Dear Mr. President,
I have a sincere question I want to ask you.
It’s about a speech you gave back in 2007. In Greenville, SC, you approached the issue of faith head on. In your speech you said, “I think it’s important, particularly for those of us in the Democratic Party, to not cede values and faith to any one party.” You concluded by saying, “We’re going to keep on praising together. I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on Earth.”
Mr. President, from my perspective, in the years since that speech the Democratic Party has become increasingly hostile toward people of faith. During the gay marriage arguments at the Supreme Court your own solicitor general raised the possibility of religious organizations losing their tax exempt status for not going along with the gay marriage agenda.
In 2016, your party’s Presidential nominee said, regarding access to reproductive health care and childbirth, “[R]eligious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”
As if bookends between your speech in 2007 and Secretary Clinton’s statement in 2016, Little Sisters of the Poor and other religious organizations sincerely believed that your Administration was placing them in conflict with their faith. Though your administration did not see it that way, I think it is fair to argue that perhaps you could not see the concerns of people of faith, or were unwilling because you decided you’d made reasonable concessions.
Concurrently, the issues of gay marriage and transgenderism have moved so quickly as to not allow any accommodation or breathing room for people who disagree based on sincerely held religious views — views that, I might add, transcend denominations and even religions both in this country and around the world.
Mr. President, in 2007, you made a direct play for evangelical voters, but by 2016, for some reason the Democratic Party acted as if it did not even need them anymore.
My question, Mr. President, is did you really believed what you said in 2007?
I really hope you did and I really hope you still do. We need two parties in this country both committed to religious liberty and toleration of differing religious viewpoints. I would caution you that a Christian worldview would understand that we cannot create that kingdom you wanted on this Earth because we are all sinners. But I agree with you that it is “a healthy thing, that we’re not putting people in boxes, that everybody is out there trying to figure out how do we live right and how do we create a stronger America”
In 2007, sir, you offered olive branches to Christians, but many of the Christians who were willing to support you now feel like the last eight years have been increasingly hostile toward their faith. Many of your voters also feel like they can now silence, censor, and otherwise disrespect people of faith who are public and open about their faith.
I just hope that in leaving office, if you really did believe what you said, you might help your party realize that people of faith should not have to compromise their genuine and sincere beliefs in order to conduct business or speak in the town square. I hope sir that you will understand and help your party understand that millions of us sincerely believe that “[i]n the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” and in that act created us male and female and made marriage between one man and one woman. Consequently, because we believe we are creatures and not the Creator neither you nor us have the power to change that. State demands that we reject this or fail to practice it in our jobs and daily lives in order to stay in business or speak in public will not change what we believe and should not try to force that change.
If you really do want a more perfect union, sir, I hope you’ll work to allow differences between people and allow those differences not just be held, but to be lived in public without fear of reprisal.
Thank you for your consideration.