Obama's choice of Rick Warren disappointing
I was proofing pages for the magazine this morning and returned to find numerous emails and news reports about Obama choosing Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation. It's a very disappointing choice, despite Obama's comment that he wants to be all inclusive, extend an olive branch, blah, blah, blah. That's very presidential of Obama, but giving a virulent homophobe a prime time gig just legitimizes Warren's stance and is a slap in the face to the GLBTQ community who earnestly supported him. Obama defended his decision and said this in a news conference this afternoon: "I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on, and I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency."
And while I applaud Obama's idealism, the reality is that if McCain was being sworn in on Jan. 20, he wouldn't have extended the same courtesy. The Christian right wing doesn't do olive branches -- no matter what God or Jesus said -- and Warren's Saddleback Church fought hard for the passage of Proposition 8 in California. Warren has been quoted as saying about gay marriage that the country shouldn't give in to what "two percent" of the population wants because Jesus wouldn't like it.
I haven't lost my faith in Obama, but I'll be watching closely to see if his "fierce advocacy" remains intact as he moves forward. He doesn't need to pander to the right after eight years of neocons sweeping human and civil rights under the rug. It's not progressive and it's not what America needs.