Search This Blog

Friday, May 11, 2012

An Open Letter to President Obama Concerning Gay Marriage.

 On Wednesday, May 9th 2012, Mr. President you reversed your position on gay marriage and said, "At a certain point I've just concluded that, for me personally, it is important for me to go ahead and affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married."


With all due respect, Mr. President, your position to advocate redefining marriage is dangerously wrong. And if I may, please let me, as carefully as I can, clarify my position so that I am not misunderstood as a hate-mongering bigot.

As Dennis Prager has cogently argued, if a group affirms that the ideal for children is to grow up with a father and mother rather than in a single parent home, that doesn’t mean

  • that they hate single moms
  • are being demeaning to people who have had a divorce
  • believe that there is no hope for people raised in single parent homes

Non-sequitur and ad hominem arguments against advocates of traditional marriage are irresponsible. They vilify people without addressing their concerns while refusing to acknowledge the real consequences of legalizing gay marriage.

The Bible teaches that God made male and female equally in His likeness and different by design so that a male and female could come together as one flesh and procreate. Even atheists agree that marriage must include male and female. Therefore, Christian and non-Christian Americans affirm the timeless definition of marriage. Those affirming marriage between a male and female therefore are not trying to limit anyone’s rights or change anything. They are requiring valid compelling answers to the questions: (1) why change it? and (2) on what basis would a group morally seek to change the definition of marriage?

Contrary to the contention of the left, love alone is not enough to validate the radical position of overthrowing the God-given ageless definition of marriage. If love becomes the sole criteria for marriage, then gay marriage advocates are left without any rational argument against keeping brothers from marrying their sisters, or three best friends from getting married, etc. No one would contend that people who oppose polygamy are hatemongers denying those who advocate polygamy their right to happiness. All societies must place some boundaries around the definition of marriage and no modern society has so radically sought to alter that definition as America is doing today. Are left thinkers right that there are no fundamental differences in maleness and femaleness? A male and female bound together in marriage is not the ideal family to procreate and raise children? Having two dads is the same as having a mother and a father? Thankfully, Mr. President, most Americans not only think that you are wrong but know so.  

Second, as an African American, I am stunned that you would cloak gay marriage with the heritage of civil rights. The legal protection that homosexuals have today strongly argues against any need to classify homosexuals as a group that warrants the special legal attention granted to blacks through the civil rights movement. Yes, it is evil when homosexuals are bullied and attacked for being gay. BUT what court (for that matter job, school, media outlet etc.) in America would not prosecute such perpetrators of that bigotry with anything less than the full weight of the law? How does that remotely compare to the smiling-in-court, cigar smoking, celebrating murderers of Emmett Till who walked out of court FREE?! It is simply wrong-headed to try to equate the legal status of both groups.

Finally, Mr. President, as a professing Christian, you should know from the Gospel that while Jesus loves all sinners (homosexuals & heterosexuals), He is also Holy and He does not allow sinners of any kind to define what is right in their own eyes. Jesus calls all sex outside of the monogamous covenant union of marriage between one man and one woman sin. Jesus’ loving response to sinners was to pay the debt that we never could and to give His righteousness to all who believe in Him as a gift of His grace. So any heterosexual or homosexual who turns from their sin to trust exclusively in Him, Jesus will save. Mr. President, I pray that you will see the error of your decision and reaffirm what you once said you believed and all the cultures of human history have affirmed—marriage is the covenant union designed (not evolved) by God between one man and one woman.


Pastor Bobby Scott

fyi, a shorter version of this letter was sent to the President. I will post any response that I receive. 


Timon said...

Thanks for this Pastor's said very well. I usually don't post too much about politics, but I guess I've been thinking a lot about this because it's in the news. The media has made anyone who opposes gay marriage to be someone who opposes the constitution rights of a human being. As a Christian, I believe in the inalienable rights of all citizens as laid out in our constitution, but that same constitution allows Christians the right to be "under God." Which means that sometimes no matter what a Christian would prefer to think, that moral standard is not set by us, but by God. If we believe in the Bible as the inerrant Word of God, and God created us for his purpose, then we don't get the luxury of deciding what is right and wrong ourselves. That is decided for us. So if people think that Christian beliefs are narrow-minded please take that up with the God that wrote the Bible =) I think that the discussion about morality and God is healthy, and it's everyone's choice to choose what to believe (with eternal consequence). Please just don't peg Christians as bigoted because they fear God enough to follow what he says. We aren't given a choice in the matter. This is how we balance our love for our fellow man, respect for everyone, yet can be unwavering in our beliefs- because we can feel and even empathize with the situation of our fellow man, and we struggle with our own desires, but must fear God even more. That is what God does when you are saved- you know longer do or think what is "natural" to our sinful nature.

