Wednesday, May 09, 2012

President Obama on Gay Marriage and Golden Rule

For those who support marriage equality, today marks a moral milestone for monogamous, same-gender-loving all-but married couples.  POTUS base his view on the Golden Rule that Jesus taught:

Transcript: Good Morning America interview today on ABC News:

I have to tell you, as I said, I’ve been going through an evolution on this issue. I’ve always been adamant that gay and lesbian Americans should be treated fairly and equally...


And, I hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought civil unions would be sufficient. That that was something that would give people hospital visitation rights and other elements that we take for granted. And I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that evokes very powerful traditions, religious beliefs and so forth.  


But I have to tell you that over the course of several years as I have talked to friends and family and neighbors when I think about members of my own staff who are in incredibly committed monogamous relationships, same-sex relationships, who are raising kids together, when I think about those soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors who are out there fighting on my behalf and yet feel constrained, even now that Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is gone, because they are not able to commit themselves in a marriage. 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...


You know, Malia and Sasha, they have friends whose parents are same-sex couples. There have been times where Michelle and I have been sitting around the dinner table and we’re talking about their friends and their parents and Malia and Sasha, it wouldn’t dawn on them that somehow their friends’ parents would be treated differently. It doesn’t make sense to them and frankly, that’s the kind of thing that prompts a change in perspective.


This is something that, you know, [Michele and I] we’ve talked about over the years and she, you know, she feels the same way, she feels the same way that I do. And that is that, in the end the values that I care most deeply about and she cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated."




Discussion questions:  


1. If you were raising a family and in a committed, monogamous, same-gender relationship, as some on the President's staff are, how would you like to be treated by those who value marriage? 


2. How to relate Christian doctrine ("Christ sacrificing himself for us") with Christian practice ("treat others the way you want to be treated")?   When does doctrine trump practice, or practice trump doctrine when Scripture is ambiguous?


3.  What is the difference between basing one's views of marriage on biblical principles or biblical teaching?