Obama's Former Pastor Defends President's Support for Gay Marriage: Is Civil Rights Relevant At All?
By - Crossmap On May 22, 2012
President Obama's endorsement of same-sex marriage has stirred and split Christian leaders, and left many Bible-believing Christians wondering what to make of it.
While many Christian leaders have denounced Obama's position, and continued to stress their opposition to same-sex marriage, the senior pastor at Obama's former Chicago church came out to defend the President.
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The Rev. Otis Moss III of Trinity United Church of Christ told his congregation on May 13 that Obama should not be held to any particular theology or denomination in his role as the nation's president.
"We have much work to do as a community, and to claim the president of the United States must hold your theological position is absurd," he said during the church service.
"The question I believe we should pose to our congregations is, ’Should all Americans have the same civil rights?’" said Moss.
According to the Chicago pastor, Obama "is called to protect the rights of Jew and Gentile, male and female, young and old, gay and straight, black and white, atheist and agnostic."
"There is difference between rights and rites. We should never misconstrue rights designed to protect diverse individuals in a pluralistic society versus religious rites designed by faith communities to communicate a theological or doctrinal perspective," he said, comparing the same-sex marriage with a civil rights issue.
However, the viewpoint taken by Moss stands in stark contrast to one taken by Bible-believing Christian leaders, who hold fast to the Biblical principles regardless of secular circumstances.
It was just last week when The Coalition of African-American Pastors rallied in Memphis, Tennessee, voicing against Obama's position.
Endorsing same-sex marriage, according to the pastors, is a completely different issue from the civil rights movement.
"Same-sex marriage I think, it's an abomination before God. It's a sin before God," the Rev. Robert Morris, acting minister of New Jerusalem Church of God in Christ, declared.
"I don't see how anyone can compare that with civil rights."
"A 50-year-old can only read about the struggles and protests of the civil rights era, but some of us who are older have the battle scars to prove it. And the rights we fought so hard to acquire did not include same-sex marriage," said the Rev. Bill Owens, the coalition's elder statesman and organizer.
It is time to turn the tide against the 'hijacking' of the civil rights movement, said Owens, a veteran of the civil rights movement who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King.
"For activists, politicians and now the highest office in the nation to link sexual behavior God calls sin to the righteous cause Martin Luther King gave his life for is abominable in and of itself," the coalition declared in a statement.
"There is no civil right to do what God calls wrong."
Mixing up homosexual rights and the civil rights also goes against the very Martin Luther King's dreams, says Dan Delzell, Wellspring Lutheran Church who contributes regularly at The Christian Post.
"In a 1958 letter published by Ebony magazine, King responded to a question from a boy who was struggling with homosexual feelings. King called the boy's feelings toward the same gender a 'problem,'" Delzell said in his column.
"He went on to tell the boy, 'You are already on the right road toward a solution, since you honestly recognize the problem and have a desire to solve it.' The civil rights leader knew the difference between skin color and sexual desires."
If Obama, or anyone in favor of same-sex marriage, wants to advocate gay rights, relying on the name of Martin Luther King Jr. now seems to be an unwise choice.
Neither King, nor Jesus, nor the entire Bible, would agree with the new end of Obama's evolution in this matter.
Bishop T.D. Jakes is among those who tenaciously present the Biblical values as they are. In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, Jakes said, "I'm not called to give my opinion. I'm called as a pastor to give the scriptural position on it."
If all pastors and God-fearing leaders would share this attitude of humility, things may have been quite different.