Dear Mr. President

I am surprised and dismayed by your recent comments supporting same-sex marriage. As the lifelong union of one man with one woman, marriage is not a human or cultural institution, but one ordained by God. You yourself have attested to this fact clearly and publicly.

You now say that your views have “evolved.” In your comments of May 9, you justified this shift by referring to your faith, noting the importance of the Golden Rule. But Christianity is much more than a smorgasbord of good rules: it is mandate for a godly, ordered life, and choosing some values while ignoring others reduces Christian belief to empty relativism. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; his laws do not evolve.

Religious liberty is one of the most cherished and fundamental freedoms of our country. But those of us who hold religious convictions about marriage increasingly find ourselves marginalized or even demonized as heartless bigots. While I know you do not personally feel this way, your comments certainly reinforce this trend.

Mr. President, I know we share a deep concern for our nation’s children. I hope you realize the harm done to children when traditional marriage disintegrates.

Of course, same-sex marriage is not the only cause: marriage is also eroded by divorce and co-habitation. But sociological studies have shown again and again that a father-mother family is the very best soil in which children can grow. If marriage and family as God intended them are redefined, the consequences for our children will be dire. I pray that God would guide you in this and all other questions.

Johann Christoph Arnold

Senior pastor, Bruderhof Communities

Rifton