Ed Kilgore at Washington Monthly reminds us that, in evolving toward support of gay marriage, Barack Obama has been evolving toward the perspective endorsed by his denomination and mine, the United Church of Christ:
When the Obamas were last regular church members, it was, famously, a congregation of the United Church of Christ in Chicago. Like a lot of First Families, they have not joined a specific church in Washington, so I assume the UCC remains their spiritual “home.” As part of a decentralized denomination (hence the traditional name for their largest constituent element, the “Congregationalists”), many UCC churches have been performing same-sex marriages for years. But the entire denominationembraced the practice in 2005, adopting a resolution of support:The resolution was adopted in the face of efforts to amend the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage. It was both a theological statement and a protest against discrimination, said the Rev. John H. Thomas, the president and general minister of the denomination, which has 6,000 congregations and 1.3 million members.
Religious conservatives may scoff at the UCC (or the Episcopalians, or other mainline denominations that are, to use the buzzword, “open and affirming” to gay people). But the UCC is the country’s oldest Christian religious community, and among other things, was spearheading the fight against slavery back when many of the religious conservatives of the early nineteenth century were largely defending it as a divinely and scripturally ordained institution.
One of many reasons I'm glad to be part of the UCC is its stance on marriage equality. It's good to see Barack Obama finally coming around to see the value of that stance as well. Here's hoping that the fact that his position is rooted in his Christian faith gets a lot more coverage. It's certainly worthy of it.