Keeping the Focus on Obama’s Faith

After generating a wave of coverage with his nearly unprecedented attack on Barack Obama and his understanding of his own Christian faith in yesterday’s radio broadcast, James Dobson has returned to his standard program format for the time being with a program about “Recapturing the Joy.”  But that doesn’t mean that Focus on the Family is about to let the story go or about to back of its incessant attacks against Obama and his faith.  

Today, FOF unveiled the first installment of a three-part video series in which host Kim Trobee and Focus’ Vice President of Public Policy Tom Minnery criticize Obama’s 2006 Call to Renewal Keynote Address.  In it, Minnery claims that Obama still has a long way to go in his “journey of faith” because he’s no where “close to our understanding of what the Christian faith is.” Minnery also gets unnecessarily worked-up about the fact that Obama sought to “compare James Dobson with Rev. Al Sharpton,” when, in fact, Obama wasn’t comparing them at all; he was contrasting them – a key distinction apparently lost on Minnery, Dobson, and the people at Focus on the Family:

Kim Trobee: Tom, Obama explains that he was not raised in a particularly religious household. He talks about his Dad being a Muslim and then becoming an atheist and he says that his mother grew up with a healthy skepticism of organized religion. What does that tell us with regard to his own views on religion?

Tom Minnery: It tells us that he’s on a journey of faith, and that’s a good thing because we think people out to journey toward faith. But from what he says about the Christian faith, who knows where he is? He’s not close to our understanding of what the Christian faith is, by any means.

Trobee: Let’s go ahead and show this first clip of the video.

Barack Obama: Moreover, given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.

Trobee: Is that true?

Minnery: No, it’s not true. It’s not even close. Senator, we are not an atheist nation. Senator, we are not a Hindu nation. We are not a Buddhist nation. 76% of the people, according to last year’s Pew Center on Religion survey, people identify themselves as Christian. Now, all of them are not practicing, yet 40% still go to church once a week and, by and large, it’s Christian denominations they’re going to. We are, along among the world, a nation still with a strong Judeo-Christian heritage and he is trying to erase that. And he does so at his own peril.

Trobee: In the next clip, he takes aim at Dr. Dobson and that’s something that, up until now, we were unaware had happened. Let’s take a look at it.

Obama: And even if we did have only Christians in our midst, if we expelled every non-Christian from the United States of America, whose Christianity would we teach in the schools? Would we go with James Dobson’s, or Al Sharpton’s?

Minnery: Wow. For someone on a journey of faith to compare James Dobson with Rev. Al Sharpton is breathtaking. Many viewers will know that Al Sharpton achieved his notoriety as a polarizing, racist figure in American life, a black racist figure. That’s strong language, but that is who he was and who he is and you can find numerous stories about his run-ins with racial incidents in the past, from the Tawana Brawley hoax to the Central Park jogger issue in which he entered the fracas on the side of black racism. And to compare that with Dr. James Dobson, a child psychologist – not even a Reverend – is a fierce misunderstanding of Christianity.