Barack Obama has recently come under criticism from evangelical Christian personality James Dobson for comments he made back in 2006 while addressing a liberal Christian group.”Which passages of scripture should guide our public policy? 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…So before we get carried away, let’s read our Bible now…Folks haven’t been reading their Bible.” -Barack Obama
Dobson has accused Obama of distorting the Bible, but that’s an oversimplification of Obama’s mistake. What Obama has really done is put his ignorance of Christianity on public display.
Let me break it down for you in very simple terms: The Holy Bible includes many different types of literature; civil laws, religious laws, poetry, histories, narratives, prophecies, and many other subgroupings. What Obama is citing in Leviticus and Deuteronomy are the civil code and religious laws of the ancient Hebrews. These are a part of the Christian canon by virtue of their presence in the Jewish scriptures, but they don’t govern the Christian faith in any way. For Christians, the Old Testament (or Old Covenant, to be more precise) was superseded by the New Testament (or New Covenant) nearly 2000 years ago.
What Obama did, essentially, was to borrow a common anti-Christianity red herring argument and use it to pander to a liberal Christian group.
Conservative Christians have been rumored to be flirting with the Obama campaign, but this instance ought to serve as a warning. This man claims to be a Christian but doesn’t know the scriptures or understand the distinction between different types of religious texts.