Dobson Says Obama Distorts the Scripture

Dr. James Dobson sharply criticized Senator Barack Obama yesterday on the “Focus on the Family” radio program. If you missed it, this is one you’ll want to hear. Among other things, Dr. Dobson said of Obama, “He’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology.” Dobson says that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

Dr. Dobson is responding to a speech that Senator Obama gave in 2006 in which Obama compares Dr. Dobson to Rev. Al Sharpton. You can listen to the broadcast below, or visit CitizenLink.org and listen to it there.

[audio:http://focusfamaction.edgeboss.net/download/focusfamaction/c4daily/2008-06-24-daily-c4.mp3]

The speech to which Dobson is responding is the one that Obama gave at a conference hosted by Jim Wallis in 2006 (read transcript here). I wrote about the speech a couple of weeks ago. Dr. Albert Mohler wrote about Obama’s speech a couple of years ago.

Dobson’s response was uncharacteristically sharp. His urgent opposition to Obama’s candidacy is worthy of note, given his usual, friendly reserve. At the end of the day, Dobson is right. Obama does twist the scripture, and he does so in support of public policies (like gay “marriage” and abortion) that are not consistent with what the Bible teaches. Thus, Dobson was right on the money in confronting Obama.

“Dobson accuses Obama of ‘distorting’ Bible” – by Eric Gorski (Associated Press)

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UPDATE!

Senator Obama has responded to Dobson with these words: “I think you’ll see that he was just making stuff up, maybe for his own purposes.”

45 Responses to Dobson Says Obama Distorts the Scripture

  1. Truth Unites... and Divides June 25, 2008 at 12:55 am #

    Denny: At the end of the day, Dobson is right. Obama does twist the scripture, and he does so in support of public policies (like gay “marriage” and abortion) that are not consistent with what the Bible teaches. Thus, Dobson was right on the money in confronting Obama.

    I agree. Thanks for affirming Dr. James Dobson’s decision.

  2. Paul June 25, 2008 at 1:14 am #

    1) At least Denny’s language about the speech and Dobson’s reaction to it was far better than the tool who wrote about it for Baptist Press yesterday. That they call themselves a news service is a disgrace to real news services, and whoever does copy editing for them needs to be the victim of a completely pointless and frivolous act of stupidity, just so they can feel how my brain feels after reading their drivel.

    2) Yes, Obama distorts scripture. However, the point he makes about making a clear distinction between what you think is right in church and what you think is right in the senate chambers is fair. Agree with it or not, this is a secular country, and if you’re going to talk about this country being led by Christian principles, and yet you voted for a legislator that voted for the Bankruptcy Reform bill, you might have lost all credibility. At the very least, your legislator, who likely ran on the platform of being a good Christian is a complete and utter hypocrite.

    3) Obama’s attempt to live strictly by the words of Jesus kinda misses the point, doesn’t it? Jesus is one the most important person in the Bible, sure, but he was only one of many that helped to explain how we should live. To discount Paul, Peter, James, Moses, Solomon, David or the any of the other authors is to discount Christ as well.

    I don’t know if Obama gets that. If he does, then he’s really messed up. If he doesn’t, then hopefully his new church, when he finds one, will be a Bible believing church that will show him the light.

  3. Darius June 25, 2008 at 6:55 am #

    Paul, I don’t think a mosque will show him the light. 😉

  4. Paul June 25, 2008 at 8:13 am #

    two things that I think are interesting…

    1) dubyadubyadubya dot james dobson doesn’t speak for me dot com. Site put up by a Texas Methodist and supporter of GWB, interestingly enough.

    2) Denny, If you’re going to call out Obama every time he does something wrong spiritually, it’s only right if you acknowledges when he gets it right as well. Obama’s Father’s Day speech was one such moment.

  5. Ted June 25, 2008 at 10:34 am #

    Dobson in the end is right, but frankly, his program yesterday was more screed than substance.

    Dobson wasted time defending himself, saying, “I’m not a pastor, I’m a psychologist, etc,” as if to say, “Why’s Obama picking on me?” Dobson knows better. He’s a well known conservative public figure. That’s why Obama used him.

