The opinion writers are out in full force this morning. Some of them have good things to say, and some not so good. Here are a few I would like to highlight.
First, don’t miss Michael Gerson’s two columns this morning for the Washington Post: “Hail to the Chief” and “The Decency of George W. Bush.” The first duly notes Obama’s historic achievement and the latter takes on the conventional wisdom about President Bush. Both of these are must-reads.
Second, Albert Mohler’s reflections are always worth reading. He has sized-up things very well in his article “America Has Chosen a President.” Here’s an excerpt:
“For many of us, the end of the night brought disappointment. In this case, the disappointment is compounded by the sense that the issues that did not allow us to support Sen. Obama are matters of life and death — not just political issues of heated debate. Furthermore, the margin of victory and sense of a shift in the political landscape point to greater disappointments ahead. We all knew that so much was at stake. . .
“Given the scale of the Democratic victory, the political landscape will be completely reshaped.Â The fight for the dignity and sanctity of unborn human beings has been set back by a great loss, and by the election of a President who has announced his intention to sign the Freedom of Choice Act into law.Â The struggle to protect marriage against its destruction by redefinition is now complicated by the election of a President who has declared his aim to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.Â On issue after issue, we face a longer, harder, and more protracted struggle than ever before.
“Still, we must press on as advocates for the unborn, for the elderly, for the infirm, and for the vulnerable.Â We must redouble our efforts to defend marriage and the integrity of the family.Â We must be vigilant to protect religious liberty and the freedom of the pulpit.Â We face awesome battles ahead.
“At the same time, we must be honest and recognize that the political maps are being redrawn before our eyes.Â Will the Republican Party decide that conservative Christians are just too troublesome for the party and see the pro-life movement as a liability?Â There is the real danger that the Republicans, stung by this defeat, will adopt a libertarian approach to divisive moral issues and show conservative Christians the door.
“Others will declare these struggles over, arguing that the election of Sen. Obama means that Americans in general — and many younger Evangelicals in particular — are ready to “move on” to other issues.Â This is no time for surrender or the abandonment of our core principles.Â We face a much harder struggle ahead, but we have no right to abandon the struggle.”
Robert Novak’s column is also worth noting: “No mandate for Obama, no lopsided Congress.” He writes:
“The national election Tuesday was not only historic for the election of the first African-American president in the nation’s history but also for how little the avalanche of Democratic votes changed the political alignment in Congress. . . The Democrats fell several votes short of the 60-vote filibuster-proof Senate that they were seeking and also failed to get rid of a key Senate target: Republican leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.”
Thanks for recommending these 3 articles.
God is sovereign. May his kingdom come and may his saints spread words of hope in spite of political setbacks. I’m not understating the damage done to the pro-life cause…but the Church now has a unique opportunity to take up the banner of the unborn and contrast God’s priorities against America’s priorities.
…contrast Godâ€™s priorities against Americaâ€™s priorities.
How does that make sense when you believe that God’s priority is to have Obama as president and the world the way it is?
If his will is ALWAYS done, then the world right now is the world in how God wants it to be.
The articles by Gerson are well written and worth the read. I was discussing much of what Gerson was writing about with a co-worker this morning who was dissapointed with the outcome of this election.
I for one think that the election of President-elect Obama is a great thing for our country in putting to rest that racial inequities still exist in vast measure. While racism and bigotry are imposible to weed out completely, this election is a fitting example of the fact that anyone in America can aspire to achieve things.
While I disagree ideologically with President-elect Obama on almost everything, I will pray for and support him as my president. I can also pray that he will govern far more centric than his legislative votes have been.
We should take note that America is still the greatest nation on this earth and continue to pray that it would become the most effective for the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Are you saying that what happened last night was out of God’s control? How does that jive with Amos 3?
“Do two walk together
unless they have agreed to meet?
Does a lion roar in the forest,
when he has no prey?
Does a young lion cry out from his den,
if he has taken nothing?
Does a bird fall in a snare on the earth,
when there is no trap for it?
Does a snare spring up from the ground,
when it has taken nothing?
