Thank you James Dobson

Can you give us a cite for that, Diogenes? I’d be interested in a follow-up.

Well, since Wright is a pastor of a single church, and (at the time of the speech) unknown to the U.S. public at large, and Dobson has made a career out of blathering to as large an audience as he can manage, I don’t know why he would have.

No, but he did mention the Rev. Al Sharpton (in the same sentence). Good enough for you? Was Obama “picking a fight” with Sharpton, too?

A few things. First of all, I direct everyone to the survey released Monday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, which revealed in part:

which suggests that most evangelicals probably agree more with Obama (who can be described as an Evangelical himself) about this than they do with Dobson.

Secondly, Dobson has never spoken for all Evangelicals, and has always been a pretty polarizing figure in the evangelical community.

Here’s the quote


This has actually been going on a lot longer than the religious-right seems to acknowledge. From The Next American Nation, by Michael Lind:

Which shows a certain ignorance since Buddhists pray to no god (Buddha himself never claimed to be one nor to speak for one), but it’s still a significant, and salubrious, change.

If you think that Wright is a polarizing figure, then you would have to agree with Barack Obama that you don’t want preachers dictating legislation.

It is especially because of the intervening Wright issue that Dobson attacking Obama is especially good news for Obama. It would be wonderful to get the focus faith and Obama to be on the nature of that sppech he made two years ago, rather than upon the statements made by his former pastor. It would be wonderful to have the discussion be a comparison of Obama’s POV in which the secular need to have a greater respect for the role of faith in political discourse, in which the faithful should less fearful of the values of the secularists, in which both see how much they actually overlap in shared goals, and the POV that one small group should define an agenda according to their own personal religious ideaology. His position there is one that will be reassuring to many of the faithful. Many of the faithful will be more comfortable with that POV than with McCain’s discomfort on matters of faith in the public sphere.

Wright had diminished Obama’s ability to use this almost “post-partisan” perspective on the issue of faith and secularism as a talking point; Dobson’s belated attack is giving him the chance to make that argument all over again and more of a chance to reach the many of faith that find Dobson’s message unattractive.

In June, 2006, no one outside Chcago knew who Rev. Wright was. It would hardly make sense to point to him when 99% of the audience did not know who he was.

Did you have a point?

And he did mention Al Sharpton, so he picked a well-known lefty and a well-known righty, which made his point completely.

you should have left in the next part of the quote.
“and in my case, much, much, bigger. I’m looking at you choir ladies ;)”

Well, while it’s not much of a surprise considering how I feel about Lind, generally, I disagree with his interpretation of the data there. Henotheism is the belief that multiple gods exist, although only one should be worshipped, or worshipped as a primary god. Neither this current study, or the ones Lind quotes shows that people believe that multiple gods really exist.

What the studies show is a growth in tolerance of other beliefs.

My contention is that a candidate should not drag people into the spotlight who own barrels of ink. It takes him or her off message when the ink starts to flow.

  1. Obama gave that speech two years ago, before he was a candidate for President. Dobson is only responding to it now.

  2. He did not attack Dobson in the speech. He only used Sharpton and Dobson as examples of very different sorts of Christian leaders to make the point that there is no consensus as to what constitutes a “Christian” point of view.

  3. That “barrels of ink” expression refers to people who own newspapers and have influence over what gets reported. I don’t see how James Dobson falls into that category. He’s a figure of waning importance within a particular political demographic, but he hardly has any great media influence. Obama has far more media influence and public popularity than Dobson does

You should be Obama’s campaign manager.

Not all Engelicals are forthing idiots. Jim Wallis came out with a statement:

I feel confident Dobson was already well in the national spotlight circa 2006, and had no need of Obama to “drag” him there. Indeed that was why he was mentioned by Obama, his name was basically a placeholder for: “well known conservative religious leader”.

In any case, even if he isn’t endorsing McCain, Dobson was going to find one way or another to inject himself into the '08 campaign. The fact that his current pretext for doing so is so flimsy (a passing mention of his name by a candidate in a two year old speech), is just evidence of that fact. Had Obama never made that speech, Dobson would’ve found some other triviality to use as a device for getting his say in.

Good for you JW. Way to spell it out.

I’m not quite sure what the shudder is for. I think every little kid who has ever lived has seen mom and dad naked in the shower after pulling the curtain back. And I know lots of parents who end up showering with their kids in the 3-5 age or so because they need a shower, the kid needs a shower, and they can’t keep an eye on them if the parents are in the shower while the kid is outside. Don’t most kids end up with the “penis/vagina/why is there hair there speech” after a shower realization?

After a certain age it becomes wierd, but parents who are that afraid little johnny may see bits, seem the wierer ones to me.

It’s not the showering with the kid, per se, it’s Dobson’s glee about the thought of showing a kid how big his cock his. Why does he think that’s important?