Posted by Rojas @ 12:14 am on March 27th 2012

The blank slate

Been digging the latest meme on the left? I refer, of course, to the question of whether President Obama ought to immediately renounce his last decade of perfectly consistent opposition to gay marriage and publically endorse it. Representative of the overall thrust of the discussion is Michael Tomansky:

I think we all believe, everyone on every side of the issue, that Obama is really deep down for gay marriage but just hasn’t yet felt like he could say it. When he says “evolving,” we all understand that he really means he’s evolving toward the point when he feels he can say it publicly.

So let’s make sure we’re all on the same page here.

*If you believe that Barack Obama has spent the last decade hiding his secret beliefs on the subject of religion, and that his public stance on the matter is a veneer intended to make him electable, you are a neanderthal racist.

*If you believe that Barack Obama has spent the last decade hiding his secret beliefs on the subject of gay marriage, and that his public stance on the matter is a veneer intended to make him electable, you are a serious progressive thinker.

The reasonable position, it seems to me, is to evaluate the President’s probable stance on the basis of his public pronouncements and the available evidence. Which would make him: 1. a Christian, and 2. an opponent of gay marriage.

1 Comment »

  1. In his adult life, Obama has never claimed to be anything other than a Christian. One can go to his record to decide whether he’s been good or bad for church-state relations. However, to say he is anything other than a Christian is to say that all of his statements to the contrary are lies. Aside from a few atheists who smugly tell each other that he’s too smart to actually believe in God, people who doubt Obama’s faith largely suspect him of subterfuge–that he’s trying to sneak Sharia law into the federal government, or some such nonsense. A number of people that I know and love think that Obama is a Muslim. I would not call them “neanderthal racist[s],” but on this matter it’s clear that their fear makes them stupid.

    “Belongs to religion X” is basically a binomial function. Support for, or opposition to, gay marriage is more of a place on a continuum between “stone ’em all” and “give them super special protections to save them from the bigots”. Obama hasn’t been a leader on LGBT issues. However, he ultimately contributed more than a signature to DADT repeal, he eventually instructed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA, and he’s quite opposed to FMA nonsense. He hasn’t made it a federal issue, but he’s been a consistent supporter of civil unions and he even said he supported gay marriage when he ran for the Illinois state senate. There’s also the little fact that Obama has never shown much of a stomach for political battles that aren’t already won.

    None of this is to say that one is really justified in doubting Obama’s statements about gay marriage, or that he deserves any credit as a progressive thinker on the matter. I’m just a bit more sympathetic to wishful thinking in that arena than to accusations of bad faith (heh) on his purported Christianity. If he were to come out in favor of gay marriage some time in his second term, I would be pleasantly surprised. And if, by some miracle, his party decided to make a concerted effort to, say, repeal DOMA, I would be a little surprised to see him stand in the way. If he were to claim adherence to Islam…well, I can’t imagine it happening at all, so it’s a little hard to say how I would respond.

    Comment by Another Michael — 3/27/2012 @ 12:18 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.