Dr. James Dobson decided to climb out of the depths and take a shot at Barack Obama this week.
We last took note of Dr. J in November, 2006, when he refused to serve on the panel of Christian experts who were working to restore disgraced preacher Ted Haggard.
Now Dobson is an expert again, and he had to reach all the way back to 2006 to fabricate something nasty about Barack Obama. Why go back to 2006? Was he on a “Haggard Hiatus”? Just now opening his email?
The conservative Christian group provided The Associated Press with an advance copy of the pre-taped radio segment, which runs 18 minutes and highlights excerpts of a speech Obama gave in June 2006 to the liberal Christian group Call to Renewal. Obama mentions Dobson in the speech.
“Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools?” Obama said. “Would we go with James Dobson’s or Al Sharpton’s?” referring to the civil rights leader.
Dobson took aim at examples Obama cited in asking which Biblical passages should guide public policy — chapters like Leviticus, which Obama said suggests slavery is OK and eating shellfish is an abomination, or Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, “a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application.”
Dobson did not react well to Obama’s speech:
Dobson and Minnery accused Obama of wrongly equating Old Testament texts and dietary codes that no longer apply to Jesus’ teachings in the New Testament.
“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology,” Dobson said.
“… He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”
Dr. J must feel aweful lonely these days. No doubt he hardly recognizes the Christian right these days. They’re not obsessed with abortion and homosexuality any more. They’re concerned about global warming. They’re concerned about global poverty, health care, and AIDS. They don’t like the war in Iraq.
Many of them may just vote for Barack Obama.
It’s worth it to read the full text of Obama’s ‘Call to Renewal’ Keynote Address. The senator reflects on a bizarre statement from his 2004 carpetbagging opponent for the U.S. Senate, Alan Keyes:
I want to give you an example that I think illustrates this fact. As some of you know, during the 2004 U.S. Senate General Election I ran against a gentleman named Alan Keyes. Mr. Keyes is well-versed in the Jerry Falwell-Pat Robertson style of rhetoric that often labels progressives as both immoral and godless.
Indeed, Mr. Keyes announced towards the end of the campaign that, “Jesus Christ would not vote for Barack Obama. Christ would not vote for Barack Obama because Barack Obama has behaved in a way that it is inconceivable for Christ to have behaved.”
Obama used the occasion to share his own path to church:
It wasn’t until after college, when I went to Chicago to work as a community organizer for a group of Christian churches, that I confronted my own spiritual dilemma.
I was working with churches, and the Christians who I worked with recognized themselves in me. They saw that I knew their Book and that I shared their values and sang their songs. But they sensed that a part of me that remained removed, detached, that I was an observer in their midst.
And in time, I came to realize that something was missing as well — that without a vessel for my beliefs, without a commitment to a particular community of faith, at some level I would always remain apart, and alone.
He stressed the importance of participating in a faith community:
Faith doesn’t mean that you don’t have doubts.
You need to come to church in the first place precisely because you are first of this world, not apart from it. You need to embrace Christ precisely because you have sins to wash away – because you are human and need an ally in this difficult journey.
How will Dobson argue now that Obama is a Muslim?
It’s a long road to walk alone. Dobson doesn’t care for John McCain, but he hates Obama more.
I’ll pray for Dr. J, and campaign for Barack Obama.