Tuesday, June 24, 2008

a mainstream politician that actually makes sense sometimes!?

Fanatical tyrant James Dobson criticized Barack Obama recently for " deliberately distorting the Bible and taking a 'fruitcake interpretation' of the U.S. Constitution" after Obama pointed out the very sober and rationally inclined statement that it would be very hard to shape policy based solely on scripture in the Bible. This is a very good point and I agree, but James Dobson does not agree, because James Dobson has a very tragic case of dogmatic tunnel vision. I don't get it really. I'm sure James Dobson is a very smart individual, so it's strange that his approach to understanding humanity is so skewed. Obama's comments are below.

"Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?" Obama asks in the speech. "Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is okay and that eating shellfish is an abomination. Or we could go with Deuteronomy which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount."

"So before we get carried away, let's read our Bible now," Obama also said to cheers. "Folks haven't been reading their Bible."

I recently watched a documentary called, "For the Bible Tells Me So" and it was about the existence of homosexuality within Christian families. There was a segment about a religious family who had a gay son and that family ended up starting an organization which spoke out against the church's approach to dealing with the "problem" of homosexuals. The family picketed outside of James Dobson's headquarters, ya know..."Focus on the Family" and Dobson had them arrested for trespassing. Whatever. The DVD was good, it was an echo of things I already believe. All in all, it was depressing. There was one story of a girl who ended up killing herself because of her mother's reaction upon hearing she was gay. It's all so perplexing, people's reaction to it. I don't understand, but I don't feel it's necessary to understand it. It's not as if, upon hearing if someone is gay or not gay, I will adjust my tolerance or opinion of them as a person. My opinion of someone should not be dependent upon a behavior that is, for as much as I understand it, benign in relation to myself and others. People can say what they want about how they think it affects development of a person, or a family, I have my own views on the topic, spirituality and science aside.
Anyway, Barack Obama has made some interesting political moves of late, but I like that he said this. It points out the very simple fact that if each president used scripture to dictate public policy, it would be vary with each president. Interpretation would definitely become and issue and therefor each different "decider" would decide on different scriptures and different meanings of those scriptures to implement legislation, and that would definitely invade the subjective world of morality (and each person's right to their own brand) in a broad sense, which would ultimately undermine the US Constitution. As my mother has told me before, "you can't legislate morality".


Blogger AJ said...

Your mom is a very wise woman. :) As usual, it sounds like Obama's statements were taken out of context. Legalistic tragic thinking by Dobson at its best/worst. As my Dad would say " Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater...and then don't drink the bathwater!" I've read a number of Dobson's books, and he actually does present some excellent integrative ideas on Christianity and Psychology. But, in this case, it just reminds me of how the Pharisees accused Jesus falsely of being a glutton and a drunkard for actually being with the people and loving them wherever they were at. Can you imagine what this world would look like if we actually just loved one another...what a concept! :)

7:47 PM

Blogger Melanie said...

Unfortunately, I didn't hear what Dobson said. I know that he opposes gay marriage. As for me and homosexuality, I don't have a problem with the people. Some of the behaviors may be a different matter, but that's true of a lot of things.

It does seem like Obama's statment was taken out of context, but then I didn't hear Dobson's statement in context, either. Somewhere in between probably lies the truth. As for using scripture in governance, the scriptures Obama mentioned were taken a tad out of context as well, especially the one in Deut. Such seems to be the way things go, especially in politics.

I will say something about Dobson and his organization - I don't always agree with him 100%, but one of his counselors called regarding an issue with my son after I sent them a letter and were very helpful. A similar thing happened with a friend when her parents were divorcing.

2:31 AM


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