Should I Vote According to Dr James Dobson?

Do You Vote According to Dr James Dobson, that is, against Barack Obama? Criticism of Obama came in the form of the radio address that aired Tuesday on Dobson’s Focus on the Family radio program.

In this address, Dobson accuses Obama of distorting the Bible and the Christian faith (see the CNN story, and see the Fox News story also see video). Obama makes some very interesting statements throughout the speech, but the news of course is only going to show small excerpts like they did with the Reverend Wright issue. Doesn’t mean it is any better or worse, just that I think context is important.

“Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy?” Obama asked in the speech. “Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK 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?

He is bringing up things that are far more complex than can be answered in a town hall type meeting, but it isn’t my campaign and he speaks for himself.

Dr. Dobson’s Focus on the Family Ministry

The speech is interesting to say the least but it brings the question to my mind, who do we listen to when it comes to placing our vote? I have great respect for Dr Dobson. His work with Focus on the Family is really an incredible ministry, but I know, there actually are brothers and sisters in Christ who are Democrats as well. I might agree with what Dr. Dobson says, I might not, but he has been quite politically charged this primary season, and actually, I don’t really recall off the top of my head who he has been for, just that he has been against several.

“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own world view, his own confused theology,” Dobson said, adding that Obama is “dragging biblical understanding through the gutter.”

I am not going to re-hash the ins and outs of the speech and what Dobson said, there are two very good blog articles about it already, see Dobson on Obama from Jesus Creed, and James Dobson Accuses Obama of ‘Distorting’ Bible from the Christian Post. But I am interested to know who influences your vote now?

Those Political Guides Churches Hand Out

I use to belong to a church that handed out political “guides” during the election season. I never minded these because they were pretty much exactly how I was going to vote anyway, so I didn’t give it much thought. They never mentioned who you should vote for, they were just those pamphlets that said where each candidate stood on what issues.

These are hated literature by the left but pretty common and accepted among the suburban churches. I really didn’t pay much attention until a discussion from a fellow blogger I respect (Ragamuffinsoul), a Believer, and voting for Obama (see Reason #42234 I Love My Team and Caption Please – You Knew It Was Coming for a laugh).

There Are Politics Galore in the Bible

It isn’t new to mix politics with faith, or Christianity, the Bible has scripture all over the place about the Kings and taking land from here or there, but we are no longer in a divide and conquer kind of time period anymore either. I am not saying it isn’t important, it is. Being able to live in a free country is something we sometimes take for granted, especially here in the U.S., so regardless of how you vote, I think it is an important process. What influences our vote is something else altogether.

Radical Ideology or Conservatism / Liberalism at Work?

The more radical someone or some entity gets I think the less weight I give them. I do objectively look at the issue at hand and try to decide for myself, but I really don’t think that is how many approach the media blitz that occurs daily. Some don’t care, there isn’t enough time (there really isn’t), they do like this person, don’t like that person and so on. What I don’t like, no matter what side they are on, is when a church specifically says I should vote for this person or that.

Shouldn’t Churches Do What They Do Best?

I would no more want Obama’s “former” church leaders, i.e., Reverend Jeremiah Wright giving a sermon at Trinity United Church of Christ, than the Southern Baptist’s here in Alabama telling me to vote for McCain. If I think Rev Wright’s wrong for doing what he does, I have to think it wrong on the other side of the coin too.

I want to see a church focused on Jesus, the Gospel message, as it is written in the scriptures. The extent to which the involvement should be from the official voice of the church, to me, is to encourage their parishioners to vote. Who am I voting for? Well, I am taking a real strict issues view about the election, I am voting for the fellow left handed candidate. I found out there are four pervious left handed Presidents. Ford, Bush (41), Regan, and Clinton. What are the odds we would have so many left handed Presidents, I was thrilled.

What about you? What role does the church (that is church with a little “c” not a big “C”) play in the election process.

5 thoughts

  1. I definitely believe our faith should affect which candidates we choose to vote for, but there is a huge difference between faith in politics and the church stepping in. I’ve never been a part of a church that said anything about who I should vote for (didn’t even get one of those “guides” about the candidates, I would have liked one of those), but I don’t see it as the church’s place to tell us how to vote.

    To be honest, I look upon any church leaders that try to tell anyone how to vote wth some disdain; even more so if they take the “a good Christian should vote for/against” route. In my observation, the more political a church or Christian group gets the more it drifts away from what is truly important, whether this effect is desired or even realized. It’s like the political involvement tries to crowd Christ out and take the center stage, and politics is that last thing I want taking focus in place of Christ.

    I’m sure my position won’t be popular, but that’s nothing new.

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  2. i usually consider it an insult when any politician starts talking religion from a “participant’s” point of view. from my perspective and my understanding of faith and what Christianity is about, I’m more insulted by guys like Obama than anyone, who talk about Leviticus and Deuteronomy with such emptiness of true understanding. In reality, the only reason its mentioned is to give that candidate credibility in the “religious” vote. Its not hard for me to see right through obama on this issue in particular, and I never liked him in the first place. (don’t get me wrong, I don’t like McCain either)

    amoslankas last blog post..Random Crap On The Internet

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  3. Hi, Scott

    We can’t bring the Kingdom of God into this world. Only God can do that (and will, soon, I believe). Nevertheless, it falls to us as free people to vote for the man or woman who is closest to godly. Incidentally, Obama is not a Christian. Read his statement of faith. If he believes what he says he does, he’s not a disciple of Christ, but I doubt he believes even that. I suspect he’s attempting to pander.

    Abortion is a big deal for me, so I could never vote for Obama even if he weren’t a socialist (not that those are the only reasons, btw). I’m pretty sure at least two of our ministerial staff will be voting for him, though. They’re good men. Why would they vote for this guy? My conclusion–they don’t know that much about him and have just been listening to the news blurbs like most of the country and they like the idea that he’s supposedly for helping the poor. Personally, I think he’s a liar and is just out after power.

    As for McCain, I don’t like him much, either, but I’ll vote for him if I vote for either. At least he seems to me to be genuine though I fear he may be in the early stages of some form or other of senile dementia. We have means for dealing with that sort of problem, though, and whoever he might choose for VP would have to be better than Obama.

    Have I gotten any guidance from my church? Nope. They don’t even talk about politics, which is okay. I wouldn’t want them telling people who to vote for, but I wouldn’t mind seeing the pastor tackle some of the tough issues that face people day to day such as abortion, poverty, etc.

    Well, hopefully I haven’t thoroughly gotten myself in your doghouse already, Scott. I don’t mind that most of my friends are lefties, so hopefully they don’t mind that I’m not. (I can’t help but wander how I found all these lefties–in western South Dakota–there can’t be above a couple hundred of them this side of the river.) πŸ˜‰

    Grace and Peace,

    Cindy

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