We spend hours looking at things like this and analyzing what it means and what the possible motivations behind the move may be. For example, just last week, Common Sense Conspiracy expressed our concerns that the sudden announcement of the ending of the war in Afghanistan was a political move that only a sitting president could use to his advantage. This week, the situation is a little different.
In an election year, you rarely see candidates or incumbents striking out in bold new directions. It just doesn’t make political sense in most cases, and they typically stick to what got them where they are. President Barack Obama has long resisted outright supporting the idea of same-sex marriages in America. We always figured that regardless of the President’s personal views on the subject, he probably figured that politically, riding the fence was the best option. On the democratic side, his support of civil unions showed some inkling that he was not thoroughly against it, but on the other side of the fence, his refusal to jump in with both feet stopped him from completely sealing himself off from a huge segment of the population. Now, just months ahead of his re-election bid, the President has changed course and publicly expressed his personal opinion that same-sex marriage should be legal and embraced by the United States of America.
A lot is being made of the President’s comments. One thing we want to point out immediately is that while President Obama did change his previous views and openly endorse gay marriage, he is expressing that as a personal opinion. President Obama has insisted that same-sex marriage is an issue to be decided at the state level, and his change of heart is not a change on that stance. He is saying that he personally believes that it should be legal, but he still supports the rights of states to decide these sorts of things for themselves.
Nonetheless, his new position will challenge his standing. He has all but alienated himself from any sort of Republican voter worth his salt. A graver danger exists, however. Christians in general are going to have to decide how they feel about this endorsement and what it will mean for their political affiliations. It’s no secret that many Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin against God, and many also believe that marriage is strictly isolated to the union between a man and a woman. Granted, there are plenty of Christian groups that have found a middle ground on the issue, but there’s still a huge base of Christians in America that believe that the concept of same-sex marriage is fundamentally wrong. How many of them are democrats?
For what it’s worth, President Obama’s interview to discuss the matter was as heartfelt and genuine as anything we’ve ever seen. The President admitted that this is an evolution for him, that he didn’t always feel the way he feels now, and that many factors, including his daughters, came into play before he made the decision to come forward and publicly express his views. He also expressed some emotions about the military and what they do on his behalf, and how rotten he feels that some of them still feel that they don’t have the same rights as others back home.
So, what are we saying? We’re saying that as far as we can tell, the President seems to have made a change in his opinion on this issue and decided in an election year climate to speak out about it. Regardless of whether you agree with him or not, you have to at least admire him for taking the chance with his campaign by speaking out for something that he believes in. Having said that, the issue could indeed be so polarizing that it could put what seemed a pretty safe re-election campaign into serious jeopardy. One thing is for certain. We are about to find out the true heartbeat of the nation on this matter in November when people go to the polls. But, let’s get a head start on that. What do you think?