How could any serious Protestant or Catholic vote for this man after absurd and unbiblical pronouncements like this?
"I believe in civil unions that allow a same-sex couple to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other," he said, referring to unions that grant all the legal benefits of marriage, minus the name. "I don't think it should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial, then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans. That's my view. But we can have a respectful disagreement on that." [emph mine]
The Baptist Press article goes on to say:
The Sermon on the Mount is found in Matthew 5-7, the passage in Romans is found in chapter 1, verses 26-32.
But Obama's quote may open him up to further criticism from evangelicals, because it's a common evangelical belief that all of Scripture is inspired by God and equally authoritative -- that is, the words of Jesus in Matthew are just as inspired as the words of Paul in Romans. Although it is often argued by homosexual activists that Jesus said nothing about same-sex relationships, He in fact defined marriage as between one man and one woman in such passages as Mark 10:6-9.
No kidding! Obscure passage in Romans? How is it any more or less obscure than any other part of Scripture? I've talked before about Obama's penchant for playing fast and loose with the Bible before in a now defunct joint-blog that I hosted with a friend, and since the blog is no longer accessible, I'll quote the post on Obama in full, here:
Albert Mohler dissects the disingenuous pandering of that Great Communicator of the Democratic Party, Senator Barak Obama. Senator Obama seems to have a regular habit of trying to invoke religious ideals in his talk in order to appeal to religious Americans but then subjecting religious principles to the secular worldview that dominates his party. Here's his latest pitch:
I am not suggesting that every progressive suddenly latch on to religious terminology. Nothing is more transparent than inauthentic expressions of faith -- the politician who shows up at a black church around election time and claps -- off rhythm -- to the gospel choir [Like Sen Hillary Clinton or Sen John Kerry?].
But what I am suggesting is this -- secularists are wrong when they ask believers to leave their religion at the door before entering into the public square. Frederick Douglas, Abraham Lincoln, Williams Jennings Bryant, Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King -- indeed, the majority of great reformers in American history -- were not only motivated by faith, but repeatedly used religious language to argue for their cause. To say that men and women should not inject their "personal morality" into public policy debates is a practical absurdity; our law is by definition a codification of morality, much of it grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition.
Sounds great so far! After this sensible start, he then goes on to completely contradict himself.
This brings me to my second point. Democracy demands that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values. It requires that their proposals be subject to argument and amenable to reason. I may be opposed to abortion for religious reasons, but if I seek to pass a law banning the practice, I cannot simply point to the teachings of my church or evoke God's will. I have to explain why abortion violates some principle that is accessible to people of all faiths, including those with no faith at all.
This cannot coexist with the earlier paragraph. Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas made explicit arguments against slavery based almost exclusively on biblical bases. What "universal value" was used to convince the slave owner to stop the practice of slavery? Does senator Obama recommend that the practice continue until a sufficiently secular argument could be made against it? Further, what does it matter if arguments made by the Religious Right are subject to "argument and reason" (and in fact, almost all I'm aware of are)? What if despite the argumentation and reasoning, others still oppose your viewpoint? This is just nothing more than a way of saying that the only kind of ideas allowed in the public square are atheistical ones.
And how does this make sense with what he says later? Sen Obama himself inadvertently makes the case for what he he began with when he says,
Religious thinkers and activists like my friend Jim Wallis and Tony Campolo are lifting up the Biblical injunction [here is an argument based on religious teaching, not on reason alone] to help the poor as a means of mobilizing Christians against budget cuts to social programs and growing inequality. National denominations have shown themselves as a force on Capitol Hill on issues such as immigration and the federal budget. [emph. mine]
He explains here that it is a Biblical, i.e., religious teaching that informs the work of Campolo and Wallis. How can that be if they are supposed to keep the religious reasons for their work to themselves and argue only from "universal values"?
What are these "universal values" and who subscribes to them? How have they been shown to be "universal"? Are they "universal" only because senator Obama says so? And even if we could find such "universal values" where in the Constitution does it state I have to abide by them in order to advance a given position? Moreover, very, very few arguments by Christians in the public square are offered on purely "religious" grounds and just about every single major issue that the Religious Right has supported has also been supported by the irreligious and even atheists. Most are accompanied by appeals to the affect on society. For example, abortion is often argued on the basis that the developing baby is an American citizen, entitled to all the protections afforded any American citizen. In fact, in that particular debate, the crux of the debate hinges on the definition of Life (or, more specifically, when the developing child is considered "human"), something that is precisely NOT "amenable" to argument and "reason."
Senator Obama just seems to be saying that where the policy advocated by the religious agrees with positions that he and his party approve--such as "mobilizing Christians against budget cuts to social programs and growing inequality" and working on "issues such as immigration and the federal budget--then religious involvement is acceptable. It's not surprising then, that these are the positions offered by the Religious Left. Contrarian views from the Religious Right cannot be so similarly motivated. THEIR arguments have to be made on purely secular grounds.
Someone forgot to tell the Founders about senator Obama's guidelines for religious involvement:
We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.