June 25th, 2008
08:39 PM ET

James Dobson doesn't speak for me

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/06/25/art.caldwell.jpg caption="Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell of the Windsor Village United Methodist Church speak at a campaign rally Oct. 2004." width=292 height=320]

Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell is Senior Pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas.  Windsor is the largest United Methodist Church in the nation.  He is one of President George W. Bush's most influential spiritual advisors. Today he sent this letter to his supporters:

Kirbyjon Caldwell
Senior Pastor, Windsor Village United Methodist Church

Dear friends,

My name is Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell. Some folks know me as one of President Bush's spiritual advisors. I'm also a strong supporter of Barack Obama, because he's a Christian who's unashamed of his faith and wants to bring Americans of all faiths and backgrounds together.

Today, Dr. James Dobson from Focus on the Family attacked Barack Obama for a thoughtful, powerful speech that Obama delivered on faith and politics in June of 2006. You can read Obama's speech here and Dobson's attack here.

In his speech, Obama spoke about his own Christian journey. He called on progressives to recognize the power of faith in the lives of millions of Americans. He called on conservatives to uphold the separation of church and state. And he called on both sides to work together to find common ground.

I didn't agree with everything in his speech, but I agreed with Obama's courage, his compassion and his message of healing.

But what did Dr. Dobson say in response?

He called Obama's view of the constitution "fruitcake." He said that Obama was "deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible."

And he charged Obama with going to the "lowest common denominator of morality."

Normally, folks don't respond to overheated charges like Dobson's. But not any more.

We have created JamesDobsonDoesntSpeakForMe.com to send a message to Dr.

Dobson and the entire country that it's not OK to launch faith-based attacks on other Christians. I am asking American Christians to visit JamesDobsonDoesntSpeakForMe.com and sign the statement below today. Tell Dr.

Dobson that he doesn't speak for you when he attacks Barack Obama.

We've already had a number of prominent signers. We hope you'll add your name to the list.

Please go to JamesDobsonDoesntSpeakForMe.com and sign up today. Or you can simply reply to this email with your name, title, house of worship (optional), and any message you'd like to send.

It's time for Christians to stand up to attacks like this. We honor Dr.

Dobson for his service on behalf of American families, but when he unfairly attacks another American, we're here to say: James Dobson Doesn't Speak for Me.

Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell


Filed under: Barack Obama • Raw Politics • Religion
soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Stephen Webb

    President Bush IS a God fearing man! obama isn't!

    Those good ole boys in iraq are dying for the US of A! The Bushes have served our country well by having been soldiers and leaders, while obama just went to college to hide from military service!

    McCain is another great example of a true American! James Dobson is right about obama (killing babies who could one day grow up and die for a just cause like irak)!!!

    I think Whites and blacks have a fundamental disagreement in this regard! We Republicans try to do Good while the democrats are bad!

    McCain '08

    June 26, 2008 at 2:47 am |
  2. Claire

    If Dobson is going to present himself as a Christian, then I expect some Christ-like behavior from him. Why are so many self-proclaimed evangelicals hateful and condemning? God is love, last I heard.

    June 25, 2008 at 10:51 pm |
  3. Edward, Oregon

    If you do not know any Christians who consider Obama a Christian, then you obviously do know know most Democrats . You obviously do not know many Independents and even the Republicans who crossed to vote in the primary for him. You obviously do not know what a Christian is...and obviously are a hater which is not something Jesus would condone.....

    June 25, 2008 at 10:30 pm |
  4. Edward, Oregon

    If you do not know any Christians who consider Obama a Christian, then you obviously do know know most Democrats . You obviously do not know many Independents and even the Republicans who crossed to vote in the primary for him. You obviously do not know what a Christian is...and obviously are a hater which is not something Jesus would condone.....

    June 25, 2008 at 10:29 pm |
  5. ada

    Dr. Dobson, I've enjoyed your works on Focus on the Family but this seems to me that you are somewhat off track. Better to stay with what you know. Who are you to judge anyway? You are out of touch.

    Obama 08'

    June 25, 2008 at 10:19 pm |
  6. Shannon O'Neill LaLonde

    Spiritual leaders have no place in our constitutional system. Dr. Dobson's remarks are offensiveand irrelevant. Our country would be better off if so-called Christian leaders remembered that relegious freedom is one of rights in this country and part of the reason it was founded. Remember, our constitution guarantees relegious freedom!

