How Obama became Pro-Gay Marriage

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Listen to his own words:

"I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors, when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together; when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage, at a certain point I’ve just concluded that for me personally it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same sex couples should be able to get married," Obama told Roberts in an interview to appear on ABC’s "Good Morning America" Thursday.

Obama become Pro-Gay marriage relationally.  He knew people who were gay and wanted no longer to offend those people by denying them the rights other couples have.

He did not come to this position through biological reflection.  No one discovered a hereunto unknown gene which shows that people are born genetically gay.  Every male and female born today are still born with private parts that suggest the only biologically compatible relationship is that between man and woman.  It  remains the only relationship which can propagate the species.  Nothing has changed there.

He did not come to this position after re-examining the Scriptures Christianity holds as sacred.  For again, those scriptures still testify from the first book to the last that marriage and sexuality are given only to men and women.  Those wish to argue otherwise are required to come to the scriptures with a Jeffersonian love for excising troublesome parts of the Book at their own discretion.

He did not come to this position historically or sociologically.  The research all shows that homosexuality is not a practice that prospers societies.

Obama become Pro-Gay marriage relationally.  And he is not alone.  I would suggest that everyone who does not come to this position by virtue of personally embracing homosexuality as their own sexual identity comes to this position relationally.  They know someone who claims homosexuality as their identity and cannot bear to stand in opposition to them.

And I do not wish to minimize this struggle for a moment.  It is a dark and torturous place for anyone to be. I have experienced it personally though not as closely as many of you may have.  But the fact that it is hard to stand in opposition to those we love does not make it okay to not do so.

Matthew 10:37-39  Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.  Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

If you have not felt the heat of this crucible yet, you surely will.   You will know someone and love someone who will choose homosexuality as their way of life.  You will desire to keep both them and your beliefs close. 

When it happens, do not melt away.  Do the truly loving thing, stand firm, and speak the truth in love.  Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you may save both yourself and them.

And yet be prepared for the opposite also. For if that person does not turn after much loving counsel, the intensity of the heat will grow.  Eventually it may dissolve the connection between you and them.  And while that is never the intention, it is far more important that you remain connected to Christ.  You must remain relationally connected to Christ.  It is your life.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 8:30 am and is filed under Sexuality, Theology and Practice. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

13 Responses to “How Obama became Pro-Gay Marriage”

  1. How President Obama Became Pro-Gay Marriage | CyberBrethren - A Lutheran Blog Says:

    […] to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginExcellent blog post by Pastor Philip […]

  2. David Cochrane Says:

    Thank you for this thoughtful post. Too much vitriol and little truth accompanies the arguments on both sides. God grant us loving hearts, understanding speech and keep us steadfast in truth.

  3. Randy Bolt Says:

    me thinks: Obama needs the votes and he knows it

  4. Matt Says:

    I agree completely with everything you say here. You are spot on with your observations.

    But I think you stopped a little short of offering a real solution.

    What exactly does “speaking the truth in love” mean?

    Much of the evangelical world uses the terms “truth” and “grace” in a way that is loosely synonymous to the LCMS terms of “Law” and “Gospel.” To many readers “speaking the truth in love,” therefore, does not mean presenting the fullness of Law and Gospel as truth but, rather, speaking the Law with good intentions.

    I have seen many parents who, with the best intentions in the world, told their gay son or daughter, “because I love you, until you change your lifestyle, you are not welcome in my house.” Love and truth to them meant attempting to change their child through Law alone.

    I once heard a conservative radio commentator make the remark that his child would not grow up gay because he was going to be clear with his son that homosexuality is a sin – again, to him, speaking the truth in love meant only presenting the Law.

    Yes it is sad and often happens that a friendship or relationship falls apart because the homosexual friend insisted on an acceptance and approval of their sexual behavior as a pre-requisite of friendship. But I have also seen friendships end because the relationship had become little more than the homosexual being piously beaten down with nothing but law.

    The result is that many homosexuals believe the message of the Church is conditional Gospel, that God and His people will forgive only after the homosexual has not only repented but has first achieved sanctification and purity of life.

    So does speaking the truth in love mean feeling bad when a friend chooses a lifestyle in which he acts on homosexual temptation? Does it mean only speaking the Law? Does it mean trying to convert individuals and society by an appeal to natural law?

    Is there more we may say and do? Is there more to speaking the truth in love than proclaiming Law?

    Is so, what is it?

    Do we need to ask if in reaction to relational ideology, are we seen as offering a relation-less Gospel – that is conditional forgiveness with little or no hope of fellowship and friendship?

