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Obama inauguration advances gay rights

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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President Barack Obama speaks during swearing-in ceremonies on the West front of the U.S Capitol in Washington, January 21, 2013 (Credit: Reuters/Jim Bourg)

President Obama’s inaugural address on Monday marked the first time in American history that a president has used this historic occasion to advance gay rights.  Mr. Obama stated, “The most evident of truths—that all of us are created equal—is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall.”  In the next paragraph, he added: “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law, for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well.”

“Seneca Falls” refers to an 1848 women’s rights conference in New York.  “Selma” refers to a 1965 civil rights march in Alabama demanding equality for black Americans.  “Stonewall” refers to 1969 riots protesting a police raid of a gay bar in New York City; many view the event as a catalyst for gay rights activism.

The logic of Mr. Obama’s assertion is questionable at best, in my view.  Do we really want to defend the assertion that “the love we commit to one another must be equal,” whatever that love is?  Would polygamy count?  Relations with minors?  As I have stated before, Mr. Obama is the first president in American history to advocate a position that is so clearly unbiblical.

My focus this morning is not on the merits of his position, but their influence.  Time magazine called his inaugural remarks “historic for gay Americans.”  Kate Kendell, executive director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, felt she and her friends were “witnesses to a liberation moment.”  She added: “For any civil rights movement to succeed, you need individuals who have access to power and who are willing to risk their power and their access and their political capital for you.”

She’s right.  As we saw yesterday, culture changes when people achieve their highest influence and then use that platform to advance their cause.  This strategy works, even when the cause is unbiblical.  So here’s my question: how will you use your influence today to advance biblical morality?  What issue has the Lord given you an opportunity to address?  How could you help your community and culture know and obey God’s word?

Scripture promises: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).  Conversely, the Lord warned Israel that if the nation rejected his word and will, “I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled” (Isaiah 5:5).

For those of us who love our country, is any cause more urgent than moral and spiritual awakening?