I will state at the very beginning that this post is in no way, shape, form or otherwise an explicit or implicit endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for president. Regardless of how wonderful people think he is, regardless of how many think he is the new Messiah, regardless of how many people think his ‘The Rock’ like voice commands attention, he will not make a good president and I have serious concerns about his use of the Scripture in his political campaign.
Second, I will state that this post is in no way a condemnation of everything that Dr James Dobson says or does. I think Dobson has many good and true things to say about any number of issues regarding the family, and other issues. However, and I have said this before, Dr Dobson is not THE voice of the evangelical church and much of what he says politically opposes much of what other people believe about their faith; this is necessarily divisive. That is to say, Many of us wish that Dr Dobson would stick to family matters and stay out of political matters or at least keep his political matters to himself and stop pretending to speak for the rest of us. There are times when Dr Dobson seems to equate the agenda of the Kingdom of God with the agenda of the kingdom of America. God’s kingdom advance does not need America to do well or to be on some version of a moral code in order for it to move forward. It is a silly thing to beg sinners to act like saints or to expect sinners to do the things that saints aren’t doing or to expect sinners to line up their agenda with that of the Church just because Christians think they should.
If we want sinners to do the things of saints, then we should pray for sinners to become saints, but it seems almost fruitless to expect Christian morality out of people who explicitly reject Christ. This is like getting upset when Kathy Griffen makes rude comments about Jesus: What do we Christians expect her to do?
That said, an online friend, Odgie, posted a link to this website: James Dobson Doesn’t Speak for Me. The website is an unabashed Obama for president gimmick run by a pastor named Kirbyjon Caldwell whom I do not know (although, to be sure, there is nothing at the website suggesting that it is officially endorsed by the Obama Campaign or any particular congregation or denomination). Nevertheless, aside from his ridiculous support for the uber-ridiculous Obama, I like the statement as it reads. Here’s some of it:
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.
Well again, aside from the uncritical support of Senator Obama, I think Pastor Caldwell has written well concerning the testimony of Scripture. I think what he says about the prophets and the apostles is well written and right on the mark. To be sure, I DO NOT believe Dr Dobson would disagree which is what makes all of this so much fun. They probably both believe every word that Caldwell has written aside from the part about Obama.
I am glad that Pastor Caldwell has written this even if I am particularly dismayed at his support for such a divisive and liberal figure as Senator Obama–not that McCain is any better! Seriously, maybe we could just go the next eight years without a president. That might be fun.
The only thing that kind of bugs me about the site, aside from the pathetic support for the senator from Illinois, is that there is no way to know how many people have actually signed the petition and the ‘testimonials’ page is not deep enough to get a good feel. There are some naive responses on the testimonials page too.
We might debate what role such public figures have when it comes to Christianity, the kingdom of God, and politicians. I have been wondering if it is right for Christians to call out politicians and hold them accountable. Others have suggested yes, we should. Strangely enough, those politicians that I might call out would be defended by Christians who in turn would call out politicians that I would defend. There seems to be no real solution to this yet. Maybe quiet, peaceful lives would be helpful. Thanks for stopping by.
PS–Just so I am clear, I am not endorsing the website, the petition drive, Senator Obama; I am not condemning James Dobson. I like what Caldwell says about Scripture and think it is well written. That’s all this is about, so please do not misinterpret what I said or wrote.