Decency versus Depravity

Today the Obama campaign released a web video called “Your First Time”, comparing a girl’s vote for Barack Obama to losing her virginity.

I won’t do the campaign the service of posting a direct link here.

The first indicator I had of this arm of the campaign was an image posted on Twitter a few days ago of 21-year-old model Chanel Iman holding a pro-Obama campaign sign:

Chanel Iman: "First time"

Immediately I was revolted. Could they truly be comparing voting to sex? Due to the non-official-branding sign, I thought this was a one-time deal, or limited to a local audience wherever Iman happened to be.

Today, the campaign for President of the United States became about decency versus depravity. With the release of a full video expounding on this meme, Obama and those around him have shown they have absolutely no regard for a woman’s virtue–or anyone’s, for that matter.

Obama claims to be a Christian. He attended a Christian church for much of his life, and professes faith in Jesus Christ. Many Christians hold socially liberal views that tend to put off many of their conservative and more fundamental brethren, but in the Name of Christ we can lay aside opposing philosophies on a given afternoon and volunteer together, worship together, eat together. Most conservatives can detect the still-faint aroma of the classical liberalism that gave birth to contemporary liberals’ views of society and justice, views that brought us protection for child laborers and the advancement of women’s suffrage, and that gives modern liberalism a modicum of authority, even among groups that don’t agree with it.

Now things have changed. Modern liberalism has entered an arena (if it had not long before) in which it promotes unethical, dangerous, amoral behavior.

While it’s certainly arguable that Obama had little to do with the making of this ad, that fact is secondary. In a political race, the candidate is the campaign, and vice-versa. We have testimony to argue that Obama keeps close tabs on his campaign initiatives, so it’s also not implausible that he gave the go-ahead to release this video at the moment it was released.

Therefore we must ask: Why did the President and his team deem this an appropriate thing to publicize? It is on Barack Obama’s official YouTube page. Jim Messina, his campaign manager, tweeted the link. The Democrats’ Twitter account promoted the image above.

The answer must be that their instincts and morals are damaged and bent (and they are). But there is another answer. Somehow American culture has reached a point in which it has welcomed this kind of comparison. Cries of well-placed anger greeted this release, but also proclamations that it was “cute”; accolades for Lena Dunham, the HBO actress who stars in it; and general praise for the idea. Many liberal women no doubt believe it is somehow liberating to women. We are walking into a bog, and we need to turn around.

If Obama and any of his team who might profess Christianity understood the Bible’s stance on sexual expression, they would never have made this video. Not all of them are Christians, no doubt, so not all of them can be held to this standard. But the President, who has two daughters, can. So let us examine what he has done here.

The Bible celebrates sex; it does not, contrary to many liberals’ beliefs, denigrate it. God invented sex. He knows all about it, and he knows how best it works. He makes this starkly clear: within the confines of marriage. Adam and Eve are the first example of this. An entire book of the Bible is devoted to sex: the Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs). Paul the Apostle writes with the assumption that sex is properly confined within marriage (1 Corinthians 7:8-9). And pointedly, the Bible takes into account imperfect situations, in which sex occurs outside of marriage. ““If a man seduces a virgin who is not pledged to be married and sleeps with her, he must pay the bride-price, and she shall be his wife. If her father absolutely refuses to give her to him, he must still pay the bride-price for virgins” (Exodus 22:16-17). This was a mandate for a man to take responsibility–and an affirmation that a father had authority to deny his daughter to a man he didn’t want her to marry. The man who slept with her still had to pay, however, and own up to the deed. Importantly, it was a recognition of a woman’s value as a person, not of her price.

Sex is equivalent to marriage. And marriage is a sacred covenant among a man, a woman, and God. Therefore it, and sex, are held in the highest regard in the Bible. God describes his relationship with his church (his people) as a marriage.

This “First Time” video denigrated sex; it did not elevate it. Furthermore, by its very conceit (both in the literary and psychological senses), it discouraged young women from waiting to have sex, because evidently “not being ready” (i.e., self-awareness and personal responsibility) apparently isn’t cool.

“Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come” (Luke 17:1).

This campaign has now become a choice not between two health plans, or two foreign policies, or two tax plans. It is those, but it is now more. It has become a choice between decency and depravity. One candidate uses women as showpieces to advance an agenda that hurts and objectifies women. The other respects women, has a history of helping others, and is extremely charitable.

Leadership matters. Barack Obama’s presidency has cast an umbra over the entire country, one that has demonstrably bred divisiveness and confusion, and now utter disrespect. This ad is a call to vigilance, and a call to arms. Women–especially young women–should be protected and guided in virtue. This president cannot do that. It is time for another.

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