Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Sermons Blast Obama Over Gay Marriage - But Not At The Fever Pitch Social Conservatives Want!

While President Obama has often considered the passage of health care reform his defining moment as President, people are now saying that it is his endorsement of same-sex marriage that has portrayed him and his Presidency in the most illuminating way.

The new cover for the New Yorker magazine, with the South Portico columns of the White House colored in rainbow hues is no doubt the rallying point for Right Wing pulpits across the nation. Certainly the cries of "homosexual lobby" and "homosexual agenda" have echoed throughout a great many churches.

And the cover of Newsweek certainly stokes the fires:

Of course, we knew it was coming: judging from this Sunday's sermons, The Washington Post got it right:

Pastors in Ohio, North Carolina, Florida and other swing states are readying Sunday sermons inveighing against same-sex unions, while activist groups have begun laying plans for social media campaigns, leaflet drives and other get-out-the-vote efforts centered on the same-sex marriage issue.

The primary focus has been on black churches, and although other black ministers think differently, the question of "Wedge" - the strategy of NOM (National Organization for Marrige) - rears its ugly head:

Dwight McKissic, senior pastor at the Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, Texas, said last week he would not speak on gay marriage Sunday because it was Mother's Day and his wife would lead the church. However, he planned to focus directly on the topic in next week's sermon. "President Obama has betrayed the Bible and the black church with his endorsement of same-sex marriage," McKissic said.

And a key religious supporter of Obama, Pastor Emmet Burns who is also a Maryland State delegate, has states his withdrawal of support for Obama on the issue (see below), but some of his congregation and community don't feel the same way. Many people feel that it is a relatively small, single point in Obama's term that does not define his Presidency.

It is this kind of reaction, however, that will drive the Christian Right to new heights of denegration of Obama on all issues.

Not All The Polls Are In, But...

A May, 2011 Gallup poll shows that over 53% of Americans favor same-sex marriage: a 6-point rise in one year. In fact, the sharp change in attitude since the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell suggests that is voted upon today by voters in California, Proposition 8 would not pass (it passed with 52%). At that rate, an updated Gallup poll might show a higher percentage of up to 56%. And in a sense, the North Carolina Amendment 1 vote may have helped to steer the country in that direction:

North Carolina Governor Beverly Purdue:

"People around the country are watching us, and they're really confused to have been such a progressive forward thinking economically driven state that invested in education and that stood up for the civil rights people including the civil rights marches back in the 50s and 60s and 70s," said Perdue. "People are saying what in the world is going on with North Carolina, we look like Mississippi."
The governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, was not pleased. But then, no one wants to look like Mississippi.

"I support my president and love my president, but I think he is wrong. He is not God, and he doesn’t speak for all black folk because he is African-American.”

Reverend Keith Ogden of Asheville, North Carolina spoke words in line with the Christian Right, but also ones which they did not want to hear: "I support my president and love my president."

The "Wedge" is not working as well as it could. Look forward to the rhetoric being ramped up past the pulpits.

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