Barack Obama | Democratic Party | Election 2008 | News | Religion

Barack Obama Tells Crowd that Homophobia is Not Christian

Ben Smith at Politico reports on a question and answer session at a Barack Obama rally in Beaumont, Texas yesterday:

Obama_2"An interesting moment came when he was asked a question about LGBT rights and delivered an answer that seemed to suit the questioner, listing the various attributes — race, gender, etc. — that shouldn't trigger discrimination, to successive cheers. When he came to saying that gays and lesbians deserve equality, though, the crowd fell silent. So he took a different tack: 'Now I’m a Christian, and I praise Jesus every Sunday,' he said, to a sudden wave of noisy applause and cheers. 'I hear people saying things that I don’t think are very Christian with respect to people who are gay and lesbian,' he said, and the crowd seemed to come along with him this time."

Adds Smith: "The moment reminded me of a conversation I had recently with a senior figure in the national gay rights movement, who noted that Obama's deference to some black Christian discomfort with homosexuality — his refusal to dump the "ex-gay" gospel singer Donnie McClurkin from a tour — angered some gays and lesbians; but conversely, that his ability to sell gay rights in the black church is unique and appealing."

UPDATE — The video:

Selling Gay Rights [politico]

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  1. OK, to "Saint Paul" and "Church of Christ Membr"--this is exactly where people like you always seem to miss the point. The Bible may have references to homosexuality being a sin, that is true.

    HOWEVER, what is emphasized FAR more often by Jesus himself is that not one of us has the right to judge but God Himself. Remember the story of the adulteress, and Jesus asks that the one person who has no sin should be the one to cast the stone, and everyone leaves???

    People who call themselves Christian seem to miss this point. Jesus was very adamant about accepting ALL people, regardless of their sin. (Remember that we are ALL sinners???)

    Posted by: Brent | Mar 2, 2008 12:47:45 AM

  2. Saint Paul, that's the point. Christianity HAS been a game you make up as you go along for the past 2000+ years.

    The bible has been written and re-written many times. What makes the latest, watered down rendition the authority on all versions?

    Posted by: Eric | Mar 2, 2008 12:49:01 AM

  3. Who is Barack Obama to say what is and what is not Christian? He is a real jerk. What does everyone see in him?

    Posted by: kidwithsword | Mar 2, 2008 12:59:50 AM

  4. Is it just me saying that supporting gayness is very un-Christian. Anyone who has ever read the bible knows that if you are openly supporting a sin such as gay pride you are pretty much doomed unless you stop and repent. So ya, Mr. Obama, not reverend Obama, why don't you stop your brainwashing of these people by using their beliefs to trick them into what you know not.

    Posted by: Mike | Mar 2, 2008 1:10:05 AM

  5. Yo, I can agree and I can disagree. Though in the old testament it is considered a sin (or a curse/test as I and edgar see it) but the old testament also tells you to stone your children if they misbehave. You have to understand the old testament is much stricter because a) these were God's people b) this was used to have them shape up. You can't call Obama wrong for interpreting the Bible his way. I think at the core of it he is appealing to the core of christianity which is christ hood. Everyone is equal. You are your brother and your brother is your soul. If you see gays and lesbians, or sinners as enemies then follow christs words in luke and love your enemy. Someone also brought up a valid point of seperation of church and state. I do agee with this and obviously he is following suit and doing the right thing here. I know many are intimidated having a religious man in office (especially one that has a cross section of different kinds) but like i said I think his biggest goal is Christhood or selflessness which all religions can agree on (Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Ghandi, Edgar). I think he's a great man and all of those who think he's pandering for votes are retarded. It takes a real special guy to be selfless and about the people and people still try to twist it into something absurd and evil. If the man gets mass votes from being a great guy then so be it people.

    Posted by: orangeman | Mar 2, 2008 1:27:55 AM

  6. i agree with mike,

    this is a rediculous and blatent trick.

    i am all for the kindly treating of homosexuals.

    you want to know why?

    because they are human beings!
    and for no other reason!

    this article has a misleading title as well.

    a phobia is an IRRATIONAL fear.

    how does having an Irrational fear unchristian.

    though that was just the title.

    and its rediculous to me that obama can go to church every sunday and believe in equal rights for gays.

    clearly, he needs to stop thinking about his image(because it is clearly mostly what he cares about seeing as how he always finds a way to himself look good) and start actually reading the bible.

    a good place to start would be the beginning.

    where god made adam and eve.
    (and yes.... not steve)

    i probably sound like a dick.

    i dont care.

    because well i dont care.

    everyones to worried about who they might offend than to actually have a real belief anymore.

    and also because i see homosexuality as a sin,

    no different than lying or not obeying your parents or murder or adultery.

    now in our society we dont treat the murderers or the child molesters very fairly now do we?

    our culture unfortunatly sees these people like they have lost all rights.

    in fact we see it as that they themselves have stripped their own rights.

    why should we have to make special treatment for them if we dont for murderers.

    its rediculous.

    obama is rediculous.

    every presidential nominee since the beggining of time has promised change.

    are you really going to believe it?.......again?

