Discrimination in all its forms is bullying. Clan mentality- whether based in religion, gender, race, or attitude- perpetuates this bullying by creating classes of people in order to have allowed discrimination. Clan mentality is the opposite of democracy, as it always chooses self over other, always chooses ties based on blood and religion instead of merit or valor. One cannot be a warrior for Jesus, he was a pacifist.
So, how can all these self professed "lovers of Christ" systematically defile the message of their favorite prophet by enforcing caveman ideals? One needn't be a christian to do good things, and there is little evidence that correlates religiosity with kindness towards others. There is, however, plenty to point in the other direction.
It's probably a good thing that so many conservatives can't identify with Obama as a christian, because they don't see his behavior modeling their's. He calls for inclusion and freedom, two of the very enemies of clan mentality. Free thinking is a dangerous thing, and free living is clearly the slippery slope result of being allowed to engage in personal life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
There will always be naysayers who point out that the slippery slope of acceptance (not just tolerance, actual acceptance) of gay marriage will lead to pedophilia and bestiality. Only in the minds of the perpetually ignorant can this even be a feasable possibility. Only in the mind of hatred would discretion be equal to discrimination. Only in the mind of the entitled are other existences "lesser than".
Should he be so emboldened, I would call upon Obama (in his second term) to propose legislature that can repeal the historical discrimination that is tax exemption for the religious. Why is this important? Money laundering and tax evasion are epidemic and endemic to sheltered organizations. The premise of preferential tax immunity based on association with religious beliefs is long overdue for a constitutionally based challenge.
In order to do good works, one has to show good works. Any organization that involves actual charity work has to prove where their money goes, and can accordingly get their tax exemption. Faith based organizations not only systematically exploit "volunteers", they are exempt from the standards of conduct for any employer or educational organization. So, how are these people contributing to the welfare of the United States? How is dodging billions in tax revenue while simultaneously exploiting an increasingly dependent population doing "God's" work? According to Jesus, it is not.
Granted, one does not need to believe in Jesus at all. My status as a person of faith or a person without faith should have no impact on my responsibility toward my civic duty. My desire for a religious community in my neighborhood that is based on discriminating against my neighbors should have no legal preference. Surely, I should be required to meet the same civic responsibilities as anyone else, which is pay the same taxes.
As far as I can tell, those yelling the loudest about being "tax payers" are probably the people who pay the least- and would like to pay even less. There is no reason that the government should interfere with a church being able to amass millions in property, cash, and luxury living. As long as we understand they should not be more entitled than any other group. We could certainly start filling in some of the revenue gaps.
As a physician, I presumably do as much good as the local pastor in helping people figure out their problems, steer them towards more healthful living, and making better decisions about their actions. For a small fee, I counsel, I assess, I listen, I work out a strategy. I invite people to make their own best choices, instead of only pointing to an outdated set of social laws that don't actually work well anymore. I don't begrudge my taxes, even though I get the same student loan interest deduction as someone who spent ten times less to go to school than I did. I am required by law to have several valid licenses and annual updated certifications because I have such a great influence on the health and wellbeing of my "flock". I have never admonished anyone to beat their children, to single out people they don't like and discriminate against them, to force their spouse to act in ways that is hurtful or humiliating.
Of course, I could tack a religious affiliation on my name, form a non-profit, and continue to do exactly as I do but go tax free as a health ministry. I mean, it's a nice idea, but I am just not interested in being a guru. I prefer to empower individuals, to show them how to achieve their goals through their endeavors, and to accept themselves with love and equanimity - even when falling short of their dreams. This may not be the christian thing to do (and I am more of a Buddhaquakerian), but I think it speaks pretty directly to "First do no harm, prevention, education, treat the cause, treat the person, and the (natural law of the) way of healing".
However, I'm not speaking in tongues or wrassling snakes (literal or metaphorical), and therefore, I gotta pay taxes too.