Should Christians Vote for Barack Obama?
Michael T. Griffith
Should Christians who believe the Bible is
the word of God and who take their religion seriously vote for Barack
Obama? Should Catholics who believe
that the Catholic Church is the true
OBAMA vs. THE BIBLE AND CHRISTIANITY ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AND ABORTION
The Bible teaches that marriage should be between a man and a woman. Bible-believing Christian leaders of all denominations have urged Christians to do all they can to protect traditional marriage and to prevent same-sex marriage from being legalized. Obama, on the other hand, supports same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage), and even wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which is the law that gives states the option of not recognizing other states’ same-sex marriages. In addition, the Bible teaches that killing unborn children is wrong, and Christianity has always taught that abortion is immoral. Obama, on the other hand, is so radically pro-abortion that he wants to repeal all state and federal restrictons on abortion and has even voted against legislation that was designed to prohibit the killing of babies that survived abortion. Let’s consider some specifics in relation to these issues:
1. The Bible teaches that marriage is ordained of God and that it’s between a man and a woman. For example, Genesis 2:24 says,
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24)
Jesus said the following on the matter:
And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. (Matthew 19:4-6)
John Edmiston of ChristianAnswers.Net discusses Jesus’s teachings on marriage::
When Jesus was asked questions about marriage he went straight back to the defining passages in Genesis that say that marriage is between male and female and is meant to be life long [see, for example, Matthew 19:4-9]. He saw the creation accounts in Genesis as authoritative in His day. And what is authoritative for Jesus is authoritative for Christians also. (What Does the Bible Say About Same-Sex Marriage?)
The Bible also teaches that homosexuality is unnatural and immoral:
shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)
For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper. (Romans 1:26-28)
do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the
The Catholic Church and all Bible-believing Protestant churches accept these teachings. Christian leaders from the Pope to Billy Graham to Franklin Graham to James Dobson to Jesse Lee Peterson to Bishop Harry Jackson have spoken out against same-sex marriage. Billy Graham said the following in an interview with Sonja Steptoe of Time magazine:
Steptoe: Do you approve of gay marriage?
Graham: I believe marriage is between a man and woman. (10 Questions for Billy Graham, Time, November 21, 2004)
Franklin Graham, in speaking in favor of the Federal Marriage Amendment, has warned,
There is a real movement for same-sex marriage. We could lose marriage in this country the way that we know it. (Senate Floor Statement by U.S. Senator James M. Inhofe; see also, Gay Marriage Battle Lines Drawn)
The Catholic Church, in an official statement approved by the Pope, has said,
There are absolutely no grounds for considering homosexual unions to be in any way similar or even remotely analogous to God's plan for marriage and family. Marriage is holy, while homosexual acts go against the natural moral law. (Gay Marriage Battle Lines Drawn)
The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage and the social acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex relationships, but teaches that homosexual persons deserve respect, justice and pastoral care. (The Catholic Church, Homosexuality, and Gay Marriage: U.S. Bishops Urge Constitutional Amendment to Protect Marriage)
But Obama opposes all state and federal bans on gay marriage and wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. When Obama was asked about the New Testament verses that teach that homosexuality as unnatural and immoral, he called them “obscure” and claimed that the Sermon on the Mount supports same-sex unions (Obama: Sermon on the Mount Legitimizes Homosexual Unions).
It should be noted that there is no credible evidence that homosexuality is genetic, i.e., there is no real evidence that gays are born gay, even though gay-marriage advocates and the news media usually claim otherwise (see, for example, Born That Way?; “Born That Way” Theory; What Do Clinical Studies Say?; and People Can Change).
2. Bible-believing Christian leaders and groups support the Federal Marriage Amendment, which would protect traditional marriage and ban same-sex marriage nationwide (see also Endorsements for Proposition 8). Seventy prominent pro-family ministers have signed an open letter supporting the Federal Marriage Amendment, including Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Richard Land, and Charles Colson. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops supports the Federal Marriage Amendment. But Obama voted against the amendment and continues to oppose it. He argues that passing the Federal Marriage Amendment would constitute “enshrining discrimination and divisive distinctions among citizens into our founding documents” (Interview with The Washington Blade, September 10, 2008; Obama Pledges “Equality for All,” The Washington Blade, September 10, 2008). When he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2004, Obama pledged, in writing, “I will also oppose any proposal to amend the U.S. Constitution to ban gays and lesbians from marrying” (Obama on Marriage).