    Posted by: kevin | Mar 2, 2008 1:51:29 AM

  7. to keep it brief...

    Jesus loves and accepts all to come as they are, sins aren't going to disappear once one accepts Jesus.

    It is un-Christian to be disrespectful or treat homosexuals different than any other person.

    HOWEVER, it is un-Christian to act as if homosexuality is ok and to ignore the sin, instead of helping out those struggling with it.

    Jesus loves everyone, not their sins. So should we.

    Posted by: Chri | Mar 2, 2008 1:58:11 AM

  8. Congrats, Andy, on getting dugg!

    Posted by: Lia | Mar 2, 2008 2:08:52 AM

  9. I think when people hear the word "religion" they associate the entirity of it to only God and coverting (or condemning) people rather than the ethics and morals behind the actual belief. I don't believe in God, but I think religion is a good sort positive education (when relating it to morals and ethics about being a good neighbor etc. etc. There are lot of things I disagree with, but the general meaning behind what it was supposed to be is nice).

    And to a lot of people, I think that Barack stating he goes to church every sunday is a good way to win brownie points and comfort the people who enjoy that idea.

    And at Kevin who was bitching about change: It's the work of every President throughout the years that have built America. It has changed a lot -- just because you don't see it with one man doesn't mean that you won't see the results of your choice as who to make President fifty years from now. Change is a gradual thing; small things put together to make a big picture at the end.

    Posted by: Isabelle | Mar 2, 2008 2:10:36 AM

  10. 1. Whenever right-wing nuts drag out the "homophobia only means irrational fear and we're prefectly rational" nonsense, you know they've already lost the debate. It also reveals that they haven't updated their library in decades.

    If you look at the latest entry in Merriam-Webster you will notice that irrational fear is only one of three possible usages. The others are "aversion to" and "discrimination against" homosexuality or homosexuals. Even the more conservative American Heritage dictionary has "contempt for gay men and lesbians" as an alternative usage.

    Any linguist will tell you that the meaning of words aren't fixed. That's what we don't all talk like Geoffrey Chaucher.

    2. Political motivated "preachers" (snake oil salesmen) claiming to speak for a person who's been dead for 2,000 years makes about as much sense as me saying:

    "I have received a vision from China's First Emperor Qin Shi-Huang. And he disapproves of stem cell research and loves tax cuts. That's right, the exalted SON OF HEAVEN commands that you support the Bush tax cuts. Moreover, the holy LORD OF TEN THOUSAND YEARS has reviewed all the scientific evidence from genetic research, and he has concluded that stem cells are babies."

    Posted by: John | Mar 2, 2008 2:59:16 AM

  11. While I agree that Christians are to "walk in love" and "love thy neighbor", that doesn't mean that Christians are to support Gay activities or homosexual behavior. We are to love these people as Christ loves them. We need only to show them the truth, that homosexuality is immoral and unnatural behavior. Beyond that, we have to be Christ like. Hate is not Christ like. As a Christian, I do not support the things that some so called Christians are doing at military funerals and such. I am what you might call a evangelical Christian. I am non-denominational and base my faith on Jesus's way of living as should all Christians. If it's religion versus relationship, then I am down with religion. A relationship with Christ is much more important than an organization. Jesus didn't come to this Earth to give us religion.

    Posted by: BrokenCrystal | Mar 2, 2008 5:18:01 AM

  12. I'm not gay, but I'm bi. I have lots of gay and bi friends.

    I'm going to be the first to say that the second Ron Paul has his way, it's going to be illegal for gays to have sex in 20 states, and illegal to have abortions in 11.

    So yea, you RP people REALLY know how to support this Union of the States. Instead, RP people wish to have a separatist colony system. "Leave it for the states to decide. Get the Federal Gov't out of the decision making process."

    Yea, THAT will work. Y'know, you RP supporters should really spend some time in the bible belt. They'll really love your point of views.

    Posted by: shadowspawn | Mar 2, 2008 7:03:10 AM

  13. Shane: The concept of marriage wasn't invented by christians and it is slightly different in different cultures. Plus, who cares if the meaning of a word changes to include more people? To us no christians what the Bible "affords" us or not is meaningless.

    I believe homophobia is christian, it is in the Bible. So is sexism and elitism. Therefore Christian = Not necessarily a good thing.

    kidwithsword: Ironic that you talk about Obama brainwashing people who are christians, since they've already been brainwashed by whatever church they belong to.

    BTW Obama's christianity is most likely an act. Him and people like Hillary aren't stupid, so religion is most likely an instrument for them to get votes.

