Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rick Warren's Selection as a Thumb in the Eye: Commentary on Obama's Decision

A selection of statements on Huffington Post about Obama’s choice of Rick Warren as the new pastor of the presidents, to replace Billy Graham:

Joe Cutbirth, “I Voted (Twice) for Obama, and Apparently I Lost"

Rick Warren's selection is a thumb in the eye of every lesbian and gay citizen of this country, and an insult to kind and decent Americans who believed that Obama's presidency was the beginning of a new era in our history.

I am as loyal a Democrat as they come, but I am saying right now, today, publically, on the record, that this is so troubling to me - and frankly to a lot of other people, gay and straight - that I will not vote for Obama in 2012, if I do not have the right that day in whatever state I am living in this country to marry the person I choose.

And I will work actively to encourage as many others as I can to do the same (

Chez Pazienza, “Pastors and Servants”

Warren's undeniably overpowering presence on inauguration day makes it seems as if God -- specifically the Pentecostal, Southern Baptist version of God -- will continue to be granted ascendancy within our government.

And after what this country has endured the past eight years -- the heinous sins committed by those who claim to be acting on God's behalf and who seek the unconditional allegiance of those who worship him -- this should be the last thing any clear-thinking, rational American wants to see (

Geoffrey Dunn, “Et Tu, Obama? The Choice of Rick Warren Is Unacceptable"

It's unacceptable. A political blunder. But most importantly and bottom line, it is morally reprehensible. It goes counter to everything that Obama stood for along the road to the White House. I am more than disgusted by it; I am utterly and thoroughly disenchanted.

Moreover, I'm tired of reading that it's the "gay and lesbian communities" who are upset by this selection. I'm straight, I'm white and I have a head of white hair. And trust me, I am bristling with anger over this selection. Bristling. It is the ultimate political betrayal.

It has stripped away all the joy and hope I had in Obama's victory and it has ruined for me what should have been a celebratory and joyous event on January 20. I will not watch. And I will not celebrate (

Leah McElrath Renna, “Dear Obama: Here’s Why You Are Wrong on Warren”

What impact do you think this choice will have on the millions of LGBT people of faith in this country to see this man who equates our relationships with the abuses and perversions of incest and pedophilia being put forth as a spiritual representative for the nation as a whole? What impact do you imagine this will have on LGBT people of faith who have been damaged by being forced into so-called "ex-gay ministries" - which Warren supports?

And, as importantly, what "advocacy" on our behalf are you demonstrating by choosing a speaker who does not see our rights as being civil rights because he doesn't see our sexual orientations as being an integrated and authentic aspect of our entire selves? (

Morgan Warners, “When Inclusion Becomes Relativism”

But I also believe that Obama has gone astray with this decision. Inclusion is the right way to go for this event. Selecting a man who in many ways represents its antithesis is not. By embracing Warren and elevating him like this Obama has compromised the purported purpose for the invitation, inclusion, and morphed it into something to the contrary: relativism (

What they all said.

I, too, have decided not to watch this inauguration. And though I ardently supported Barack Obama and gave to his campaign as much as I could, in my state of unemployment and lack of health coverage, I, too, will do all I can to support somebody else in the next election, if he does not work to make his promise of hope real for gay and lesbian Americans.

I'm beyond tired of demeaning, insulting treatment that takes my gifts for granted and then kicks me to the curb. Tired of empty promises. Tired of seeing people who make a mockery of all that the major religious traditions of the world stand for kowtowed to. Sick to death of listening to folks who profess tolerance and who know better defending the right of religiously-driven haters to continue attacking LGBT Americans, when the people defending that right to hate would never defend the right of any citizen to attack people of color, Jews, women, or any other minority group.

I'm tired of being the exception to the rule, in this nation with the soul of a church--the one minority group whose ill treatment is still justified, even and particularly by people who call themselves Christian. Enough's enough. Whether inept and blundering or cynical and calculating (and, frankly, I suspect the latter), the Rick Warren decision was atrocious. It radically undercuts the promises of hope made in the election, and signals to me that what I most feared about the new president is likely to be true: he is not energized by a vision of human rights and solidarity, but by one of liberal expediency.