To be candid, and with due respect to the office of the president, Obama should be viewed as a religious apostate more than a religious pioneer. He has shown an extraordinary disregard for society’s most innocent and vulnerable members (babies in the womb), he has misused the Bible to defend the radical redefinition of marriage, and he has trashed religious freedoms with his health care mandates to the point that groups as disparate as Hobby Lobby and Catholic hospitals are suing the government. This is hardly the legacy of a religious pioneer.
Blake claimed in his article "Is Obama the 'wrong' kind of Christian?” that, “When Obama invoked Jesus to support same-sex marriage, framed health care as a moral imperative to care for ‘the least of these,’ and once urged people to read their Bible but just not literally, he was invoking another Christian tradition that once dominated American public life so much that it gave the nation its first megachurches, historians say.”
Blake is referring to the “social gospel” version of Christianity that was more prominent in the early to mid-20th century than it is today. As explained by Jim Wallis (head of the Sojourners, a leftwing, marginally evangelical organization), Obama’s faith “is not the faith of the religious right. It’s about things that they don’t talk about. It’s about how the Bible is full of God’s clear instruction to care for the poor.”
Putting aside the fact that “the religious right” is used as a term of disparagement in contrast with what Blake calls “progressive Christianity,” the truth is that conservative Christians lead the way in worldwide humanitarian relief efforts, they continue to build hospitals and orphanages and schools in many nations, they are active in drug and alcohol rehab programs in the inner cities of America, and they are at the forefront of the pro-life, pro-adoption movement.
As for their opposition to gay activism, it is the natural offshoot of their belief in marriage as defined by Jesus himself (one man and one woman joined together for life), it is in keeping with their high esteem for sexual purity, and it is in harmony with their wholly justified concerns that homosexual activism is the principle threat to our freedoms of conscience, religion, and speech. From a biblical perspective, President Obama is on the wrong side of these critically important issues.
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.