Today we'll have a serious discussion of the ongoing feud between presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, who graduated from Harvard Law School and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago for 12 years, and Colorado Springs' equally intelligent evangelical guru James Dobson, who thinks gay people are weird and creepy and smell like cheese.
Dobson's snit with Obama began a few weeks ago, right after Focus on the Family's founder stunned the scientific community by announcing irrefutable evidence that global warming is caused entirely by motorized floats in gay-pride parades.
"Every gay-pride parade kills up to 250 polar bears," Dobson said. "And, like, 50 penguins. And some otters."
With that environmental issue settled, Dobson focused on Obama, who was in our village last week and told an audience at The Broadmoor, "Christ, I've never seen grass this green in my life. Is the water free or something?"
At the $1,000-per-person Broadmoor event, Obama was introduced to the estimated 250 people many from Denver and Boulder by Colorado Treasurer Cary Kennedy. She likened Obama to Abraham Lincoln but overlooked one glaring difference: Obama's wife is not insane.
Obama shook some hands and spoke to the group for 20 minutes. He touched some spirits.
Dobson, however, may inspire vastly more people in short order: According to his aides, he's in California this week, writing yet another book that will tell us how to think and which groups to hate. Word around the bookshops is that Dobson is trying to cash in on the Dr. Seuss craze that hit theaters earlier this year, and the book will be titled Horton Hears a Homo.
Seriously, Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, supports abortion rights. Dobson has railed against abortion for two decades, a steady voice that has given him the thing all evangelical leaders pray for: a virtual nonstop flow of beer-stained $20 bills sent in by poor, dumb couples who have 15 children.
(Footnote: In defense of the so-called "12 old cars up on blocks in the front yard" lifestyle, many of these folks ask that one poignant question: If God wanted Planned Parenthood, then how come he created the double-wide trailer?)
Anyway, Dobson had earlier said he wouldn't vote for Republican candidate John McCain, citing vague differences that seem to involve the Bible. (Insiders say Dobson is steamed that McCain was actually in the room when it was written.)
Then, two weeks ago, Dobson said he also disliked Obama and that he might not vote at all in the November presidential election. Some say Dobson's decision not to visit his polling place speaks to a broad and sweeping dissatisfaction among evangelicals. Others say it means one fewer $65,000 tax-exempt Mercedes-Benz illegally parked in a handicapped spot.
Here now, Dobson's thoughts on Obama: "I think he's deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview, his own confused theology. He is dragging biblical understanding through the gutter."
(In strictly theological terms, I would say that if Obama would drag biblical understanding through the gutter a few more times, maybe my wife would get off my back about getting those pine needles and leaves cleaned out.)
As for Dobson's claim that someone has been "deliberately distorting the traditional understanding of the Bible to fit his own worldview," well, well. Imagine that.
But Dobson's toughest words were in response to an old Obama plea for a broader understanding of issues such as abortion. Speaking in 2006 to the (gasp) liberal Christian group Call to Renewal, Obama said it was important to frame such discussions not in just their own religion's terms but in arguments that would include all people.
Dobson said this was an attempt by Obama to lead "by the lowest common denominator of morality." Another example of such a thing, one chosen here just at random, would be if a wealthy person, let's say, used some smooth talking to ask for money on a weekly basis from poor bastards who don't know they're being snookered. Not that anyone is doing anything like that.
Anyway, Dobson went on to call Obama's broader view of discussions a "fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution."
Which reminds me of John Paulk. He was the "ex-gay" former leader of Dobson's actual Homosexuality and Gender Department, which Dobson said had transformed gays such as Paulk into heterosexuals. After loud claims of his own conversion and even a 1998 Newsweek cover story on the change, Paulk was spotted inside a well-known Washington, D.C., gay bar, Mr. P's.
(Paulk claimed he only ducked inside because he had to use the restroom. And when you've really got to go, stumbling upon a bar called Mr. P's must seem like a miracle.)
So when Dobson says Obama's views are a "fruitcake interpretation," let's just say I'm a little skeptical. After all, this wouldn't be the first time our wacky evangelical friend got duped by the whole "fruitcake" thing.