    Dobson also missed the essential point of Obama’s argument about religious people in the public square– that it should be argued according to reason. Dobson’s response basically was, “I don’t have to.” However, WE CAN DO THIS! The Pope has demonstrated our ability to base religious arguments in reason. When it comes to abortion, we not only say it’s wrong according to Scripture, we argue it rationally so that even Nat Hentoff, atheist liberal columnist for the Village Voice, says it’s immoral and irrational.

    That said, Obama’s speech reveals his socialist agenda and hides his own convictions. Read the transcript where Obama wonders why Senators are trying to eliminate the estate tax when “people haven’t asked for it nor even need it?” That’s scary! Or, when Obama says, “if I’m opposed to abortion for religious reasons…” If he’s opposed? Please. His private belief is of no public good when he won’t even support the Born Alive act. Maybe it shows too that Obama doesn’t think religious belief on abortion can be argued by reason.

  6. David Hamilton June 25, 2008 at 10:41 am #

    I think that Obama’s speech was as bad as Dobson and co. painted it to be, however I think they missed what Obama was saying with the Sharpton reference. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems clear to me that Obama was not linking Dobson and Sharpton. Rather he was using those two as opposite ends of the “Christian” spectrum.

    In his hypothetical Christian-only world, he asked whose Christianity we would teach- Dobson’s or Sharpton’s? I take that to mean, are we going to teach Dobson’s right-wing Christianity or Sharpton’s left-wing Christianity.

    So while they were right to take offense at the logical and theological errors in the speech, I think they got that one wrong.

  7. Paul June 25, 2008 at 11:38 am #

    Thought it’d be worthwhile to post Jim Wallis’ response to the Dobson tirade, especially since I know Denny won’t…

    Wednesday, June 25, 2008

    Dobson and Obama: Who is ‘Deliberately Distorting’? (by Jim Wallis)

    James Dobson, of Focus on the Family Action, and his senior vice president of government and public policy, Tom Minnery, used their “Focus on the Family” radio show to criticize Barack Obama’s understanding of Christian faith. In the show, they describe Obama as “deliberately distorting the Bible,” “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter,” “willfully trying to confuse people,” and having a “fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.”

    The clear purpose of the show was to attack Barack Obama. On the show, Dobson says of himself, “I’m not a reverend. I’m not a minister. I’m not a theologian. I’m not an evangelist. I’m a psychologist. I have a Ph.D. in child development.” Child psychologists don’t insert themselves into partisan politics in the regular way that James Dobson does and has over many years as one of the premier leaders of the Religious Right. He has spoken about how often he talked to Republican leaders — Karl Rove, administration strategists, and even President Bush himself. This year he tried to influence the outcome of the Republican primary by saying he would never vote for John McCain or the Republicans if they nominated him, then reversed himself and said he would vote after all but didn’t say for whom. But why should America care about how a child psychologist votes?

    James Dobson is insinuating himself into this presidential campaign, and his attacks against his fellow Christian, Barack Obama, should be seriously scrutinized. And because the basis for his attack on Obama is the speech the Illinois senator gave at our Sojourners/Call to Renewal event in 2006 (for the record, we also had Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans Rick Santorum and Sam Brownback speak that year), I have decided to respond to Dobson’s attacks. In most every case they are themselves clear distortions of what Obama said in that speech. I was there for the speech; Dobson was not.

    I haven’t endorsed a candidate, but I do defend them when they are attacked in disingenuous ways, and this is one of those cases. You can read Obama’s two-year-old speech, which was widely publicized at the time, and you can see that Dobson either didn’t understand it or is deliberately distorting it. There are two major problems with Dobson’s attack on Obama.

    First, Dobson and Minnery’s language is simply inappropriate for religious leaders to use in an already divisive political campaign. We can agree or disagree on both biblical and political viewpoints, but our language should be respectful and civil, not attacking motives and beliefs.