Is a trumpet blown in a city,
and the people are not afraid?
Does disaster come to a city,
unless the Lord has done it?”
God’s will is more nuanced than you make it out to be. It was God’s will to crush Christ (see Isaiah 53:10). Therefore, were those who bruatlized and crucified Christ simply doing God’s will? Were they not guilty of sin? Acts 2:23 doesn’t seem to indicate so. Please, please, brother – let Scripture do the talking.
Oops, try “brutalized.” 🙂
The family had a good night with the banning of gay-marriage amendments in Arizona and Florida, and with Arkansas voting to only allow married couples to adopt or to be foster parents.
But the real achievement comes from Proposition 8 in California being voted to ammend the State’s Constitution that marriage is one man and one woman. The magnitude of this vote should not be overlooked because the ramifications upon society had this measure failed would have been enormous.
It is good to see that the people of California stood up to the Judicial Activism of the day and told them to sit down and be quiet.
We should hope and pray that President-elect Obama will take note of this and keep the courts out of the business of legislating from the bench.
I’m having a hard time getting my comment to get thru. I’ll see if this one makes it, then I’ll try my comment one more time.
Nope, it didnt get thru again. Oh well.
Is it possible that our fidelity to Christ might be better focused on being the witnesses/martyrs to Jesus we are supposed to be if we would not think of ourselves (disciples) as the defenders and enforcers of “Roman virtue”? …especially as that virtue is shaped through the coercion of political force.
The Parameters of “Roman Virtue” are not the responsibility of a martyr/witness. Why should people in America who are lumped under the heading white-evangelical shoulder the yoke of making common-sense common. It brings confusion to my brothers and sisters as to what their actual mission is. And it probably encourages Americans (not disciples)to be against the maintenance of something which is actually their responsibility.
“Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”
Yours in Christ,
I just want to know what’s so “not good” about the NY Times article? You amaze me sometimes Denny
The NY Times article is a partisan hack job. There is not one stitch of concilatory rhetoric in it, whereas Gerson presents congratulatory rhetoric and a desire to be an American more than Republican or a Democrat.
You can win with class as President-elect Obama’s speech showed, lose with class as Sen. McCain’s speech showed, or you can write vitriolic commentary like the NY Times.
Nathan in #7:
What actually happened was that the religious right depended on the support of bigots behind curtains to help to deny certain people the ability to enter into legally binding contract.
Stay classy, America…
Paul: That is a conspiracy theory if I ever heard one. Obama was selected by over 61% of the people in California which means that an apparent large portion of them still believe marriage should be between a man and woman, so this was not an issue of left or right. Also, every state that has had this issue on the ballot has passed it.
By the way, you live in a country that denies certain people the ability to do things all the time. My 16 year old could not vote in this election. What a bunch of bigotry! She’s a citizen; she has a voice; she wanted to vote!
How dare this country keep her from that.
Please. Your argument is ridiculous.
It would be less ridiculous if the religious right was all for allowing civil unions. But it’s not. They want to deny certain citizens important rights like the ability to pass down property and rights of attorney. With a marriage/civil union, those rights are iron clad. Without them, they can be challenged every step of the way.
That’s not right, nor is it fair, nor is it in the spirit of what our founding fathers wanted for this country!
As for your second point, it’s just as dumb. Voting is reserved for adults. Your 16 year old isn’t an adult. Let her cry all she wants.
DJ, again I always appreciate your dialogue. Let’s not go down the road of Amos as I will say your passage is contextual, then I’ll refer you to another part in Amos (7:1-6)
This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: He was preparing swarms of locusts after the king’s share had been harvested and just as the second crop was coming up. 2 When they had stripped the land clean, I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, forgive! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
3 So the LORD relented.
“This will not happen,” the LORD said.
4 This is what the Sovereign LORD showed me: The Sovereign LORD was calling for judgment by fire; it dried up the great deep and devoured the land. 5 Then I cried out, “Sovereign LORD, I beg you, stop! How can Jacob survive? He is so small!”