    Posted by: Pepe | Mar 2, 2008 11:55:41 AM

  14. By shane I mean Church of Christ Membr and by kidwithsword I mean Mike, I thought the name went above the comment, my mistake.

    Posted by: Pepe | Mar 2, 2008 11:58:31 AM

  15. Youtube'd:

    Posted by: Pepe | Mar 2, 2008 12:48:03 PM

  16. I am a Christian. There are many homophobic men in my Church. The interesting thing is that the men who are most vocal about being anti-gay, are the most effeminate men in my church. They also set off my gaydar in a big way.

    The more someone protests homosexuality, and argues that homosexuality is a sin, the more gay they seem to most people. There is a rather large group of people my church who have discussed this outside of Sunday Church Services, and we all agree that many Anti-Gay Christians are repressed homosexuals who are struggling with their own urges.

    There is such a significant correlation between anti-gay Christians and repressed homosexuality, that it is also a Truism that all anti-gay Christian men are closet homosexuals.

    There is more than enough evidence in the growing list of Christian Anti-Gay crusaders who are eventually outed as Gay.

    In the city where I live, many anti-gay Christian men are busted for soliciting undercover police officers posing as male prostitutes.

    I suspect that the news coming out of the 2008 Republican National Convention will provide additional evidence to support the trend that many anti-gay Christian men are closeted homosexuals. News reports have already indicated that many male prostitutes will be traveling to Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN for the Republican National Convention. Some people speculate that many male prostitutes will be in Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN during the Republican National Convention in 2008 because there will be a very large group of anti-gay Republican Christians who have no other outlet for their true homosexual identity, except to seek out companionship from male prostitutes under the cover of night.

    Conversely, both Minneapolis and St.Paul police forces may be ramping up their sting efforts to catch all of the repressed homosexuals Christian Republicans who will be feverishly seeking the companionship of a male prostitute.

    This type of behavior is unhealthy and risky, but if you are an anti-gay Christian Republican on the outside, but a gay man starved for companionship of other men on the inside, then often times the only outlet they are comfortable with is Male Prostitution.

    Many male escorts are aware of this, therefore they see significant opportunity to profit from all of the Anti-Gay Christian Republicans who will be seeking male companionship during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul / Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    Posted by: William | Mar 2, 2008 1:49:06 PM

  17. "its rediculous.

    obama is rediculous."

    Somebody needs to spend less time obsessing about homosexuality and more time with their spellcheck.

    Posted by: Ernie | Mar 2, 2008 1:55:55 PM

  18. I see some of you need more information about Obama beyond his efforts to big about unity amoung all americans. I was an Edward supporter and I thought about supporting Hillary because I am a woman but I thought I would get all the facts. Here are some of the facts.

    Barack has stood up for the poor people, latinos, gays, blacks, and white.

    Barack is not the same old. Here are a few more examples.

    1. Unlike most other Democrats, Obama had the guts and judgment to come out against the Iraq war when it counted.

    2. He doesn’t take lobbyist money. The others in the race do.

    3. Barack is for transparency and ethics in government. He puts his money where his mouth is. He sponsored key ethics legislation. Lobbyist bundling is now on the Internet for all to see. All our taxpayer dollars that go to contractors also are accounted for down to the dollar. He has disclosed his own tax returns in this election.

    4. He doesn’t have a history of going for tens and tens of millions in personal wealth. He and Michelle are worth less than 1/30th of the Clintons, who have socked away Dick Cheney level wealth from their government service, not to mention their half a billion dollar charity. Obama never served on the Wal-Mart board like Hillary Clinton, who was silent on discrimination, union and import issues when she did and then the Clintons opened up trade to China and Nafta. He doesn’t have a history of so many scandals (I know I know, the Clintons are completely innocent of course).

    5. Obama has shown great management ability in running a steady, well funded consistent campaign against huge opposition. He has been consistent, tried to refrain from cheap shots like the Jessie Jackson comment or Hillary’s fearmongering that the terrorists will attack if we elect Obama, that Hillary Clinton is not ready to be President, that she needs to “get real”, or that he is a plagiarist when she has borrowed just as many words from others. He taps into the positive, like hope and unity. That is how real change gets started.

    6. Barack understands that we need to reach out to the world. He knows America can’t just sit back and wait for the world to prove itself to us by fulfilling conditions we dictate after we have done so many things to diminish the world’s respect for us. We need preparation and an agreed upon agenda before our next President meets with our enemies, for sure, but we don’t need to go demanding how they should run their country before we even sit down to discuss our demands in an agreed upon agenda.

    7. He has a tremendous, broad base of support. He gets Independents and even some Republicans. One of John McCain’s campaign managers even said he would resign before he helps McCain to run against Obama. He drives a ton of young people to the polls.

