I have to say that James Dobson has a lot of nerve telling Barack Obama that his interpretation of the Bible is distorted.

Since when is his word on the scripture law? Silly me, I thought the Protestant movement started with moving away from what one person (the Pope) had to say about scripture.

Dobson is pushing his political beliefs as religion, and of course he can’t be wrong, could he?

Why is Mister Dobson’s interpretation of religion accurate?

This is the problem I have with the Republican party, a party I’ve been a member of for a long time. I’m of the “live and let live” group. I don’t agree with everything people want, but as long as they don’t force their beliefs on me, I’m fine with it.

Mister Dobson may as well try to introduce brainwashing to us all.

Comments

  • AndDru1

    I would pile on, but my brothers covered the issue very well.

  • RedstateEddio

    “Dobson has his side, Obama has his. I don’t think either are right or wrong. That’s for them to decide themselves, not to project onto others.”

    But that’s exactly the point. Obama IS projecting his beliefs onto a large population of Americans.

    If he said he was a Muslim (or a Jew or Buddhist) and was saying things that were completely anathema to any of those religions that he professed to be a follower of, I’d be a complete by-stander; not gonna get involve in that tussle.

    But because he is erroneously projecting bad theology regarding the truth about my faith on a large, receptive, possbily unsuspecting crowd, in the name of my values and the truth as best as I understand it, I gotta say something.

    • RedstateEddio

      Sorry for the double post. This was for above.

  • RedstateEddio

    David, David, David – Ya gotta stop eatin’ jalapenos with your ice cream; gets you all cranked up by the next morning. I knew somebody would post about this (thought it would be Patrick). OK, let’s get a context:

    1) It’s America. Public discourse, free speech, marketplace of ideas, you know the drill…

    2) Dobson is responding to an address where Obama both describes his own (bizarre) version of Christianity AND calls out Dobson by name. Not only that, but equates him on a spectrum with the likes of Rev. Al Sharpton. So JD gets a chance to respond to such a public address and critique Obama’s message. Fair is fair. Obama started it, and JD’s gonna respond.

    3) Not only that, but Obama is implying that as extreme as Sharpton is on one end, Dobson is also on the other side. I call that misrepresentation at least; character assassination at worst.

    4) What JD is saying is what many of us evangelicals are thinking: Obama has a very screwed up theology if he thinks he is accurately communicating and living the teachings of the Bible for the 21st century. And hearing from his “former” pastor of 20 years, its no wonder the guy may have some loony interpretations. So when he mentions that as a grounds or motivation for some political ideas, then it’s fair game to go after him and call him out on it in a public way.

    5) Never does Dobson say that HE is the final arbiter in interpretations of scripture, or the application of them (or lack thereof). He is certainly critiquing Obama over his rather “creative” communication of scripture passages, much like we argue about interpretations of the Constitution. Nothing out of bounds by Dobson on that one.

    6) Arguably the worst for me is how badly Obama describes these passages for today (completely inaccurately) and then uses them as a justification for non-Christian positions on things like pro-abortion. That just galls me. He’s not only confused himself; he’s now confusing a large population of America who know less than he does about the Bible, giving them ammunition to walk away with really bizarre notions without any truthful context to weigh it against.

    7) I seem to recall a previous time when someone from the Dems badly morphed scripture into their message: Bill Clinton during one of his campaign convention speeches. He said something like “no eye has seen, no ear has heard what the Democratic party is capable of” – a huge misrepresentation and serious scripture-ripping-out-of-context of Isaiah 64:4 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. He got rightly taken to the woodshed by many clergy and religious folk because of it as well.

    Remember – Decaf at night, hi-octane in the morning…

    Here’s the link to the actual Dobson radio address. Listen to it: http://www.citizenlink.org/content/A000007665.cfm

    • Gary Russell

      Excellent analysis, Eddio.

      Maybe it even contained enough “nuance” to pacify Shawn, who seems like a “hardliner entrenched in (his) own dogma and beliefs.”
      Kinda overly judgmental, eh, Shawn?

  • J. Shawn Durham

    Kaiser, I have learned that no one here actually READS the blogs posted on this site. Everyone’s a blasted hardliner entrenchedin their own dogma and beliefs. Unfortunately, nuance is passe for the readers of politicalderby.com, which is a shame, because the writers here have a lot of good stuff posted.

    • Eric

      I might be mad if I knew what you were talking about!

    • RedstateEddio

      Ouch – was that intended for all? Kinda harsh; and yes, I do read all the posts. I even click on the links you line up. Try not to slap your audience around, JSD.

    • AndDru1

      I read the posts as well, even that really long one that Jason posted awhile back.

  • ShawnN

    :)

  • ShawnN

    I’m of the “live and left live” group.

