Barack Obama is taking a lot of criticism from gay rights activists because of his inclusion of controversial gospel singer Donnie McClurkin in his tour of South Carolina. “I don’t speak against homosexuals. I tell you that God delivered me from homosexuality.” claims McClurkin in a recent interview. His belief of homosexuality revolves around it being an affliction that can be “cured” with religious intervention; understandably, this doesn’t sit well with gay rights activists.
But the transference of displeasure from McClurkin to Obama doesn’t sit well with me.
Yes, Barack Obama chose a path of open criticism when he declared his candidacy. Public figures, especially presidential candidates, are expected to be victims of heavy privacy invasion and nit picking to an almost disgusting degree. But McClurkin isn’t being put in a position of policy making by Obama. He isn’t being rewarded or admired by Obama. Obama simply chose him as a musical act. Now days, you can’t choose a musician without evoking baggage that could be construed into something negative. Yes, McClurkin’s baggage appears to be a bit more controversial than most, but it’s important to realize that Barack Obama isn’t picking a Supreme Court Justice; he’s simply picking entertainment.
It’s not like McClurkin is in Barack’s inner circle. He’s not his friend, and he’s barely an equivalent of a work associate. I don’t know about you, but I would hate to be judged by the opinions and views of my co-workers.
Barack Obama’s history with gay rights legislation is pretty impressive. As Senator of Illinois, Obama sponsored policy that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation. Also, he co-sponsored legislation to expand what would actually constitute a hate crime.
Obama also believes we should re-examine the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in the military. It is his opinion that homosexuals should be able to serve openly, and the willingness to sacrifice for one’s country supersedes one’s sexual preference.
Sure, you could judge Obama based on opinions of homosexuality that aren’t even his own, or you could look at his legislative history and realize he isn’t a hate monger. He’s just a politician that’s trying to appeal to voters with a musician. Although this isn’t 100 percent admirable, in the political grand scheme of things, there are worse things done on a daily basis.
This isn’t about issues or values. It’s about people, like myself, liking and needing to talk about something. We need to find something about someone. And sadly, Obama is the first presidential candidate to make something that could be interpreted as a mistake.