Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Does James Dobson Speak for You?

Did Dobson correctly represent Obama? People on this site think he did not.


Layman said...

Does "James Dobson Doesn't Speak for Me" speak for you?

There may be valid criticisms of Dr. Dobson's reaction to Senator Obama, but this site seems rather misguided and petty.

He doesn't speak for me when he uses religion as a wedge to divide

Religion must only be used to unite? It can't be a point of separation?

"Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it."

Matthew 10:34-39 NASB

He doesn't speak for me when he speaks as the final arbiter on the meaning of the Bible

If this is a proper characterization of Dr. Dobson's view on scripture, and he thinks he is the final arbiter on the meaning of scripture for everyone, I'd like to see support for it.

James Dobson doesn't speak for me when he uses the beliefs of others as a line of attack

I am not sure what this means, but since Senator Obama is constantly using Senator McCain's views as lines of attack -- as is to be expected in a presidential campaign -- I am doubtful it is a meaningful criticism.

He doesn't speak for me when he denigrates his neighbor's views when they don't line up with his

Vague and ambiguous. Is not this site devoting itself to denigrating Dr. Dobson's views because they disagree with them?

He doesn't speak for me when he seeks to confine the values of my faith to two or three issues alone

This strikes me as code words for saying that Christians shouldn't vote Republican because they are concerned about millions of abortions and the government endorsement and subsidizing of sexual conduct they find immoral. In any event, where has Dr. Dobson limited his concern only to two or three issues or claimed that Christians should only be concerned with two or three issues?

What does speak for me is David's psalm celebrating how good and pleasant it is when we come together in unity;

Except that Dr. Dobson does not have a place in that unity because the sponsors of this website disagree with him? Just as Dr. Dobson disagreed with Senator Obama?

Micah speaks for me in reminding us that the Lord requires us to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with Him

I am sure Dr. Dobson would agree with this scripture. I am not sure how, specifically, the proponents of this website think Dr. Dobson has acted inconsistently with such passages.

The prophet Isaiah speaks for me in his call for all to come and reason together and also to seek justice, encourage the oppressed and to defend the cause of the vulnerable

I suppose Dr. Dobson's support for Pro-Life causes does not count as defending the cause of the vulnerable?

The book of Nehemiah speaks for me in its example to work with our neighbors, not against them, to restore what was broken in our communities

Dr. Dobson spends by far the majority of his resources and time encouraging and teaching about how to improve people's lives and families. How much time do the proponents of this website think is enough? How much have they done in this regard?

The book of Matthew speaks for me in saying to bless those that curse you and pray for those who persecute you

Does this preclude disagreeing with others? Are the proponents of this website acting inconsistently with the Gospel of Matthew by expressing their disagreement, and urging others to do so, with Dr. Dobson?

The words of the apostle Paul speak for me in saying that words spoken and deeds done without love amount to nothing

So now we are reading Dr. Dobson's heart? He has no love. On what basis?

The apostle John speaks for me in reminding us of Jesus' command to love one another. The world will know His disciples by that love.

As this website expresses love towards Dr. Dobson? Does disagreeing with another preclude the existence of love? Did Jesus love the Pharisees? The Scribes? His own disciples? Did he never disagree or criticize them?

Like I said, there may be valid criticisms to be had, but this smacks of a naive double-standard critique that oversimplifies and makes baseless assumptions.

Jim Jordan said...

Even though Dobson has blindly rubber stamped everything Pres. Bush has ever done, here he is correct. Obama is showing his biblical ignorance.

Andrew said...

I don't have a problem with Dobson disagreeing. My problem is that he twisted what Obama said in his speech. I wonder did Dobson really listen to it? Or was he just bouncing off someone else's comment?

normajean said...

NO! but I don't think he's as horrible as folks (Christian and secular) make him out to be. Sitting under the spotlight is a tough place to be. I'm not sure how well I'd fair.

IlĂ­on said...

Excellent comments, Layman.

Jim Jordan: "Even though Dobson has blindly rubber stamped everything Pres. Bush has ever done ..."

Has he, indeed?

Mike Darus said...

First I read Obama's speech to react to it apart from the Dobson issue. I got wordy so I put it on MySpace.

The executive summary: Obama's faith that applies the spiritual to the here and now, not just the eternity issue resonates with me. However, there is a call here for a secular state with a few hot issue exceptions thrown in. But whether "under God" stays in The Pledge is a mock issue that threatens to undermine important issues that need the air time. The suggestion that it is just a matter of rhetoric and terminology insults the role of faith in providing a moral compass to an increasingly secular society.

Jon said...

I think "layman" is the one getting petty. The point of the site is to show that Dobson has twisted the words of Obama in order to make Obama look bad. Dobson does know that his words will be the evangelical voice to the media, and unfortunately Dobson speaks with authority. That much is very clear.

No, I don't want to "use religion" as a wedge. Christianity isn't meant to be "used" as a wedge. Last time I checked, being a wedge wasn't the purpose or utility of Christianity. And I won't respond to Layman's scripture because I'm not going to engage in a proof-text war by throwing out Bible verses that support my position while ignoring the rest of Scripture.

As far as "the final arbiter" thing goes...I don't think Dr. Dobson would claim to be the final arbiter, however, he knows darn well how powerful and influential he is, and he speaks with authority.

"I am not sure what this means, but since Senator Obama is constantly using Senator McCain's views as lines of attack -- as is to be expected in a presidential campaign -- I am doubtful it is a meaningful criticism."

Again, Layman draws an unwarranted inference that the makers of the site criticize Dobson to the exclusion of Obama. The site was made to criticize the unethical behavior of Dobson. How Obama acts can be analyzed at a different time on a different site. I'm not saying Obama is past criticism; I'm saying that I endorse the site's desire to distance itself from the views of Dobson, and the unethical behavior of Dobson toward Obama.

Jon said...

I should clarify my last paragraph above. I'm voting for Obama, and yet I think some of his positions are unethical (e.g. abortion). I don't find him beyond criticism. *At the same time*, I support this website and its makers. Is that possible?! Can I actually criticize Obama and criticize Dobson's behavior?! By all means. And I hope Layman agrees.

But even more, Dobson **knows** that he speaks on behalf of evangelicals. He's not running to represent a pluralistic nation, as Obama is. I'm an evangelical, and I find his recent behavior really unethical. What's worse, Dobson speaks on behalf of Christians, and then distorts and twists another man's words. That's truly unfortunate.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Dobson has not distorted Obama's words. Listen to Obama's speeches & if you know he Bible, He definitely misquotes the Bible to meet his own needs. Obama is a charlatan & with his voting record as the most liberal senator he never wants us to believe he is not a Christian. You shall know them by their fruits. Votes for abortion, partial birth abortion, supports the homo agenda and is a supporter of infanticide.