Nothing upset conservatives quite like Obama's citation of the Bible to back same-sex marriage. Even Hunter criticized the president. "You can't cite one Scripture to interpret or negate other Scriptures," he said. "But I know for him that was a moral decision."
That's precisely why Obama drew on the Bible, said Mary Frances Berry, co-author of "Power in Words: The Stories Behind Barack Obama's Speeches, from the State House to the White House."
"What he wants is to have moral authority. Not just to be president, but to have moral authority," Berry said. "That's in the black tradition. We talk about the preacher as having moral authority: the ability to convince your audience of the rightness of what you are saying."
In that vein, Obama sometimes bookends big speeches with Scripture, Berry said, wedging a challenging message in between. ...