Jun 24, 2008

Religious broadcaster James Dobson’s attack on religious diversity and secular government is deplorable, says Americans United for Separation of Church and State.

Dobson, a leading Religious Right powerbroker, used his Focus on the Family national radio program today to dismiss American religious pluralism and to criticize the idea that laws must be secular, a concept that Dobson labeled a “fruitcake interpretation of the Constitution.”

Said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, Americans United executive director, “Dobson is an extremist who wants the government to impose his fundamentalist viewpoint. He simply cannot accept the fact that America is a diverse nation that welcomes people of all faiths and none. His tirade today is deplorable and probably the most insensitive of his career.

“It is ironic that Dobson is holding himself out as some sort of authority on constitutional law and theology,” Lynn continued. “He is not a theologian or an attorney, and his lack of knowledge about those fields really shows.

“Our Constitution mandates the separation of religion and government,” Lynn concluded. “That means each of us is free to follow our own consciences. Dobson has no right to set himself up as some sort of spiritual dictator who gets to make personal decisions for the rest of us.”

Dobson’s remarks came in the context of an attack on a two-year-old Barack Obama speech on the role of religion in public life. Dobson has indicated that he will not vote for either Obama or John McCain for president.

Americans United is a religious liberty watchdog group based in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1947, the organization educates Americans about the importance of church-state separation in safeguarding religious freedom.