The Secretary of the Interior was in Salt Lake last week to sign the necessary paperwork allowing a company to drill for energy on land in Eastern Utah. While the energy and jobs are welcome, the Secretary apparently, thinks the people of Eastern Utah will have forgotten that he was the one who took the energy jobs away in the first place, when he pulled the 77 leases from Utah and Colorado, and placed new and tougher restrictions on energy exploration, plunging people into poverty and foreclosure.
But with an election drawing nigh and people taking a more jaded look at the Obama presidency, the administration understands that for the present it will have to swap out some of its support from the environmental community in the hope that it will draw some support from the people concerned about energy.
And it is in that same vein that the administration decided back gay marriage, when the president called for the repeal of DOMA. Well, this time it is about votes and money.
Now the president can turn to the country and say “Look what I did for you by increasing energy production”- whether that promise of energy and jobs comes to fruition or reverses itself by the time November arrives is another discussion entirely.
Similarly, the president can now turn to the gay community and his hard left base and say “Look what I have said on your behalf, and look at what I want to do for you.” That may win him an election, it certainly has won him money and has energized parts of his base, but at what cost?
The president’s most recent actions show that the man who once wanted to unite us is more than happy to find and emphasize differences in order to win votes. Not only has the president highlighted, italicized and underscored yet another difference between the Right and the Left, he has now set the stage for a fight within churches themselves.
I have seen the issue of gay ordination tear apart a church. One minister I knew found himself in the unenviable position of having one part of his congregation leaving because his church was moving ahead with gay ordination, while yet another part had decided to leave because the minister was philosophically opposed to the move.
So not only will the president’s DOMA declaration have the very real potential to galvanize a portion of the population against American Christendom, it also prepares the way for churches to divide themselves.
The discussion of gay marriage is one that should be had, but not during an election year, and not as part of a campaign stump.