Wednesday, July 18, 2012

In God we trust.

Is Obama waging war on religion? During his presidency, Obama has been criticized for taking God out of the equation. The famously controversial first Christmas in the White House, the Obama's debated whether or not to display the creche, in an attempt to make Christmas more inclusive for Americans. Obama has also excluded the use of "God" or "Creator" in the Declaration of Independence. It is also worth noting that he and his team have asked for religious symbols to be covered if he is addressing the public, as he does not want religious symbols to be a backdrop to his speeches.

What does all of this mean? There are a lot of rumors circulating that Obama is not the Christian he claims to be, and that he is either a Muslim or an atheist. I, personally, think Obama is trying to be as inclusive as possible. Some would argue his reach for inclusivity is at the cost of Christianity, but that's up for debate. Others may argue that he dons his "Christian" hat to gain votes.

Obama has always supported religious freedom. He is trying to bridge that chasm between religions to make America a place not of "tolerance" but of free acceptance. Maybe excluding all religions isn't the best way to do this, but maybe celebrating only Christian traditions and using language that only some Americans understand isn't effective either. What is really boils down to is this: Do we care more about the beliefs of our President than the effectiveness and quality of his/her leadership?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Obama Publicly Supports Same-Sex Marriage

By now you've heard that President Obama has come out of the closet, sort of speak, to support publicly the right for same-sex couples to get married.

Conservative Christians, among other conservative religious folks, are up in arms. This could be the fuel required to get the right-wing chugging along to November with some steam. Or maybe it's just a small snippet of angry right wingers?

What's at stake is apparently the 'traditional family'. The American dream is supposedly engrained to be built upon the traditions of old times, that is, 2.5 kids, suburban home, white picket fence, two cars, hot wife, go to church, and life is grand.

Well America doesn't look like America of old, not even America from 10 years ago. But is that enough reason to change definitions of marriage? Conservatives say no. For one they want to fight for 'family values'. However, the problem with that argument, pointed out by more than just 'liberal sympathizers', is that the states that have attempted to legislate against same-sex marriages successfully have in fact the WORST numbers when it comes to divorce.

Theology comes into play when it comes to church and marriage. Doesn't the Bible say one man and one woman? It seems as though it does, but then again it's not explicit. Jesus holds his own and never mentions it. Isn't Jesus who we're trying to follow?! And didn't Jesus spend a lot of time pointing out the faults in the religious elitism going on in his day?

All that to say is that Jesus DID in fact speak about marriage, on the topic of divorce. Yet in all of our churches we've gone beyond excluding divorced people (well most have). If we can show grace in this area shouldn't we show grace in other areas, in the least showing compassion for homosexuals rather than snide contempt?

And shouldn't we be mindful of the rules and regulations we're trying to impose on those who do'nt echo our 'traditional values' and focus instead on trying to live them out successfully? Just a thought.