First, let me stipulate that we are incredibly lucky to have President Obama as our country’s leader, not because of his politics but more because of how much the politics of the Conservative Right threatens to plunge us into a state of oligarchical rule.
Having said that, let’s examine what his declaration of support for same sex marriage means. Quite frankly, I am afraid that it is merely a show of moral support and though it is a historic announcement from the office he holds, it really will mean nothing more if he does not show that his decision is backed by his assertive engagement in moving legislation forward, in favor of changing the acceptance of same sex marriage at the national level.
My sense is that we will not see this. My sense is that we will hear lots of personal affirmation, much like his declaration of having wrestled his conscience for a number of years. So why would he have subjected his political capital to the flogging that it will undoubtedly receive?
Elementary, my dears, elementary. I have no doubt that the President, like many of us, have zero tolerance for any of the laws that deny same sex couples benefits like sharing each other’s healthcare plan or receiving the after death benefits paid to spouses. I am sure he cringes every time he hears of a service man or woman leaving for war that cannot kiss his or her significant other goodbye at the airport or cannot receive the body of their slain partner when they return in posthumous state. However, the President is an astute politician who understands the effect of well timed comments and engaging in battles that are popular but not winnable.
Who could forget the legislative debacle that was the battle for Universal Healthcare? Who could forget the words “I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country,” he uttered as Illinois Senator, right before he launched his campaign? We were all ecstatic. Universal Healthcare was going to be a government run plan, which would have taken our tax dollars, at the federal level to create a sensible system of dispensing care and medicine for every citizen at costs that are sensible and that do not force us into bankruptcy.
It was the hope that we had for receiving the state of the art care we see charity organizations exporting to third world countries for our charitable donations; care the fixes cleft palates and vaginal fistulas and osteo deformities and hypertension and heart murmurs and all of the ailments that we pay more than thirty percent of our income to receive. This is what we wanted. This is why so many of us thought that he was such a breath of fresh air. This was a man of the people. He knew that health care was a right and not a benefit. So we voted for him to give us that.
Instead, we got a shameful demonstration of what was mislabeled as negotiation, lost lots of tax dollars to State pork ventures to buy votes from politicians who were so much in the pockets of the medical and pharmaceutical lobbyists that they could care less about the health needs of their constituents.
Now we are here, with our President throwing his full support behind same sex couples, after purportedly wrestling for years with his beliefs and after half stepping through his term in office with a nuanced position on same sex marriage, saying he was not in favor of same sex marriage and was equally not in favor of Propositon 8 which eliminated the right to same sex marriage. See the nuance? See how he was for marriage but was against the thing that offered marriage?
Anyway that’s done now and he has given full throated support of marriage between anyone. That has made its foot print. It has made him the first US President to support same sex marriage. It has also made him the first incumbent to support same sex marriage and in a general election year. He has made the Conservatives even madder than they were when they had to accept his ethnicity. Even Franklin Graham, whose morals are well known for their loose nature earlier in his life, has lent his wisdom to the situation by suggesting that the President’s support of same sex marriage is tantamount to him shaking his fist at God.
It is conclusive and decided that Franklin is s left over hippie who has had the good fortune of inheriting the family business. The business itself is good and offers all men and women the God given right to happiness and love of our creator.
Unfortunately Franklin and many in his business interpret the nature this business selects the people who should share the love and respect that the tenets of Christianity. For them, cherry picking scriptures to show God’s distaste is better to preserve a certain social mores, though the same God, in the new testament, says that His grace is sufficient and that He has come to fulfill the law and therefore, making Galatians 3:23-29 real for all, even gentiles.
But this is not about Franklin Graham and Pat Robertson and John Hagee and all of the other zealots who feel that they have the right to wield Christianity like their personal Uzi. This is about the President going beyond a full throated support of people who want the rights that they deserve; that they are entitled to.
So, in as much as we are supporting our President through the next four years, all we are asking is that he proposes legislation to underscore his support of marriage and equality and not let this latest social stance go the way of universal health care.