Tuesday, October 13, 2009

On the Errors of Obama

Source: The White House - Press Office - Remarks by the President at Human Rights Campaign Dinner

Many people are of the impression that Obama is really friendly and willing to listen to people of faith.  Then Obama does something which shows this faith in this impression is groundless.  That what he really stands for is light years away from what the Christian faith requires.

In this address, posted on the White House web page and not on some right wing blog, Obama tells the audience that those of us who believe in the authenticity of Christian teaching are the intolerant bigots which he is trying to save America from.

He starts off by telling his audience:

Thank you so much, all of you. It is a privilege to be here tonight to open for Lady GaGa. (Applause.) I've made it. (Laughter.) I want to thank the Human Rights Campaign for inviting me to speak and for the work you do every day in pursuit of equality on behalf of the millions of people in this country who work hard in their jobs and care deeply about their families -- and who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. (Applause.)

For nearly 30 years, you've advocated on behalf of those without a voice. That's not easy. For despite the real gains that we've made, there's still laws to change and there's still hearts to open. There are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors, even loved ones -- good and decent people -- who hold fast to outworn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; who would deny you the rights most Americans take for granted. And that's painful and it's heartbreaking. (Applause.) And yet you continue, leading by the force of the arguments you make, and by the power of the example that you set in your own lives -- as parents and friends, as PTA members and church members, as advocates and leaders in your communities. And you're making a difference.

The fact is, homosexuals have the same rights as Heterosexuals in America.  They can vote, can own property, can hold jobs.  They can even marry… people of the other gender.  The issue of course is what marrying someone of the same gender means.

Obama makes use of a logical fallacy right off the back, that because an argument is old, it is invalid.  This is a false and dangerous way of looking at things.  What matters is whether the argument is true.  Obama is operating under the following reasoning:

  1. Marriage is about sex
  2. There is no difference between enjoying heterosexual or homosexual activity
  3. Therefore anyone opposed to homosexual marriage does so out of intolerance of homosexuality.

Except the proponents of traditional marriage would reject proposition #1.  Marriage is not about sex.  It is about family and unity of two spouses.  Laws about marriage are to protect the institution of the family, the right of the spouses to generate life from each other and to raise children according to their beliefs.

The so-called "Homosexual marriage" carries none of these elements.  Without an outside third party, procreation is not even biologically possible (which differs from the infertile heterosexual couple who can at least perform the act of procreation as it was intended to be), which means both the elements of procreation and unity of spouses would be absent in a homosexual "marriage."

St. Thomas Aquinas recognized the fact that the marriage act required marriage to be valid:

Now the marriage goods are the cause of rectitude in the marriage act. Therefore the marriage act cannot be excused without them.

Further, the aforesaid act does not differ from the act of fornication except in the aforesaid goods. But the act of fornication is always evil. Therefore the marriage act also will always be evil unless it be excused by the aforesaid goods.

I answer that, Just as the marriage goods, in so far as they consist in a habit, make a marriage honest and holy, so too, in so far as they are in the actual intention, they make the marriage act honest, as regards those two marriage goods which relate to the marriage act. Hence when married persons come together for the purpose of begetting children, or of paying the debt to one another (which pertains to faith) they are wholly excused from sin. But the third good does not relate to the use of marriage, but to its excuse, as stated above (A3); wherefore it makes marriage itself honest, but not its act, as though its act were wholly excused from sin, through being done on account of some signification. Consequently there are only two ways in which married persons can come together without any sin at all, namely in order to have offspring, and in order to pay the debt. otherwise it is always at least a venial sin. (Summa Theologica: Supplement Q49 A5)

We would be wise to consider the 13th century, and not make the fallacy of the argument from time as Obama does.  Certain acts, such as Rape, Child Abuse, Prostitution and fornication etc. do indeed involve the same physical act as the marriage act but they are not under the same meaning of the marriage act.  St. Thomas Aquinas tells us that what makes these acts good are the openness to life (one cannot help if one is infertile, but one needs to be open to the possibility of life) and as an act of love for the spouse (which is what "marriage debt" means).  Acts of lust, using one's spouse for sexual gratification etc, are an abuse of the marriage act.

Obama acts under the assumption that opposition to homosexual marriage is the same thing as opposition to the civil rights of racial minorities in America, but this is a false analogy.  The racial laws of America were unjust because they denied to a person of a different ethnicity to do the same things as another ethnicity.  It is quite possible for a white man and a black female to marry and to raise a family, and laws denying this are in fact unjust.

However, Gender is not the same as race and homosexual marriage is not the same thing as interracial marriage.  Whether a man be Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic or Black, he is still a man.  Whether a woman be Caucasian, Asian, Hispanic or Black, she is still a woman.  A man of one race and a woman of another race are still a man and a woman.  Two women "marrying" or two men "marrying" are not a man and a woman.

As I said above, homosexuals are free to vote regardless of their sexual orientation.  However during America's racial discrimination, blacks were not free to vote.  The opposition to interracial marriage was unjust because it restricted which men could marry which women.

A ≠ B

Since A does not equal B, Obama's attempting to equate opposition to homosexual marriage to opposition to civil rights is fallacious.

The problem we as Christians now face with Obama is that he stands in opposition to what we in fact believe.  Now he is free to reject the teachings of the Christian faith of course.  But since he has set himself in opposition to what we believe, we do need to stand up for our faith as Christians and withstand him to his face.

We believe that what God commands, He does not for a sense of being nasty or petty but for our own good.  We believe that what God commands is rational, and can be understood from reason.  We must pray for his conversion of course, but we must also be willing to suffer for the truth.  If Obama calls us intolerant, if he equates us with segregationists, it is of course a slander of us.  We may be persecuted, or we may not.  However, we know who our Lord and Master is, and our duty is to Him first, and to the state only to the extent that the state does not contradict God.

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