6 So the LORD relented.
“This will not happen either,” the Sovereign LORD said.
You’ll say to me that that is anthropomorphic or something like that and we’ll go round and round in circles.
There are also plenty of scriptures that clearly say that the will of God was not carried out.
I guess it comes down to two things for me at the moment. Do you like a God who with one hand says abortion is terrible and you must campaign against it and on the other hand puts a man in power who will help the very thing he hates to come about? And a God who’s will it is to have unborn babies killed.
And how do you reconcile the two? How can God hate one thing and at the same time ordain it? I honestly don’t understand it. I’m sure you’ll appeal to the mysteries of God’s secret will but it doesn’t fit with the God of scripture to me.
Interesting. I think you hit upon the core issue
legally binding contract
As Christians we should fight every step of the way to keep the view of marriage from becoming exactly that.
If the concept is legally binding, then that should be the route taken (i.e. push for state reform that allows people to put whomever they want in their wills/insurance). Take the word marriage out of it. But that isn’t the agenda, is it? Just a convenient topic to which one can point to stir emotions. It’s something about which people can get others shouting and yelling.
I would point to a significant amount of government that is not the spirit you mention, but that would take more space than I should ever take here.
Tell me Paul, what were the gays pushing for in Cali??? Were they just wanting civil unions, or were they trying to get marriages? They got rebuked by the people, and rightly so.
“As Christians we should fight every step of the way to keep the view of marriage from becoming exactly that.”
Agreed. Which is why ALL marriages in this country should legally be civil unions, and then those who want to participate in the religious practice known as marriage can do so.
Then there’s no confusing a legally binding contract with a religious concept.
Also, then, too, there’d be no way that any gay couple could sue a church for not wanting to participate in the process. Religious freedom stays intact, and our ability to enter into contract with anyone we so choose stays intact.
I have no idea what is so hard about that.
But Paul, who gets to decide who is and who is not an adult? The citizens of this country. The voting age has been changed in the past, so it is not a ridiculous statement.
And in this matter the people have spoken. I’m amazed that you would make the statement that the founders would have granted homosexual marriage, albiet for the purpose of passing down property. Please!
Brian in #17:
You already have the right to put anyone in your will and to make anyone your Power of Attorney.
So I am not sure that Paul was arguing for that alone. Paul??
I will agree that the situation is California was funky because of the domestic partnership laws already on the books. They pretty much already have all of the rights of married couples, including the right to call their partner a dependent.
BUT, I will say this: we all know that California isn’t exactly teeming with evangelicals. At which point, one has to ask, who in the world is voting for this? This is all about bigots getting to be bigots behind a curtain where nobody can see them.
Not sure if you’ve seen this before, but it really helped me reconcile this issue in scripture.
So do you see the family (nuclear) as the building block of society? Granted one can become impregnated via artificial means today, but civilization from Adam to today have seen the nuclear family as existing for much more than a civil union.
And what about the educational ramifications about what is or is not a “family.” There is far more at stake in this argument than simply a “civil union.” Do we teach children that all forms of civil unions are acceptable and worthy of the accordance of “family?” What about polygamy, incestuous, multiple partners of both sexes (oh, sorry we can’t use the term sex anymore).
This is not a contractual issue alone.
Nathan in #20,
“And in this matter the people have spoken. Iâ€™m amazed that you would make the statement that the founders would have granted homosexual marriage, albiet for the purpose of passing down property. Please!”
The founding fathers built this country on the rights of life, liberty and property. Gay marriage/civil union bans encroach on all three of those.
“You already have the right to put anyone in your will and to make anyone your Power of Attorney.”
And those contracts can be fought, and have been fought, and will be fought as long as they can be. As long as those fights are fought, there needs to be some realistic means of protection for those affected by some idiot trying to prove a point.
So it’s bigoted for a secular person to recognize that no society in the HISTORY of the world has recognized gay marriage as equal to hetero marriage? Wow.
“The founding fathers built this country on the rights of life, liberty and property. Gay marriage/civil union bans encroach on all three of those.”