  5. Glenn Pamer Says:

    This is an issue we have faced in our family. My brother in law is Gay and picks and chooses the parts of scripture he is confortable with. He also has a difficult time understanding how someone could differ with him. I have shared with that marriage and the gift of human sexuality positively speaking is affirmed in scripture as between a man and a women and has imolications for the life of the believer and the Church as the bride of Christ. I have shared with him that The law brings us to the end of our ourselves and doing on our own thing and the sweetness of the Gospel frees us to love God and neighbor; the act of homosexuality not being God’s intent for his people and not being act of love in response to the Gospel of God and his people. I have shared with him that a life of celibacy and service to others in response to God’s life changing grace, with healthy wholesome non-sexual relationships honors God. I feel this respects him as a person without affirming his lifestyle. Sadly, because it doesn’t conform to his “needs” he rejects it.

  6. sue j Says:

    You are fortunate that you could talk to you BIL about Scripture,etc. as atleast you planted some ‘seeds’. My brother is Gay, with the same partner for about 30 years, and refuses to talk about religion or politics. He did have a really down point some 10 years ago and told my mother that he was glad that he was raised in the Lutheran Church (LCMS). But I can’t even give him anything that is religious in nature. (He has had AIDS for many years and only told us of this the day before my Mother’s funeral in April 2011. It is currently stable;however, he couldn’t fly to the funeral in NJ from CA due to this disease.)

    I have read the WHAT ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY that we had a few years back and this listed a number and LCMS group to contact. But I can’t send it to him. All I can do is pray for him and that is the BEST thing.

  7. Andy Says:

    While I definitely agree that many, if not most, people change their opinion on this issue mainly based on personal relationships with friends and family in the LGBT community, this is not the only factor influencing people to change their minds, especially in the realm of policy-making and judicial decisions. You say that “the research” shows that homosexuality does not prosper societies. But this isn’t completely true. At best, modern research on homosexuality and how it affects society is inconclusive. At the very least, there are studies that show living in a same-sex relationship is not psychologically damaging – hence the APA removing homosexuality form the “disorder” list and most psychologists and psychiatrists today advocating that the psychologically healthy response to same-sex attraction is to pursue same-sex relationships rather than trying to change orientation. In addition, the LGBT community has been visible in society for 40 years now. Gay people occupy positions in almost every vocation in society, and in most situations are no better or worse in their position for being gay or for being in a same-sex relationship.

    Obviously, all of this can and is countered with other arguments and my intent isn’t to try and argue for my position. Rather, I wanted to make the point that President Obama and everyone else who has “evolved” on this issue, are not just responding to personal experiences and relationships, but also to these other factors. Ultimately, this does not affect your conclusion and exhortation except that those who struggle with their opposition to a loved one’s homosexual behavior are likely not just being influenced by their personal feelings for the loved one, but also by all of the above as well (which the gay loved one will surely mention in discussion of the issue).

    I find Matt and Glenn’s comments particularly interesting, and I had the same sort of reflections, though from the other side of the issue. How does speaking the truth in love bear out in situations where, for instance, a gay son legally marries another man in New York? Do the parents allow the spouse to be a part of holiday celebrations? What if they adopt a child? Is the child accepted into the family? How do the siblings explain to their children why the cousin has two dads? Believe it or not, those of us in the LGBT community also struggle with these questions. We love our families and friends and understand that their opposition to our relationships come not out of hate but love and concern (well, a lot of us recognize this anyway). But there are points when their love and concern clashes with our own strong beliefs and our commitment and duty to nurture and protect our spouses. Thus, not attending the big gay wedding might be understandable (though still hurtful), but refusing to allow the spouse to participate in family functions would force us to violate our convictions and do what we know to be wrong. Anyway, just food for thought. Sorry for the longest comment ever. It was a slow night here in DC.

  8. Chris Says:

    Phil,

    Obama came to this position by virtue of greed, nothing more. He knows that money is tight and that he’s not raking it in like in 2008 so he makes this speech showing his evolution on the issue and what happens? In 90 minutes, he banks $1,000,000. Would it also surprise you to know that 1 in 6 of his bundlers (i.e. people who organize others to contribute case; to be a bundler you must “bundle” no less than $500,000) is gay and part of the radical homosexual lobby?

    Obama has taken every side of the gay marriage debate. And he does so not because of some perceived notions of relationships (that’s to give him way too much credit; contrary to what Obama thinks of himself and what his followers in the media think of him, he’s really not bright), but does what is necessary testing the waters of expediency for cash.

    On another note, though Obama came out on the pro-side, his remarks to the soft-ball questions from his good friend, Robin what’s-her-name (who is described as a personal friend of his wife) indicates that his approach to resolving the issue is through federalism. How Madisonian. But he’ll change that tune next week too if it will get him another cool million.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for your last paragraph. I have a sister in a lesbian relationship and through medical science she now has children. Over the years our relationship has worsened to the point where we don’t talk now and she is is always angry with me. I feel guilty over that but your last paragraph helps me with that at least a little. Too many people now a days compromise over these issues and how does that help anyone. By the way when I found this link off of FB I thought well I read it and just see what someone has to say. I had no idea you would be a Lutheran, at least I’m assuming that since you have the issues etc button, but my husband is also an LCMS pastor.

