Words mean things. In this electronic age of digital audio and video scarcely a syllable can escape posterity. For that reason alone it behooves someone as influential as the President of the United States to be careful of what he says.
Recently at the signing of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act President Obama uttered these words,
“This is the culmination of a struggle that has lasted more than a decade. Time and again, we faced opposition,” said the President. “Time and again, the measure was defeated or delayed. Time and again we’ve been reminded of the difficulty of building a nation in which we’re all free to live and love as we see fit.” (bold mine)
On the surface these words may seem harmless, but consider the context. The President spoke these words after signing a bill that would include “sexual orientation” as a protected class from “hate crimes.” As a matter of honor I will assume that the President didn’t truly mean what he said. Surely no person who claims Christianity, even loosely, would desire an America where any manner of sexual practice is on the menu. Still, these words hang out there clouding the discussion and creating a mess for those of us who care about the moral stability of our nation.
The legislation that the President was praising with these comments also creates all kinds of problems going forward. What is a hate crime? Can a Pastor who speaks out against sodomy be considered a perpetrator of a “hate crime”. What about a teacher who tells his or her students that cross dressing is wrong? Hate crime?
I fear that the President has opened a door both legislatively and linguistically that will surely create more harm than good. A highly intelligent man such as President Obama should realize the consequences of such statements. I hope for the state of his own soul that he just didn’t think about what he said before he said it. The alternative is just too troubling to consider because words definitely mean things.
HT: Dr. Al Mohler