Barack Obama demonstrated just how ignorant he is regarding the religion he claims to embrace in a bizarre exegesis of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
Obama said that while he does not believe in gay marriage, he does think the state should allow civil unions that allow a same-sex couples to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other.
“If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans,” Obama said.
You know, I’ve read the Sermon on the Mount many times (found in Matthew, chapter 5). Somehow I’ve always missed the part where Jesus called for Gay civil unions. (If you find that part, please let me know). On the other hand, I immediately found the “obscure” passage in Romans referring to homosexuality quite relevant.
You don’t even have to read very far to find it. St. Paul begins by revealing the fact that God’s wrath falls on the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who in their unrighteousness suppress the plainly revealed truth (Romans 1:18-20) and instead foolishly exchange the truth of God for a lie (v. 21-22). And St. Paul says that because they deliberately suppress the truth, that God therefore gave such people over to the impure lusts of their hearts (24-32); such that men who are aware of God’s decrees not only practice such sin, but encourage others to practice it also. St. Paul refers to the sin of homosexuality again in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10. He’s really quite clear.
The only thing that is “obscure” is Barack Obama.
Frankly, it’s too bad Barack Obama doesn’t read the book of Romans, and so clearly has so little respect for the Apostle Paul. Maybe he’d have a clue about the Christian faith. Sadly, Obama believes that Jeremiah Wright, Jim cone, and Louis Farrakan understand Christianity better than the man who “turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6) with his explaining and defending the faith that Jesus Christ brought to the world and commissioned His apostles to teach.
But let me return to the teachings of Jesus, since Barack Obama has so little regard for the teachings of St. Paul.
Going back to the Sermon on the Mount and Matthew 5, it is interesting that in the very same chapter that Jesus gives the Sermon on the Mount, He says, “Do you think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I came not to abolish, but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:17-19).
And what does the Law say about homosexuality? “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination” (Leviticus 18:22).
It is an abomination because homosexuality perverts God’s natural created order. He who created man and woman in His own image (Gen 1:27) created woman as a suitable companion for man, and man said of the woman, “This is the bone of my bone and the flesh of my flesh” (Gen 2:23). And God said that a man should leave his parents and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh (Gen 2:24). And God said, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 1:28, Gen 8:17).
Many today (who fall under the judgment and wrath of God according to Romans 1:32), teach that the ordinances against homosexuality no longer apply to us today. But Leviticus 18:22 should serve as a clear rejoinder, being sandwiched as it is between offering your children for child sacrifice (Lev 18:21) and bestiality (Lev 18:23). Of course, our mass culture of abortion and “anything goes” morality no longer really much cares what God has to say, does it?
When it comes to gay couples visiting one another in the hospital, or transfer property to one another, in Barack Obama’s straw man, I have no problem with either. But we don’t have to have “civil unions” to do either, do we? In our society, where lawyers are as plentiful as cockroaches and twice as nasty, one can arrange darn near anything. Surely, a process can be obtained by which homosexuals, senior citizens, friends, and spinster siblings can take advantage of partnerships that enable them to do find support, companionship, and benefit from one another without making such relationships tantamount to marriage!
Some things should remain undefiled and sacred. Marriage – which is under enough difficulty in our pluralistic religion-dismissing society – ought to be one of them.
But Barack Obama is not done with his analysis of the Bible. He continues in what he calls a “Call to Renewal Address“:
“Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let’s read our bibles. Folks haven’t been reading their bibles.”
Now, I suppose Obama believes he made a point, but how many Christians do you see today questioning whether or not they should own slaves, or whether eating shellfish is a sin against God? I personally have yet to encounter a single person so confused – at least until Barack Obama.
The dietary laws given by God were principally ordained as a means of separating the people of God from the pagan nations. It had to do with the holiness of God and the holiness that God called Israel to (Lev 11:44-45). It had to do with living under God’s Old Testament Covenant, which discriminated between that which was sacred, and that which was profane (i.e. of defiling oneself).
The children of Israel were set apart by God, and were called to be holy according to God’s holy ways. In order to be saved, one had to become a Jew (be circumsized, put oneself under the Covenant system). Jews and Gentiles were separated from one another, and from God.
But the prophets said that God would ordain a New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31; Luke 22:20; 1 Corinthians 11:25).
The Book of Hebrews says, “When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear (Heb 8:13); and says of Jesus, “And for this reason He is the mediator of a new covenant, in order that since a death has taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were committed under the first covenant, those who have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Heb 9:15); and also, “and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel” (Heb 12:14).