Please explain how this is even remotely true, and not just silly ol’ liberal malarkey. How is it infringing on people’s rights to life, liberty or property to say that the government is not going to officially recognize their relationship? They can still have the relationship, just don’t expect the government to get involved and sanction it. You always make this claim, but it’s intellectually dishonest since you never have shown how it is true.
“The founding fathers built this country on the rights of life, liberty and property. Gay marriage/civil union bans encroach on all three of those.”
Homosexual marriage would have been an oxymoronic statement in the 1700s. It didn’t exist and you know it. Don’t even try revisionist history here.
Plus there were laws in the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s prohibiting it, and apparently the people are still voting it true today when given the opportunity.
So, I guess all 27 states that have put this to a vote are all bigoted states and only the judicial activists that have imposed this on the people are the sane ones, right?
really? Time for you to do a little research, my friend.
Intellectual laziness strikes again!
What does Amos 3 mean then? You say, “It’s contextual,” and leave it at that. No explanation. I hope I’ve demonstrated over our exchanges that there’s no Scripture passage you bring up that I’m not willing to seriously interact with. I’m asking you to do the same here.
“And how do you reconcile the two? How can God hate one thing and at the same time ordain it? I honestly donâ€™t understand it. Iâ€™m sure youâ€™ll appeal to the mysteries of Godâ€™s secret will but it doesnâ€™t fit with the God of scripture to me.”
So which is it? Are we Calvinists too logical and buttoned down in our theology, or do we appeal to mystery too much? I seem to hear different criticisms every day. And yes – that’s exactly what I’m going to do. It’s what I have to do, because Scripture contains many examples of exactly that. Consider the famous commissioning of Isaiah. God is seeking a messenger. Isaiah responds with his famous, “Here I am, send me.” Send me to what? To say this, God says…
“Keep on hearing, but do not understand;
keep on seeing, but do not perceive.â€™
Make the heart of this people dull,
and their ears heavy,
and blind their eyes;
lest they see with their eyes,
and hear with their ears,
and understand with their hearts,
and turn and be healed.â€
Then I said, â€œHow long, O Lord?â€
And he said:
â€œUntil cities lie waste
and houses without people,
and the land is a desolate waste,
and the Lord removes people far away,
and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
And though a tenth remain in it,
it will be burned again,
like a terebinth or an oak,
whose stump remains
when it is felled.â€
The holy seed is its stump.”
God decrees that he will blind the eyes of the people until the end comes. And yet God hates stubborn disobedience and repentance. Scripture must frame our understanding, not the other way around.
That last paragraph should say “stubborn disobedience and lack of repentance.” Oops.
“Plus there were laws in the 1700s, 1800s, 1900s prohibiting it, and apparently the people are still voting it true today when given the opportunity.”
There were also laws back then denying people from varying races to marry, denying slaves the ability to read, denying women the right to vote, not allowing anyone but property owners the right to vote, and one of my favorites: denying ugly people to be out on the streets at night in Chicago. And lets not forget the Alabama sex toy ban.
Those are all antiquated laws that were on the books at one point in time. I can think of thousands more.
It’s about time that this one comes down too.
Run away from actually answering the question again, Paul. Talk about intellectually lazy.
“This is all about bigots getting to be bigots behind a curtain where nobody can see them.”
And as far as this having any basis in reality we should just take your word for it Paul? This coming from the same guy who said that McCain would win in a landslide because America is so racist? I gotta admit, you really do have the pulse of the American people.
“Those are all antiquated laws that were on the books at one point in time. I can think of thousands more. Itâ€™s about time that this one comes down too.”
I agree with you in principle. However, your argument was contrary to that statement. The vote on this issue did come to the people and the people rejected it. And they have in every state where it has come to a vote.
Secondly, this is not a civil rights issue. This is “I want to do what I want to do” issue. Now you may well say that homosexuality is a civil right, but then you would have to accord any other form of behavior the same logic.
So argue for children marrying their parents. Argue that MANBLA is deserving of civil rights based on the same logic.
