Nationally, Americans support the President’s position of marriage equality by a growing majority just since 2004 showing that the numbers have flipped. That trend will continue to grow as those in their 20s and 30s mature and vote, and the tide of baby-boomers swells, dominating the roll of the “older voting population” – neutralizing an outdated entrenched ideological viewpoint of a generation that is dwindling.
The outcries are building as I write this within moments after the President’s words were broadcast. Hate groups like the American Family Association through their mouthpieces like Bryan Fischer will be screaming their disdain for President Obama in the name of Jesus Christ, furthering their assertion that he is the embodiment of all things evil and anti-Christian in America. Some going so far – again – as to insinuate that Obama is the anti-Christ.
All this and more will reach outrageous levels of histrionics from uber-conservative political Christians who are afraid of their own lily-white shadow. These people are not – I repeat not – mainstream Christians. They are a bible-based cult that claims Christianity – the ones that believe the Christian Nation myth; that God supports turning on the poor and downtrodden by kicking the virtual crutch out from under them; that it is their mandate through some bizarre set of beliefs to reclaim America and establish biblical law for all; that it is the duty of Christian Dominionists to eradicate the monster of secular humanism – and many, many more truly delusional goals. They will beat that same ol’ tired dead horse about how – by allowing gays to marry – this is an attack on their marriages and that somehow it diminishes the meaning. As upsetting as this might for them grasp, this really isn’t about them.
As usual, it matters not that no one is requiring them – by law – to perform gay marriage in their churches, but then reality doesn’t brush up close to their world often. They actually think that America is run by majority rule and mob mentality where the positions and views of the majority rule. If that were the case in America, minorities would always lose. An prime example of this was earleir this year when New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made this unbelievably ignorant statement as reproted in ThinkProgress:
“Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ) defended his call for a ballot referendum on marriage equality, suggesting that the majority should vote on the rights of the minority. “The fact of the matter is,” Christie argued, “I think people would have been happy to have a referendum on civil rights rather than fighting and dying in the streets in the South.” Christie opposes marriage rights for same-sex couples and has promised to veto a proposed bill legalizing same-sex marriage.”
And then to emphasize my claim that most of the voters who are lead by this pathetic misinformation, Governor Christie was chastised by his own legislative Speaker who had this to say:
“New Jersey Assembly Speaker Sheila Y. Oliver, the first African American female to hold that post, responds “Gov. Christie better sit down with some of New Jersey’s great teachers for a history lesson, because his puzzling comment shows a complete misunderstanding about the civil rights movement… It’s impossible to ever conceive that a referendum on civil rights in the South would have been successful and brought justice to minorities. It’s unfathomable to even suggest a referendum would have been the better course.”
They have adopted the role of the persecuted Christian like ducks to water and there they are successful at a one-size-fits-all into that schema. They will interpret President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality for homosexual couples as yet another sign that we are, indeed, in the End of Days and the 2nd Coming of Christ is growing nearer.
They will justify misuse of their status as non-profit churches and religious organizations to capitalize in every way possible on launching an all-out political campaign against democrats nationwide while knowing full well that engaging in political lobbying is blatantly illegal for them to do. But hey, lying for Jesus is actually sanctioned in their skewed world of religion. Winning at all costs is all that matters and justifies the means.
They will ramp up the hate speak against homosexuals decrying that this is sending a dangerous message of legitimization and in doing so will incite the Neanderthal brain of the most passionate of their followers, putting innocent people at risk who will become targets by virtue of their sexuality.
President Obama had to weigh his moral position against his political vulnerability to come forward today and make this announcement. There is no doubt in my mind that this was a very difficult decision. As a gay citizen myself, I understood the complexity of making this endorsement, but it is far more important in my perspective that President Obama win a second term than for me to be validated and get the warm and fuzzies from his endorsement of my genetically determined sexual orientation.
Every advocacy group has blinders on when it comes to pushing their message, allowing them to see only the ‘win or lose’ options as they relate to their issues – but politics is a game of chess and strategy is crucial. I understand this game because I was a lobbyist on social justice issues for years and I can tell you that every time someone pushed lawmakers from a position of all or nothing – they routinely got ‘nothing’.
I sincerely hope that the pressure by gay activists and others who insisted on forcing this moment now in an election year where presidential politics can hardly be more contentious, are comfortable with this political gamble. All I have to say is that as long as all those who bitch about what Obama doesn’t do – actually show up and vote – this will not come back to slap us all.
If this fodder tips the scales in November – then equality for not just those of us who are gay and seek the right to marry will be squashed and set back years – so will protection and rights for the poor, elderly, minorities, and women & children in general who can kiss progress good-bye. In a time where politics is more religiously politicized than ever in America we have to be smarter. We may get lucky this time – but I am afraid that it is showing that too many of us never learned to play chess. About the Author ~ Leah L. Burton