Don\'t get me wrong. If I had it to do again, I\'d vote for Obama over McCain any day of the week. but I invested not only a lot of time, but money in Obama\'s campaign. And for what. To have a bigot do the invocation at his inauguration? I don\'t think so. With so many eyes watching what will be historic inauguration, every single person chosen counts, not only as an attendee but a symbol of what his presidency would mean. And right now, he is telling the world not only that his unity and tolerance comments are baloney, but that he doesn\'t care what a significant chunk of constituents think who were for him because they believe he DID represent change, tolerance and not politics as usual.
Let\'s drill down into how this was in Somervell County. Obama lost here. More Republicans held their nose and voted straight party ticket for McCain. This county was a hotbed of racism and religious intolerance. And this is Southern Baptist territory, too, although there are a smattering of other denominations as well; guess who leads the charge for Republican values among religious organizations.
I notice that the media seems to want objections to Rick Warren to be from gay people, as if people who aren\'t gay can\'t possibly have any objection to SoBapt Warren. And I do think it\'s bad enough from that standpoint that Obama puts in a bigot to do an invocation... to God! Obama is obviously not concerned with cutting out his support from the gay community. But for those of us that aren\'t gay, we also have legitimate reasons to find Warren offensive-his stance on abortion, his lack of a stance on terrorism, his calling, Pat Robertson style for assassination of a world leader... this is a man for whom power apparently trumps godliness.
Obama\'s brand name and reputation has been destroyed, for me, by this action at the very beginning of his new presidency. I\'ve said before, this is the last time, ever, I invest so heavily of my time and money in a presidential campaign ever again. It\'s all just politics.
Update: agree with McBlogger, except that I\'m glad I didn\'t vote for Clinton He has the video from Think Progress of Obama attempting to explain his decision to put in Warren. I\'m with McBlogger that this isn\'t an issue of agreeing to disagree. Obama mentions that he was invited to speak at Warren\'s church without Warren realizing that he held viewpoints opposing the SOBapt convention doctrine. Well, had Warren KNOWN, would he have been invited? Or maybe, would Warren have invited him only because of the power situation of Obama being president (or running for president, since I don\'t know when that was). Also, I\'d feel the same level of disgust if Obama invited, say, Rush Limbaugh to speak or John Hagee or some other whack job. If is one thing to say that you will respect freedom of speech, no matter how opposed it is to what you personally believe, and include it on your most important and significant inaugural day as a poke in the eye to those who worked hard for you on the basis of you NOT being like a Rick Warren.
and here\'s Barney Frank
Religious leaders obviously have every right to speak out in opposition to anti-discrimination measures, even in the degrading terms that Rev. Warren has used with regard to same-sex marriage. But that does not confer upon them the right to a place of honor in the inauguration ceremony of a president whose stated commitment to LGBT rights won him the strong support of the great majority of those who support that cause.
Nother update: From Richard Cohen- the Party\'s Off
it is not Obama\'s preacher who has decided to honor a bigot, it is Obama himself. And, once again, we get the same sort of rationalizations. Obama says he does not agree with Warren about all things. Obama says he himself is not anti-gay and, in fact, although he does not support same-sex marriage (as opposed to civil unions), he has been a stalwart champion of gay causes. Therefore, it seems to follow, he can honor an anti-gay activist.
I can understand Obama\'s desire to embrace constituencies that have rejected him. Evangelicals are in that category and Warren is an important evangelical leader with whom, Obama said, "we\'re not going to agree on every single issue." He went on to say, "We can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans." Sounds nice.
But what we do not "hold in common" is the dehumanization of homosexuals. What we do not hold in common is the belief that gays are perverts who have chosen their sexual orientation on some sort of whim. What we do not hold in common is the exaltation of ignorance that has led and will lead to discrimination and violence.
Finally, what we do not hold in common is the categorization of a civil rights issue -- the rights of gays to be treated equally -- as some sort of cranky cultural difference. For that we need moral leadership, which, on this occasion, Obama has failed to provide. For some people, that\'s nothing to celebrate.
Jon Carroll of SFGate
If Rick Warren had been a preacher who suggested that blacks not be allowed to intermarry with whites, or not allowed to vote, or not allowed to own property, he would not even be in the running for invocation giver. But somehow discrimination against gays is different. Gays must be made "different" in some way, so that the righteous will know whom to shun. Most of the ways of officially discriminating against gays and lesbians are prevented by the civil rights laws. But gay people shouldn\'t be first-class citizens. They shouldn\'t be able to marry the way "normal" people can.
Barack Obama apparently thinks that belief is OK, that people who hold it are part of his "big tent" philosophy. I agree that people of faith should be included in the administration, should be listened to and their concerns addressed. I believe in government support of faith-based charities, and oh what a terrible liberal I am. (Look at the work they did in the wake of Katrina. They\'re better at it than our secular government.)
We don\'t invite Nazis to speak at the inauguration. We don\'t invite Holocaust deniers. We don\'t invite officials of the Ku Klux Klan. There are plenty of ministers who personally oppose same-sex marriage but do not get involved in political battles, allowing their parishioners to vote their consciences as opposed to ordering them to support one side. For that matter, there are plenty of ministers who support same-sex marriage. They are men and women of God, scholars, people who minister to the sick and watch over the dying. They too have purpose-driven lives, and their purposes are rather more admirable than leading a fight to take away previously granted rights from gays and lesbians.
It was an easy trap to avoid, is what I\'m saying. It was an easy statement to refrain from making. But Obama has chosen to start his administration with a bigot addressing God on behalf of the American people. Not the change I was hoping for.
I remind again that I am not gay, I"m a married woman with kids. This is an issue about picking a bigot to do the invocation, and I simply won\'t have it, as the media is trying to do, to make it only an issue only gay people are concerned about. I wouldn\'t like Pat Robertson doing the invocation. I wouldn\'t like John Hagee. They are also dangerous bigots.
UPDATE 8/27/2011. This year the Republicans have some wacky kooks running, including Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann. Rick Perry pretended to be a prophet and initiated his own prayer meeting with a group of Dominionists; he did it AS governor, using his office to push his own prayer meeting, in which he was faux anointed. I'll vote for Obama any day of the week over Rick Perry. Period.