I used to smile every time I saw a man walking up and down London’s Oxford Street in the 1970s wearing a sandwich board with the words “The end of the world is nigh”. I thought he was crazy. But I would not be chuckling if I saw him now because he might just have a point.
Our world has become unrecognizable since those days in many respects as we are losing sense of right and wrong.
People are not easily shocked anymore, as there are very few taboos left, especially in the West, and those who stand against such taboos being broken are attacked by the politically correct crowd for infringing on the human rights of others.
For example, men are changing into women and are being hailed by the media as courageous for doing so.
Now, I am all for change, but there are some fundamentals recognized by all religions that should remain eternally unchangeable: Marriage is one of them.
Until recently, marriage has always been defined as a union between a man and a woman but nowadays prominent dictionaries, like Merriam-Webster, has added an alternative definition which says that it could also be “the state of being united to a person of the same sex…”
This means that schoolchildren will grow up believing that there is nothing unnatural about men marrying men or women marrying women.
The state of matrimony has been devalued and defiled in the eyes of many, in particular Christians who hold to matrimony being a holy union blessed by God.
Nevertheless the U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that states can no longer ban same-sex marriages. One Texas pastor said he would rather burn to death than sanction such marriages. Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is calling on Christians to engage in civil disobedience to protest the court’s decision. Another GOP presidential hopeful, Ted Cruz, has accused Supreme Court judges who voted in favor as having re-written the constitution.
As you will have gathered by now, I am a traditionalist. People signing civil contracts to protect their rights is one thing but attempting to destroy the institution of marriage like what's happening in America is quite another.
Despite my personal views, I do not disrespect the Supreme Court’s ruling under the banner of ‘personal freedom’ because what Americans permit in their homeland is not my affair.
Presidential joyful embrace
However, the matter becomes everyone's affair when the joyful embrace of that ruling comes from the leader of the free world and the president of arguably the greatest country on earth, Barack Obama, who described it as having “made our union a little bit more perfect”.
Our world has become unrecognizable since those days in many respects as we are losing sense of right and wrongKhalaf Ahmad Al Habtoor
He emphasized his wholehearted approval by tweeting using the hashtag #LoveWins, to write: “Today is a big step in our march toward equality. Gay and lesbian couples now have the right to marry, just like anyone else.”
Obama has reneged on his election manifesto that stipulated his support for civil unions but not for same sex marriage which conflicted with his Christian beliefs. “What I believe, in my faith, is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before God…We have a set of traditions in place that, I think, need to be preserved,” he said in 2008.
So, did Obama change his views? Not really, as the reality is, according to his former adviser David Axelrod, that Obama has been deceitful in that he championed same-sex marriage all along but hid that fact due to political expediency.
For a president who is supposed to represent all his country’s citizens, his promotion of “Love” on social media is problematic. Is he saying that anyone who stands against this federal law does not know what love is?
In addition, celebrating unnatural relations - considered by Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as other faiths as an abomination - is a poke in the eye to people who take their religion seriously and sends a terrible message to his nation’s youth because he has not only assented to the concept of same-sex marriage, he has gone so far as glorifying it, holding it up as something innovative to be emulated with the words “ripples of hope cascade outward and change the world”. So now the planet’s most powerful man wants the whole world to follow suit!
Here it is important to note that another of the signs indicating the approach of end times is the prevalence of homosexuality. Yet another is that the virtuous will be despised for their beliefs. And that is exactly what is happening in the U.S today. Those who speak out in defense of marriage between a man and a woman, guided by their faith, are being characterized as homophobes.
One would imagine that President Obama would have had more important matters on his mind last weekend than the promotion of gay marriage when terrorists were slaughtering innocents on three continents and ISIS terrorists were crucifying or burying children alive for the ‘crime’ of not fasting during Ramadan.
People are being massacred in mosques and churches, synagogues are being attacked, and the righteous are being condemned for holding values that have underpinned family structures for thousands of years. Again, Muslims believe that precursors to the Day of Judgment include “Good people will observe silence due to fear of wicked persons’ foul speech” – and there are no peoples more silent than Iraqis and Syrians trying to survive in ISIS-controlled areas. Radicals who cruelly impose their will on others at the point of a gun or a knife represent the other side of Obama’s ultra-liberal coin.
Questioning POTUS morality
I am a man who believes in progress and looks to the future but I cannot help but feel nostalgic for the Western world that was when children were brought up with immutable values; a time when right and wrong was laid out in black and white terms, not in shades of grey. I miss the days when those who stood up for time-honored principles were respected not vilified for expressing their opinions just because those opinions might offend a minority. A world without rules or behavioral red lines is one where the only ruler will be chaos.
The Supreme Court’s decision has chipped away at America’s much-trumpeted values. The morality of the Presidential Office has been compromised. The country that was once held high as a beacon of light is not quite as bright. Only the Creator knows the time of our judgment but if we continue down this slippery slope, many believe that this day will likely come soon.
Khalaf Ahmad al-Habtoor is a prominent UAE businessman and public figure. He is Chairman of the Al Habtoor Group - one of the most successful conglomerates in the Gulf. Al Habtoor is renowned for his knowledge and views on international political affairs; his philanthropic activity; his efforts to promote peace; and he has long acted as an unofficial ambassador for his country abroad. Writing extensively on both local and international politics, he publishes regular articles in the media and has released a number of books. Al-Habtoor began his career as an employee of a local UAE construction firm and in 1970 established his own company, Al Habtoor Engineering. The UAE Federation, which united the seven emirates under the one flag for the first time, was founded in 1971 and this inspired him to undertake a series of innovative construction projects – all of which proved highly successful.SHOW MORE