“Marriage Equality Means Abiding the Constitution and Not Conveniently Throwing it Out Because We Religiously or Politically Disagree With It.”Posted in Articles, Diversity, Social Justice
Many Christians in general and black Christians in particular are upset at President Barack Obama for his recent decision to support same gender marriages. Many of these persons have vowed not to vote for President Obama in the November election and refuse to support his future political agenda for America.
While as a trained Christian ethicist, I understand their feelings on this subject, many of them are missing the whole point of President Obama’s decision.
Instead of allowing emotions or religion to render judgment on who should receive equal rights in this country, we should stop, take some deep breaths and put the entire matter into proper perspective.
Many Christians who have strong anti gay and lesbian views, forget that there are other people in this country who do not share their religious beliefs. Many of them also forget that we are not living in a theocracy but a democracy which means that the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States becomes the primary foundation undergirding his decision to provide equal protection under the law and vouchsafe the rights of all citizens.
Theologically speaking, we also forget that God calls us to love persons as ourselves and to provide the moral equivalent of love in the personal realm with justice in the social realm.
Rights entitlements should not be excluded on race, eye or hair color, height, weight, sexual orientation, gender, religion, theology, cosmology, political philosophy, family or country of origin, ethnicity, or any other basis. The issue here is the equality Americans deserve as citizens of our Constitutional Republic. The fact that they are Christians, Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, Hindus, Baha’i, Atheists, Agnostics, Women, Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgender or other people should have nothing to do with whether they receive equal rights under the law . Therefore to use religious, moral, political, or other arguments to deny their civil and human rights is a basic violation of the Constitution of the United States and sanctions discrimination against them.
The President of the United States as Chief Executive Officer and Commander in Chief is under moral and legal obligation to make decisions that will uphold the Constitution. This is the point and until we get this point we miss the point entirely. By deciding in favor of marriage equality, the President is using the Constitution as his ultimate guide for determining fair and equal treatment of citizens in this country.
In contrast to politicians who treat the Constitution as just another piece of paper, President Obama is taking his constitutional obligations very seriously by applying it across all segments categories of the American public.
A recurring problem today is that we too conveniently “cherry pick” who we want to have rights this country. We filter and choose what items of the Constitution we will or will not abide. Part of our current political quandaries are due in part to politicians who have “shredded” the Constitution, conveniently walked over and disregarded it and use it as a cudgel or pinata to punish people who don’t share their political or religious views.
What is needed in this country is a Constitutional Revival where every citizen knows, understands and abides by it and politicians do not simply read it aloud on the floor of Congress as a pretentious show of support, but live it each day and use it as a proper guide to ensure that every single citizen has equal protection under the law, equal rights under the law and complete justice under the law.
Both the text and context of President Obama’s decision are Constitutional, not religious, political, social, racial, relational or even sexual per se. If we finally use the Constitution as our guide as we are supposed to in this country, we can eradicate many of the woes and ills, the wounds and alienation still plaguing many citizens of this nation who feel that they will never be free and will always remain second and third class citizens because their rights have been continually abbreviated.
President Obama may have made a decision with which Christians disagree religiously or politically, but must be commended for daring to act constititutionally to grant full rights and equality to yet another oppressed minority.
We should thank God that we have a President willing to put his “political hide” on the line to make the decisions that are constitutionally correct so that all citizens including members of the LGBT community can finally enjoy the justice, freedom and equality that we so fervently promise and advocate as hallmarks of American Representative Democracy.