    Second, and perhaps most important, is the role of religion in politics. Dobson alleges that Obama is saying:

    I [Dobson] can’t seek to pass legislation, for example, that bans partial-birth abortion because there are people in the culture who don’t see that as a moral issue. And if I can’t get everyone to agree with me, it is undemocratic to try to pass legislation that I find offensive to the Scripture. … What he’s trying to say here is unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe.

    Contrary to Dobson’s charge, Obama strongly defended the right and necessity of people of faith in bringing their moral agenda to the public square, and he was specifically critical of many on the left and in his own Democratic Party for being uncomfortable with religion in politics.

    Obama said that religion is and always has been a fundamental and absolutely essential source of morality for the nation, but he also said that “religion has no monopoly on morality,” which is a point I often make. The United States is not the Christian theocracy that people like James Dobson seem to think it should be. Political appeals, even if rooted in religious convictions, must be argued on moral grounds rather than as sectarian religious demands — so that the people (citizens), whether religious or not, may have the capacity to hear and respond. Religious convictions must be translated into moral arguments, which must win the political debate if they are to be implemented. Religious people don’t get to win just because they are religious. They, like any other citizens, have to convince their fellow citizens that what they propose is best for the common good — for all of us, not just for the religious.

    Instead of saying that Christians must accept the “the lowest common denominator of morality,” as Dobson accused Obama of suggesting, or that people of faith shouldn’t advocate for the things their convictions suggest, Obama was saying the exact opposite — that Christians should offer their best moral compass to the nation but then engage in the kind of democratic dialogue that religious pluralism demands. Martin Luther King Jr. perhaps did this best, with his Bible in one hand and the Constitution in the other.

    One more note. I personally disagree with how both the Democrats and Republicans have treated the moral issue of abortion and am hopeful that the movement toward a serious commitment for dramatic abortion reduction will re-shape both parties’ language and positions. But that is the only “bloody notion” that Dobson mentions. What about the horrible bloody war in Iraq that Dobson apparently supports, or the 30,000 children who die each day globally of poverty and disease that Dobson never mentions, or the genocides in Darfur and other places? In making abortion the single life issue in politics and elections, leaders from the Religious Right like Dobson have violated the “consistent ethic of life” that we find, for example, in Catholic social teaching.

    Dobson has also fought unsuccessfully to keep the issue of the environment and climate change, which many also now regard as a “life issue,” off the evangelical agenda. Older Religious Right leaders are now being passed by a new generation of young evangelicals who believe that poverty, “creation care” of the environment, human trafficking, human rights, pandemic diseases such as HIV/AIDS, and the fundamental issues of war and peace are also “religious” and “moral” issues and now a part of a much wider and deeper agenda. That new evangelical agenda is a deep threat to Dobson and the power wielded by the Religious Right for so long. It puts many evangelical votes in play this election year, especially among a new generation who are no longer captive to the Religious Right. Perhaps that is the real reason for Dobson’s attack on Barack Obama.

  8. D.J. Williams June 25, 2008 at 11:45 am #

    Some interesting points by Wallis, but he never addresses what (seems to me, anyway) was Dobson’s biggest beef – that Obama’s treatment of the Scriptures was poor, irresponsible, and reinforcing of popular misconceptions about what it means to take the Bible seriously. I expect to hear dismissive comments about Levitical law from athiests, but not from one who claims to be a devout Christian.

  9. Paul June 25, 2008 at 12:02 pm #

    DJ,

    I agree with you mostly because of the fact that Christ clearly stated that he came to fulfill the law. Any Christian worth their salt would realize then that while Leviticus gives us a very clear understanding of what it takes for us to be the Christian that God wants us to be, that HE is our sacrifice and HE took on our punishments so that we could experience God’s grace.

    At least he didn’t mix up his Old and New Testament books (a la Howard Dean).

  10. Darius June 25, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    Please, Wallis is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The guy disgusts me. Satan has no better worker than Wallis at infiltrating the church and decimating its understanding of BIBLICAL morality.

