Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ironic story of the day.

James Dobson accuses Obama of `distorting' Bible
"I think he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology," Dobson said.

Maybe Mr. Dobson should go back to focusing on the FAMILY, it does a lot less damage to Christianity then when he is focusing on politics.


Amanda said...

I couldn't agree more -- some people should just keep their mouths shut.

wvpv said...

Um, context please.

That particular quote you picked out was in response to this statement by Obama:"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? 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? So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now. Folks haven't been reading their Bible."

He also called the Sermon on the Mount: "...a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application."

More from Obama:"I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all."

Dobson's response: "What the senator is saying there, in essence, is that I 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. That is a fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution."

J.R. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J.R. said...


Follow the link, the context is right there. Everything you quoted is mentioned in the article. And none of that makes the statements made by Dobson any less hypocritical.

jennylou said...

I totally agree with Obama on the following: He also called the Sermon on the Mount: "...a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our Defense Department would survive its application."

How refreshing to have a presidential candidate who can think this way rather than just use the OT to justify war.

jennylou said...

Honestly, I'm just sort of over anything that the Christian Coalition or Focus on the Family have to say. They are becoming "fringe" even to evangelicals, especially as more and more young evangelicals join movements like Sojourners. Which is such a shame (not that people are joining Sj - that organized Christian voices are becoming fringe due to their continuing right wing political radicalization)!

kylee said...

Isn't Dobson doing this himself?
And yes! I think I am right there with you, Viva la Vida is the best since Parachutes.
and thanks, reviewing music is scary, music peeps can jump on you. Your skills were right on in your yearly review of new music by the way.
see you soon! some shakespeare in the park is sounding good.

wvpv said...

Note to self: don't act hastily to something that's evokes an emotional response.

Ahe, moving on...

Here's some commentary about Obama vs Dobson that is much more articulate:


wvpv said...

correction -- that should AHEM, not AHE...

Here's more on the topic: http://holinessreeducation.com/2008/06/25/this-just-in-dobson-doesnt-like-obama/

J.R. said...

Adam, Thanks for the links. For me, when I listened to Obama's speech from Call to Renewal, the speech Dobson is attacking, I did not hear it the way Dobson, and Drury did. I did not for a second get the idea that Obama ment “since the Bible teaches things we obviously cannot do as a nation [for instance, follow the sermon on the mount as a nation and always turn the other cheek] thus the Bible cannot be used directly as a rulebook for governing." I took it more to mean that Biblical principals ARE NOT being followed by our government, and the religous rights idea of a government following those principals often flies in the face of ACTUALLY following them. I was under the impression he was pointing out the fact that a lot of people have a lot of different, and often crazy ideas of what are "biblical principals" or "Biblical law" and that without context you loose everything.

I could be wrong and reading into it what I wanted him to say, not actually what he said. I am willing to admit that. I can kinda see how Dobson could get the impression that Obama was saying "it contradicts, throw it out", I just didn't hear it that way.

The main point is, that I found it incredibly ironic that James Dobson was trying to call someone out on "distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview" because from where I sit, Dobson has been doing this for at least the last decade.

I think the Holiness Reeducation blog you linked to said it well here: "Dobson and his contemporaries are losing their place of prominence and influence among younger evangelicals because they are beating the same drums and not offering perspective alternatives for the changing landscape of our country." and it's sad to see that happening, because he use to have a lot of good to say.

Also, I fully agree with this statement: Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, "a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application." I love the idea of a president who understands that. I am not sure if Obama does or not, but atleast he had the guts to say it.

john said...

Im just curious as to what damage you think Dobson is doing with these comments. What about Obama focusing on politics and staying out of our families.

Do you realize that Obama would like to mandate age 0-5 education. That means parents would be required to have some sort of certification in order to "homeschool" their infant starting at birth. He wants public schools to now encompass pre school. Local daycares would not be able to stay in business. why pay to send your child to the home daycare next door when you can send them to school for free. Dont get me wrong here this isn't party politics, this is common sense thinking.

Are we just to throw our brains out the door and stop thinking with everything Obama says? "Give tax breaks to millions of Americans while increasing them for the wealthy" Translation lower taxes for those who pay none or little already, while increasing them for those who pay the majority, who does he think he is... Robin Hood? Just because he is a candidate doesn't mean he's a good one.

Health care... Im not impressed with either sides ideas. I have a friend who was all for State run healthcare until she recently moved back to Canada where they have it. Since then she has had a baby... "lets get out boy circumcised" Sorry They wont do it there. She needs to have her gal bladder removed... sorry, up to a year waiting list. what is she going to do... come back to America to have the surgeries.

Back to the Dobson thing, At least he's speaking out for what he believes in. It seems like all our candidates do is speak first apologize/ retract what they say later. I wish there was someone to vote for in the impending elections with true convictions and substance.

J.R. said...

John, I disagree with many of the points you are making, but that is for another time. This post is about the comments Dobson made attacking Obama's Christianity, it has nothing to do with his politics. Dobson created an attack on mis-representing Obama's comments in a speech he gave last year for the Sojourners. Dobson's attitude and comments where anything but Christ like and do nothing but create division and anger amongst Americans, and even more importantly, amongs Christians. It is not okay to misrepresent and verbally attack someone just because you disagree with their political ideology.

john said...

so your upset about the fruitcake comment??? or about Obama's/ Dobson's interpretation of scripture?

john said...

