If you have not heard, Obama declared that he thought DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) was unconstitutional and asked that the Department of Justice stop defending it in court.
This is news.
Really big news.
In short, with a single press release, Obama has set in motion the necessary measures that will find the battle over the legality of gay marriage to be decided in the Supreme Court.
Expect Media meltdowns to occur on both sides in the coming weeks. Christian Republicans will be declared either fascist or intolerant bigots. Secular Democrats will be called Hedonists and immoral. Both sides will call the opposing side Nazi’s and both will have a grain of truth to their claim.
I will be dismayed nonetheless…
However, I am happy.
I am pro-separation of church & state..
I am opposed to the banning of gay marriage on religious grounds such as traditionally heard with an argument of “Marriage is defined in the Bible as between man and woman, and therefore how marriage is defined in the Bible should define how it’s lived out in our nation.”
But all of this is unimportant to my purpose for writing.
What I do find intriguing is that Obama is actually doing something. Something controversial. He is doing something that puts his beliefs that he declared so publicly before his presidency into action during his presidency. If Obama would have gone into 2012 without doing something controversial he would have been voted out for being the least influential president since Gerald Ford. In short, Obama has been a big disappointment on simply the grounds that he has been boring.
Most of our most popular presidents are presidents who did something that was controversial for right or for wrong. They stood up for something that was not accepted in the mainstream (e.g. Lincoln, FDR, Truman, Jefferson, and Reagan). No president since Calvin Coolidge has been praised for doing nothing. Obama wouldn’t have been an exception. History will determine whether today’s rebuke of DOMA was right or wrong, but Obama showed today that he at least wants to be a voice of history and not just a name to be memorized in a song listing presidents.
Because, if you do something incredible as a president that will change history…you get pictures of you painted on top of a bear with a machine gun like the picture above of Lincoln.