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Barack Obama’s Jesus gambit

Lost in the hubbub over Barack Obama’s embrace of same-sex marriage was the president’s offering of a bold new approach to the Gospels.

In the “Audacity of Hope,” Obama writes, “When I read the Bible, I do so with the belief that it is not a static text but the Living Word and that I must be continually open to new revelations.”

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the...

English: Barack Obama delivers a speech at the University of Southern California (Video of the speech) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Not surprisingly, this approach almost perfectly mirrors the progressive take on the United States Constitution, which Obama describes as “not a static but rather a living document, and must be read in the context of an ever-changing world.”

As shall be seen, however, Obama has found much more wiggle room in the Living Word than he has in the not so lively constitutions of the individual states or of these United States.

In 1996, about a decade after finding Jesus chez Rev. Wright, Obama told a gay newspaper, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.”

By 1998, the ambitious Obama had sobered up. With an eye on higher office, he was now “undecided” on the issue. By 2004, the would-be U.S. senator was telling that same gay newspaper, “I am not a supporter of gay marriage.”

For an ordinary politician these might seem like conventional flip-flops, but for “The One” this was all groundwork for a unique reassessment of the Living Word.

The 2006 “Audacity of Hope” offered a sneak preview of the reassessment. “As a Christian,” Obama explained, he had to “remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided.”

Obama clarified that he “may have been infected with society’s prejudices and predilections and attributed them to God; that Jesus’ call to love one another might demand a different conclusion.”

As far as I can tell, this is Obama’s first threat to use the “Jesus” gambit – that is an appeal to a personal Jesus willing to override the rest of the Bible, Old Testament and New.

In August 2008, at Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, that “different conclusion” was put on hold. “I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman,” the traditionalist Obama said to much applause. “Now, for me as a Christian, it’s also a sacred union. God’s in the mix.”

For a Christian, yes, God is very much in the mix. Among the many wondrous things Jesus Christ does not get sufficient credit for is the institution of traditional marriage.

Mark 10:1-10 tells the story of how the Pharisees tested Jesus, asking whether it was lawful for a man to divorce his wife. They pointed out that Moses had allowed for just such a possibility.

“Because of the hardness of your heart [Moses] wrote you that precept,” Jesus replied. Then, citing Genesis, Jesus introduced an essential new understanding of God’s plan for man:

For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife. And they two shall be in one flesh. Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder…………………

EXCERPT

via Barack Obama’s Jesus gambit.

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