African-American Bishop Harry Jackson has written the following about the Federal Marriage Amendment and the effort to preserve traditional marriage:
Most thinking people connect family breakdown with generational poverty, poor academic performance of children, prison terms, violence, and crime. Further, they think that only the family can instill in a child the values and sense of personal identity needed to live a meaningful life. Don’t get me wrong---I’m not questioning these common sense views about family. I am questioning whether we see the urgent need to protect all American families, black or white. As Americans, we are inextricably connected.
concerning same-sex marriage have shown that in
The answer is simple. The gay community, with the help of the liberal media, has worked strategically on a P.R. campaign to make Americans comfortable with homosexuality. From the slightly effeminate male assistant to the first gay marriage ceremony on television, American audiences have watched homosexual themes creep into their lives.
In addition, people
do not generally understand the long process which produces Constitutional
amendments. Many mistakenly feel that last June’s defeat [the failure to get a
2/3 majority in the Senate for the Federal Marriage Amendment] cancelled all
hope. This is totally untrue. We can still fight for marriage, but we must act
urgently. Members of Congress hear their constituents making noise about the
rise in gas prices and the unrest in the
Christian leaders and groups have warned that same-sex marriage poses a serious
threat to the family, to religious freedom, and to society as a whole.(see
and the Federal Marriage Amendment and Same-Sex
Marriage). But Obama has made it clear he sees nothing wrong with same-sex
marriage and has called efforts to ban gay marriage “divisive” and
“discriminatory” (See Obama’s
Opposition to DOMA; Obama
Promises Gays “Strongest Possible Bill”; Obama
Rejects Proposed California Gay Marriage Ban, Sacramento Bee, July 1,
Talks All Things LGBT with The Advocate; see also below). Obama not only
opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment and wants to repeal the Defense of
Marriage Act, but he opposes all bans on same-sex marriage at the state level
as well. It’s worth noting that the
Defense of Marriage Act was signed by Bill Clinton after being passed by an
overwhelming majority in Congress, but Obama claims it’s discriminatory and
wants it revoked. Obama also argues that
gay couples should have the same right as heterosexual couples to adopt
children (See, for example, Obama
Promises “Change” for America. . . . ; Obama
Says He Supports LGBT Adoption; and AFA Voter Issue Guide ). Furthermore, during a Democratic debate at
Catholic legal scholar Ronald Rychlack warns of some of the consequences of same-sex marriage that would affect the religious freedoms of all Christians:
of what it is called, legal sanctioning of homosexual relationships creates a
host of unintended consequences and constitutes a serious threat to religious
Consider what happened in
What about a priest or minister who similarly refuses to preside at such ceremonies? Obviously the state can't fire such people, but it is easy to foresee other sanctions -- such as loss of tax benefits -- being imposed on churches.
After all, if gay marriage truly is no different from traditional marriage, by what justification can the government give preferential treatment to an entity that discriminates?
Just last year, two women filed a complaint in
Due to the ministry's refusal to rent it for the lesbian ceremony,
The Des Moines Human Rights Commission found the local Young Men's Christian Association in violation of public accommodation laws because it refused to extend "family membership" privileges to a lesbian couple that had entered a civil union in
Accordingly, the city forced the YMCA to recognize gay and lesbian unions as "families" for membership purposes, or lose over $100,000 in government support.
Perhaps the most notorious example of a state forcing its view on a church agency comes from
In 2006, Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley announced that the agency would abandon its founding mission rather than submit to a state law requiring it to place children with homosexual couples. (A
4. Bible-believing Christian leaders and groups have condemned the recent California Supreme Court decision, and they support Proposition 8, a ballot measure in California that would amend the state constitution to ban gay marriage (see also Churches & Ministries that Support Proposition 8; Yes on Prop. 8; Knights of Columbus and Proposition 8; California Southern Baptist Board Endorses Proposition 8; Catholic Church Supporting Proposition 8). But Obama supports the court’s decision and opposes Proposition 8. In fact, he’s called Proposition 8 and other proposed state gay-marriage bans “discriminatory” and “divisive.”
Incredibly, Obama has claimed he’s opposed to same-sex marriage, and on a few occasions he’s even said that his Christian faith leads him to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. This has led some to call his position on the matter everything from “deceptive” to “incoherent” to “double-talk.” It should be noted that some gay and lesbian activists are telling their supporters that they believe Obama supports gay marriage but that he’s afraid to say so plainly and clearly right now: For instance, one gay rights activist recently wrote:
I give Obama a pass when he says he is opposed to gay marriage but supports civil unions because hey, he has to get elected. But I do this with the strong suspicion that Obama and a lot of other progressive politicians are leaning towards if not already inclined to support full marriage equality but are in want of some political cover. (Obama Frames Marriage Equality as Civil Right).
