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Obama’s Coming War on Historic Christianity over Homosexual Practice and Abortion 

by Robert A. J. Gagnon, Ph.D. 

Nov. 3, 2008

 For printing use the pdf version here

If Obama is elected President this Tuesday he has made it a priority of his administration to pass legislation that will make war against Christians and persons of other religious convictions who believe that homosexual practice and abortion are immoral acts. Persecution will take many forms, as indicated by actions that have already taken place in parts of the United States, Canada, and Western Europe:  

  • Compulsory indoctrination of our children in schools (kindergarten up), as also of ourselves in the workplace, that abortion and especially homosexual practice are moral and civil “rights” and that their opponents are bigots to be excluded from polite society. As regards their children in the public schools, there will be no parental notification or opt-out provisions. For examples go here, here, here, here, here, here.

  • Job discrimination, termination, and the imposition of fines on people who express contrary views toward homosexual practice within, and even outside, the workplace. For examples go here (pp. 10-17), here, here, here, here.

  • Forced subsidization of abortion and homosexual unions through taxes.

  • Forced offering of goods and services that directly advance and promote homosexual practice and abortion, irrespective of the degree to which the conscience of the provider may be violated. This includes, but is not limited to, adoption services and foster parenting, health care providers and counselors, justices of the peace, those who provide wedding services, the legal profession, print shops, and indeed all businesses with employees. For examples, go here, here, here, here, here, here (second half), here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

  • Severe restrictions in broadcasting and the print media against “homophobic” utterances as civil rights violations that would incur financial penalties and loss of license. Limitations would also extend to free speech in the marketplace. For examples go here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

  • Sanctions against Christian colleges and seminaries that allow “discrimination” against “gay, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgenders,” involving fines, loss of federal funds for student loans and research, loss of tax exemptions, and even loss of accreditation. In short, what happened to Bob Jones University over racial issues will happen to all Christian institutions that tolerate “homophobic” attitudes and practices on campus.

Persons who express the view that homosexual practice is immoral will be particular targets of persecution. They will be likened to virulent racists and their civil liberties will be attenuated accordingly. The appropriate comparison here is not to the limited toleration that currently exists for moderately different views on the role of women in the home and in the church. While Scripture contains many positive views about women, it treats homosexual practice as a gross violation of foundational sexual ethics. To combat such “hatred,” which allegedly puts homosexual persons at risk of violence, the state will practice a “zero” tolerance policy, citing as an analogy the state’s reaction to anyone who denies black persons their rights or vocalizes a racist opinion. The analogy is, of course, absurd because, unlike homosexual impulses, being black is not an impulse to do what Scripture expressly forbids or what nature shows to be structurally incongruous but rather is a 100% heritable, absolutely immutable, primarily non-behavioral condition that is therefore inherently benign. However, logic here will be irrelevant to the enforcers of “sexual orientation” laws. Proponents of a homosexualist agenda have been making an analogy to racism for decades. Don’t be surprised when the analogy is codified into law.  

How can Christians, as well as other persons who share similar values, vote for a candidate who wants to persecute them for their views and to compel them, against their consciences and subject to civil penalties, to be indoctrinated and participate in the affirmation of immoral practices? In short, how can Christians vote for someone who will insure society’s regard for them as bigots? Many persons of faith who rightly recognize homosexual practice and abortion to be moral evils have justified support for Obama on the basis of one or more of the following assumptions:  

(1) Obama is not so hard-left in his views in the areas of homosexual practice and abortion.

(2) Even if Obama were hard-left on these issues it would be politically impossible to pass hard-left legislation.

(3) Even if a “sea change” of hard-left legislation on homosexual practice and abortion occurred, leading to the persecution of those who think differently, other issues justify a vote for Obama.  


Obama’s Will and Power to Bring about a Legal Sea Change on Homosexual Practice and Abortion 

Let’s take the second assumption first. If Obama is elected, the Democrats will almost certainly control both the House and Senate, and do so by comfortable margins. The 2008 Democratic National Platform is strongly supportive of homosexual and abortion “rights” and “opposes any and all efforts to weaken or undermine” these rights (pp. 50-52). What will stop Obama from implementing his agenda? He only needs a simple majority in both houses of Congress. With a Democratic-controlled Congress and an opportunity for Obama to appoint up to five Supreme Court justices and numerous federal court appointments during his tenure as President, everything Obama wants in these two areas he will get. This will result in a “sea change” in morals in this country and a wave of intolerance for those who cannot accept this sea change. 