I will at least respect your line of argument then although I will continue to vehemently disagree with you. Just don’t single out homosexual marriage as this glaring civil rights issue if you can’t handle backing every other lifestyle choice that people want to make.
“Run away from actually answering the question again, Paul. Talk about intellectually lazy.”
What, too lazy to look it up on Wikipedia?
Here’s two societies off the top of my head that both allow gay marriage…
So, Darius, not only are you wrong, but you’re also intellectually lazy.
“Secondly, this is not a civil rights issue. This is â€œI want to do what I want to doâ€ issue. Now you may well say that homosexuality is a civil right, but then you would have to accord any other form of behavior the same logic.”
Unless we do indeed find the “gay gene.” Then it is indeed a civil rights issue.
Fight this any way that you want. At the end of the day, though, you must realize the following:
1) we live in a secular country.
2) there is not a single decent secular argument against gay marriage.
Notice I said in the history of the world… I wasn’t talking about modern-day current governments.
Poor argument. We have found a gene that predisposes people to alcoholism, but they are not given the right to drive a vehicle drunk.
Under your argument then they are being persecuted.
“Fight this any way that you want. At the end of the day, though, you must realize the following:
1) we live in a secular country.
2) there is not a single decent
secular argument against gay marriage.”
So I guess the vote last night was not secular?
“Unless we do indeed find the â€œgay gene.â€ Then it is indeed a civil rights issue.”
So what should we do until then? Assume that there is such a thing? And what if we find a “murderous maniac” gene?
“2) there is not a single decent secular argument against gay marriage.”
Can you give a secular argument for rights, government, order, or unity?
“So what should we do until then? Assume that there is such a thing? And what if we find a â€œmurderous maniacâ€ gene?”
who is the victim if Darius and Don want to get married? And don’t give me an answer like, “all of us,” please.
For all of the talk about smaller government, “social conservatives” do certainly want to spend enough time, money and effort on being big brother-esque, doncha think?
“Can you give a secular argument for rights, government, order, or unity?”
Yes, please read any of the founding fathers’ documents. Remember, they were mostly masons and deists, not Christians.
Buy my CD.
“So I guess the vote last night was not secular?”
Want to blatantly dodge that one any more?
Seriously. Give me one fully secular argument against gay marriage.
I can come up with them for abortion.
I can come up with them for prostitution, and even drugs, even though I wouldn’t agree.
“Poor argument. We have found a gene that predisposes people to alcoholism, but they are not given the right to drive a vehicle drunk.”
Sure. But they are allowed to get drunk nearly anywhere they please.
Once again, victimless scenario vs. scenario with a clear victim.
You guys are (presumably) college educated. You should be able to do better than this!
“Sure. But they are allowed to get drunk nearly anywhere they please.”
And homosexuals are allowed to be homosexual anywhere they want. They simply cannot marry.
Also, define secular Paul.
Forgive my stupidity, but I would have thought a democratic vote in a secular society is a secular argument. What am I missing?
“â€œSure. But they are allowed to get drunk nearly anywhere they please.â€
And homosexuals are allowed to be homosexual anywhere they want. They simply cannot marry.”
They still have no ironclad ways to write contracts in matters of family law. And as long as some ideologue nurse or lawyer can keep our pretend Darius and Don from #40 from having power of attorney or the ability to will property to someone else, then there need to be other safeguards in place. Address THAT, and maybe we can have a reasonable conversation.
“Also, define secular Paul.”
Not religious. Thought that one was easy.
“Forgive my stupidity, but I would have thought a democratic vote in a secular society is a secular argument. What am I missing?”
No. Allow me to use abortion as an example:
secular arguments against abortion would include:
a) abortion is murder.
b) abortion denies the fetus the right to liberty, since it cannot have a choice as to whether or not it lives or dies.
Both of those are clearly secular arguments against abortion with a clearly defined perpetrator and a clearly defined victim. There’s no need to bring religion into the picture.
However, one CANNOT do that with gay marriage.
Genuinely curious – would you support the legalization of polygamy? If not, what’s the secular argument?
