Caldwell v. Dobson

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cartoon Dobson.jpgJames Dobson seems to have done Obama a big favor by taking after him the way he did. This was not another Wright-centric assault but an attack on the only speech I can recall an American politician giving that at once lays out his own spiritual bona fides and seeks to be precise about how religion should and should not function in the political arena. More important than Obama’s own off-the-cuff response is the web page/petition organized by Kirbyjon Caldwell (Houston megachurch pastor, Friend of Bush, endorser of Obama) called www.jamesdobsondoesn’ Between the petition’s own words and the side-by-side quotes from Dobson and Obama, the Focus on the Family founder comes off looking like a narrow-minded bigot and a bearer of false witness. And this time the charge comes not from the left but from what passes today for the American religious center, and in the person of someone with plenty of street cred in the wide evangelical world. Now let’s see who signs up.
It’s worth noting that Dobson’s conversation-with-sidekicks about Obama, reminiscent of the kind of thing Pat Robertson has always done on the 700 Club, is a departure for him. Indeed, he specifically invites listeners to let him know if they like that sort of thing. (It would be interesting to learn the answer to that.) Meanwhile, David Brody’s reporting on national politics on the 700 Club itself is a good deal more fair and balanced than what you’ll find on Fox News. As the tectonic plates of the Religious Right move, how much of an opening is there for a Mike Huckabee, or some new rough beast, or something else entirely?