Now as to the first assumption: “Obama is a moderate man in his views on homosexual practice and abortion.” Obama was ranked the most left-of-center Senator in 2007 by the non-partisan National Journal, assessing 99 votes made by Obama that year (his running mate Joe Biden, finished third, just edged out for second place). This hard-left standing is certainly secure as regards his stances on homosexual practice and abortion.  

As regards homosexual practice:  

  • Obama wants to do everything that he can to foist “gay marriage” on all 50 states. Obama wants the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act repealed, going so far as to call it “abhorrent” even though its main purpose is merely to prevent “gay marriage” adopted in one state from being foisted on all other states. In Obama's own words: “Unlike Senator [Hillary] Clinton, I support the complete repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)—a position I have held since before arriving in the U.S. Senate. While some say we should repeal only part of the law, I believe we should get rid of that statute altogether.” Under Obama’s influence, the 2008 Democratic National Platform also calls for its full removal (p. 52). Obama also strongly opposes California’s Proposition 8, which merely limits the definition of marriage to a “marriage between a man and a woman,” and any other amendment to a state constitution that would prevent the courts from arbitrarily imposing “gay marriage” on the people. He says that he “respects” the California Supreme Court decision foisting “gay marriage” on the state and opposes any federal constitutional amendment to define marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Obama strongly endorses granting every single marriage benefit to homosexual unions.

  • Federal “sexual orientation” legislations. Obama states, “I will place the weight of my administration” behind the passage of every “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” (i.e. transsexual) special-protections law imaginable, including “hate crimes” legislation (which will make every statement against homosexual practice and transsexualism an alleged “incitement to violence” that will hold the speaker legally liable), “employment non-discrimination” legislation (which turns out to be “employment discrimination” legislation against any who disapprove of a homosexualist agenda in the workplace), removing the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in the military (meaning now that all military personnel must now embrace homosexual practice in their midst), and full adoption rights (making no distinction whatsoever between homosexual and heterosexual families, even though the former is constituted by immoral behavior and almost invariably ends in short-term dissolution). “Sexual orientation” laws constitute state endorsement of homosexual practice as a valid form of sexual union deserving special societal protection. Imagine a “sexual orientation” law broadened to include two other sexual orientations, polysexuality (inclination toward sexual relationships with more than one person concurrently) and pedosexuality (or pedophilia). Few would stand for it because such a law would be rightly recognized as establishing official state endorsement. Sexual orientation laws encompassing homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality by definition make civil and cultural bigots of everyone who espouses a male-female prerequisite to sexual relations, in the workplace, at school, in the media, and throughout the public sector.

  • Obama’s and Biden’s big lie: “We do not support gay marriage.” Obama and Biden have attempted to deceive the public by claiming that they are only for granting civil unions that contain all the civil benefits of marriage without the name “marriage.” It is impossible for any reasonable person acting reasonably to oppose every attempt at preventing courts or other states from imposing “gay marriage” on a state, to insist on the full equality of homosexual unions to marriage, and then to claim non-support for “gay marriage.” It is a big lie. In his book, The Audacity of Hope (Crown, 2006), Obama coyly stated that he wanted “to remain open to the possibility that my unwillingness to support gay marriage is misguided.” This “unwillingness” was, at any rate, based only on political expediency, not moral conviction, for he gave as his reason for not advocating for “gay marriage” only this: “In the absence of any meaningful consensus, the heightened focus on marriage [is] a distraction from other attainable measures to prevent discrimination against gays and lesbians” (p. 222). In short, if “gay marriage” were “attainable” without doing harm to his own political aspirations or to other homosexualist goals, he would come out in favor of “gay marriage.” As soon as he becomes President with a Democratic-controlled Congress he will “discover” his former “unwillingness to support gay marriage” to be “misguided.” This is clear also from a presentation that he made before the so-called “Human Rights Campaign” (the country’s major homosexualist organization) where he compared the withholding of “gay marriage” to miscegenation laws in the South in the early 1960s (for video go here):


I would have supported, and will continue to support, a civil union that provides all the benefits that are available for a legally sanctioned marriage and it is then, as I said, up to religious denominations to make a determination as to whether they want to recognize that as marriage or not.


