Monday, March 03, 2008

Senator Obama and the Sermon on the Mount

As far as I can tell, in response to a question during Q&A sessions this past weekend in Ohio, Senator Obama noted that while he did not support same-sex marriage, he did favor granting same-sex couples civil rights such as transfer of property or visiting each other in hospital. He added (because the questioner was Pastor Leon Forte from Grace Christian Center in Athens, Ohio) that if people found that controversial, his position derived support from the Sermon on the Mount which he regarded as more important than an obscure passage in Romans.

We can be pretty sure he was referring to Romans 1. But he didn't clarify which parts of Matthew 5-7 he meant. And he didn't say that the Sermon on the Mount supported same-sex unions or same-sex marriage. That would be an astonishing argument. What he seems to have done is infer that Jesus' words in Matthew 5-7 did not exclude the possibility of recognizing that same-sex couples have legal rights and that Jesus' words should be given more weight than a few verses from Paul's letter to the Romans.


Jos76 said...

Most Fundamentalists are completely unaware of the historical context of the bible. They are just told what to believe, mostly by people who prey on them and have no theological training. Every theologian agrees on the importance of reading and understanding the Bible in its historical and cultural context. When considered in this way, the life of Jesus and everyone in the old testament is unimaginable in modern times, though the teaching of Jesus are beneficial when understood in our time in history. I am a convinced Christian and I don't agree (call me conservative) with all of the fundamentalists that promote murder, polygamy, torture, incest, and idol worship. If you want to be a Fundamentalist and disregard the historicity of the Bible, then you agree with all that is in it and thus know that many sanctioned people of God in the Old Testament had several wives, had sex with their children, and killed their relatives (the poor kids that did not obey their parents). Oh wait, you probably don't agree with that. It is convenient to use the historical argument for that, but not for the issue of homosexuality. Please worship God and follow Jesus out of love and devotion, rather than what is convenient for you.

Rev Dr Mom said...

It is interesting that he cited the sermon on the mount...I'm a big fan of it myself as instruction on discipleship, and I think Jesus' words should carry more weight than Paul's. I need to go read tsom again and see if I can follow his inference.

Lindy said...

He was just talking out his ass... He didn't know what to say so he said "Sermon On The Mount..." and since that sounds good and nobody much knows what's in there anyway he got away with it. Surly you've observed the same behavior in your priest. I wouldn't waste too much time trying to make it make sense.

Elements not Stages of Grief from the NY Review of Books

Jessica Weisberg Elisabeth K├╝bler-Ross later applied the same five stages she identified in the process of dying—denial, anger, bargaini...