I have a stomach-churning aversion to the so-called “Religious Right.” It’s impossible to hide. And I admit that it skews my ability to fairly weigh their arguments. I try to be unbiased, but I usually fail.
For that reason I am making a new effort to debate the policies/actions/thoughts of the RR with a more balanced understanding, without falling into mean-spiritied sarcasm (which is what I usually do).
I’m starting that tomorrow.
This quote from James Dobson, the ‘Focus on the Family’ czar, made me boil. Dobson is a powerful force in national politics, and the unquestioned king of the Religious Right. If you watch the news, you’ll hear a lot about this one today. Criticizing an Obama speech on the Bible, Dobson comes up with this gem:
“I think he’s deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology,” Dobson said.
Hmmmmmm. Distorting the Bible to fit one’s own personal preferences? Who on earth would do something like that, Mr. Dobson? I can’t imagine a person or organization that would mercilessly promote a political agenda based on one particular view of the Bible that picks some things to ignore and others to promote.
I am going to avoid the long ramble that I usually fall into. I’m so very tempted to list the countless passages of the Bible that Dobson & Friends ignore. They have every right to interpret the Book in whichever way they choose.
But of course in their minds it is only others who “interpret” the Book…Dobson & Co. “know” the Book.
…Adding… I just read the full text of Obama’s speech for the first time and was impressed. Here’s a worthwhile section:
This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument, and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God’s will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.