May 22, 2013
Obama’s Confederate Marriage Policy
Posted on Jun 7, 2012
By Scott Tucker
We are also forced to consider Obama’s mixed motives whenever he insists that “God’s in the mix” of the politics of marriage, for the president has repeatedly placed his personal faith in the public square. His explicit references to Christian faith as a personal guide to his “evolution” on gay marriage cannot be stricken from the public record. God was in the mix when he opposed same-sex marriage during his first campaign for the presidency, and God’s still in the mix now that he has changed his mind and seeks a second term. Either the mind of God changed on this subject, or the mind of a believer has received a prophetic revelation about Original Intent. Just as the prophets of the main branch of the Mormon church changed their minds about polygamy, so the president has now edited and revised any divine revelation he had previously received on same-sex marriage. Is that good news? Only if you think the Bible, and not the Constitution, is a founding document of the republic.
On April 2, 2008, Obama stated, “I’m not in favor of gay marriage” when he was interviewed on “Hardball with Chris Matthews.” When asked to be more specific at a candidates forum held at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church in California on Aug. 16, 2008, Obama said that “marriage is the union between a man and a woman” and added “now, for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.” Warren was also invited to give a public prayer at Obama’s inaugural, and that caused enough protest that a gay Episcopal bishop was invited to give a much less publicized prayer at the same event. Splitting the difference was indeed the Clintonian method of triangulation, and Obama beat both Bill and Hillary at their own game.
In the vice presidential debates of Oct. 2, 2008, Biden stated, “Barack Obama nor I support redefining from a civil side what constitutes marriage. We do not support that.” When the public battle over Proposition 8 erupted in California, a coalition of Christian conservatives was crusading against gay marriage, and quoted those campaign statements by Obama and Biden on many thousands of glossy brochures mailed to homes all over Los Angeles, including my own.
The evangelical tradition in American politics remains strong, and when it does some real good (as during the civil rights movement) even those of us with strong secular convictions have kept the peace within the wider congregation. But when it does deep and lasting harm (as in recurrent censorship crusades, in campaigns to outlaw abortion, and in belligerence toward sexual and gender diversity), then certain pundits belabor what is perfectly obvious: namely, that the sincerity of the most fervent among the faithful is real.
On May 9, in an interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, Obama said, “I think same-sex couples should be able to get married.” The rest of his words were barely heard by many of his political friends and foes, but they remain on the public record. Obama framed his personal endorsement of gay marriage in terms of moral condescension and social conformism, including references to “members of my own staff who are in incredibly monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together.…” But we can be sure that married gay people with or without kids will be quite as human as married straight people, and therefore they will not all be virtuosos of monogamy. And when they do have affairs, the first person they confide in might not be their moralizing boss in the Oval Office, who is by all accounts a much more zippered guy than Bill Clinton.
Obama went on to claim that “when I think about those soldiers or airmen or Marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf,” then he thinks they deserve the right to marry too. But when Obama thought of Bradley Manning, a soldier brave enough to break ranks against war crimes, he said last year, “He broke the law.” This president thereby tilted the scales of justice when Manning had already done hard time in prison but had not yet gotten a proper day in court.
If the sterling examples of gay monogamy and military duty had not yet made the case for gay marriage, Obama also noted the persuasive power of his daughters at the dinner table: “You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples.” Then Obama told the reporter that he and Michelle are “practicing Christians” and “when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the golden rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated.”
New and Improved Comments