  10. Donna Krause Says:

    There may be a gene for same sex attraction. Either it just hasn’t been discovered yet or the discovery hasn’t been made public yet. There is sociological and psychological evidence that attraction to a specific sex is socially conditioned. In some civilizations homosexuality was accepted as normal as in the Roman Empire. Also the Jewish culture had an acceptance for homosexuality and poligamy. Women were considered property, sex slaves and baby makers without rights and respect. In Jesus’s day women were forbidden to worship in the synagogues. They weren’t taught religion. They couldn’t worship.
    In every country today, women and children are used in the sex trade, are sex slaves and prostitutes. Women are still second class citizens even in our own country, the greatest country on earth. Women would still be only considered the property of their husbands, fathers, brothers and sons, only thought of as baby-producers or baby-makers, having 10-20 children as our grandparents and great grandparent did, if it wasn’t for the birth control methods used in the most recent forty-five years. Even then as mothers, women were treated badly by society, government and religions. It’s only within the past twenty years or so that women have been allowed to be treated as near equal to men.
    Just because a same sex attraction gene hasn’t been made public doesn’t mean that there isn’t one. Genes cad bring about a change in the level of male and female sex hormones which can also cause an attraction to the same sex. For example a male with more than the normal amount of female hormones (estrogen) can have a higher voice, softer skin and a greater attraction to other males. The same can be applied to females who may have more testosterone (male hormones) and have more body hair, lower voice and greater muscle mass and strength. Many people don’t fit the societal “norm” and shouldn’t be condemned for their biological make-up. As a female, I would rather be in a room alone with a male homosexual than a male who is addicted to pornography. over 50% of the male population is addicted to pornography which shows no respect for female love or sexuality. Why isn’t attention directed towards homosexual males to combat their mental and emotional abuse, violence and disrepect towards women and their sexuality?

  11. Susan Browder Says:

    I am a Christian who is frightened by this theory that Jesus would want me to “persist,” to “stand firm,” knowing that “eventually it may dissolve the connection between you and them.” I find this to be a very arrogant attitude on the part of the writer, who calls himself a Christian. He justifies his theory about homosexuality by drawing on the Old Testament, before Jesus was born, but does not mention that Jesus Christ would never have turned aside any person; Jesus embraced all, no matter their condition, knowing that we all were created by God. Why does this writer feel that his interpretation of the Bible is more accurate than that of so many other Christians who chose to keep a more loving and open relationship with loved ones who are in any way different from themselves? The cruelty of casting out those who are different in order to force them to change the core of their being is archaic and cruel, akin to forbidding a left handed child to use her favored hand, akin to telling a black person that because of his skin color he is less deserving of the same rights as white people. Evil exists in all corners of this earth, and one should beware of letting it creep into our hearts in the guise of Christianity. The Jesus that I know would reach out in love and respect to God’s creations among the gay community. He would want us to spend our energy and resources in some pursuit more beneficial than tormenting people for the way they love, which harms no one.

  12. sue j Says:

    Firstly, God said in the old Testament that homosexuality is an abomination to Him. God is not namby-pamby. He also said this through St. Paul in the New Testament regarding this. You can check in Timothy, for one place…The Old Testament has not been abolished but the Law is still there. It is a curb and a mirror to us. Curbing our evil desires and showing us, as a mirror , our sins.
    Jesus fulfilled the Law and kept it perfectly. The sentence for disobeying God’s law is DEATH. But Jesus redeemed us from this punishment by His sacrifice for us on the cross.

    Yes, He loves all sinners and wants them to repent of their sins and receive His forgiveness. Look at the woman who committed adultery,”…go and sin no more.” and the woman at the well… you can find examples of His love and forgiveness without saying that He will overlook what God has said in the Old and New Testament forbidding this.

    Homosexuality is wrong according to God. He is there ready to forgive the sinner who repents. Some will not change or repent of this and cannot receive forgiveness. I know of some who have repented and changed and only through the power of God have give up that lifestyle. One is a man in CA. One who refuses to chg. is my brother. He made his decision but I can still pray that he will come to God and seek His forgiveness.

    The LCMS Church hasa a group that counsels the Gay person with Christ’s love. They don’t give in to a compromised faith about this. But just share the love of God in Christ Jesus.

    http://www.lcms.org/page.aspx?pid=388

    Scroll down to ‘Homosexuality” to see the LCMS Church’s position and more information than I, a lay person, on this subject.

  13. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Jesus does not cast anyone out from afar. He engages all. But he does so with truth. Words of condemnation to the prideful. Words of Gospel to the convicted of their sins. We should never disconnect ourselves quickly, but if our repeated efforts to speak the truth are rejected, disconnection will occur, regardless of our desire.

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