Obama Misses The Larger Point

Yesterday our President announced he was sending two openly gay delegates to the Olympics to be our representatives at Sochi. It was a clear shot back at the Russians who have been clear about their feelings on homosexuality – they have continually passed anti-gay legislation as the Olympics approach. This legislation has barely made news in most countries but France and the United States seem to be the most vocal about their outrage against this legislation.

Putting my own beliefs on the issue aside for just a moment, don’t you have to start with the observation that if you ever find yourself on the same side of an issue as France… I mean, since when has the US and the rest of the world seen eye to eye on any issue with France??

At any rate, as Germany, France and the EU presidents are planning to boycott the Olympics to communicate their displeasure at the Russian’s position on homosexuality. I find the whole exercise a complete joke and quite frankly insulting. And it’s probably not for the reasons you think.

I’m a pastor. My own beliefs on homosexuality are clear. I do believe it is a sin. I also believe that it may very well be possible to be born that way. My theology holds that we are all born sinners and apart from God so being born a certain way doesn’t in the least make it justifiable. Some people are born with other issues they have to deal with all their life – addiction, etc. But I also believe this – just because some one is a homosexual, they are still made in God’s image and that alone means they are worthy of respect and fair treatment. There is no room for hate crimes or cruel names or bullying.

Having said that – none of that is why I have a problem with the decision to send two gay delegates to Sochi.

If the point is to send someone who represents our country, this doesn’t. We are anything but unified on the issue of homosexuality. Nor are we remotely getting close to any kind of resolution on the matter. Neither is France or Germany for that matter. Their legislation and politicians are just as divided on the issue as we are – they just happen to have pro-homosexual politicians in power right now. For the United States, it is perhaps the most polarizing issue in our country and it is the most volatile as well.

The call from the international gay community to boycott the Soshi Olympics to show how other countries will not tolerate such “cruel” treatment towards gays is laughable when looked at on a global scale. Have any of these people researched as to what is going on in China and Brazil in terms of the sex trade and persecution of religious groups? Have they seen the executions and jailing of civil rights leaders in these countries? China’s persecution of religious groups and democracy in general is the stuff of tyranny but there was no outcry for boycotts. We are hearing nothing about the drug cartel, sex trafficking in Brazil either.

What’s the difference? I have no idea. Maybe it’s because Soshi doesn’t make anything that we want or need – like cheap electronics or sweatshirts. Maybe it’s because we have people in office that are more focused on making money for re-election at the expense of everything else.

While our media and those in the gay community will call this decision “brave” to send two gay delegates to represent the US at the Olympics – it isn’t. It’s politics.

A brave decision is canceling a fundraiser to send troops in to protect our citizens at a foreign embassy. A brave decision is to call the sex trafficking or religious persecution that is going on in China or the “-Stan” countries even if it means some economic damage. A brave decision is to call on the governments in these oil-rich countries to release pastors and humanitarian workers who have been imprisoned.

Sending two gay delegates on an all-expense paid trip to the Olympics? Not so brave. It does send a message – and a wrong one at that. It says – as the President I have an agenda and I love being in politics.

A better decision? Send a gay AND a straight delegate to Soshi. Model to Soshi and the world what we SAY we are trying to do – find a way to get two polar opposites to treat each other with dignity and respect. I know there would be parties on both sides that wouldn’t be happy with that. One side would still be upset that a gay person is representing the US, the other side would be upset that Obama had “caved in” to the religious right in sending a straight person.

That would have been a braver decision – still not necessarily brave, but braver. And the message would have been clear – we are sending American athletes to the Olympics. We don’t see them as gay or straight, or white or black, or Christian or Jew or Muslim or atheist. We see them as Americans first, athletes second. They represent us – all of us. A country that is a melting pot, that promises freedom. A country that is trying to figure out how to live with each other with respect and dignity but we will not compromise freedom to do so. We have often made mistakes in this process and will probably continue to do so. But we stand together and will continue to try.

That is what the games are supposed to be about anyway – learning how to live with people different than us. Finding out along the way that maybe…maybe we aren’t so different after all.

By sending two gay delegates we will instead be force-fed stories on the homosexual issue and how atrocious homosexuals have it in Russia. This whole scenario – boycotting and sending gay delegates – ignores and cheapens the real problems that our happening around the world. Hunger, sex trafficking, religious persecution, tyranny against democracy seem to be issues our media and our athletes and our politicians want nothing to do with. It may cost too much to do so – both politically and economically.

I’m not going to lose a lot of sleep that two homosexuals are going to the Olympics to represent our President. I don’t have to like it, just don’t sell me that it’s a brave decision or that it really even matters. It’s window dressing at best and more confirmation of what is wrong with our politicians in general. They’ve lost their perspective. And that is what is really unbecoming.

/end of rant

8 thoughts on “Obama Misses The Larger Point

  1. Well once again you do not surprise me with your ideas. First of all let us look at Genesis 1:26-30. God does not make any one a homosexual. A person becomes a homosexual because they have made a choice to walk and to live that life style. God i pray for this young Pastor to read the Bible in Lev: and Romans. Have a great Christmas.

    • David,

      It might benefit you to re-read carefully what I wrote, not what you think I wrote.

      First, where did I claim that God made some people homosexual?

      As to the cause of homosexuality – it’s a pointless and fruitless discussion.

      My parents never taught me how to lie or be selfish. I was ‘born that way.’ It came naturally to me to be a selfish, lying person. I never taught my kids how to lie or be selfish either. But guess what? By age two those traits were in full bloom. It’s like they were born that way. It’s still sin. I still needed to repent from it. I still needed a Savior and Jesus is the only one sufficient for that.

      The discussion and debate on causality is inconsequential to us all having sin that can only be redeemed by Christ.

    • Hi David Hitchcock … I just wanted to note a few things 1. Grant is not young he’s more what I would call middle aged at 43 years old. I am only guessing he is due a midlife crisis at any moment. lol 2. He isn’t a young pastor – by this I mean, Grant has been on fire for God and on a mission to teach God’s word as far back as High School , where he helped in leading Fellowship Of Christian Athletes Program. As far back as my earliest childhood memory, God was in attendance and a center to our core family value system. As we all know, God has a plan for each one of us. And you can see what his plan was for Grant, even as early as a young child. So see he isn’t, as you implied ,a young Christian learning his way making ignorant comments or mistakes because he doesn’t read his Bible. I think your comment actually speaks to the point Grant is making – “. A country that is trying to figure out how to live with each other with respect and dignity but we will not compromise freedom to do so. We have often made mistakes in this process and will probably continue to do so. But we stand together and will continue to try. ”
      I’m not sure if starting a reply with, “well, once again you do not surprise me…” and ending it with, ” God, I pray for this young pastor… ” is figuring out a way to remain dignified and respectful even when you don’t agree. I consider those kind of comments little jabs. And I am for certain that comments like these only over shadow any good one might be trying to accomplish with their statement. On that note, I wish you a very Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year. Take care. STAY CALM and KEEP THE FAITH.

      • Praise the Lord for this day. I do not take little jabs at Grant English. He is still a young Senior Pastor at Western Hills. I guess you must be his relative. I just do not agree with Grant on a lot of things but i still love Him and pray for him. He is a man with a mission to serve God.in mission s and youth work. If you do not like the way i start or finish my words that’s great. Have a great day in your world. Brother Grant you are a pillar of faith and i will never attack a man of God.

    • Exactly, David – believing that they COULD be born that way (a possibility) in no way attributes that to “God making them homosexual.”

      Hard to make that kind of distinction online – but appreciate your other kind words and wish you and yours a Merry Christmas.

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