Obama Inaugural Speech: The Audacity of a Bad Analogy
Obama Inaugural Speech: The Audacity of a Bad Analogy
Written By Laurie Higgins   |   01.22.13

Reading Time: 4 minutes

No, the title of this piece is not referring to President Barack Obama’s “say what?” comparison of individual action to muskets and militia:

For the American people can no more meet the demands of today’s world by acting alone than American soldiers could have met the forces of fascism or communism with muskets and militias. 

Yes, it should trouble Americans of every political stripe to hear that Obama apparently views individualism and bootstrap independence as outmoded, ineffectual means of “meeting the demands of today’s world,” but the analogy to which the title refers is Obama’s audacious (as in demonstating a lack of respect) and fallacious comparison of homosexuality to race and sex:

We, the people, declare today that the most evident of truths – that all of us are created equal – is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls, and Selma, and Stonewall; just as it guided all those men and women, sung and unsung, who left footprints along this great Mall, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone; to hear a King proclaim that our individual freedom is inextricably bound to the freedom of every soul on Earth.

“Seneca Falls” refers to the historic women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York. “Selma” refers to the signal event of the civil rights movement when blacks attempted to march to the capitol of Alabama to protest voter registration abuses and state-sanctioned violence against blacks.

And then there’s Stonewall…

The Stonewall Riots are considered by many to mark the beginning of the “gay liberation” movement. The Stonewall Inn was a mafia-owned bar in New York City patronized primarily by homosexuals and cross-dressers and which was regularly raided by police. Over the course of several nights in the summer of 1969, homosexuals rioted in protest of one such police raid.

It is wearying to have to address the comparison of homosexuality to sex or race yet again. But like the emperor’s non-existent clothes, Obama and his court continue to trot it out in public, knowing that the masses still deceive themselves into finding it utterly bedazzling.

Race and sex are 100 percent heritable conditions that are in all cases immutable and have no relation to volitional acts that are legitimate objects of moral assessment.

Homosexuality, on the other hand, is not 100 percent heritable, is not in all cases immutable, and is constituted by volitional acts that are legitimate objects of moral assessment.  A more sound analogy would compare homosexuality to polyamory or pedophilia (or for those who put finer distinctions on the condition currently being renamed “minor-attracted persons,” there is pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia).

Obama goes on to say that “Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.” (Translated, this means that “same-sex marriage” should be legalized.) Such foolishness from our president should be embarrassing, but we seemed to be losing our capacity to recognize foolishness or be embarrassed.

First, those who choose to place their same-sex attraction at the center of their identity are “treated like anyone else under the law.” They are perfectly free to participate in the sexually complementary institution of marriage. They choose not to. They are not asking to be treated equally. They are demanding to be treated specially. They want the unilateral right to jettison the central defining feature of marriage (i.e., sexual complementarity)—something, by the way, that polygamists, polyamorists, “minor-attracted persons,” and sibling-lovers are not permitted to do.

Second, does our president actually believe the idea he clunkily articulated in his speech, that “surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well”? Does he believe the love polygamists “commit” to their wives “must be equal as well”? Does he believe the love a high school teacher commits to his student “must be equal as well”? Does he believe the love five polyamorists of assorted genders “commit” to one another “must be equal” as well? Does he believe the love a brother and sister “commit” to each other “must be equal as well”?

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive.

Obama audaciously exploits the legacy and faith of Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. by linking King’s righteous battle for the civil rights of black Americans to the unrighteous battle to normalize homosexuality and legalize homosexual faux-marriage. While arrogating for his ignoble purposes the name of Martin Luther King, Obama conveniently omits the fact that King said, “How does one determine whether a law is just or unjust? A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God.

While Obama claims to be a follower of Christ (a fact that doesn’t seem to upset the Left nearly as much as George Bush’s Christianity did), he flouts the teachings of Christ. It’s unclear whether Obama’s heretical views of marriage reflect Jeremiah Wright’s teaching, Obama’s spiritual and intellectual laziness, or his political opportunism. What is clear is that his views are destructive.

But while both the Old and New Testaments affirm marriage as a sexually complementary institution, defending marriage as such need not derive from religious belief. Even atheists and agnostics are able to recognize and defend marriage as a sexually complementary institution, which explains why in France recently, there were atheists (as well as homosexuals) joining people of faith to defend the traditional and true understanding of marriage. 

Some will claim in high dudgeon that criticisms of Obama demonstrate a lack of respect for the Office of President. Americans, however, have no ethical obligation to refrain from criticizing ideas that are ignorant, offensive, and destructive—even if those ideas are expressed by the president. In fact, the office Obama occupies provides him with an exceptional degree of influence that requires the pernicious ideas he promotes to be challenged. And the de facto destruction of marriage—which is the idea he was promoting in his inaugural speech—is, indeed, pernicious.

Laurie Higgins
Laurie Higgins was the Illinois Family Institute’s Cultural Affairs Writer in the fall of 2008 through early 2023. Prior to working for the IFI, Laurie worked full-time for eight years...
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