Michael Brown in his latest column argues that President Obama is not a Christian because he supports gay equality and opposes the criminalization of abortion, and is “more a disciple of Saul Alinsky than of Jesus.” He compares Obama negatively to Martin Luther King, Jr., whom he said was a “great unifier” while Obama is the “great divider.”
Actually, King was not seen as a unifier during the highly contentious and divisive civil rights movement and not a popular figure, in fact in 1966 he was viewed unfavorably by 63 percent of Americans. King was neither a moderate nor religious right activist, as Brown suggests. In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail he sharply criticized religious “moderates” and he later spoke out against “the giant triplets of racism, materialism and militarism,” hardly “unifying” positions. And Brown himself may have found problems with King over his support for Planned Parenthood and his work with openly gay activist Bayard Rustin.
According to CNN writer John Blake, President Obama is “a religious pioneer” who, in the opinion of some scholars and pastors, is “also expanding the definition of who can be a Christian by challenging the religious right’s domination of the national stage.” 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.
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.
But Barack Obama is no Martin Luther King, as our president has proven himself to be a great divider whereas King was a great unifier. And King, for his part, would not have shouted “amen” to the sermons of Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s mentor, whose often shrill version of black liberation theology formed the ideological basis of Obama’s Christianity. With spiritual foundations like that, it is no wonder that the president could make the obscene comparison between “Christ sacrificing Himself on our behalf” and gay marriage.
In that regard, Obama is more a disciple of Saul Alinsky than of Jesus.