Focus On The Family Attacks Obama's 2006 Renewal Speech genre: Hip-Gnosis & Polispeak

Anyone seeking to understand the essential fundamentals underlying the 2008 election would be well served to review the following videos. The first five comprise a speech given by Senator Barack Obama in 2006 to the liberal Christian group, Call To Renewal.

The final video is the first of three videos being released by Focus On The Family in response to the Obama speech. Today, in addition to the videos, James Dobson, the head of FOF, used his radio address to accuse Obama of distorting the Bible. I will update this posting to include the final two videos once they have been posted on the FOF site.

Generally speaking, Obama offers a reasoned explanation of the problems we face when religious ideology becomes the source of intransigent sectarian strife. Obama's speech is simply a thoughtful recognition of the shortcomings that can accompany the promotion of any one particular religious ideology...especially when done at the detriment of the beliefs held by other segments of society...be they religious or not.

Senator Obama's remarks accurately demonstrate an awareness of the pitfalls that resulted from George Bush's inclination to broadly impose his narrow evangelical beliefs...and his effort to rally like minded members of the electorate to assist him in that endeavor. At the same time, Senator Obama's remarks are clearly not an attempt to alter the beliefs of any particular party.

His observations simply explain the impracticality of imposing a narrowly defined religious agenda...as well as illustrate our government's constitutional imperative to abstain from siding with any particular religious ideology. Hence Obama concludes that the role of government is to also refrain from rejecting any particular religious beliefs and therefore inadvertently or intentionally preventing some individuals from practicing their chosen beliefs.

Perhaps this push back from Focus on the Family and other religious organizations is a realization that voters may be ready to restore a level of separation of church and state that hasn't been observed since the GOP leadership sought a political alliance premised upon a promise to enact a narrow set of religious principles. What voters may be concluding is exactly what Senator Obama, in 2006, warned might happen should sectarian strife dictate, dominate, or destroy the basic construct of representative government.

Simply put, I believe that Dobson and his ilk don't like the fact that voters may view Senator Obama as a champion for that basic concept...a concept that is again mindful of the need for the preservation of religious freedom but also the promise of freedom from religious persecution.

In other words, government grants members of the electorate the leeway to live according to their chosen beliefs while voters accept that the role of our elected officials must also include championing minority beliefs in accordance with their constitutional directives. That level of impartiality is simply not consistent with the goals of groups like Focus on the Family and politicians who fail to embrace their specific agenda become the object of this type of ill-conceived ire.

In the end, I believe that a majority of voters are anxious to restore the equitable government neutrality that made this country so appealing and so inviting. Doing so is the only way to insure that all of us will continue to have the freedom to hold the beliefs we cherish.

Barack Obama - 2006 Call To Renewal Speech (Part One)

Barack Obama - 2006 Call To Renewal Speech (Part Two)

Barack Obama - 2006 Call To Renewal Speech (Part Three)

Barack Obama - 2006 Call To Renewal Speech (Part Four)

Barack Obama - 2006 Call To Renewal Speech (Part Five)

Focus On The Family's Criticism Of The Speech (Part One)

UPDATE: Focus On The Family Criticism Of The Speech (Part Two)

UPDATE II: Focus On The Family Criticism Of The Speech (Part Three)

Tagged as: 2008 Election, Barack Obama, Equality, Focus On The Family, Freedom, Government, James Dobson, Religion

Daniel DiRito | June 24, 2008 | 8:35 PM
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Comments

1 On October 28, 2008 at 3:48 PM, Greg wrote —

They still believe our nation was "founded on Christian Values". I am a believe but I am also of Native American decent. The White Europeans exterminated an entire race in North America. That wasn't "God's blessing" and this country hasn't been "blessed by God" as they claim for being so good. This nation has bullied and ran over other countries for our personal gain. When we have a good economy many times at the cost of someone working in a sweatshop factory overseas where they force abortions on the women, we say it was because "We are so blessed by God!!!" It is a total distortion of reality, but appeasing to one's conscience. It is also amazing how we decide who lives and who dies and how we justify it in our minds why it is ok for others to die in our wars because they are non-Christian. God will be the judge.

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