Following Wednesday’s Supreme Court decisions concerning the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Prop 8, President Obama said in a statement:
On an issue as sensitive as this, knowing that Americans hold a wide range of views based on deeply held beliefs, maintaining our nation’s commitment to religious freedom is also vital. How religious institutions define and consecrate marriage has always been up to those institutions. Nothing about this decision – which applies only to civil marriages – changes that.
Apparently, Obama’s statement was met with some skepticism. Where could this have come from?
Phil Lawler, editor of Catholic World News, asks at Catholicculture.org, “How long do you suppose he’ll hold to that promise?”
In 2008, as a presidential candidate, he said that he couldn’t support legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Now he fully supports it, describes opposition (that is, his own former position) as “discrimination enshrined in law,” and welcomes a Supreme Court decision that “righted that wrong.”
So again, how long do you expect Obama to wait before applying pressure to the churches? Which way is the wind blowing?
Conservative blogger Bryan Preston at Pajamas Media writes, “Our litigious society guarantees that someone will sue to force churches into gay marriage, and our activist judiciary guarantees that they will get the outcome they desire somewhere. It’s going to happen.”
At the Washington Examiner, Joel Gehrke writes, “Here’s guessing that the Roman Catholics and other religious groups that are in the midst of fighting the contraception mandate are skeptical of that pledge.”
Over at Weasel Zippers, some skepticism was also observed in the comment, “From the man who is trying to force the Catholic church to cover birth control and abortifacients.”
Perhaps the doubts are warranted. After all, isn’t this the same president who said that if you like your healthcare plan, you’ll be able to keep it?
Or, maybe Rush Limbaugh’s “theorem” is already in place here. According to the “theorem,” low information voters don’t associate Obama with all that is in decline in the country. Obama travels around the nation, equipped with teleprompter and Teflon suit, campaigning against, and trying to save Americans from, the very policies that he has put in place.
Perhaps Obama’s statement following the SCOTUS rulings is meant to inoculate himself against association with the threats to religious liberty that will be generated by these marriage rulings. Why tarnish his image, when he has many supporters who will do the work for him?