  11. Paul June 25, 2008 at 1:24 pm #

    Darius,

    you’re not serious. I mean, I know you are, but when you say things like that, it’s hard to take you seriously.

    What, everyone has to be a political conservative to reach the kingdom of God?

    I think not.

  12. Darius June 25, 2008 at 1:33 pm #

    I judge a man by his words, and I’ve never seen him say anything that wasn’t morally reprehensible. I have nothing but disdain for the man, and I am dead serious when I call him a tool of Satan. He is, since by his work Wallis causes immense evil in this world. And by his words, he slanders men of God.

    “We can agree or disagree on both biblical and political viewpoints, but our language should be respectful and civil, not attacking motives and beliefs.”

    Puhleeze, this is the same idiocy that would have told Jesus that he was being “mean” and “disrespectful” when He basically called the Pharisees evil snakes. A spade is a spade, and in today’s morally relative culture, it takes a lot of guts for Dobson to call it as such. We can’t attack beliefs, Mr. Wallis? Paul, do you honestly believe that? If so, then you logically can’t deride me for believing Wallis is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  13. Paul June 25, 2008 at 1:45 pm #

    Darius,

    I don’t deny someone the right to disagree with beliefs (as conversations between you and I would attest to). And there are times when Wallis seems like too much of a wimp for anyone’s good.

    However, to say that everything out of the man’s mouth is detestable is going QUITE a bit overboard. I think even most conservative church leaders would agree that he largely has his heart in the right place.

    Which leads me once again to ask you, Darius, does everyone have to be a political conservative to reach the Kingdom of God?

  14. Mark Gibson June 25, 2008 at 1:46 pm #

    What is the point of Wallis’ second paragraph? Is Dobson not allowed to share his opinion like the other private citizens on talk radio? It sounds to me like Wallis wants to shut Dobson up.

  15. Darius June 25, 2008 at 1:57 pm #

    Of course Wallis wants to shut up Dobson, he’s a lefty. By definition, he is also intolerant of other viewpoints.

  16. Darius June 25, 2008 at 1:59 pm #

    Paul, to answer your question… no, you don’t have to be politically conservative to be saved. And I would never say that any professing Christian is not saved, only God knows that. But I can call someone a tool of Satan if he is clearly aiding the Devil’s work.

  17. Darius June 25, 2008 at 2:07 pm #

    Mr. Wallis, I have a question. Since you believe that Dobson isn’t qualified to talk about politics, what qualifies YOU to tell us about politics, pray tell? I mean, you’re just an old man with funny-looking eye brows and have no more experience as a public servant (in the normal definition of the term) than Dr. Dobson. Why should we listen to you? What makes your political opinions so great and Dobson’s so worthless?

  18. Darius June 25, 2008 at 2:10 pm #

    And Paul, you continually say that Wallis is a theologically conservative/orthodox Christian… could you explain how you arrive at this? After all, he is married to a woman pastor (implies that he is likely an egalitarian) and supports the idea that Christians should put greater importance on the “red letters” (Jesus’ words) than the rest of the Bible. Neither of those are AT ALL orthodox.

  19. Paul June 25, 2008 at 2:17 pm #

    Darius in #17,

    on the rare occasions where I’ve actually seen him address Scripture, I’ve seen him do it from a fairly conservative standpoint.

    Didn’t know that he was married to a female pastor.

  20. Darius June 25, 2008 at 2:21 pm #

    See, I don’t know if or when he actually talks just plain Scripture without injecting politics, but perhaps he does on occasion have the correct theological views. But based on his politics, I doubt it. The whole “Red Letter Christians” idea is quite dangerous, because at the heart, it relegates portions of the Bible as secondary and “not quite as inspired.”

  21. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 25, 2008 at 2:50 pm #

    Darius: “Please, Wallis is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The guy disgusts me. Satan has no better worker than Wallis at infiltrating the church and decimating its understanding of BIBLICAL morality.”

    I’m sure Satan has got other wolves on the inside too. But whether these other wolves (and I can’t think of any names) are worse undercover sabotoeurs and terrorists than Wallis is hard to say.

