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Obama Cites Sermon on the Mount for his Support of Civil Unions

"If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans."

Democrat presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama invoked the Sermon on the Mount as a reason for why he supports civil unions during an appearance in Nelsonville, Ohio, on Sunday.

The response came after Pastor Leon Forte, who heads up Grace Christian Center in Athens, Ohio, asked about Obama's faith. The video is available here and the full transcript is available here.

"Your campaign sets a quandary for most evangelical Christians," Forte said. "They believe in the social agenda that you have. They have a problem with what the conservatives have laid out as the moral litmus test about who is worthy and who is not."

Obama responded by saying he is a devout Christian, he prays to Jesus every night and tries to go to church as much as he can.

"I think what you may be referring to, though, when you say controversies, probably has more to do with two issues, which is abortion and gay marriage, which has become, I think, how people measure faith in the evangelical community."

Obama said that while he does not believe in gay marriage, he does think the state should allow civil unions that allow a same-sex couples to visit each other in a hospital or transfer property to each other.

"If people find that controversial then I would just refer them to the Sermon on the Mount, which I think is, in my mind, for my faith, more central than an obscure passage in Romans," Obama said.

He called abortion a tragic and painful issue.

"But I think that ... in the end I think women, in consultation with their pastors, and their doctors, and their family, are in a better position to make these decisions than some bureaucrat in Washington."

Obama ended: "That's my view. Again, I respect people who may disagree, but I certainly don't think it makes me less Christian. Okay."

Obama also cited the Sermon on the Mount in his June 28, 2006, 'Call to Renewal' address.

"Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is ok and that eating shellfish is abomination? How about Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith? Or should we just stick to the Sermon on the Mount - a passage that is so radical that it's doubtful that our own Defense Department would survive its application? So before we get carried away, let's read our bibles. Folks haven't been reading their bibles."

Obama also spoke with CT about abortion in a January interview.

Posted:March 3, 2008 at 9:06AM
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