    8. He has charisma. The “cult” attacks on him are silly. We want a President with good ideas who is popular. Not a President with good ideas who is not popular, like Carter.

    9. He has a plan in foreign policy. Get out of Iraq. Shore up Afghanistan. Focus on getting bin Ladin and his henchmen. Stop nuclear proliferation - he would buy up the rogue materials that Bush refuses to buy up so that the likes of Warren Buffet are left to give handouts to do it.

    10. He is the most electable. According to most recent stats, he polls 3 or 4 points ahead of McCain, while Hillary trails McCain by about the same.

    There are no guarantees. To me he shows the most promise of any Presidential candidate for a long time.

    Posted by: Maria | Mar 2, 2008 2:02:12 PM

  19. Old Testament:
    “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination,” Lev. 18:22.

    F"or truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:18-19

    You can challenge how The Bible has been translated and modified over the centuries, in which case we know NOTHING about what Jesus or Moses really said.

    Posted by: Pepe | Mar 2, 2008 4:11:41 PM

  20. Good Lord, did Towleroad get a link from the judgementalist wing-nut-o-sphere?

    You "love the sinner hate the sin" hypocrites need to get your own houses in order. You are not Christians. You are nothing more than self-righteous, moralizing, hypocritical Pharisees and Sadducees. Just like the ONLY people that Christ is recorded to have condemned and the only people that he called jackals.

    Go back to WingNutDaily where your compassion trolling will be appreciated.

    Posted by: Zeke | Mar 2, 2008 11:16:15 PM

  21. Oh, and be sure to tell everybody back at the site that linked you here that a mean ole, ungodly, anti-Christian, family hatin, 'Murka hatin, homa-sek-shul attacked you just because you were tryin to tell 'em how much you loved him in spite of his sin and perversion.

    That should certainly earn you some martyr points for your crown in heaven.

    Lord knows how you people love to play martyr.

    Posted by: Zeke | Mar 2, 2008 11:21:09 PM

  22. Thank you, Obama!!! Thank You!!! Believe me, I love change. I love National Healthcare. I love not giving tax cuts to companies that outsource overseas.

    Right now, most of all, I love that ir is 2 days until the Texas primary and a very difficult decision has now been made. Despite my appreciation for all issues and their importance on a nationwide level, I am very much attached to the issue of homosexuality. Thank you for speaking to me, Senator Obama. I love change, but I love inclusion as well.

    Posted by: brian | Mar 2, 2008 11:56:48 PM

  23. In Luke 6:37, Jesus says: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven."

    Those who condemn homosexuals *WILL BURN IN HELL*. Jesus says so. He also says to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you", and "love your neighbour as yourself". Even more, "love your enemy".

    Those who spread hatred and discrimination against homosexuals might be many things, but they are not in line with the Gospel as preached by Jesus. That is what Obama is getting at.

    Those who quote Leviticus with regard to homosexuality are also on a slippery slope. The Pharisees religiously and slavishly devoted themselves to obeying every rule in the Torah, and there is no group that is treated more harshly by Jesus. Their legalistic observation of the Book of the Law and ignorance of the Law of Love earned them nothing but contempt from the Christ.

    The Bible is useful for training in righteousness. It contains the medicine for helping us flawed humans begin to escape the bondage of sin. Yet it is also sharper than any double-edged sword, and will cut you if you are not careful. As Christians, in love, we absolutely *MUST* carefully guard the Sword so that those who are unwary are not hurt by it.

    Posted by: Psylight | Mar 3, 2008 2:21:11 AM

  24. From out of the blue dept..
    I am a Caucasian/Native American who follows the path of Wicca, and is an out and proud Bisexual man in Oklahoma (one of the reddest states in our wonderful country..) My mind is made up. Hillary or Obama. period. The reality is that either of them will trump McCain without a hitch. Ignore the mudslinging, the propaganda, and simply push for either of these two. All of the rest of the candidates truly represent our reprehensible past. Who knows, Hill may just be selected to be his VP. now, wouldn't that be something! ^_^ We as a democratic force need to collect and concentrate our energies on restoring our progressive vector that we have lost ages ago. If we fail, I truly fear our great nation will be no longer.. and join the ranks of other failed empires.. (Does the fall of Rome ring a bell, anyone??)
    peace, take care, and take care of someone else.....

    Posted by: crysstaafur | Mar 3, 2008 3:32:01 AM

  25. Personally, I am not a Christian, as Gandhi said, "I very much desired to be a Christian, until I met one", he also said "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians." Please do not tell me I must live my live according to your Christian beliefs. I treat people well and expect the same back. My rights are guaranteed by the Constitution, and I will vote for the candidate that will most likely support my rights. Obama.

    Posted by: Ric | Mar 3, 2008 1:58:51 PM

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