  22. Darius June 25, 2008 at 3:23 pm #

    TUDS, I should have worded that more specifically… it should have read “Satan has no better work than Wallis at infiltrating the church and decimating its understanding of BIBLICAL morality as it applies to politics.”

    I can definitely think of some other “wolves” in today’s church, but most of them don’t have the influence of Wallis, which is why I rank him first.

  23. Darius June 25, 2008 at 3:24 pm #

    Oops, #21 should be worker, not work

  24. Paul June 25, 2008 at 3:33 pm #

    Darius,

    that quote in #21 proves my point made earlier: things are only Biblical if they’re politically conservative, according to you. And if you’re calling someone a tool for the devil’s work because of their political outlook, then yes, you are essentially denying the salvation of someone because of their political outlook.

    Seriously, man, you’re WAY off base on this one.

  25. Darius June 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm #

    Um, Paul, just because someone is a tool of Satan does NOT necessarily deny their salvation. Do you remember what Jesus said to Peter? “Satan, get behind me!” Hmm, do you think He was saying that Peter was a lost soul? Or is it possible for Satan to use Christians, especially those who are missing parts of their moral compass?

  26. Paul June 25, 2008 at 3:48 pm #

    you’re dodging Darius.

    I agree, due to our sad nature as sinners, each and every one of us has been Satan’s tool at least once.

    But still, to say that someone is doing the devil’s work because their political view is different than yours is crazy.

  27. Darius June 25, 2008 at 3:54 pm #

    Ok, fine, so it would be crazy to say that Stalin was a tool of the devil because his political views were different than my own? Are you seriously willing to say that?

  28. Paul June 25, 2008 at 4:13 pm #

    Darius,

    that’s SUCH a ridiculous example that it’s laughable.

    There’s a big, glaring, ginormous, larger than life difference here.

    Stalin (or Pol Pot, or Hitler, or Mao for that matter) had a completely different set of goals in mind.

    Wallis (and you and I) all believe in salvation through Christ Jesus. Something that Stalin outright rejected. So, calling Stalin, who killed millions of people and called it a statistic, a tool of Satan is far, far, far different than calling someone who wants his government to address poverty issues a tool of Satan.

  29. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 25, 2008 at 6:35 pm #

    If a politician supports abortion and the societal approval and affirmation of same-sex behavior, then that politician is being used by Satan.

    Obama is being used by Satan.

    Voters who vote for Obama are voting for someone who is being used by Satan.

    Now if someone can make a biblically sound and legitimate argument that McCain is a bigger tool for Satan and that’s the reason why they’re voting for Obama, then I can understand that.

    But they can’t. And even though I don’t really care for or like McCain, I’m holding my nose and voting for him.

    To be transparent I’m voting more AGAINST Obama than I am voting FOR McCain.

  30. Darius June 25, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    TUAD said exactly my position on this next election. I’m no big fan of McCain, but compared to the alternative, he’s Reagan.

  31. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 26, 2008 at 12:21 pm #

    Darius,

    Jim Wallis yesterday:

    Dobson and Minnery’s language is simply inappropriate for religious leaders to use in an already divisive political campaign. We can agree or disagree on both biblical and political viewpoints, but our language should be respectful and civil, not attacking motives and beliefs.

    Jim Wallis in November

    I believe that Dick Cheney is a liar; that Donald Rumsfeld is also a liar; and that George W. Bush was, and is, clueless about how to be the president of the United States. And this isn’t about being partisan. . . . I’ve heard plenty of my Republican friends and public figures call this administration an embarrassment to the best traditions of the Republican Party and an embarrassment to the democratic (small d) tradition of the United States. They have shamed our beloved nation in the world by this war and the shameful way they have fought it. Almost 4,000 young Americans are dead because of the lies of this administration, tens of thousands more wounded and maimed for life, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis also dead, and 400 billion dollars wasted—because of their lies, incompetence, and corruption.

