That didn’t take long. After Vice President Biden on Sunday opened the floodgates, it was only a matter of time before President Obama publicly expressed what most political observers already knew: that he supports so-called same-sex marriage. Biden, in answering a question posed by Meet the Press’ David Gregory, proudly declared:
“The president sets the policy. I am absolutely comfortable with the fact that men marrying men, women marrying women, and heterosexual men and women marrying another are entitled to the same exact rights, all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. And quite frankly, I don’t see much of a distinction — beyond that.”
If the Vice President, a practicing Roman Catholic, doesn’t “see much of a distinction” between traditional marriage and gay marriage, then he perhaps needs to take remedial catechism classes as well as Biology 101. I’m not sure that would help, given that Biden also supports the unfettered killing of unborn children in utero. Come to think of it, so does President Obama. That Christian politicians — both Catholic and Protestant — have been able to use the Mario Cuomo defense, “I’m personally opposed, but I don’t let my private faith inform my public positions,” has become trite. And, this triteness has led to moral decay and rot in our nation. It makes you wonder whether or not these politicians even believe what they say or are just trying to pull one over on an increasingly gullible public. I’m kidding. I know the answer to that one.
Watch former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine, himself a practicing Catholic, and see how uncomfortable he is with the gay marriage question. He doesn’t seem to have evolved as much as fellow Catholic Biden has on this issue. Of course, being locked in a tight U.S. Senate race with former Sen. George Allen probably makes Kaine a bit more evasive on this issue. Most Democrats will try to avoid all discussion on the gay marriage issue until after the election. In many swing states, such as North Carolina, Virginia, and Ohio, Democrats still need the votes of “Reagan Democrats,” those who are socially conservative, but continue to support Democrat candidates, including President Obama.
Although the timing of the announcement came as a mild surprise, most political observers were nonplussed when President Obama publicly shared how his stance on “gay marriage” has finally evolved. I’m not sure that there were too many people left who did not think that President Obama would come out in favor of same-sex marriage. It’s amazing how Democrat politicians’ views on the pressing moral issues of the day — abortion and gay marriage — never evolve in a way that you would not expect. From Bill Clinton to Al Gore to Dick Gephardt (at one point all Southern Baptists and all pro-life), most Democrat politicians, including the current President and Vice President, seem to end up with unrighteous beliefs that will not exalt our nation, but will bring further reproach upon it (see Proverbs 14:34).
That is also the conclusion that prominent Southern Baptist African-American Pastor, the Rev. Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr., seems to have drawn from what he describes as President Obama’s “betrayal” on this issue. In a scathing rebuke to the President, Pastor McKissic writes:
President Obama has betrayed the Bible and the Black Church with his endorsement of same-sex marriage. The Bible is crystal clear on this subject, and the Black Church strongly opposes same-sex marriage. His endorsement is an inadvertent attack on the Christian Faith. America is now a candidate for the same judgment received by Sodom and Gomorrah. This was a sad, sad day and a very bad decision, by our beloved President. The moral impact of this day and decision is equal to the military impact of AL-Queda when they attacked the Twin Towers on 911. Today’s announcement is a moral earthquake equivalent to a tsunami or hurricane that will have far more devastating results than Katrina. (read Dr. McKissic’s full response here)
Lest you think that Pastor McKissic comes at this issue with a deep-seated hatred of President Obama, you would be wrong. McKissic, the Pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX, submitted a resolution to the 2009 Southern Baptist Convention Annual Meeting which asked the nation’s largest Protestant body to, among other things, “celebrate the historic nature of the election of President Barack Hussein Obama as a significant contribution to the ongoing cause of racial reconciliation in the United States.” With some revisions, this resolution was adopted by a near unanimous vote of the messengers meeting in Louisville, KY (for full disclosure, I was a messenger at the meeting and voted in favor of the resolution). In addition to his resolution, Dr. McKissic has spoken about what he saw as disparate treatment that President Obama has received in some Christian quarters:
McKissic said members of his church voted both for and against Obama, and he doesn’t have a problem with that, but to suggest members of his church who voted for Obama aren’t Christians goes beyond the pale.“I don’t question people’s Christianity based on how they vote,” McKissic said. He said questioning Obama’s profession of faith “is not playing by the same rules” that Southern Baptist leaders used with President Bush, who rejected the inerrancy of Scripture and was a member of, or regularly attended, several churches significantly to the left of most Southern Baptist congregations theologically and politically.
Finally, in his May 9, 2012 response to the President’s decision to endorse same-sex marriage, Pastor McKissic also makes reference to “the President that many love and admire” and “our beloved President.” I think anyone would be hard pressed to label Dwight McKissic a “hater” of President Obama. In fact, I think it might be safe to say, after reading his response, that Pastor McKissic is both saddened and deeply troubled by the President’s unprecedented endorsement of same-sex marriage.
While I have never met Pastor McKissic, I have become personally acquainted with him through various online interactions. Even though we may not agree on every issue (who does?), I have come to appreciate his prophetic voice and approach to the Christian life (and, I’m not just saying that because he promised me great pork ribs and oxtails the next time I’m in the DFW area). And, herein lies the question that is on many people’s minds the day after this historic announcement: Will the Black Church hear Dwight McKissic’s voice — the voice of one crying in the wilderness of our fallen culture — and will they be willing to follow Dr. McKissic’s lead on the seminal moral issue of our time? Or, will African-American Pastors remain silent? The choice could not be more stark!