Christians are familiar with God’s introducing this principle to St. Peter in Acts chapter 10. A devout Gentile Roman officer named Cornelius has a vision that calls upon him to seek St. Peter (vs 5). But God must prepare Peter to come to Cornelius’ house and welcome this Gentile into God’s family. And so Peter likewise has a vision, in which a sheet comes down from heaven filled with food declared unclean, and a voice says, “Kill and eat.” And when Peter piously refuses to defile himself according to the Old Covenant, the voice from heaven says, “What God has made clean, do not call ‘profane'” (v. 15). It takes Peter three times to get the message: God is bringing Gentiles into the New Covenant. You do not have to abide by the Jewish dietary system, or be circumsized, or offer animal sacrifices. Faith in the sacrifice of the Christ of the New Covenant is the sole requirement. And Peter tells Cornelius of his lesson in Acts 10:34. And Cornelius is saved as the prototypical example of the first Gentile convert to Christianity.
Hebrews 10:4 tells us that it was never the blood of bulls that took away sins, but that the blood of animals – offered in sacrifice – had ever pointed the way to the ultimate once-for-all sacrifice of Christ. And that all who have ever been saved have been saved by Christ.
As for the issue of slavery, it must first be understood that – while not specifically overturning slavery – the Mosaic system provided pagan slaves specific rights granted by no other people in the world at the time, and it specifically banned slavery among Jews. A Jew could be indentured in servitude, but could not be “owned,” and his service could not be permanent.
But again, we merely have to turn to the Paul – whom Obama spurned – to see what God has to say about slavery in the New Covenant era. Read the Book of Philemon (why not? It’s really short!). Paul appeals to a Christian slave owner named Philemon to accept a runaway slave-turned convert named Onesimus back into his household as a free man – and not as a slave.
When slavery was overturned in Great Britain – and finally in the United States – the movements were championed by Christians appealing to the writings of St. Paul.
So even the most simple-minded of Christians have for two thousand years known the answer to these issues that Barack Obama continues to misunderstand!
Note how Obama abandons clear passages that condemn his views in favor of a radically subjective understanding of a passage that nowhere re-enforces them.
The Bible is not some byzantine codebook which must be read while constantly bearing in mind that we must never believe too deeply or accept to much. Barack Obama tells us to read the Bible (except for St. Paul’s writings, apparently), but not to trust it, lest one fall into the trap of saying that we mustn’t eat shellfish, or that we should re-institute slavery.
The man reveals himself to be the same spiritually ignorant – and biblically illiterate – man who embraced a hateful Marxist pastor as his spiritual mentor for 23 years.
So James Dobson is right; Barack Obama is just one more spiritually blind leader of the blind, blithely practicing “a confused theology.”
Having established this point, let me say that this issue does not just have to do with interpretations of the Bible, or with one’s (in Obama’s case terrible) choice of church. It has to do with worldview, and with decisions that would effect every single American for decades to come.
In terms of the choice of Justices for the Supreme Court, there are two sides: the originalist/strict constructionist judge, who is bound by the meaning and intent of the Constitution, and the judicial activist, who views the Constitution as “a living, breathing document subject to change.”
The problem is that the latter have imposed some of the worst legal decisions in American history, and America has had to pay terrible consequences for those decisions.
In the Dred Scott v. Sanford decision, likely the worst decision ever, the Supreme Court ignored the overwhelmingly clear mandate of the Constitution in favor of a desired outcome. In writing his dissent to this despicable example of judicial tyranny, Justice Benjamin R. Curtis wrote, “When a strict interpretation of the Constitution, according to the fixed rules which govern the interpretation of laws, is abandoned, and the theoretical opinions of individuals are allowed to control its meaning, we no longer have a Constitution; we are under the government of individual men, who for the time being have power to declare what the Constituition is according to their own views of what it ought to mean” (Dred Scott 60 U.S. 621 (Curtis, J., dissenting)).
In the 1886 Plessy v. Fergusen decision, an activist Supreme Court mandated segregation and forced a private industry (the railroads) to separate individuals on account of race (“equal but separate”) in an abandonment of the plain language of the 14th Amendment. This terrible decision would be the law of the land for the next 58 years until finally reversed by the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision. And even then, the Court failed to reject Plessy’s reasoning as a violation of the 14th Amendment’s equal protection, but instead – in still more activism – opened up a Pandora’s Box of sociological and psycho-analysis mumbo jumbo.
In the 1944 Korematsu v. United States decision, the activist Supreme Court upheld the executive orders of FDR requiring forced internment of some 110,000 American citizens of Japanese descent in clear violation of the plain sense of the 5th Amendments prohibitions against deprivation of life liberty, or property without due process.
Activist judges have repeatedly justified slavery, segregation, and racism, abandoning the plain sense of the Constitution in order to impose their views upon the text.
This is the quintessential essence of the warning against judical activists and judicial activism, and liberals are ignoring it.
Justice Thurgood Marshall, who is the prototype of the liberal justice, said, “You do what you think is right and let the law catch up” (see Deborah L. Rhode, “A Tribute to Justice Thurgood Marshall: Letting the Law Catch Up,” in the 44 Stanford Law Review 1259 (1992).
