"For the gay and lesbian community in this country, I think it's clear that they feel victimized in fairly powerful ways and they're often hurt by not just certain teachings of the Catholic Church, but the Christian faith generally. And as a Christian, I'm constantly wrestling with my faith and my solicitude and regard and concern for gays and lesbians."This is a loaded quote. Many may take heart to the fact that Obama addresses the fact that the LGBT population (not community - we're bigger than that) have been victimized, but he doesn't state it for the fact that it is. He says we "feel victimized."
Imagine if he had said, "For the gay and lesbian community in this country, I think it's clear that they have been victimized in fairly powerful ways and they're often hurt by not just certain teachings of the Catholic Church, but the Christian faith generally."
See what a huge difference that is?
But now let's get to the second half of the quote. Michael A. Jones at Change.org did an amazing job of pointing out that Obama's church, the United Church of Christ, believes in full equality for the LGBT population. Their website states:
"For more than 30 years the national setting of the UCC has been on a clear course of welcome and inclusion, calling for serious study of human sexuality, [and] supporting the civil rights of LGBT persons..."So what is he "wrestling" with? If his church and religion clearly state for full LGBT equality, what's the struggle?
I can only assume that the struggle in Obama is his own but clearly using religion as front for his inaction on LGBT rights. Sure, the context of the interview is religion, but it's not a reason for inaction. And this is nothing new - how many times have we heard politicians promise us they'll fight for our equality only to state once they make it into office that their religious and moral code forbids them for advocating for us?
I'm not going to assume what it is that Obama is personally struggling with, but it's certainly not his religion. It's something else, inside.
Despite the fact that Obama stated in the primaries that his personal belief didn't allow him to support marriage equality, I never thought that he would state that it would dictate to him his actions as president. I truly thought he held dearly the separation of church and state and that one would not directly influence the other.
I was wrong. Because truly, if he "believes" God doesn't approve of our full freedom, then he believes his inaction is justified. And since we only "feel" victimized, then where's the real harm, right?
(Rex Wockner interviews with openly gay Steve Hildebrand, who was Obama's deputy national campaign director and with whom Obama speaks to on LGBT issues. He believes Obama will keep his promises. It's encouraging to read.)