How can Obama claim that he’s opposed to same-sex marriage when he opposes state amendments to ban same-sex marriage, opposes the Federal Marriage Amendment, supports state supreme court decisions in Massachusetts and California that have imposed same-sex marriage in those states, and advocates the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act?
In a recent letter expressing his opposition
to the proposed California state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage,
Obama said he favors extending “fully equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples under both
state and federal law,” and that he opposes “the divisive and discriminatory
efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the
U.S. Constitution or those of other states” (Obama Rejects Proposed
California Gay Marriage Ban, Sacramento Bee, July 1, 2008). This letter was addressed to a gay rights group
Finally, I want to congratulate all of you who have shown your love for each other by getting married these last few weeks. ( Letter from Barack Obama to the Alice B. Toklas Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Democratic Club)
Commentators have pointed out that Obama’s support for the California Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, his call for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, and his opposition to all attempts to ban same-sex marriage at the state and federal level make it clear that, if nothing else, he is operationally pro-gay marriage. Rich Lowry of the National Review Online made this point in a recent editorial:
might be the first major candidate for president to support same-sex marriage.
He won’t say as much. His definition of a “new politics” is capacious enough to allow for pose and slipperiness (as long as he’s the one engaged in them). But his stance on a
In a carefully hedged statement, Obama said he "respects the decision of the California Supreme Court." He respects a decision that disregarded the will of the people in California, as expressed by a 2000 referendum that defined marriage as between a man and a woman; he respects a decision that excoriated his own position of support for civil unions and (theoretical) opposition to same-sex marriage; he respects a decision that rejects the sort of political compromise he extols. It's like a professed abolitionist in 1857 saying he "respects" the Dred Scott ruling. (Does Obama Support Gay Marriage?; see also Obama’s New Politics on Gay Marriage)
Blogger Ed Morrissey asserts that Obama’s
letter on his opposition to Proposition 8 in
Barack Obama has reversed himself yet again, but this time he has done a double backflip with a half-twist to the Left. After previously saying he opposed gay marriage and that he respected the rights of states to set conditions for marriage, Obama has now said that he opposes California’s initiative to ban gay marriage — and that he would use federal law to end such efforts. . . .
His letter to the Alice B. Toklas LGBT Democratic Club will effectively toss traditional marriage under the same bus as his opposition to FISA reform and his pledge for public financing. (Obama Flips Again: Gay Marriage)
Obama’s call for the repeal of the Defense
of Marriage Act is particularly revealing.
The act stipulates that no state can be forced to treat a same-sex
relationship as a marriage, even if the relationship is considered a marriage in
another state. The act also says the federal government may not treat a
same-sex relationship as a marriage for any purpose, even if it’s permitted or
recognized by one of the states. The act
does not prevent a state from legalizing gay marriage; it merely says that no
state can be forced to recognize or permit gay marriages performed in other
states. Yet, Obama claims the act is
discriminatory and wants it repealed. If
the Defense of Marriage Act were to be revoked, one of the consequences would
be that gay marriages performed in
5. The Bible makes it clear that killing an unborn child is wrong, and the Christian faith has always taught that abortion is immoral (Exodus 21:22; see also Abortion and the Early Christian Church; The Bible’s Teaching Against Abortion; Abortion in the Bible and Church History). In fact, the Bible uses the same words for born and unborn children. In the Gospel of Luke we read that when Elizabeth and Mary met when they were carrying John and Jesus in their wombs, the baby John “leaped for joy” in Elizabeth’s womb as Mary approached (Luke 1:41-44). “Pieces of tissue” can’t react to the approach of people and certainly can’t feel joy. God decreed to the Hebrews that if a man attacked a pregnant woman and killed her unborn child in the process, he should be severely punished (Exodus 21:22; The Bible’s Teaching Against Abortion). Also, authoritative early Christian texts warned Christians against abortion. The Didache was one of the most important texts in the ancient Christian church; it was even recommended as a good book for new converts to read. The Didache has this to say about abortion:
Thou shalt not slay thy child by abortion, nor kill that which is begotten. (Chapter 2, verse 2):
This teaching is repeated in the Epistle of Barnabas, which was included in some ancient New Testament manuscripts and was cited by some early Christian bishops as scripture:
Thou shalt not slay the child by procuring abortion; nor, again, shalt thou destroy it after it is born. (Chapter 19, verse 5)
Christian leaders in our day have condemned the legalization of abortion and have called on Christians to work to restore legal protections for unborn children. Most Christian leaders agree that abortion is permissible in rare cases, such as when the baby’s birth would threaten the mother’s life or when rape or incest is involved. They point out that if there’s been no rape or incest, and if the baby’s birth poses no threat to the mother’s life, then there’s no valid reason to kill the baby in the womb.