Anonymous said...

I think the important thing to remember here, is that just because your religion as a Christian, states that homosexuality is wrong and marriage is between a man and a woman....doesnt mean that everyone in our country, or even the world, adheres to those same beliefs. Our country forgets the principle of separation of church and state. If your church chooses not to recognize same sex couples, or will not perform a marriage ceremony for them, fine....but the government of a free and multi faith country should not be able to keep its citizens from having equal rights.

Dr. Les Lofquist said...

Dear Pastor Scott,

I am so grateful you addressed the change of position President Obama has taken regarding such an important issue. Your letter to him was correct in its historical argument, compelling in its logic, and respectful in its passion. I am in wholehearted agreement with everything you wrote and I appreciate your exemplary leadership on this issue. May God bless you. And may God bless America.

Dr. Les Lofquist
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Pastor Bobby Scott said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. The beauty of our Founding Fathers’ political vision for America is that all ideas could be discussed and that the government would not have the authority to force a particular religious position upon the citizenry. This would leave room for the wisest positions to prevail. That's what they meant in the language of "separation of church and state." The constitution, therefore, keeps America from being a theocracy—a government ruled exclusively by a single religious constituency. So I agree with you that Christians cannot and should not try to force their religious views on the rest of America. God allows people to reject Him and the Bible. However, as you know, many of our Founding Fathers relied heavily upon the wisdom of Scripture. So Christians can lawfully and should lovingly express their biblical views as other groups within America use their freedom to express their views. Ultimately, Americans (not religious or non-religious groups) will vote to affirm if we will or will not change the definition of marriage. So far, whenever that decision has come to the ballots, Americans have overwhelming voted to not change it. I thank God that Christians and many non-Christians, Bible believers and non-Bible readers see the wisdom in that. The Bible teaches that a nation will be blessed when biblical principles are the prevailing influences to its worldview (Jer 29:4-7). And so far I believe that is why God has so richly blessed America.

Johnny said...

As I read this is I am deeply sadded at where we are headed as a nation, I am not the political type, meaning I don't follow politics but truth is truth and its clear the world is getting darker and dimmer. Keep your light on Bobby! Keep your light on!

Julie said...

If a group affirms that the ideal for America is for all families to be white doesn't mean
-that they hate black people
-they are being demeaning to people who are of another color and not white
-they believe that there is no hope for the black youth who are raised in a black home.
or does it?

Pastor Bobby Scott said...

First, let me thank you, Julie, for reading and commenting on my post. Dialogue gives us a chance to understand our differing positions even if we don’t reach an agreement.

My founding premise is not that groups defined marriage but that God did. My authority is the Bible. And the Bible teaches that God made male and female equally in His likeness and different by design so that a male and female could come together as one flesh and procreate. Even atheists agree that marriage must include male and female. Therefore, Christians and non-Christian Americans affirm the timeless definition of marriage.

The very essence of the debate is (1) why change it? and (2) on what basis would a group morally seek to change the definition of marriage? Trying to alter America’s longstanding understanding of marriage on the basis of “color’ would have profound moral consequences. I agree with you. But also changing the definition of marriage on the basis of “love” to the exclusion of gender would also have consequences. What could we tell a group of self-proclaiming loving polygamists? Using the Bible’s definition, America says they can’t marry. What would you say? Using the Bible’s standard of marriage, America outlawed incest. What would you say to a brother and sister in love who want to marry? America has relied upon the Bible’s definition of marriage to prohibit expanding the definition of marriage, and most Americans have agreed to that and still do. We can disagree on that and still agree that America has relied upon the Bible’s understanding of marriage from its inception, and changing that definition would open up a floodgate of unlimited and dangerous new marriage types of unions.