Why don’t politicians just not say anything about theology, rather than speechifying about it and getting it wrong? James Dobson of Focus on the Family is jumping on things Barack Obama said in an attempt to get Christians of all stripes to come around to his candidacy. Read Dobson accuses Obama of ‘distorting’ Bible. Excerpts:
“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.”
“Folks haven’t been reading their Bibles,” Obama said.
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. . . .
Dobson reserved some of his harshest criticism for Obama’s argument that the religiously motivated must frame debates over issues like abortion not just in their own religion’s terms but in arguments accessible to all people. . . .
“Am I required in a democracy to conform my efforts in the political arena to his bloody notion of what is right with regard to the lives of tiny babies?” Dobson said. “What he’s trying to say here is unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe.”
Surely Obama displayed a surprising Biblical illiteracy in his handling of Scripture. Didn’t Rev. Wright ever get around to explaining the difference between Old Testament laws and the Gospel of Christ? Or that the latter is not just a more radical law?