A Religious Liberal Blog

This site hopefully can provide some vehicle by which I can comment, complain, and once in a while praise the state of religion in this country and around the world from a liberal protestant perspective.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Obama's Gay Problem

"We have had a faith outreach in our campaigns precisely because I don't think the LGBT community or the Democratic Party is served by being hermetically sealed from the faith community and not in dialogue with a substantial portion of the electorate."

This was Obama's response to the criticism of his decision to give a platform for his gospel campaign tour to a preacher who spoke of changing gays. What interests me is the view of religion and dialogue which is expressed in the above statement.

We have religion juxtapositioned against the glbt community. Given that the UCC, Obama's denomination, supports full equality for glbt folks, I don't see how a term like "faith community" can be defined as that which is cut off from the glbt community.

It is true that among many evangelicals, black and white, there has been an issue about gay and lesbians (let me suggest that it is an evangelical issue not a gay one ) but can a broad term like "the faith community" be used for a view that one religious segment seems has?

As for reconciliation: there have been gay groups working with churches for decades. I find it odd that a presidential campaign can lecture gay groups on this. In the first instance, churches and gay organizations voluntarily came to learn from each other.

In Obama's case he has taken his presidential campaign as a means of reconciliation (perhaps an unrealistic expectation of what campaigns can and cannot do?) But he does it on behalf of others. Without asking. And when these others objects he lectures them.

But you can't as a third party try force on others what you consider reasonable. It has to come from all those who are actually effected. And it's hard to see where there was any mutual give and take in a campaign stop where only the anti-gay voice was heard on stage.

There's a kind of liberalism that is eager to act on our behalf whether we asked for ir or not and sets the terms for this in a manner foreign for all involved. If Obama is embracing this, more the shame for his campaign and for us who hope to see a change in Washington.

Tomorrow: theological reflection, churches, and the elections. And is there too much religion going on in this election cycle in a way that negatively impacts our democratic discourse and the religious communities it is hoped that is reached by such appeals?


At 9:54 PM , Blogger calvin said...

This is by FAR the best take on this whole mess I have read on the dozen or so blogs that mostly got it OK or just flat wrong. NICE JOB!
More please!

UCC gay boy &
Former Dem party chair

At 12:39 PM , Blogger Jos76 said...

Obama does support a strong version of civil unions, which means that there would be federal recognition for the what states decide. It is also to important to keep in mind that Obama's UCC is not an Open and Affirming Congregation, though the larger UCC community does suppprt gay marriage.


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