[Homosexual questioner cuts in: “But on the grounds of civil marriage can you see to our community (i.e., the gay community) where that comes across as sounding like ‘Separate but equal’?”]


Well, look, you know, when my parents got married in 1960, ‘61, it would have been illegal for them to be married in a number of states in the South. So obviously this is something that I understand intimately. It is something that I care about. But I will also say this: If I were advising the civil rights movement back in 1961 about its approach to civil rights, I would have probably said that it is less important that we focus on an anti-miscegenation law than we focus on a voting rights law and a non-discrimination employment law and all the legal rights that are conferred by the state. Now it is not for me to suggest that you shouldn’t be troubled by these issues. I understand that and am sympathetic to it. But my job as President is going to be to make sure that the legal rights that have consequences on a day-to-day basis for loving same-sex couples all across the country that those rights are recognized and enforced by my White House and by my Justice Department. (emphases mine) 

To compare the legal requirement of marriage between a man and a woman to miscegenation laws in the American South prior to the late 1960s, as Obama does here, certainly indicates that Obama believes that “gay marriage” is a moral necessity. His only reason for delaying public support for “gay marriage” is a tactical reason (i.e., not wanting to make passage of other “gay rights” legislation more difficult when there is as-yet insufficient support in the country for “gay marriage”), not a moral reason.

  • What to expect in  the first half-year of Obama’s administration on homosexual issues. Obama has made it a priority in the first months of office—taking a page from Bill Clinton’s playbook with regard to the military—to get passed in the Democratic-controlled Congress a series of “sexual orientation” laws that will make clear the state’s endorsement of homosexual unions, offer special legal protections to such unions, provide civil penalties against those who oppose the legitimizing of homosexual unions, and extend all the benefits of marriage to homosexual unions. At the same time he will get Congress to remove the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which is the only thing preventing the application of the “Full Faith and Credit Clause” of the Constitution to require that “gay marriage” adopted in one state be respected and accepted in all other states. Within two years all states would be required to accept “gay marriage,” which carries with it the ultimate governmental and cultural seal of approval. All newspapers will have to post “gay weddings.” Any time the subject of marriage is taught in schools or institutions of higher learning “gay marriage” will have to be embraced as the law of the land and as equal in all respects to male-female marriages. Churches that allow couples to use their buildings to get married will have their tax-exempt status put at risk for not allowing “gay marriages.” Those who believe in a male-female prerequisite for marriage are immediately institutionalized civilly and cultural as bigots. American society is not likely ever, this side of heaven, to return to the view that homosexual unions are intrinsically immoral.

As regards abortion (see further the online articles by Robert George and George Weigel): 

  • Obama would be the most extreme abortionist ever elected to high office. Obama as a state legislator was so extreme on this issue that he opposed the Born Alive Act—which would mandate medical aid to infants who an abortion—even when assurances were given that it would not impact abortion law. Even when all the major abortion groups supported it Obama continued to oppose it. And Obama and his campaign staff repeatedly lied about his actions here and attempted to cover it up.

  • According to Obama, “The first thing that I’d do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act.” This act, with one stroke of the President’s pen, would throw out every state and national pro-life law. It would establish abortion as a “fundamental right” for all nine months of pregnancy for any unspecified “health” reasons. It would strike down parental notification laws, non-use of taxpayer money to fund abortions, conscience clauses to protect health-care workers from having to participate in abortions, and the federal partial-birth abortion ban.

  • Obama wants to end any government funding of crisis pregnancy centers and has even opposed the Pregnant Women Support Act, which would provide assistance for women facing crisis pregnancies and insurance coverage for unborn children (a provision that even hard-left abortion advocate Senator Ted Kennedy supported).

With a pro-abortion Democratic-controlled Congress, a rabid pro-abortion Democratic President who may have the opportunity to appoint up to five or six Supreme Court justices the damage that could be done on the abortion issue would be incalculable and might never get turned around.  


Why Obama’s Homosexualist and Abortion Agendas Should Be the Main Concerns for Christian Voters, Not Iraq and the Economy 

This leads to the third assumption made by many: No matter how bad things could get under an Obama administration as regards the persecution of those who do not support homosexual practice and abortion on demand, other issues justify a vote for Obama. Let’s consider briefly the two biggest issues other than homosexual practice and abortion. 

