Friday, June 27, 2008

James Dobson doesn't speak for me

I think that would be pretty obvious to anyone who's ever visited this blog. I still think it's worth saying.

Saying this, loudly and clearly, is a group of pastors led by Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell, a pastor who led the benediction at Dubya's first inaugural. They've started a web page titled James Dobson Doesn't Speak For Me, and it's a simple, perfectly stated point by point refutation of every piece of nonsense that came out of Dobson's mouth regarding Obama's Christianity.

I just found out about this website when it was mentioned in a piece on Time magazine's website: Is Dobson's Obama Hit Backfiring?

By way of background, Dobson referred to a speech Obama made in 2006 at a Call To Renewal event, sponsored by Sojourners. Dobson accused Obama, the constitutional scholar, of having a "fruitcake interpretation" of the Constitution. He also accused Obama of "deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology" and "dragging biblical understanding through the gutter." Jim Wallis, the president of liberal Christian Sojourners, also responded with a good statement that you can read here.

I'll be honest. I'm a terrible Christian. I pray for a loving and forgiving God, because if you name the 7 deadly sins, I got most of them covered. "Backsliding" would be a polite way of referring to how badly I've fallen. But I do try, and believe it or not there are a few bible passages that I cling to and try to live up to. I especially love the Sermon on the Mount (ever notice how right wing fundamentalists love to refer to the blood thirstiest parts of the Old Testament but hardly ever refer to the Beatitudes?) and there's a passage from the book of Micah (6:8) that has always been a favorite since the first time I heard it:

"He has showed you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

So you can imagine how pleased I was to see this referenced on the James Dobson Doesn't Speak For Me website. Here is the entire statement:

James Dobson doesn't speak for me.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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;

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;

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

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

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.

These words speak for me. But when James Dobson attacks Barack Obama, James Dobson doesn't speak for me.

I don't think I have anything to add to that.


FranIAm said...


Oh Bubs, you have done a GREAT job with this post.

Anyone who says this "I'll be honest. I'm a terrible Christian. I pray for a loving and forgiving God, because if you name the 7 deadly sins, I got most of them covered." is not a terrible Christian.

It means that you are human.

The sad truth of so much Christianity today is the so-called "good Christian." Some bizarre standard of self-described perfection based on the idolatry of a number of carefully chosen lines of Scripture.

You know me, I could go on and on, but I will try to wrap it up here.

I have to wonder what is on Dobson's mind when he reads the Bible. Does he not see that God, in Old Testament and New, always uses the outcast, the weak, the infirm, the disenfranchised?

Oh I forgot, all that self-propping up leaves no room for humility.

Deep sigh.

James Dobson does not speak for MANY Christians.

Thank God.

Diane said...

Hey that's great!!! I especially like the nehemiah part, about restoring what is broken in our communities.

Distributorcap said...

james dobson is NOT a christian (and what would i know, i am a heathen jew) --- dobson is a disgusting vile piece of shit

end of discussion

lulu said...

A-fucking-men my brother.

Dr. Zaius said...

James Dobson is so freakin' Christerrific, maybe we should help him get to heaven. Right away.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Good words!

Bubs, I pray for a loving and forgiving God, too. I fall way short. As Fran says, you're human with the rest of us.

The Cunning Runt said...

As a Recovering Catholic™ (was found, but now I'm lost ;) ) I appreciate the sanity of applying rational thought to the words of The Bible.

I mean, it's been substantially re-written and translated by humans with points-of-view, so how can one insist on a word-for-word literal interpretation?

And to further insist on focusing on the divisive and judgmental bits is flat-out Fundamentalism of the type which we decry when Muslims do it.

Christians like you and Fran and Marc Macdonald do my heart good; "Christians" like James Dobson need to have their ass-hattery outed as they peddle their hatred. It's not enough that we trust they'll receive justice in The Hereafter; we need to publicly repudiate their bullshit in the here and now.


Tenacious S said...

Thanks, Bubs. I'm kind of out for a wander in the wilderness myself. James Dobson doesn't even have sound advice for child rearing, which is supposedly his specialty. Any behaviorist will tell you that corporal punishment is not your "go to" behavior modification plan. Maybe I need to write a book. But, oh wait, I forgot, psychology is evil, or so I've been told a few times by some of Dobson's friends. I'll shut up now.

Mnmom said...

I also am a "failed" Christian - don't go to church, but try to follow the ideals of Jesus. James Dobson doesn't speak for anyone with two brain cells to rub together.

Anonymous said...

I've heard Jim Wallis speak about this kind of thing on the Stephanie Miller Show. It's people like him, you, and the people who comment here who give this non-believer faith in "people of faith."

That this fuck Dobson is considered any kind of authority on religion or raising children is repulsive.

Grant Miller said...

I've done some research into this, Dr. Dobson is into some fucked up shit.