Throughout history there are myriad examples of groups imposing their version of morality on society based on their own personal values, codes of conduct, or religious inclinations, and as long as personal choice does not infringe on the rights of others or break the law, there is no reasonable excuse for expecting every person to abide by anyone’s definition of right and wrong. Ethnocentrism informs the current state of America’s religious right, and they will not be satisfied until every person in America gives deference to the Christian bible’s morality and its description of right and wrong. For the past few months, religious leaders and their legislative arm (Republicans) have ramped up their assault on freedom by attempting to legislate their version of morality on the entire country, but especially on women and gays. Recently, a coalition of African American preachers are calling on all African Americans to boycott President Obama and sign a petition demanding that he withdraw support for gay marriage.
The African American pastors, led by Rev. William Owens, president of the 1,300-member Coalition of African-American Pastors, are angry that President Obama endorsed same-sex marriage and especially because he did not acquiesce to their calls for him to reverse course and condemn gay marriage. According to Owens, “By embracing gay marriage, President Obama is leading the country down an immoral path,” even though the President did not issue an edict mandating same-sex marriage or impose penalties for traditional marriage. In a hostage-taking ploy, Owens directed “all black pastors and black Christians to withhold support from President Obama until he corrects course” and discriminates against gays and follow the extremist Christian’s version of morality.
President Obama explained that his support for same-sex marriage is a civil rights issue and based on his strong belief in Jesus Christ’s admonition that “you treat others the way you would want to be treated, because being true to those precepts is what motivates me as president.” It is interesting that President Obama understands the basic tenets of Christianity and applies them to his personal and political life, but a Christian preacher cannot comprehend that very simple principle that should be the motivation for every Christian’s existence. However, if there’s one thing the past three years have taught Americans, it is that an alarming number of so-called Christians ignore all of Christ’s teachings, but especially the Golden Rule.
For the record, Jesus Christ never mentioned any prohibition on homosexuals marrying or anything about homosexuality at all. What he did preach constantly was to abstain from passing judgment on anyone for any reason, and one can extrapolate from his acceptance of prostitutes that a person’s intimate sexual relationships were of no concern to him and it begs the question; why does it concern so many 21st Century Christians? What Christians should be concerned with is why a coalition of Christian pastors is condemning the President for his personal beliefs that are based on the real Christ’s commandment to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and “judge not lest you be judged.” It certainly appears that President Obama is a true follower of Christ and the clergy is following some other twisted homophobic sect unrelated to the Jesus of the Christian bible. In fact, a brief perusal of the President’s policies verifies that they are consistent with Christ’s teaching and the limitations and responsibilities as the President of the United States.
Jesus taught that one of the basic responsibilities of his followers was to care for the poor and infirm, and President Obama championed an unpopular law to provide health care for nearly every American, and his reward has been castigation as a tyrant. The President also saw fit to include contraceptive care for all women as part of their reproductive health and for his efforts the United States Council of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), evangelical fanatics, and conservative Christians in the Republican ranks took him to task for attacking their religious liberty to impose their anti-Christ beliefs on America’s women. President Obama has also proposed letting the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy expire to fund job programs and bolster social safety nets and the anti-Christ conservative Christians labeled him a Socialist, Marxist, and bad American for pursuing a Christ-like policy of caring for the least fortunate among us.
The list of the President’s Christian qualities is unending, but the point is that for every Christ-like action from this President, he has been assailed as a tyrant, Marxist, and now immoral by men who lead other Christians down a path Christ condemned. The preacher calling for all African American pastors and voters to withhold support for the President is guilty of passing judgment, and using his position of religious power to influence voters in what is definitely a violation of their 501c3 non-profit tax-exempt status as a religious organization. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) must investigate and revoke Reverend William Owens’ tax-exempt status for violating the terms of the 501c3 agreement, and be defrocked for un-Christian-like conduct for judging and preaching a subject unrelated to Christ’s teachings.
Reverend Owens is also a hypocrite for benefiting from the struggle of Civil Rights activists over the past 50 years, and then advocating for discrimination and violating other Americans’ equal rights. He also just had to get a racial element into the equation by only calling on African American pastors and voters to withdraw support from the President until he followed their anti-Christian agenda. What Reverend Owens, and the rest of the phony Christians in America really need to do is study this President’s record, agenda, and policies to learn what a true follower of Christ is and start practicing the golden rule, care for the infirm, and learn to accept all people equally regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation or the person they love. Then, they can call themselves Christians and help lead America down a moral path like the President has for three-and-a-half years.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.