Dear Skyline Community church members and friends,
God is still speaking! This week, President Obama gave his unwavering support of marriage equality. Like many of us, his views have ‘evolved’ over time, and he has come to his own understanding of what full equality means. Long a proponent of civil unions, Mr. Obama said his views had changed in part because of prodding by friends who are gay and by conversations with his wife and daughters.
He is quoted in the New York Times as saying, “I had hesitated on gay marriage in part because I thought that civil unions would be sufficient. I was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the word marriage was something that invokes very powerful traditions and religious beliefs.” The article goes on to state that Mr. Obama also invoked his Christian faith in explaining his decision, and quoted him further as saying, “The thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the golden rule – you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids, and that’s what motivates me as president.”
I am lifting this up to you as a community because not only does the President provide an example of the kind of progressive Christianity that we embrace at Skyline Community Church but also because of what his statement means to so many. He is the first sitting president to make such a bold statement and while states like North Carolina this week march in the opposite direction of equality, it is incredibly important to have this kind of support from the White House. I know what a difference this statement makes to young people all across our nation who wonder if they will be able to live their dreams.
For our young people today, President Obama, from one of the most powerful offices in the world, affirmed that whoever you are, wherever life’s journey leads you, you should have a place in this country, and that your love and your life matters.
While the political fury has already begun and the pundits are analyzing the risks and benefits, I am taking this time for gratitude, for how far we have come, and for the difference I know it makes in so many lives.
As your pastor, I am proud to be a progressive Christian today, and proud to be part of a community where one of our guiding principles is “evolving” for we are all on this journey together.
Here is a great article challenging religious institutions to learn from past cycles of religiously inspired oppression of other groups of people. Proud to be an open and affirming congregation, and members of the first denomination to ordain an openly gay man.