Obama, on the other hand, is the most
pro-abortion candidate ever nominated by a major political party. As a member of the Illinois senate, Obama
even voted against a bill that merely said that if a baby survived an abortion
the doctor could not kill him but had to try to save him (Obama More Pro-Choice
Than NARAL). This was the Illinois
Born Alive Infant Protection Act. In
fact, Obama was the only member of the
If Obama is elected president, we will lose a golden opportunity to overturn the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, i.e., Roe v. Wade. We are one judge away from having a 5-4 pro-life majority on the Supreme Court, i.e., one judge away from having a majority on the Supreme Court that will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade. The next president may very well get to appoint a Supreme Court judge to replace one of the old and ailing pro-abortion judges. If Obama wins and is given the chance to appoint a Supreme Court judge, he will appoint a liberal, pro-abortion judge, and abortion will remain legal.
OTHER CONSIDERATIONS: “DISCRIMINATION,” “HATE SPEECH,” AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM
Obama supports the so-called Employment
Non-Discrimination Act. The title of the
act sounds harmless enough, but similar state regulations have been used by
liberal groups and judges to attack religious freedom. The act includes provisions against
“discrimination” based on sexual orientation.
Turn groups like the Boy Scouts into targets of federally funded lawsuits. While he was Vice President, Al Gore said on Good Morning America, in answer to a question about the Boy Scouts, that he hoped ENDA would do away with all “discrimination” by public and private groups.
Constitute a major expansion of federal power over the workplace and create a new way for the government to manipulate employers. ENDA’s intent is to create grounds for lawsuits. By injecting sexuality into civil rights law, ENDA opens a Pandora’s box of ways for the government to dictate to businesses.
Make people’s sexual temptations a source of material for federal lawsuits. The law properly deals with actions, not beliefs. ENDA creates a new class based on the fuzzy grounds of perception and intention. This is far removed from laws designed to end racial discrimination, because not only is race evident but also it has no moral aspect. Sexual behavior is fraught with moral consequences.
Elevate multiple-sex-partner relationships into a federally protected “right.” By including “bisexuality” in the definition of sexual orientations, the government would go on record supporting the practice of having sex with more than one person. This is a direct challenge to the intent behind the Defense of Marriage Act and other laws designed to protect marriage.
Put the federal
government in the position of adopting a view of sexuality utterly at odds with
that propounded by the major faiths of Christianity, Judaism and Islam. All major faiths support marriage and oppose
homosexual conduct. The
Prohibit employers from taking into account sexual conduct in the hiring of education and child care worker positions. Because ENDA is so sweeping, employers could not take into account any sexual conduct, even that which might severely impact children.
Afford special protections to an already privileged group. Statistically, homosexuals do not qualify as a bona fide minority group, as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court. Homosexuals are not defined by an immutable characteristic, they are not economically deprived, nor do they suffer from a history of discrimination and political powerlessness.
Change national policy by forcing the government to abandon support for marriage – the bedrock of every healthy society. By declaring traditional morality regarding sexuality as a form of “discrimination,” ENDA will undermine the special status of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Lead to further demands by homosexual activists to force others to celebrate abnormal and unhealthy sexual behavior. Many corporations that adopted “sexual orientation” policies soon found themselves besieged by demands for outright “gay pride” celebrations. Anything less than open promotion is regarded by many homosexual activists as “discriminatory.” (CWA, Talking Points: The Employment Non-Discrimination Act. See also ENDA Still Protects Gender Identity)
Obama also supports so-called “hate speech”
laws. These laws have already been used
in some states to prosecute or harass Christians for teaching what the Bible
says about homosexuality. In
NEGATIVE ATTITUDES AND TROUBLING ASSOCIATIONS
While speaking to a gathering of wealthy
You go into these
small towns in
Needless to say, this comment caused a huge controversy. African-American author Thomas Sowell said this about Obama’s remark:
Some of his recent talk in
Speaking privately to supporters in heavily left-liberal
Like so much that Obama has said and done over the years, this is standard stuff on the far left, where guns and religion are regarded as signs of psychological dysfunction -- and where opinions different from those of the left are ascribed to emotions ("bitter" in this case), rather than to arguments that need to be answered. (“Senator Barack Hussein Obama: A Living Lie,” Capitalism Magazine, April 14, 2008)
Another African-American commentator, Larry Elder, had this to say about Obama’s statement:
Where to begin with Obama's statement about bitterness? . . .
