Obama, Gay Marriage, and Christianity

Obama had this to say about the role his faith played in his decision:

you know, I, you know, we 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.

CNN asked black pastors from across the country to weigh in.

Rachel Held Evans asks whether the short-term political victory of the Religious Right in North Carolina this week means the defection of a generation: “How to win a culture war and lose a generation.” Her blog, rachelheldevans.com, is worth following:

When I speak at Christian colleges, I often take time to chat with students in the cafeteria.  When I ask them what issues are most important to them, they consistently report that they are frustrated by how the Church has treated their gay and lesbian friends.  Some of these students would say they most identify with what groups like the Gay Christian Network term “Side A” (they believe homosexual relationships have the same value as heterosexual relations in the sight of God). Others better identify with “Side B” (they believe only male/female relationship in marriage is God’s intent for sexuality).  But every single student I have spoken with believes that the Church has mishandled its response to homosexuality.

Jonathan Fitzgerald reminds us that at base, gay marriage is a political issue, not a religious one.

I’ll be curious to see the effect of President Obama’s statement on debates within The Episcopal Church on same-gender blessings. President Obama was referring to “civil marriage.” Part of the issue for us is that clergy act as agents of the state when we sign marriage certificates. I don’t know why the Freedom From Religion Foundation and other advocates for strict church-state separation don’t go after that. I’m uncomfortable with that role and would be happy to be rid of the responsibility.

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