The controversy of President Obama’s decision to endorse same-sex marriage is grabbing all of the headlines and that makes sense but there is a larger issue of faith here.
When President Obama invoked Jesus Christ, The Holy Bible, and the Golden Rule during his conversation with ABC News' Robin Roberts about gay marriage, he opened up a huge can of worms that has been surfacing for a while. First have a look at his comments and then we’ll discuss the broader implications:
“[Michelle and I] are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, 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. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me as president and I figure the most consistent I can be in being true to those precepts, the better I’ll be as a dad and a husband and hopefully the better I’ll be as president.”
President Obama loves to invoke the Golden Rule in nearly every conversation he has about his faith. It’s never JUST about Jesus dying for our sins. There is always a “but” or an “also.” This leads to The Brody File’s main point, which is for years there has been a pseudo-public relations war going on over how Christianity should be seen from a political perspective.
Conservative evangelicals see a world of biblical absolutes and the belief that homosexuality is sinful because God said so (it does say that in the Bible). They also see plenty of scriptural references to back up the claim that same-sex marriage is not what God intended (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 1:9-10, Matthew 19:4, Mark 10:6, Genesis 1:27, Genesis 2:18-25).
Liberal Christians (some will say there’s no such thing as a liberal Christian-that the two terms do not comport) see the compassion of Jesus and translate that into this idea that he is accepting of all people. (Including being okay with gay marriage).
God loves all people for sure, but he does not accept all behavior. Just read the Bible. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.
Anyhow, the point here is that within the Christian community there is a battle going on to politically define Jesus and take His teachings to fit either a liberal or conservative Christian philosophy. While liberal Christians may think that conservative evangelicals have always tried to push their brand of Christianity on the nation, the truth of the matter is liberal Christians are doing the same exact thing…and they’ve been very aggressive about it in recent years.
This has especially escalated over the last decade. Liberal Christians want to redefine Christianity into something that fits their view of the world and they are taking Jesus’s words in whatever context they like in an attempt to do this. Conservative evangelicals far outnumber the liberal Christian community but that doesn’t mean they’ll win the argument.
Liberals are up for the fight on this because they believe passionately about their view of the Bible. The outstanding question for conservative evangelicals is not whether they are passionate about their beliefs in biblical absolutes, but rather whether they’re up for the fight?
The debate over same-sex marriage is a proxy fight on this deep more complicated issue.