Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Obama: Sermon on Mount Justifies Same-Sex Unions

Strange theology indeed. Homosexuality is one of the things that the Bible is clearest about -- that it is an abomination to God

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told a crowd at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, Sunday that he believes the Sermon on the Mount justifies his support for legal recognition of same-sex unions. He also told the crowd that his position in favor of legalized abortion does not make him "less Christian." "I don't think it [a same-sex union] should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state," said Obama. "If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans." [Just what exactly makes one of the great Pauline epistles "obscure"?] St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans condemns homosexual acts as unnatural and sinful.

Obama's mention of the Sermon on the Mount in justifying legal recognition of same-sex unions may have been a reference to the Golden Rule: "Do to others what you would have them do to you." Or it may have been a reference to another famous line: "Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

The Sermon, recorded in the Gospel of Matthew, includes the Lord's Prayer, the Beatitudes, an endorsement of scriptural moral commandments ("anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven"), and condemnations of murder, divorce and adultery. It also includes a warning: "Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves."

The passage from St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans, which Obama dismissed as "obscure," discusses people who knew God but turned against him: "They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised," wrote St. Paul. "Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion." .....

In Ohio on Sunday, before mentioning the Sermon on the Mount, Obama insisted he was against "gay marriage" and did not mention his support for allowing same-sex couples to adopt children and have the same "family" status as heterosexual couples. "I will tell you that I don't believe in gay marriage, but I do think that people who are gay and lesbian should be treated with dignity and respect and that the state should not discriminate against them," said Obama on Sunday. "So, I believe in civil unions that allow a same-sex couple to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other. I don't think it should be called marriage, but I think that it is a legal right that they should have that is recognized by the state. If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans. That's my view."

More here

Obama, Israel, and the Palestinians: Who are the rubes?

Is the Imperfect Vessel everything to everybody? We have already seen this week that with regard to NAFTA Barack Obama seems to have told Ohio voters one thing and Canadian diplomats another. Has he done the same thing with the Israelis and the Palestinians? Check out this interesting article from Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of The Electronic Intifada. A year ago Abuniemah reviewed Obama's many recent statements in support of Israel, but suggested that they did not reflect his genuine opinions:
Over the years since I first saw Obama speak I met him about half a dozen times, often at Palestinian and Arab-American community events in Chicago including a May 1998 community fundraiser at which Edward Said was the keynote speaker. In 2000, when Obama unsuccessfully ran for Congress I heard him speak at a campaign fundraiser hosted by a University of Chicago professor. On that occasion and others Obama was forthright in his criticism of US policy and his call for an even-handed approach to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The last time I spoke to Obama was in the winter of 2004 at a gathering in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood. He was in the midst of a primary campaign to secure the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate seat he now occupies. But at that time polls showed him trailing.

As he came in from the cold and took off his coat, I went up to greet him. He responded warmly, and volunteered, "Hey, I'm sorry I haven't said more about Palestine right now, but we are in a tough primary race. I'm hoping when things calm down I can be more up front." He referred to my activism, including columns I was contributing to the The Chicago Tribune critical of Israeli and US policy, "Keep up the good work!"

Assume, for a moment, that Ali Abunimah had genuine insight into Barack Obama's opinions four years ago. Is his recently expressed strong support for Israel fabricated? Is it permanent, or will he in fact "be more up front" after he is elected? Or, has Barack Obama actually changed his mind? Who are the rubes to be fooled this time?


Obama invents his own facts again

Post below lifted from Taranto. See the original for links

Obama criticized Clinton expressly for failing to read the classified National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq's weapons capabilities, a report available at the time of her October 2002 vote authorizing the Iraq war. "She didn't give diplomacy a chance. And to this day, she won't even admit that her vote was a mistake--or even that it was a vote for war," Obama said.

"When it came time to make the most important foreign policy decision of our generation the decision to invade Iraq Senator Clinton got it wrong," Obama said.

He said that Sen. Jay Rockefeller, a fellow Democrat from neighboring West Virginia, had read the intelligence estimate as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and had voted against the war resolution.

Rockefeller, who is now chairman of that committee, endorsed Obama on Friday and campaigned with him on Saturday.

Just one problem: As blogress Clarice Feldman points out, and as the Senate roll-call confirms, Rockefeller voted for the war. We guess it was too good to check!

Obama's political background is in shifty Chicago

On Tuesday, Barack Obama may well wrap up the Democratic nomination. Yet how he rose so quickly in Chicago's famously suspect politics -- and who his associates were there -- has received little scrutiny. That may change today as the trial of Antoin "Tony" Rezko, Mr. Obama's friend of two decades and his campaign fund-raiser, gets under way in federal court in Chicago. Mr. Rezko, a master fixer in Illinois politics, is charged with money laundering, attempted extortion, fraud and aiding bribery in an alleged multimillion dollar scheme shaking down companies seeking state contracts.

John McCain's dealings with lobbyists have properly come under a microscope; why not Mr. Obama's? Partly, says Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass, because the national media establishment has decided that Chicago's grubby politics interferes with the story line of hope they've set out for Mr. Obama. Former Washington Post reporter Tom Edsall, who now teaches journalism at Columbia University, told Canada's Globe & Mail that "reporters have sometimes allowed themselves to get too much caught up in [Obama] excitement." Then there are Chicago Republicans, loath to encourage the national party to pounce because some of their own leaders are caught in the Rezko mess.

For its part, the Democratic Party may once again nominate a first-time candidate they haven't fully vetted politically. Democrats flocked to Michael Dukakis in 1988, ignoring Al Gore's warnings about Willie Horton; later they were blindsided by revelations about Bill Clinton after he was elected president.

This year, Hillary Clinton made a clumsy attack on Mr. Rezko as a "slum landlord" during one debate. But her campaign has otherwise steered clear -- at least until last Friday, when Howard Wolfson, a top Clinton aide, suggested to reporters on a conference call that "the number of questions that we don't know the answers to about the relationship between Mr. Rezko and Mr. Obama is staggering." Mr. Obama's campaign told me they have answered all questions about Mr. Rezko and have no plans to release any further records.

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