Your argument is based solely on your pressuppositions. There is no religious aspect, except in people’s own minds, on a state ballot. And religion, faith, secular beliefs play into every legislative bill.
“b) abortion denies the fetus the right to liberty, since it cannot have a choice as to whether or not it lives or dies.”
If you are basing this right of liberty on the Declaration of Independence then that document is not a secular document because those rights are endowed by their Creator.
And since the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was given to us by our Creator as defined by the founders in that document, then that document, by your own definition, is a religious document.
So, your argument that I cannot support a secular argument against gay marriage is inaccurate. Based on the foundational principles of governments and civilizations that so choose to define marriage as a man and a woman is adequate and appropriate for that government to so choose. Regardless of “religion.”
â€œUnless we do indeed find the â€œgay gene.â€ Then it is indeed a civil rights issue.â€
Actually, that doesn’t change a thing. Men are naturally predisposed to polygamy (as shown by history), doesn’t mean that we legalize the practice or condone adulterous behavior. Furthermore, like we keep saying and you conveniently ignore because you can’t debate fairly, how is anyone’s liberty infringed by not allowing gay marriage? Let them have contracts if they want, but don’t try to call it marriage. Gay activists could have that if they wanted, but they never stop there, they fight for gay marriage and ignore all compromises for civil unions.
Among consenting adults? Sure.
Again, we’re talking victimless crimes here. (that means don’t even bring up incest or NAMBLA in attempt to trip me up…)
So, what ground is there to stand on? That it stands in contrast to our society’s norms?
At that point, how far do you take it?
Do we ban Westboro Baptist Church for their God Hates America stuff?
Durian importation because it smells like rotten gym socks?
Muslims anywhere outside of Dearborn, MI?
I’m all for letting people live the lives that they want to live as long as how they live does not infringe on my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
The problem with polygamy is that it’s a far more complicated issue than gay marriage. How do you deal with the idea that someone can’t take on a second or third wife and their resulting kids without going on welfare? Do we leave them to be on their own compounds, fearing the abuses that will likely happen there, or do we break up the compounds and make them live among the rest of us for the sake of transparency?
I could ask these questions all day…
“Gay activists could have that if they wanted, but they never stop there, they fight for gay marriage and ignore all compromises for civil unions.”
Well, that’s the interesting thing about the California case, because it’s the only one where there was already an established right to have registered domestic partnerships there. So, I will agree with you there.
However, it’s your buddies in the SBC that fought tooth and nail to stop even civil unions in Vermont and Hawaii. So, don’t give me any of this “compromise for civil unions” garbage.
I think if there was a legitimate 50 state compromise made on civil unions that 95% of the gay community would be totally fine with it.
The only problem therein lies the fact that you would essentially be putting “separate, but equal” right back on the books. I don’t know how you get around that.
As for this:
‘Let them have contracts if they want, but donâ€™t try to call it marriage.”
Fine, but then vote for the proposition that says that gays and lesbians can have all of the rights of marriage bestowed upon them for a flat fee of $20-50 (the same price as a marriage license). I can’t even imagine how much it would cost to have all of the paperwork drawn up in a lawyer’s office to ensure an LGBT couple the same rights that a married couple has.
“Furthermore, like we keep saying and you conveniently ignore because you canâ€™t debate fairly, how is anyoneâ€™s liberty infringed by not allowing gay marriage?”
According to you, Darius, the only fair debate would be the one that you would win. So, enough already of your condescending attitude.
As for liberty being infringed, again, it all comes back to contractual law. Allow gays the ability to pack several contracts into one little certificate for a nominal fee, and then everyone gets to live by the same rules. Until that moment, you are telling those people that a different set of contractual and property laws applies to them because of our religious beliefs.
Regarding post #6, would someone please tell me how nations (groups of citizens of all types of beliefs) can be “effective” for the gospel? I thought churches (groups of disciples of Jesus Christ empowered by the Holy Spirit) spread the gospel.
This type of language/idea is a perfect, perfect illustration of the Constantinian nominal impotence that is observable in “American Christianity,” including those called “evangelical.”