Bring out the waaaaambulance - Dobson is cranky.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/25/us/politics/25dobson.html?ref=politics

That article isn't the one I responded to below, but its the closest I could find.

The way I see it, Dobson is attacking Obama's picking and choosing from both the Bible and the Constitution. I don't think those two are on the same level (bible and constitution), but apparently Dobson does.

Theologically, Dobson is right, you can't pick and choose in the bible, you have to take it all. I wouldn't cut out the parts that are difficult, and I would hope Obama or McCain wouldn't either. I'm sure there are many other wonderful theological topics they would disagree on, but Dobson is claiming mis-interpretation between two things...

1.) Old Testament vs. New Testament - it seems Dobson has a problem with Obama's picking and choosing certain texts to fit his agenda. But isn't that the point Obama is trying to make when he compares Dobson's Christianity with Al Sharpton's? That the two look REALLY different despite both being called Christianity? The quote I read says he's picking and choosing in the constitution. One would assume he means Obama is doing the same in the Bible. The article seems to think that interpreting the bible and interpreting the constitution are one in the same. And since I believe in a separation of Church and State, I'd have to disagree with the writer of the article. Here is one quote used...

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

First, what does Dobson mean by traditional understanding? His own? Orthodox? Does he mean Evangelical American Christianity? There are several ways to interpret a biblical text - all of which are appropriate depending on the text. It might be more than you wanted, but here are a few ways..

a) Literally - "It means what it says" - This is great when you have a text like "love your enemies" - thats what Jesus means. But this falls short when Jesus says things like "if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off." I don't really think Jesus wanted us to cut our hands off, so you can also interpret the bible...
b) Metaphorically - Jesus didn't really want us to cut our hands off, he just means you should get rid of things in your life that causes you
c) Spiritually - There is a deeper meaning behind the text. This is not the same as metaphorically because there is a spiritual application that is specific and not "
d) Historically (contextually) - the meaning in the text is found through understanding the writer(s), the intended audience, genre, blahblah, you get the point.

But thats just off my head.... Anything in the bible - whether it is Old Testament Judaic laws or words from the mouth of Jesus - should be interpreted carefully.


2.) Abortion - the Bible actually says precious little about what we would consider abortion. But it says a hell of a lot about life and who gives it (or takes it). I know Christians who are pro-choice but the majority are obviously pro-life. You can find some colorful arguments either way on the internet.

Obama is a politician, right? That means he wants votes. That means he'll use God (just like everyone else) to get those. Right now, his theological strength and charismatic vision stuff leans heavily on bucking the system (he has no experience in the system, right?) which means he can use Jesus radical message to say, "look! Tired of the system? Jesus was too! Vote me into the system!" I would hope Obama's faith is real. But I haven't drank the kool-aid yet. He's just so popular.

I'm skeptical of his faith (or lack-thereof, depending on who you believe about the whole possible muslim thing) just as I'm skeptical of anyone who says, "Hey! Look at me! I'm a good Christian! Do what I want!"

If Obama is doing anything, he's using the Bible to back up his faith. Truth is, for all the good Dobson and Focus on the Family does (or doesn't do), they no longer represent the strong political voice they once did and would love to claw back the "young and relevant" Christian fervor Obama seems to be tapping. If you'd like a great explination why, check out Jim Wallis, "God's Politics".

Or, just check out this article...
http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/archives/2008/06/wallis-rips-dobsons-ripping-of.html

Jack