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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I Have This Can Of Worms Here...

...I may as well open it.

I came across this article on CNN.com: "Obama's inagural choice sparks outrage."

It is talking about how Obama has chosen mega-pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration next month.

Liberal groups are outraged because Warren is socially conservative; specifically, he is against gay marriage and abortion. On the other hand, he is a very strong advocate and lobbyist of fighting global poverty, fighting human rights violations, and is a very strong proponent of the fight against AIDS across the globe.

Obama's camp defends the choice, saying:

"The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgender] issues," [Linda] Douglass said. "But it has always been
his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some

Douglass also noted that Obama and Warren agree on several issues,
including advocating on behalf of the poor, the disadvantaged and people who
suffer from HIV/AIDS.

However, these two quotes came from Obama's more liberal supporters:

"[It's] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is
interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now," Andrew
Sullivan wrote on the Atlantic Web site Wednesday.

People for the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert told CNN she is
"deeply disappointed" with the choice of Warren and said the powerful platform
at the
inauguration should instead have been given to someone who
has "consistent mainstream American values."

I am not familiar with the People for the American Way. However, to say
that someone like Rick Warren is *not* "consistent" with "mainstream American
values" to me is, in a word, ridiculous. Personally, I would not agree
with Warren's stance on gay marriage. And as much as I hate the thought of
abortion, I do regretfully believe that first-term and incest/rape abortion
should be legal.

And I believe Sullivan is way off base here, as well. Any presidential candidate that hands out rainbow campaign stickers at a gay pride parade obviously is not taking a stance comparable to a passing comment in some gay community at a small campaign stop. Not to mention--didn't Obama put a gay person at a pretty high staff position already?

But that is not really the point here. I believe that Obama has chosen a name that resonates with most people in America who does many great things in the name of people all over the world. To me, this People for the American Way seem to have the "American Way" completely confused.

I guess my question is this: does Rick Warren really not represent *most* Americans? Again, this isn't about yours or mine personally-held beliefs. I just think that someone saying that this guy is not consistent with the majority of American's beliefs and values is stepping out to an incredibly flimsy ledge that has no support in fact.


*Note: Sorry for the jacked-up formatting, I don't know why it's doing that. Quotes from the article are in italics.

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Winnie the who, it's been a long time since GA and I have agreed 100% on social politics and this post is sharp.

While I'm not personally on board with Rick Warren or T.D. Jakes or Joel Osteen, it is impossible to deny their appeal to the American people. (For the record, my reluctance is completely due to the mega-church atmosphere rather than anything message related.) Rick Warren's, The Purpose Driven Life, has sold more copies than Harry Potter or DaVinci Code or anything else from Oprah's Book Club. To say that this selection has the opportunity to connect to mainstream America, specifically groups of Warren fans who may not have voted for Obama, is an understatement. I think Warren's selection for the invocation continues a theme by the President-Elect to extend a hand to leaders that may not be exactly along his lines of thought.

Nice post, GA.
Thanks MIB. And you made my point more eloquently in a couple of paragraphs than I did in a rambling, terribly formatted blog post.

+1, my friend.
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