1. Iraq war. Regardless of whether one believes that the United States should have become involved in a war in Iraq in the first place, the question is: What is the best strategy now? Obama’s rigid commitment to pulling American troops completely out of Iraq within a relatively short window of time could risk something much worse: the development in Iraq of an Islamic terrorist state comparable to Iran. Do we really want a man like Obama with absolutely no military experience in charge of such matters? Even Obama has had to admit that the “surge” of American troop strength in Iraq this past year has succeeded beyond his wildest dreams—a surge that Obama strongly opposed and that McCain advocated at great political risk to himself. Moreover, Obama is hardly a “peace” candidate. He has expressed willingness to take military action in Pakistan and to step up the war in Afghanistan.

It seems to me that an evaluation of the Iraq war depends largely on whether the outcome is a Turkey-style democracy in Iraq or a fundamentalist Islamic state. Most political pundits in early 1780 or in the summer of 1864 argued that Washington and Lincoln, respectively, were disasters and that serious thought should be given to getting out of the war against Britain and the war against the southern secessionists. History has proven both groups of pundits wrong. I’m not saying that I know for certain what we should do as regards the Iraq war. I’m saying that nobody at the present time has a clear vision about the future. And whether we stay in Iraq as long as there is reasonable hope for achieving a Turkey-style democracy or get out before such reasonable hope fades, it is not likely that the United States is going to turn into a rogue militarist state or a pacifist nation. I think that the greatest military risks lie with Obama’s strategy because he appears willing to pull out of Iraq no matter what the outcome of a pullout, even if it leads to the victory of radical Islamic fundamentalists, which presents the further risk of encouraging terrorist activity around the globe. However, I don’t see any evidence that an Obama victory would result in a “sea change” on foreign policy for the better or that a McCain victory would result in a “sea change” on foreign policy for the worse. No matter who wins, the United States will still reserve the option to intervene militarily around the globe. People are not going to be persecuted or regarded as bigots as a result of their stance on the Iraq war or any other war.   

2. The economy and the poor. No one has a crystal ball on this one, neither campaign. I’m not a big “cut taxes” guy and in that sense am not a convinced Republican. I think that there are good arguments about how to handle the economy in both parties, and failings in both parties. For me this consideration is a wash. Republicans have a reputation for disregarding the poor, favoring big corporations, and making the rich richer. Democrats have a reputation for thinking that the government can fix everything, overspending and overtaxing, and creating bloated and wasteful bureaucracies. Obviously there has to be a balance between helping the poor and exerting fiscal restraint. If McCain gets elected, there will still be hundreds of millions of dollars spent on social programs. If Obama gets elected I would hope that we don’t turn into a socialist state, though Obama has talked about enforced redistribution of wealth and has hobnobbed with socialist radicals. Again I don’t see a “sea change” for the worse if McCain is elected or a “sea change” for the better if Obama is elected. I don’t see myself or other Christians being persecuted on the issue of the economy no matter who gets elected. There are obviously a lot of voters who think that they will be better off economically if a Democratic administration is in power. History, however, does not always bear this assumption out. The conservative Reagan administration, for example, was characterized by an economic boom that took us out of the Carter malaise.


In conclusion, the only sea change for the worse that Christians are likely to experience is the sea change on homosexual practice and abortion that an Obama victory would bring. The country’s legal and moral stance on abortion and especially homosexual practice will deteriorate rapidly and likely remain in a deteriorated state for at least decades to come. Should the issues of homosexual practice and abortion, then, be paramount in this election? Or, to put it in a different way, can you vote for a candidate who will turn your family into persecuted and marginalized outcasts of the state? Can you vote for a presidential candidate who thinks you are a bigot and will codify that belief into law? In doing so, would you be taking a page from the story of Jacob and Esau--selling one’s birthright in the hopes of some bread and lentil stew (Gen 25:29-34)? I do not presume to tell anyone for whom they should vote. Nevertheless, these are difficult questions that Christians should seriously reflect on before casting a vote.  


See also my article: "Barack Obama's Disturbing Misreading of the Sermon on the Mount as Support for Homosexual Sex" here

Click here for a response to an evangelical British biblical scholar who had strong reactions against the article.

Dr. Robert A. J. Gagnon is Associate Professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and the author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Abingdon Press, 2001). The views put forward in this essay are the author’s own and do not claim to represent the official views of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.



  © 2008 Robert A. J. Gagnon