The mayor of Vallejo, California is Osby Davis and he’s a conservative Christian.
That’s an issue only because he’s bringing his church teachings into the political sphere.
A couple weeks ago, he was quoted in the New York Times:
… Mr. Cloutier was defeated — by only two votes — by Osby Davis, a devout Assemblies of God follower. “I don’t know what the fear is about considering Vallejo as a city of God,” Mayor Davis said. If believed, he said, “that God created heaven and earth and everything that’s in it, and that God is sovereign, then you believe that he is already a part of this community and this is already his city; and so what’s the big deal?”
Mr. Davis thought the question asked about the Folsom Street Fair was “really, really unfair.” But his faith does inform the way he sees gay people. “They’re committing sin and that sin will keep them out of heaven,” he said. “But you don’t hate the person. You hate the sin that they commit.”
So Davis managed to tear down any wall of separation between church and state. And he condemned the GLBT community to hell.
Not bad for two paragraphs of work.
Davis later apologized about his anti-gay remarks. (He must have forgotten; you’re not supposed to say those things out loud!)
The NYT has released both a transcript and audio of the original interview to provide a greater context.
It turns out Davis said a number of disturbing things, and the NYT did him a favor by limiting what they quoted. Davis just kept digging his own hole deeper and deeper… the Q(uestioner) is NYT columnist Scott James:
Q: I think the concern has to do with some phrase that I’ve heard that people want to make Vallejo into a, quote, “City of God.” That seems to be the sticking thing, that possibly what some people have in mind is a theocracy, ripping down the division between church and state.
A: I don’t know what the fear is considering Vallejo a “City of God.” If you have the faith that we have and believe God created heaven and earth and everything in it and God is sovereign then you believe that he is already a part of this community and this is already his city, so, what’s the big deal?
Q: I think the big deal is that the version of God is a Christian God.
A: Well, that’s our faith. Our faith is a Christian God. Someone else’s faith might be a Muslim whose god is Allah, but does that mean we shrink back from exercising our faith because our faith is not consistent with someone else’s? No it does not. It means that we can exercise our faith right along someone exercising theirs. If we as a Christian faith community want to consider this as a city of God, who is it hurting? The principles upon which a city of God would stand are principles of love, mercy and grace so I don’t see how that in and of itself would hinder anyone else’s ability to call a city whatever they want to call it.
Love, mercy, and grace? Right… unless you’re gay.
The fact that Davis managed to barely eke out a political victory should just give us all the more incentive to support advocates of church/state separation who run for political office, regardless of their faith.
This man is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
(Thanks to Alan for the link)