesus Himself didn't have anything to say about the existence of good and evil and the need to combat evil - is about as deep as anyone needs to go to understand where the senator is coming from," Minnery also said. "He is editing God's word to fit his liberal worldview, and the more exposure his views on these matters get, the more obvious this will become to American Christians."

soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. woman for GOP VP

    SHUT UP, Obama! You are a stupid loser and you are showing your true colors day by day. Backtrack on Wright, backtrack on NAFTA, backtrack on the Clintons and now you profess to know about the Bible? I am a staunch supporter of liberal Democrats. I cannot stand the idea of the religious right (any religion), I could not sleep the night Bush got re-elected. Now, I am afraid that this idiot Obama with his arrogant rhetoric and lack of spine will cost yet another election. Early polls are all over the map but McCain will solidify the base soon and we will witness a different kind of "surge" here in the US. The democrats have blown this one!

    June 25, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  2. Clinton Fringer

    Big mistake. HUGE!

    June 25, 2008 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  3. R. Zeonon

    James Dobson would fit well with the mullahs in Iran. He is an idiot.

    June 25, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  4. Brad, IA

    The anti-Obama crowd is acting like a bunch of angry fourth graders. Why would you choose to make a big deal out of this speech? It seems like common sense to me.

    June 25, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  5. Russ Reecer

    I wonder how many little boys James Dobson has been fondeling lately????

    June 25, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  6. CkiikC

    If Obama is indeed a Christian then he should have read his bible a bit more. He quotes Old Testament verses but leaves out teachings of the New Testament which is what the Christian church is all about. He claims to be a christian but his actions sure dont show it....I dont know of any christians who want society to be run by using the old testament as a measuring stick......Go back to church Mr. Obama and this time READ your bible...

    June 25, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  7. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA




    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  8. American Patriot

    James Dobson is yet another one of the fossils who should be apologizing for enabling the most ignorant and ineffective President in American history. He should be on his knees asking America for forgiveness instead of rambling on again.

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Typical White Person

    Way to go BO!!!! Energize the right!

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  10. Chris

    Why is Dobson on the news? People like him and his followers should shut up and stay in church.

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  11. John

    That's funny.

    Obama is now making stuff up about somebody saying he made stuff up.

    Does Obama ever say anything he hadn't just 'made up'.

    I mean, seriously, this guy is a walking, talking lying machine.

    Throw in a couple dozen 'Uhhh....s' and 'Ummm.....s' in between lies just for filler.

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Debbi

    Is it me or does it seem that a lot of Religious nut-jobs are coming out of the woodwork lately?

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  13. Jason, Texas

    GOBAMA! Go away Dobson!

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  14. Phil, FL

    Don't worry about it Barack.

    We all recognize a radical bible thumper when we see/hear one. They're all over TV these days just begging for money – like we can buy our way into heaven – HA. He must need a new Mercedes.

    You just keep doing what you're doing.

    Obama '08

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  15. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Enough of the God Squad! Wasn't the Rev. Ted Haggard enough?

    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. CRAIG



    June 25, 2008 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  17. DP, Fullerton, CA

    It is not surprise to see this. That's his true color. He'll always look for the bad things from Bible to persuade Christian people to leave their religion. I predict when he becomes the president, he'll even suggest people to move to Islam by noting all the good side of Koran and the bad side of Bible. A lot more like this will to come.

    June 25, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. SS

    Obama... HERE HERE!

    June 25, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  19. BHO Not my candidate

    Im guessing Obama didnt listen to Dobsons speech... o well Good Luck BHO a good candidate would have dropped this to avoid anymore press.... but you... fail...

    June 25, 2008 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  20. Joe, Chicago

    CNN: Why push this non-story so much?

    There is so little substance here it is unbelievable. Do you think that anytime the words "religion" and "Obama" come up, you have to sensationalize it into something it is not?

    Give me a break.

    June 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  21. sam

    Mr Dobson is definitely loosing his direction. Why did it take him 2 years to realize Obama had a fruitcake while expressing himself? Dobson should also know that Obama has no theological background, other than being a Christian. Dobson should therefore quit misleading people and stirring up unnecessary controversies. Better yet, he can retire.

    June 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  22. Sheri

    Leaders can say and think anything. People interpet the bible different ways. No needs for this confusion. Religious beliefs are different.

    June 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  23. william

    Right on Barack 08

    June 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  24. MIKE

    Go away Dobson. There's plenty more books to read besides the only one your parents forced you to read. The only fruitcake here is the one in your mirror. Get out of the 1950's.

    June 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  25. seth, minnesota

    James Dobson is a partisan hack. As an evangelical Christian, I'm sorely disappointed in the partisan rhetoric Dobson has engaged in these last couple decades. Obama has a really good point on saying that you can't just use scripture to govern a nation; that would be akin to sharia law in the middle east. And just because Dobson prescribes to dispensational theology, doesn't even mean most mainstream Christians do. To maintain that Obama's view of scripture is distorted is to say the same of the Roman Catholic Church and many protestant denominations, not to mention many evangelicals as well. Both the Old Testament and New Testament raise difficult issues when it comes to slavery, womens' rights, war, etc. To attack someone who is attempting to talk about these issues is narrow and unhelpful. I once respected Dobson for his advice and work for families, but his recent partisan gamesmanship has completely alienated me in recent years.

    June 25, 2008 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
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