    But I don’t favor impeachment, as some have suggested. I would wait until after the election, when they are out of office, and then I would favor investigations of the top officials of the Bush administration on official deception, war crimes, and corruption charges. And if they are found guilty of these high crimes, I believe they should spend the rest of their lives in prison – after offering their repentance to every American family who has lost a son, daughter, father, mother, brother, or sister. Deliberately lying about going to war should not be forgiven.

    Peter Wehner writes:

    I wrote a piece for NRO at the time pointing out how reckless and misinformed Wallis’s charges were. It now appears as if Wallis is willing to play by different sets of (Christian) rules, depending on what best advances his political ideology.

    From “Sojourner, Heal Thyself”

  32. D.J. Williams June 26, 2008 at 1:14 pm #

    Yeah, just saw that over on BTW. Those two statements are pretty hard to reconcile.

  33. Darius June 26, 2008 at 1:37 pm #

    Like I said, he’s a tool of Satan. If he is indeed saved, his actions and words don’t give me any hope that that is the case.

  34. Truth Unites.. and Divides June 26, 2008 at 6:29 pm #

    Darius: “He is, since by his work Wallis causes immense evil in this world. And by his words, he slanders men of God.”

    “Please, Wallis is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The guy disgusts me. Satan has no better worker than Wallis at infiltrating the church and decimating its understanding of BIBLICAL morality.”

    “Like I said, he’s a tool of Satan.”

    “… this is the same idiocy that would have told Jesus that he was being “mean” and “disrespectful” when He basically called the Pharisees evil snakes.”

    I don’t disagree with a thing that Darius says. Content-wise and rhetoric-wise, it’s all good and acceptable.

    However, as an experiment, I’d like to see if Darius can use similar rhetoric in debate and discussion with egalitarians without getting blasted.

  35. MatthewS June 26, 2008 at 9:38 pm #

    TUAD and Darius: In this thread, can you honestly say that you are being gentle and respectful? If not, is it because these passages do not apply to those whom you deem to be in the wrong – meaning they only apply to your friends who agree with you?

    Gal 5 – the fruit of the Spirit is … gentleness …

    Eph 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love

    Phil 4:5 Let your gentleness be evident to all

    Col 3:2 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience

    1 Tim 3:3 …not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome…

    1 Tim 6:11 …pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

    1 Pet 3:15 Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect…

  36. Darius June 27, 2008 at 8:37 am #

    TUAD, honestly, I’m not sure if I would use similar rhetoric about the egalitarian crowd. While I do believe that they are in significant error, I also don’t know that the path they are on is a “deadly cancer,” at least any more than someone who denies that God created the world. Both deny portions of the Bible, which is dangerous (since it makes God out to be a liar), but at the same time, they are generally loving and Christ-like in their behavior and arguments, which cannot be said of someone like Wallis, who is vile in much of what he says.

  37. Darius June 27, 2008 at 8:40 am #

    Matthew, you can’t just quote proof texts and expect to get away with it. 🙂

    Yes, those verses are great and needing more application in my own life, but what about the times where Paul rebukes Peter, Jesus rebukes the Pharisees, and Jesus rebukes Peter (quite harshly, calling him, in effect, a tool of Satan)? When one is in deep error (and especially if they are apparently unwilling to repent of that error), they should be rebuked, harshly if necessary.

  38. MatthewS June 27, 2008 at 10:04 am #

    Darius,

    Thanks for your response. I was curious to know what you would say.

    I think you are saying that there is a line, and when someone crosses it, you are entitled (obligated?) to be harsh in rebuking them.

    I am curious to know how 1 Pet 3:15 applies here. Would you say that you only need to be gentle and respectful to someone who is asking you – meaning they are interesting in what you have to say?