"Cling" to religion? Obama here insults all religious Americans, 80 to 90 percent by some polls. Obama apparently believes one embraces religion out of bitterness, not due to spirituality, values, belief in or the acceptance of and submission to a higher power. Perhaps this explains why Obama clung to the Trinity Church of Christ for 20 years, with its anti-Semitic, anti-white, anti-American, conspiracy-believing pastor, Jeremiah Wright. (Obama: “Bitterly” Out of Touch, Jewish World Review, April 17, 2008).
The last sentence in the above quote refers to
the fact that for nearly 20 years, until just a few months ago, Obama had a
close friendship with Rev. Jeremiah Wright, attended Wright’s church, and in
fact donated tens of thousands of dollars to it. Wright not only denies that Jesus is the only
way to salvation, but he’s an advocate of radical liberation theology and a
strident critic of Israel and America.
Wright has called
is not an incidental figure in Obama's life, or his politics. The senator
"affirmed" his Christian faith in this church [Wright’s Trinity
United Church of Christ in
Many Christians and Jews worry that Obama
agrees with some of Rev. Wright’s views on Israel—and they have good reasons
for their concern (see, for example, Obama’s Controversial
Views on Israel; Barack
Obama and Israel; Obama
Keeps Hiring Anti-Israeli Advisors; Arab-American Activist
Says Obama Hiding Anti-Israeli Stance; Obama’s
Pro-Israel Stance Questioned; Who
Are You, Barack Obama?; Obama
and Israel, Continued; Obama’s
Weak Judgment on Israel). We now
know that Obama got into Harvard with the help of a radical anti-Israeli Saudi
adviser and black nationalist named Khalid Mansour (“Obama
Had Ties to Top Saudi Adviser at Early Age, Newsmax, September 3, 2008;
see also “Who
Is Khalid Mansour?,” Newsmax, September 4, 2008 and The
Mansourian Candidate). Mansour recently
said he hopes Obama wins the election (“Who
Is Khalid Mansour?,” Newsmax, September 4, 2008;
Mansourian Candidate). In his
. . . many of the foreign policy team members have long histories
of extreme hostility to
Many Jewish groups took notice when Obama
told a pro-Israeli audience in June that he supported an undivided
presumptive Democratic nominee declared at the AIPAC Policy Conference in
Last week, he went even further, saying that what he meant by "undivided" was that barbed wire fences should not divide the city as they did during the Jordanian occupation of eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria between 1949 and 1967. (Jewish Groups Challenge Obama)
The Coalition for a United Jerusalem held a
press conference “to protest Obama’s
It means he used
the term inappropriately, possibly to mislead strong supporters of
Given these facts, perhaps it’s not surprising that a few months ago Hamas’ top political adviser in the Gaza Strip, Ahmed Yousef, declared that Hamas hopes Obama wins the election:
Each Christian must decide for himself or herself whether or not to vote for Obama. The choice is ours to make. As we consider whether or not to vote for Obama, here are some questions that I think are worth pondering:
· How can we follow the Bible’s counsel that marriage is only for a man and a woman and that homosexuality is immoral if we vote for a candidate who wants to put homosexual relationships on an equal footing with traditional marriage, who wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, and who is opposed to all state bans on gay marriage?
· How can we follow the biblical, Christian teaching that abortion is immoral and vote for a candidate who wants to repeal all existing restrictions on abortion and who has even voted against protecting babies who survive abortion?
· How can we vote for a candidate who supports federal versions of laws that have already been used at the state level to prosecute and intimidate Christian groups and their members?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michael
T. Griffith holds a Master’s degree in Theology from The Catholic Distance
University, a Graduate Certificate in Ancient and Classical History from
American Military University, a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from
Excelsior College, and two Associate in Applied Science degrees from the
Community College of the Air Force. He
also holds an Advanced Certificate of Civil War Studies and a Certificate of
Civil War Studies from