Obama and same-sex 'marriage': Shaking his fist at God

Obama and same-sex 'marriage': Shaking his fist at God

Babette Francis

Evangelist Franklin Graham, son of famous preacher Rev Billy Graham, said President Obama has "shaken his fist at God" by voicing support for gay marriage. I love Graham's rhetoric - he sounds like the prophets of old. Why don't our bishops use such poetic language?

In a media interview on 9 May, Obama said his opinions "had evolved" and he now believes same-sex couples should have the right to wed: "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's "evolution" on the issue was preceded by US Vice President Biden announcing during Meet the Press on 6 May that he supported same-sex marriage. This is the same Biden who claims to be a staunch daily-Mass-going Catholic who always carries a rosary in his pocket. Is he confused or what? Has his bishop given him a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church? Excommunication might be an option in view of the scandal and confusion he causes to other Catholics.

Political expediency

Here's a time-line of Obama's "evolution" on homosexual 'marriage' - it seems he was for it before he was against it and now he's for it again. The words "political expediency" come to mind, not just in regard to Obama but Biden also, who according to officials on Obama's team, at times privately argued for the president to hold off on his support of marriage "equality" to avoid a backlash among Catholic voters in battleground states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania. But when Biden came out, it chafed Obama that he was getting the applause from the LGBT community, so the President "evolved".

February 1996: "I favour legalising same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages," reads a statement from then-Illinois state senate candidate Obama.

October 2004: "What I believe is that marriage is between a man and a woman ... What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God, and it's not simply the two persons who are meeting," then-US Senate candidate Obama said in an interview with WTTW Chicago public television. "I don't think marriage is a civil right."

August 2008: At Saddleback Church, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian ... it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."

October 2010: "I have been to this point unwilling to sign on to same-sex marriage primarily because of my understandings of the traditional definitions of marriage," Obama said during an interview with liberal bloggers.

December 2010: "My feelings about this are constantly evolving. I struggle with this. At this point, what I've said is that my baseline is a strong civil union that provides them the protections and the legal rights that married couples have," Obama said at a White House press conference.

June 2011: "The president has never favoured same-sex marriage. He is against it. The country is evolving on this, and he is evolving on it," White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told activists at the Net Roots Nation conference.

October 2011: "I'm still working on it," Obama said when he was asked by the ABC's George Stephanopoulos whether he would move from supporting civil unions for same-sex couples to supporting gay marriage. "I probably won't make news right now, George ...".

May 9, 2012: Obama's evolution is complete - he is making news as the New Enlightened Man, no longer the old prehistoric proto-human.

It will be fascinating to see how Obama's evolution plays out with Catholic voters. They were a major factor in his election in 2008, with polls showing that he captured 54% of their vote.

A happier omen for marriage may be the 8 May vote in North Carolina which became the 32nd state to vote in a referendum to protect and affirm the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman. There was a resounding victory of 61% to 39% in favour of traditional marriage.

Rev Franklin Graham said the president was defying God's will by changing his opinion on the issue. "President Obama has, in my view, shaken his fist at the same God who created and defined marriage. It grieves me that our president would now affirm same-sex marriage, though I believe it grieves God even more. This is a sad day for America. May God help us."

Good news

The good news in Australia is that Victoria's deputy Chief psychiatrist Professor Kuruvilla George and 150 colleagues, spearheaded by Dr Lachlan Dunjey of Perth, have come out in a submission to the Senate Inquiry stating that marriage between a man and a woman is the best environment for raising a family: "Doctors have always accepted people of different beliefs and behaviours with care and compassion. That is what we do. That is who we are.

"We are also allowed to have our own values and stand up in community to defend those values when they are being attacked. Marriage as between a male and female to the exclusion of all others is one of those values we hold with high regard. That all children should ideally have a mother and father is another ..." (www.doctors4family.com.au).

Rev Franklin Graham would applaud that statement and I know I do. Traditional marriage performs the most essential task of any civilisation - providing the optimal environment for raising children.

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