    Kasier, was that a Freudian slip? For a second there, you were sounding quite Libertarianesque.

    • David Kaiser

      I have a streak of Libertarianism in me, mainly when it comes to fiscal matters.

      • ShawnN

        Actually, I was pointing to the use of “left live” instead of “let live”. I think your inner liberal child was struggling to get out…

    • David Kaiser

      Hehe, nice pick up, corrected.

  • JE

    It’s not that Dobson’s word is law. It is that God’s word is and there is very little room for ‘interpretation’. Kind of like the constitution. If you dont like what it says or dont believe it that is up to you, but dont try to twist it to advance your goals (which is what Obama does regularly because what it actually says does not fit his agenda). And republicans are guilty of the same crime. You can figure out what folks truly believe by their lives and the positions they support.

    • David Kaiser

      You have a right to say that neither the Bible, nor the Constitution is up for interpretation, but that doesn’t make you correct.

      The argument of strict versus loose interpretation has gone on for centuries and will continue to do so, with both sides having strong cases.

      • JE

        David, there lies the problem with relativism. If you dont believe in literal interpretation and thereby absolute truth then you cannot say i am incorrect because my belief is just as valid (and according to the humanist/relativist correct) as anyone else’s. Thereby you cannot criticize dobson for voicing his ‘truth’ any more than you should criticize obama for his. In other words you either go with the literal interpretation or never question anyone else’s.

  • David Kaiser

    Let me be clear, I’m not saying Obama is right, I just don’t agree with Dobson.

    • Eric

      I can’t tell if your disagreement with Dobson is that he uses his religious beliefs to inform his politics, or that he challenged another’s interpretations of the Bible. Or is it something else?

      • David Kaiser

        My disagreement is that I don’t think anyone – Dobson, Obama – has the authority to say that someone’s beliefs are distorted.

        Dobson has his side, Obama has his. I don’t think either are right or wrong. That’s for them to decide themselves, not to project onto others.

        I understand that Dobson was responding to Obama, but it’s Dobson that’s made a career of religion and politics, so my bigger issue is with him, and has been for a long time.

        That’s my beef.

        • RedstateEddio

          “Dobson has his side, Obama has his. I don’t think either are right or wrong. That’s for them to decide themselves, not to project onto others.”

          But that’s exactly the point, David. Obama IS projecting his beliefs onto a large population of Americans.

          If he said he was a Muslim (or a Jew or Buddhist) and was saying things that were completely anathema to any of those religions that he professed to be a follower of, I’d be a complete by-stander; not gonna get involve in that tussle.

          But because he is erroneously projecting bad theology regarding the TRUTH about my faith on a large, receptive, possbily unsuspecting crowd, in the name of my values and the truth as best as I understand it, I gotta say something.

          I could also say that Obama has made a career out of politics as well. Even moreso, I think he’s been opportunistic and selfishly ambitios about his image and perception of religion. So who’s worse??

  • Eric

    Not a big fan of Dobson, but…

    Theologians (on whom Dobson relies) base their understanding on a method of Bible interpretation which is not stated in every discussion, but is there nonetheless. So it’s probably not, “Why is Dobson’s word law?” but “Is he being consistent with the methods of interpretation he has used for decades?” If Obama, however, is going to quote/cite Scripture, then Bible believers will want to know what HIS method of interpretation is; because it doesn’t sound very well developed.

  • RC

    The Seventh Day Adventists are Christians who don’t believe the Old Testament dietary laws are superseded by the New Testament’s reference to Peter and the sheet of dirty animals. It’s actually an important aspect of their Christianity.

  • TennJoe

    What makes Obama’s interpertation credible?

    It is totally bogus to leave the impression that Old Testament rules govern any Christian today. We are under grace not the Law. Also , Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount applies to INDIVIDUALS, not secular governments(“Render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s and unto God what is God’s”)
    And as for your concern about Christians forcing their values on others, Secular Humanists have been imposing their value system on we Christians (aided by the liberal courts) for years.

    All we are doing is trying to protect the values that have been the moral foundation of this nation since the Founding Fathers.

    You need to go to David Barton’s web site, Wall Builders, and learn how important our religious heritage was in establishing this Nation.

    Evidentally you are ignorant on this part of our history and probably have bought into the “separation of church and state” argument promoted by Liberals and Secularists that is not in our Constitution.

    Get the real facts on our heritage and see if you’ll still feel Republican SoCons “bug you”.

    • David Kaiser

      Joe, if you read what wrote, I never once said that Obama was right, I just questioned why Dobson’s word was law.

    • AndDru1

      Where have you been Mr. Joe when I needed you for all the other discussions. Welcome to PD.