And Justice Marshall – precisely the sort of Justice that Barack Obama would affirm if elected president – said of the Constitution and of the men who framed it, “I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever “fixed” at the Philadelphia Convention… Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight and sense of justice exhibited by the framers particularly profound. to the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start… (Stuart Taylor, Jr., “Marshall Sounds Critical Note on Bicentenniel,” New York Times, May 7, 1987).
Mark Levin writes, “Marshall couldn’t have been more wrong, and couldn’t have had a weaker grasp of the Constitution. The Constitution established principles of governance. Discrimination, injustice, and inhumanity are not products of the Constitution. To the extent they exist, they result from man’s imperfection. Consequently, slavery exists today not in the United States, but in places like Sudan. Indeed, the evolution of American Society has only been possible because of the covenant the framers adopted, and the values, ideals, and rules that set forth that document” (Men in Black, p. 9).
In contrast, consider the view of Chief Justice John Roberts:
“I had someone ask me in this process — I don’t remember who it was, but somebody asked me, you know, ‘Are you going to be on the side of the little guy?’ And you obviously want to give an immediate answer, but as you reflect on it, if the Constitution says that the little guy should win, the little guy is going to win in court before me. But if the Constitution says that the big guy should win, well, then, the big guy is going to win, because my obligation is to the Constitution. That’s the oath.”
The gravest problem for America is that Barack Obama believes about the Constitution what he believes about the Bible. He despises the clear intent, and the clear meaning, and the strict interpreation according to fixed principles, in favor of the same sort of radical interpretation he gives to the Sermon on the Mount to justify gay civil unions – when such is nowhere in the Sermon, but only in Barack Obama’s warped mind.
Christians are people who have subjected themselves to the Person and character of God and His ways as revealed in His Word. They don’t usurp the authority of the Bible, such that they decide which parts to follow, and which parts to disregard. Whenever one does so, one places oneself as the ultimate authority over the Bible and the God whose Word it is. And in the same manner, Judges who do not place themselves under the abiding authority of the Constitution as framed and established by our founding fathers become guilty of imposing their will on the Constitution. And it is then that they become “black-robed masters.”
If the Constitution is not fixed and objective in its meaning, then by what principle do Justices decide? By their own subjective views, and nothing more.
Antonin Scalia has warned that if one is able to devise rights out of scratch, from such as the penumbras and emanations that liberal activist justices used to create the right of abortion, then one can literally impose anything one wants – just as Justice Curtis warned.
For example, Justice Anthony Kennedy relied upon his understanding of the European Convention on Human Rights – and not upon the Constitution – to rule in the 2003 Texas sodomy case Lawrence v. Texas. He wrote, “The sweeping references by Chief Justice Burger to the history of Western civilization and the Judeo-Christian moral and ethical standards [in a 1986 Supreme Court case, Bowers v. Hardwick] did not take into account of other authorities pointing in an opposite direction” (Lawrence v. Texas, 123 S.Ct. 2472, 2481 (2003)). Sandra Day O’Conner, John Paul Stephens, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have also called for using international law to inform their conclusions. O’Conner said such should be “a persuasive authority in American courts.”
But why do they choose the “international laws” they do? Why not use Sharia law? Doesn’t that count as “other authorities pointing in an opposite direction”?
what would liberals do if some right-wing justice cited “the international law” of Sharia to limit and even completely overturn the rights of women (and I mean all their rights)? They would howl in outrage, even though they themselves established the precedent and have been arbitrarily imposing their will on the Constitution for over 60 years (in fact, for far longer), since President FDR attempted to pack the Supreme Court in order to obtain the political decision he favored.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said “a too strict jurisprudence of the framers’ original intent seems too unworkable.” She takes the same view of the Constitution that Barack Obama takes of the Bible. But the reliance “of the framers’ original intent” seems plenty workable for justices such as William Rehnquist, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, and Samuel Alitio; just as the “framers’ original intent” seems quite workable for millions of Christians regarding their Bible. It is only “unworkable” for someone who wants to impose their will upon the law rather than subject themselves under its authority and guidance.
Judicial activists are using international law as a salad bar, picking and choosing what they want and ignoring what they don’t care for. They are turning to international law because they do not wish to be limited or constrained by the Constitution – any more than Barack Obama doesn’t want to be constrained by Leviticus, or the Books of the Bible written by St. Paul, or any other authority that contradicts his subjective preferences.
Thus a Barack Obama will appoint federal judges who will – by the slimmest margin of a single vote – radically transform the morality and laws of a nation, such as they recently did in California, when four judges overturned the clear intent of over 60% of California voters in imposing their view of homosexual marriages upon society.
Barack Obama asked, “Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount – a passage that is so radical that it’s doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application?”
It is Barack Obama – and not the Sermon on the Mount – that the Defense Department may not survive. The DoD has done fine with the latter; the real question at hand is whether it can survive the former. Barack Obama is a dangerous radical who has for years associated with dangerous radicals. His understanding of the world, of the faith he claims to profess, of the Bible he claims to honor, and of the Constitution he claims to seek to uphold, are dangerously flawed.
America can do better.