“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.”
“My Christian faith compels me to acknowledge that marriage was instituted by God as an exclusively heterosexual covenant,” Sen. Obama said. “In fact, the California constitution’s preamble actually affirms God’s sovereignty saying, “We, the People of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.“
“However,” he said, “when the courts determine that a constitution, under God, permits something God forbids, the Harvard law school grad in me has to respect that. I believe the people pushing Proposition 8 are wrong to try to ban a practice that I also think is wrong, by changing a constitution that acknowledges God’s in charge in order to prevent something God opposes.”
In order to keep susceptible Christian voters (including many Black Americans) from suspecting his leadership, Barack Obama has flaunted his belief in God, and pretended to have views that align with Christian teachings. This pretense has been particularly on display when it comes to his statements about marriage. You see, he’s not in favor of gay marriage. He’s just against any effort to prevent it from being forced upon resistant majorities throughout the United States.
Like his position on child-murder, this stance repeats the corrupted logic characteristic of nineteenth century Whig politicians anxious to curry favor with pro-slavery forces without losing votes from anti-slavery constituents. The pro-slavery forces were determined to prevent States with anti-slavery majorities from interfering by law with the spread of slavery. Meanwhile, they worked to secure a Supreme Court ruling that would enshrine slave ownership as a constitutionally protected property right. This was the gist of the pro-slavery conspiracy Abraham Lincoln shrewdly espied in his famous “House Divided’ speech (from which I recently quoted the relevant conclusion.)
Like those not altogether deceitful antebellum Whig politicos, Obama wears two masks. Of course, neither represents his true face. For example, he pretends to respect the requirements of loving human relationships. Meanwhile, he pushes a health proposal that would substitute impersonal calculations and bureaucratic formulas for decisions that reflect the loving relations that are supposed to exist between children and their aging parents or grandparents. He makes a show of respect for the existence of God, and even alludes to the people’s grateful acknowledgment of God’ authority as the source of freedom. But meanwhile, he systematically denies the obligation of the people conscientiously to respect God’s authority in their use of the freedom they obtain from Him.
We get a glimpse of Obama’s true face, however, when he makes clear that the attitude that governs his thinking is not his respect for people, his respect for God or his respect for constitutions established in light of God’s authority. It is subservience to the dogmas inculcated by his Harvard Law School education. This includes the self-serving doctrine that, once they become judges, lawyers like himself can dictate the content of constitutions and laws regardless of the will of God or the consent of the people.
Obama pretends to believe in God while denying, in practice, the sovereignty of God. What else are we to make of the obnoxious doctrine that it’s “wrong to try to ban a practice…in order to prevent something God opposes.” According to the Ten Commandments, God opposes murder, theft and perjury. Is it wrong to try to ban such practices? Obviously not; but in all fairness, Obama doesn’t say it’s wrong to ban them. He says that it’s wrong to ban them “in order to prevent something God opposes.” The wrongness consists in the aim or intention to respect the will of God.
As all Christians know, Christ says that we should seek first the kingdom of God, i.e., the place where God is sovereign. The primary motive of Christian action is therefore respect for God’s sovereignty. Obama claims to be a Christian. Yet he declares that it’s wrong for people to act “in order to prevent something God opposes.” He says it’s wrong for them to act with the aim or motive Christ prescribes as the first priority of Christian conscience.
Clearly, Obama believes that in the political realm it’s wrong to be motivated by respect for God’s sovereignty; in the political realm, it’s wrong to acknowledge God’s will as the basis for action. Now, our motive is that which gives rise to our motions, the will in consequence of which motion takes place. But what has life without motion? What indeed, except for God. According to Christian belief, God set the universe in motion. He is the source of all creation. So all living things move and have their life in consequence of His will. As Creator, ruler and judge of the universe His authority is invoked in the political document that first declared the independence of the United States.
For all his lip service to God, Obama takes the contrary position that the political realm somehow lies outside of God’s kingdom. Political action may not properly be based on an effort to “prevent what God opposes”, i.e., keep action within the limits or boundaries established by God. But once we have discarded the notion that it is right to respect the limits upon action implied by God’s will, what becomes of the principle that confines the exercise of government power within limits that secure the God-ordained rights of individuals? What becomes of the people’s obligation before God to act in order to prevent the destruction of those rights? What becomes of the discipline and courage connected with their sense of that obligation? Where God-ordained right is not respected, can God-given rights be maintained?
Though articulated in the context of a discussion of so-called ‘gay marriage’, Obama’s position involves rejecting the premise of God-given and unalienable rights that is the foundation of constitutional government. It reveals the true face hidden beneath the masks he fashions to serve his ambition. It is a face distorted by the lust for raw, unbridled power. It is the face characteristic of those who dream of a world in which triumphant power has once and for all slipped the leash of conscience, a leash made effective by the people’s willingness to act from motives that respect and rely upon the sovereign power of God. Tragically for America, the world they dream of will be one in which there is no freedom left except the freedom to be enslaved, by our undisciplined fears and passions, to the tyrants who most successfully manipulate them.