Saturday, December 27, 2008

Uncle Rick Warren

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration and some number of Obama’s bandwagon of supporters are way less than happy about it.

Chief among them are various spokespersons for gays and lesbians, who have being saying so, repeatedly, for the last week. The most vociferous of them apparently see Warren as a poster-boy enemy of their political agenda.

Yes, if you’ve paid attention to the political news, this holiday season, you know that Warren -- the celebrity pastor of Saddleback Church -- is on some lists of unacceptable preachers. Of course, “unacceptable” is in the eye of the beholder. Where have you gone Jeremiah Wright?

Along with all else it’s been, 2008 has been spotlight year for news-making celebrity preachers, who dabble in politics.

Even though Warren won’t be in Obama’s cabinet, or a member of his White House staff, or will likely have any effect on any policy whatsoever, pundits and propagandists have been drumming the Warren story like Obama had asked Richard Viguerie to be his Secretary of State, or Pat Robertson to be Attorney General.

Instead, what Obama has done is tantamount to asking a crazy uncle, who only shows up for Christmas dinner each year, to say grace over the banquet. This savvy move shines a light of worldly tolerance on all manner of Christian preachers, who have some out-of-date opinions -- from Reverend Warren to Reverend Wright.

So, to create a story they can run on a continuous loop, the eager-to-sell-advertising media are turning their cameras and microphones toward noisy single-issue types, who will hyperventilate on cue. Like, who knew that when Obama said he would reach across the aisle, to govern from the center, he really meant it?

For two more opinions on this angle, click here for Andrew Sullivan's "Freedom or Power," and here for "Why Obama Chose Rick Warren" by Jon Henke.


James Young said...

While your smears are gratuitous and vile, I agree with your conclusion. This invitation is meaningless as a matter of policy.

It's effective politics. It's meaningless policy. The truly sad thing is that there will be people who think it's the latter, rather than the former.

F.T. Rea said...

James Young,

Vile smears? I don't get your drift.

Aren't you the same name-calling, over-the-top guy that was banned from commenting here a couple of years ago? If you are, you should take this to heart -- I'm still not interested in providing you with a soapbox.

You can write whatever you like at your blog. But that license does not extend to my blog.

James Young said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Scott said...

Green Party activists challenged gay voters and advocates of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights to protest President-elect Barack Obama’s invitation to Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation.”Unless we make our anger known now, Mr. Obama will continue to betray gay people,” said Starlene Rankin, co-chair of the party’s Lavender Green Caucus ( “Barack Obama’s claim to be a ‘fierce advocate for equality’ is not credible when he chooses a pastor notorious for his ill-informed and slanderous opinions about homosexuality and vigorous support for Proposition 8.”"The invitation signals that Mr. Obama may repeat the Clinton approach to gay rights. President Clinton, taking gay votes for granted, signed the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act into law and authorized the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ military policy. We’ve had generations of gay rights advocates and other progressives insisting that we need to elect Democrats, then we’ll push them towards pro-gay agenda. Instead, gay people have remained second-class citizens in the Democratic Party and told to hush up when they’re politically inconvenient. For those tired of bipartisan retreats from promises of human rights and justice, the Green Party remains the party of real change in America,” added Ms. Rankin.The Green Party’s national platform asserts that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Americans deserve all the rights, including marriage and the ability to raise a family, that all other Americans enjoy ( Greens strongly opposed Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage in California.Mr. Obama has said he opposed the passage of Propositon 8, but he also opposes full same-sex marriage rights, a position inconsistent with support for full and equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people.Pastor Warren’s public statements have revealed profound ignorance and bigotry on sexuality and on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people in particular. Promoting passage of Proposition 8 in California, he has said that “in the hierarchy of evil… homosexuality is not the worst sin,” an admission that he believes gay people are evil because they are gay.He has said that allowing same-sex marriage is like allowing “a brother and sister be together and call that marriage” and added that he is “opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage,” comparing same-sex marriage and homosexuality to incestuous relationships and pedophilia, which are crimes. Pastor Warren has also said that homosexuality is “not the natural way…. Certain body parts are meant to fit together,” but has not called for the invalidation of heterosexual marriages in which the spouses have engaged in sex outside of vaginal sexual intercourse.Greens noted that Barack Obama’s choice of Rev. Warren for the inaugural prayer coincides with a declaration introduced by 66 countries in the UN calling for universal decriminalization of homosexuality ( The US is the only major western nation that has refused to sign on, even though a Supreme Court decision has invalidated US laws against sodomy.”Will the new Obama Administration maintain Bush policy and decline to have the US sign the declaration against criminalization of gay people?” asked Tim Casebolt, secretary of the Lavender Green Caucus.”Barack Obama has asked Robert Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense. Mr. Gates is not only likely to continue the Bush Administration’s military aggression around the world, but also the targeting of gay members of the armed forces for investigation, harassment, and discharge. The Obama Cabinet appointments have disappointed anyone who sincerely hoped for genuine change in 2009,” Mr. Casebolt added.

F.T. Rea said...


Thanks for posting a good example of the hyperventilating practice of politics that is part of the old way of doing business when liberals and Libertarians were ignored by the White House.

This sort of thing -- "Unless we make our anger known now, Mr. Obama will continue to betray gay people" -- says much about the speaker and little about reality.

For the last eight years it made some sense to scream at the top of your lungs at the Bush administration, in spite of how annoying it can be to always be screaming. But saying Obama will simply be more of the same is ludicrous.

It's time to change tactics.

James Young said...
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