Ok, I just listened to the whole broadcast, and I have to say you all must not be hearing the same broadcast. I agree completely with Dobson's comments. And I disagree completely with Obama's comments. Obama'... "I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all." Even if you take all religious phrases out of that quote it still sounds moronic. If you have a conviction about abortion... you think its wrong seek to pass legislation to ban it. If you think its right do the opposite. How cant you see that he is just trying to come across like he is being wise and religious but what he is doing is pandering to his constituents. this is crazy, if someone really believes something is true then they do what it takes to uphold that truth.

Who cares what Dobson says if its true. All he did was to paraphrase what Obama said in a speech, what's the problem with that?

Dobson's a big boy, and so is Obama, let them duke it out.

sorry I commented off topic on my previous comment. but you cant disagree with truth it is or it isn't.

p.s. I like the facial hair still are you going to keep it indefinitely or no? I would like to join in wiskerino if it is a thing next year keep me posted, that is if obama doesn't try to pass legislation against it... wait thats right he wouldn't be able to because someone would disagree.

J.R. said...

No, Obama is absolutly correct in his staement. The problem comes in with Dobson's misleading retelling of Obama's comments. Obama was saying this is not a theoracy, you can not expect legislation based only on your specific religious ideology.

Last I checked this wasn't a theocracy we lived in. If you want to talk specifically about abortion, that is a whole big can of worms that I don't want to get into right now, but think about it for a minute. Do you believe divorce is wrong? I do, but I surely don't think it should be outlawed. I believe guns are wrong, but I also believe, as part of the constitution of this country I choose to live in (not a theoracy) that the right to own them is something the government should not be able to take away from people who choose to own them responsibly. You can not and should not legislate morality or religious beliefs, that rips away the very fondation of a free country, and distorys the whole idea of God given free will. This is a country full of many different beliefs, and if you truly want to frame an argument in a way to effect change you need to take that into account.

There are far greater ways to build the kingdom of God then through legislating it via the american government. That is not, and should not be the role of government, and I am sure you agree with this in context of government redistribution of wealth.... I can make a perfectly good argument for that baised on biblical truths, but that, I am pretty sure you would agree, is not the role of government.

In the case of abortion, simply being for anti abortion legisltation is only one part of it, but being pro single mother, pro child health care, pro family planning and abstenence education, etc. is all part of the greater issue, and these things effect more areas then just abortion, it is a much bigger problem then row vs. wade, and it take more then just making it illegal to fix the problem, it takes changing peoples lives, and hearts. The government can not do this. (I am in no way saying it shouldn't be made illegal, just that there is much more to the argument).

It is interesting to me that Christ was here under an extreamly oppresive,immoral, and anti-Christian government, yet he never once tried to effect change through the Roman government, instead he work through peoples lives. I am not saying Christians should seek change when the government is going astray, that is what democracy is all about, it wouldn't work without the people, but we should not expect them to do the work of the church.

Okay, reply if you want, but that is my last comment in this thread. Our friendship is more important to me then politics or winning an argument. I hope you know that John, you mean a lot to me.

john said...

Jr, I agree this is not a theocracy but Obama brought it up talking about passages of scripture guiding public policy... etc. this shouldn't be a strain on our friendship, we can have differing views, and I dont love you any less as a friend because of it. but I also think that if Obama is going to bring religion and especially Christianity into the arena of discussion, then response should be accepted and expected. Either you hold the whole bible to be the word of God and the old testament to be true tempered by the teachings of Christ, or you dont, you cant pick and choose. Was the Sermon on the mount given to direct civil governments or the hearts of individuals? I only brought abortion up because that was a specific issue Obama addressed in his speech. As to Jesus ministry here on earth, He came to minister to the hearts of man and not to a specific government (Rome) but men are placed in positions of power in our government. Just because we dont live under a theocracy doesn't mean that we shouldn't elect people with like views. Where is it in our constitution that in order to have a democracy everyone must agree? Im not expecting our elected officials to do the work of the church, that is what the church is for. However I believe our elected officials can and should follow their convictions. Take Joseph for example, look at what God was able to accomplish in His life and in the lives of those in Egypt and surrounding countries simply because he sought to follow Gods will. Politics can be divisive but it doesn't have to be. It can unite as well.
personally I could care less about what this public figure says or that public figure says except that some people do care and take it into account. Also I think these kind of discussions should be had when something important like a national election is impending.

I never really cared about things political until I lived in Vermont. I saw first had the effects of government with good intentions and horrible results. thats one of the reasons why we moved. Dont get me wrong, I dont disagree with liberal intentions, I disagree with its results. Social programs dont work wherever they are tried by governments, they compound the problem. Take welfare for example. I could go on about issue after issue, but I think Im getting my point across. so to recap...yada-yada-yada- religion, Obama, Dobson, Yada-yada... still friends, the end

john said...

p.s. J.R. Im glad to have a friend who has deep thoughts.

J.R. Caines said...

John, I am glad to have you as a friend too, I just wish it hasn't been 7 years since I have hung out with you.

Andrea said...