Some Defend Dobson's Attack on Obama

Several conservative commentators this week defended Dr. James Dobson's criticisms of Democrat Barack Obama's Bible interpretation as standing up for the Christian truth.

Dobson, who took issue with Obama's use of Bible passages to defend his public policy philosophy, was right to challenge the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, argues Pat Buchanan, founder and editor of The American Conservative and a political analyst for MSNBC, in a column featured on Focus on the Family Action's Citizenlink.

Buchanan accused Obama of preaching a "kumbaya Christianity" where people who believe abortion is wrong are asked to push aside their beliefs in public for the sake of "ecumenical amity."

But Christians, he said, are taught by Jesus Christ that He is the "way and the truth and the life," and no one can go to the Father except through Him. Therefore, Christians cannot accept compromising their beliefs so that everyone can get along, he argues.

Dobson last week during his radio program blasted Obama for his interpretation of the Bible and its application in the public square. The Focus on the Family founder based his criticisms on the senator's June 2006 speech where Obama highlighted that while the book of Leviticus declares homosexuality an abomination, it also says eating shellfish is an abomination and condones slavery.

The senator also said Jesus' Sermon on the Mount is "a passage so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application."

Dobson had accused Obama of "deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology."

"[H]e is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter," Dobson charged. "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 life of tiny babies?"

The central argument of Obama's speech was: "Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason."

"What he (Obama) is saying here is that unless everyone agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe," Dobson said.

Dr. Tony Beam, director of the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University in Tigerville, S.C., also found fault with Obama's view that the truth is flexible.

"He sees truth as something that can be hammered into a compromise position that can then become amenable, not to the set standard of a Holy God, but to the ever changing and ever compromising standards of sinful humans," Beam wrote in his column.

"Truth, absolute truth that comes from God's revelation of Himself in His Word, defies the vote of the majority. It flies in the face of opinion polls and focus groups. What makes Barack Obama, Jim Wallis, or anyone else believes the only way truth can be injected into the public arena is by stuffing it with reason and coating it with compromise?" Beam asked.

The professor then pointed to Obama's speech earlier this year at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, where the presidential hopeful said he supports a woman's right to have an abortion and believes the Bible condones civil unions.

"If people find that (civil unions) controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans," Obama had said.

"Before evangelicals run out to vote for Obama," Beam warned, "they need to ask themselves if they really want to support a candidate who says they are Christian but believes Paul's theological capstone of the New Testament is nothing more than an obscure passage."

"We should all thank Dr. Dobson and Tom Minnery for stepping up to the plate and refusing to allow Obama's Universalist theology and warped sense of evangelical political expediency to go unchallenged," he said.

Earlier this week Obama gave a speech about his plan to expand faith-based programs if elected president in a move to court religious voters. He will continue to focus on American values, including religious faith and patriotism, on the campaign trail this week leading up to the Fourth of July.