  39. Darius June 27, 2008 at 10:15 am #

    I think 1 Peter 3:15 is talking about something different than false theology or false teaching. It is discussing the need to be ready and willing to share the gospel with the lost. But as for the rest of the verses you mentioned, especially those regarding gentleness, yes, something along the lines of what you said in #37. If someone appears open-minded and willing to retract and repent their false teaching or beliefs, then deal very gently with them, lest you drive them away with overly harsh criticism. What we’re talking about here is Jim Wallis and his consistent hypocritical and intolerant criticism of other Christians. He has not shown a spirit of humility or repentance for his vile comments in the past, and is now to the point where he actually does the very thing that he condemns. By their fruit you shall know them…

  40. Truth Unites... and Divides June 27, 2008 at 1:48 pm #

    “Both deny portions of the Bible, which is dangerous (since it makes God out to be a liar), but at the same time, they are generally loving and Christ-like in their behavior and arguments, which cannot be said of someone like Wallis, who is vile in much of what he says.”

    Yet ponder this… this makes their aberrant doctrine and teaching all the more dangerous, insidious, and subtle because they make it more “palatable”.

    As Pastor Tommy Nelson said, “It’s Satan’s new ploy….”

  41. Paul July 2, 2008 at 2:32 pm #

    From David Kuo comes this very rare brilliant insight on one of the worst websites that I’ve ever encountered (beliefnet)…

    Meet Barack Dobson

    How different are they? Really? James Dobson and Barack Obama?

    On the face of it there is little, save their shared humanity, that seems to unite the two men. From their skin color to their positions on abortion, gay marriage, poverty, the role of government, from their views on the separation of church and state to their positions on the Iraq War, the men are about as far apart as men can get.

    But appearances are deceiving. The men are actually very, very similar. (And this goes beyond their common love of basketball).

    Both men see their religious faith as one of their primary political weapons. They take that faith and move in opposite directions, but their philosophy, their spirituality is very similar.

    Dr. Dobson attacked Sen. Obama for having a flawed view – a deliberately skewed view – of Biblical theology “deliberately distorting the Bible,” “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter,” “willfully trying to confuse people,” and having a “fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.” Obama responded by saying Dobson either hadn’t read his speech (at a Sojourners event on poverty) or was just trying to score political points.

    That back and forth, however, is simply the exchange of men who long ago decided that their faith was a tool for material ends.

    It is a common mistake, a common temptation – the temptation to take the very hard work of the spiritual life – living humbly, loving your enemies, putting others first, forgiving always – and replace it with the easy work of politics – the promise that this policy or plan will bring about a sort of spiritual nirvana.

    That is what unites Obama and Dobson. That they take those politics in different directions is incidental.

  42. Darius July 2, 2008 at 3:34 pm #

    “It is a common mistake, a common temptation – the temptation to take the very hard work of the spiritual life – living humbly, loving your enemies, putting others first, forgiving always – and replace it with the easy work of politics – the promise that this policy or plan will bring about a sort of spiritual nirvana.”

    I doubt that Dobson thinks this, but then again, I have begun having my doubts about Kuo recently. This just settles it. Dobson (and other Christian conservatives) don’t believe that we will bring about a spiritual nirvana here on earth. We just want to make it as safe and livable until we go to the real nirvana. But I do agree, some lefty Christians, like Obama, believe we can have the nirvana here on earth BEFORE Christ comes.

  43. Darius July 2, 2008 at 3:37 pm #

    Furthermore, Kuo is way off base if he really believes (I doubt it, he’s just being disingenuous) that Dobson is REPLACING those attributes of the spiritual life with political work. If he does believe that, then he is just plain daft, since it only takes listening to Focus on the Family for a couple days (at most) to know that they put the spiritual disciplines quite high.

  44. Truth Unites.. and Divides July 2, 2008 at 3:58 pm #

    Ditto with Darius about Kuo’s false comparisons between Barack and Dobson. They’re not even close to being equivalent, nor close to even being inverse mirror images of each other.

  45. Paul July 2, 2008 at 4:01 pm #

    oh please, Darius…

    Dobson, no doubt, is a wise man.

    But he’s also a man that lies about candidates that he doesn’t like.

    The way he put words in McCain’s mouth over McCain’s voting against Bush’s tax cuts ALONE shows what a dispicable and power hungry guy he is.

    He’s not a conservative guy looking to put or keep socially conservative politicians in office, he’s a Republican shill.

    Much like Obama is a Democratic one.

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