    June 25, 2008 at 10:17 pm |
  7. jeneh

    It is unfortunate that unGodly someone like Dobson to wear his religion on his shirt to show others that he speaks for God. But deep down in his heart, you can tell immorality and deviousness. He pretends to others that he care s Did the Bible ask you Mr. Dobson to judge others? If you are really a man of faitrh then it is your dutie to educate those you beleive do not have clear understanding of the Bible instead of questioning thier faith. Pretending to be a man of God is like provoking him. The consequence of provoking God is severe. Stop pretend ing that you are speaking on behalf of Christians tell us that you are heavly criticizing Mr. Obama to let Mcsame, wait Mcevil wins to continue killing more of our men and women in Iraq and innocence Iraqis. Tell me that you want Mcold (John McCain) win even though he does not understand how the economic works.

    June 25, 2008 at 10:16 pm |
  8. Larry

    Isn't this a cosy family.

    June 25, 2008 at 10:14 pm |
  9. Majadi

    It is quite obvious that Mr. Obama will never please all of the voters in the United States. We are too multi-faceted for one, and our opinions vary greatly. I have noticed that only the African descended candidate is required to do so. He is viewed as either to Black, Too radical, too conservative, too liberal, too White, Too Christian, Too Muslim! The same line of debate is not nor will it ever be used for John McCain or any other White politician!

    June 25, 2008 at 10:08 pm |
  10. shelby NY

    I agree with Dobson. Its impossible to be a strong unashamed christian and make everybody happy. If obama was so unashamed of his religon then he should stand firm on policy against partial birth abortion and save some lives like Christ would. Abortion is the #1 Killer of blacks.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:59 pm |
  11. Nancy Boykin

    What happened to separation of church and state? Why is he even talking about his beliefs? Each person in this country has the right to believe as they choose, he does not have the right to bring his belief into the WH (God forbid he gets there). Yes I am a Christian, Catholic as a matter of fact, but I am also a true American who believes in the Constitution and this discussion has no place in the campaign.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:55 pm |
  12. Justin - Knoxville, TN

    haldog: Well, Pastor Caldwell obviously considers Mr. Obama a Christian. We are Christians by virtue of our faith in Jesus Christ, not by virtue of assent to any particular systematic theology. Christianity is not about "getting one's beliefs right." To quote Elizabeth I, "There is but one Lord, Jesus Christ. One faith. All else is a dispute over trifles."

    For the record, I also consider Mr. Obama to be a Christian, of course remembering that in the end I have no say in the matter. So there: now you know two.

    In the spirit of Ephesians 4:4-6 –

    June 25, 2008 at 9:50 pm |
  13. Kim

    Haldog..... So what your saying is it is far more Christian to kill people in a false war after they turn 18 or if they are not American. McWar wants to keep a war going that is killing thousands for personal greed.

    It seems a little messed up that you can kill people in a war that Americans were lied to about (WMD'S).

    June 25, 2008 at 9:49 pm |
  14. samtam

    Obama has confessed that he is a born again Christian in his book, the Audacity of Hope; he has accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. His campaign philosophy of hope and faithfulness in America's ability to change our nation for the better mirrors the main tenants of the Christian faith. Jesus called for those in His day to put aside pride-filled attitudes and religious rhetoric and to reconnect with one another in love, hope, and faith. With Obama as President, and prayerfully with the favor of God, I believe our nation will have a better chance of moving toward these basic Christian objectives in our social, economic, foreign, and political policies.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:47 pm |
  15. kate hutson

    Amen, brother.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:44 pm |
  16. Kim

    Dobson is also the guy that:

    "Dobson contended that "tolerance and diversity" are "buzzwords" that the We Are Family Foundation misused as part of a hidden agenda to promote homosexuality." Source New York Times

    So I guess no one should tolerate Dobson's views.


    "In 2007, Dobson was one of 25 evangelicals who called for the ouster of Rev. Richard Cizik from his position at the National Association of Evangelicals for taking a stance urging evangelicals to take global warming seriously." Source The Washington Post

    So LAST YEAR not only was Dobson fighting the idea of Globial Warming BUT tried to fire someone for even talking about it!

    This is the guy some people believe?

    June 25, 2008 at 9:43 pm |
  17. Ratna, New York, NY

    Dear Pastor Caldwell,

    I totally agree with you. Theological beliefs usually influence health legislation strongly. To unite all faiths is a logical way to make way for smoother processing. I agree with Obama on this one. I'll definitely speak against James Dobson.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:41 pm |
  18. Kent, Illinois

    Haldog..................you are in the same category as Dobson..............get out your Bible and pray.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:29 pm |
  19. Kent, Illinois

    Dobson does not speak for me. Obviously, there are those that listen to this guy and I really don't understand it. He isn't a preacher, and has not been ordained in any religion. He is a conservative surrogate to the GOP. They need all the help they can get.

    Oh............John McCain you cannot have my son either for your 100 year war in Iraq..........................

    June 25, 2008 at 9:25 pm |
  20. haldog

    I don't know any Christians who consider Obama a christian. He heavily supports infanticide and replacement theology...both of which are anti-Christ.

    June 25, 2008 at 9:08 pm |