Sunday, June 29, 2008

Whatsoever Things Are True II

My last post linked to the site I agree with my new friend Carolyn that some of the initial statements on the site might be less than helpful. But I find the refutation of claims on the site to be altogether fair, truthful, necessary, and no violation of Christian love. In the same spirit, I have added below more misguided claims from that Dobson radio program.

Most disturbing about the Dobson discussion (I listened to the whole thing) is that he and Tom Minnery CLEARLY distort Obama’s words and message from the Call to Renewal speech. The very words that Obama used to uphold the place of morality and religious belief in public discourse are turned to say just the opposite.

Whether their distortion is intentional, I don’t know. I'm afraid that our brothers Dobson and Minnery are so hardened in their views that they can’t see the truth. I suspect (but I don't know) that Dr. Dobson did not read, watch, or listen to the entire speech. If he did, then I am even more dismayed at this attack. In that case I do consider this a dishonest portrayal and response. But whether intentional or not, this performance is shameful distortion.

Here are more of the discrepancies:

Tom Minnery/Dobson Claim #6
He diminishes religion itself… he’s not even acknowledging the strong Judeo Christian tradition

What Obama actually said:
Secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King - indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history - were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. So to say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity. Our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.

Tom Minnery/Dobson Claim #7
Tom Minnery to Dobson: “He begins to diminish you…He has compared you somehow as being on the right with what Al Sharpton is on the left. Al Sharpton achieved his notoriety in the 80s and 90s by engaging in racial bigotry, and many people have called him a black racist and he is somehow equating you with that.”

Dobson: “Why’d this man jump on me?! He also equates me with Al Sharpton who is a reverend. I am not a reverend. I’m not a minister. I’m not a theologian I’m not an evangelist. I’m a psychologist.”

What Obama actually said:
Even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson's, or Al Sharpton's?

Minnery/Dobson Claim #8
From there he proceeds to disparage serious understanding of the Bible….That kind of commentary drives me crazy. It’s almost willful to confuse the dietetic laws of the Old Testament that applied to the Israelites-- to suggest that the Levitical law governing stoning of a belligerent, drunkard son--- somehow applies to the church age, the New Testament.

What Obama actually said:
Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our Bibles. Folks haven't been reading their Bibles.

1 comment:

Princess King International said...

Good Stuff!
Give it no more energy than it deserves. Have Hope, Faith and Trust that the Lord your God knows full well what we have need of.
Carolyn J.