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.