Saturday, June 28, 2008

Obama vs. Dobson part two

In the Washington Post, conservative evangelical Peter Wehner says what I said a few days ago, only he says it better.
Dobson paraphrased [the part of Obama's speech I quoted] as "unless everybody agrees, we have no right to fight for what we believe in." But that's not what Obama was saying at all. Rather, he was arguing that in a pluralistic nation like ours, politics depends on people of faith being able to persuade others based on common and accessible ground and appeals to reason -- which sounds entirely reasonable. Christians who oppose abortion can make an effective case by talking about sonograms, fetal development and the moral imperative to protect the most vulnerable. That doesn't mean one's faith shouldn't inform the question of abortion -- or, for that matter, war, poverty and other issues. After all, President Lincoln's argument against slavery was partly grounded in faith. But appeals to the Bible or church teaching aren't sufficient in a pluralistic nation. That's why Lincoln talked primarily about the Declaration of Independence.

Maybe the guy at the Post saw my blog. He gets it exactly 100% right.

Also, Time magazine writes about anti-Dobson backlash among Christians. It refers to a Dobsonesque attack on Obama's faith by columnist Cal Thomas, and the surprising response to it:
But if the grassroots reaction is any indication, the attacks on Obama have been largely self-defeating. After Thomas' column ran, dozens of regional papers that carry it were flooded with letters to the editor — and they were hardly in liberal bastions. In places like Augusta, Georgia, and Lubbock, Texas, people wrote in to criticize Thomas' attack on Obama. "To suggest that anyone is not a Christian because they do not adhere to Cal Thomas' narrow interpretation of what a Christian should believe," wrote one Texan, "is extremely intolerant, ignorant, and downright insulting." Barack Obama couldn't have said it any better himself, and this election year he may not have to.
For years I've believed that the Christian Left were the people we needed to speak up in order to bust through the horrendous divide. With groups like jamesdobsondoesntspeakforme.com and a group called the Matthew 25 Network (which is named after the chapter of the Bible that compels this Christian to be a Democrat) stepping up, it might finally be happening.

I don't think I've felt optimistic about our political landscape in my life.

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