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Colorado Springs Gazette: Obama could show more respect for foreign cultures

Published: July 8, 2013

Obama's assertion that people of Africa should embrace same-sex marriage could not have been more provincial. Senegal isn't a melting pot that espouses multiculturalism as a high cause. A whopping 94 percent of Senegal is Muslim. Another 5 percent is Catholic, leaving room for 1 percent of the population to embrace same-sex marriage without violating sacred religious traditions.

Because Senegal is dominantly Muslim — and not a constitutional republic like the United States — the country's law strictly forbid homosexual activity.

Though some believe Obama stands above our country and the world as “sort of God,” Africans don't see it. Senegalese President Macky Sall told Obama his country is “not ready to decriminalize homosexuality.” The public and Senegal's media loved Sall's retort.

“This country, the nation of Kenya, is a God-fearing nation,” said Kenya's deputy president, William Ruto. “Those who believe in other things, that is their business. We believe in God.”

Not the god Evan Thomas defended. The biblical God worshipped by members of the Baha'i religion, which teaches that sexual expression is acceptable only within the marriage of one man and one woman. Kenyans who don't obey the Baha'i faith respect teachings of the Catholic church, the Bible, the Quran or Hinduism — none of which embrace homosexual activity.

During his first presidential campaign, Obama opposed same-sex marriage because of his Christian convictions. He was stricken with a sudden change of heart in early 2012, just in time to energize his base for a re-election campaign.

It's fine that President Obama promotes same-sex marriage. That's his prerogative. We only hope he shows more respect for foreign cultures when traveling abroad. In some parts of the world, religious values are more than political talking points that can change with the whims of campaign surveys.

— Colorado Springs Gazette


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