The Collective
Thursday, December 18, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

There has been much discussion (see Memeorandum from around 6:05pm est) today about President-elect Obama’s selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration.

The AP has the basic run-down (Obama defends choice of pastor for invocation):

President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday defended his choice of a popular evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, rejecting criticism that it slights gays. The selection of Pastor Rick Warren brought objections from gay rights advocates, who strongly supported Obama during the election campaign. The advocates are angry over Warren’s backing of a California ballot initiative banning gay marriage. That measure was approved by voters last month.

Quite a bit could be said about Warren who, I think, fancies himself taking on the role that Billy Graham played for some many decades as pastor to presidents/the nation. However, let’s cut to the political chase. The bottom line is that the Warren selection will clearly upset a small (in relative terms) vocal segment of Obama supporters, and cause a blogswarm/cable news storm that will last until maybe tomorrow or the next day (at which point it will be washed away by the holidays), but it will mosyly be met with shrug of the shoulders (”Rick who?”), a vaguely positive response (”oh, it’s that nice pastor fellow I saw on the cover of Time“) or even some positive reviews (”hmm, maybe Obama’s not as scary as I thought!”). Indeed, the net politics are positive once one sums the entire effect of the choice.

After that, Warren will end delivering a prayer of probably less than two minutes and it will mostly be forgotten. Beyond that, it isn’t like Warren is going to be asked into the cabinet or setting social policy, so in terms of concrete importance this strikes me as a great deal of sound and fury signifying nothing.

Note: Minor editing to next to the last paragraph to correct screwed up sentence)

Sphere: Related Content

Filed under: Religion, US Politics | |
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.


  • el
  • pt
    1. I think the context of the anti-Warren protest is that the gay movement is still smarting from having Prop 8 and other anti-gay marriage ballot proposals pass with the overwhelming support of African-Americans, and arguably the tacit support of Obama himself (as he said he opposed gay marriage), so getting angry at Obama for inviting Warren is the gay movement’s passive-aggressive way of showing anger at the elements of the Democratic coalition that went against their interests in the election; hence, the massive outrage over something arguably trivial.

      Comment by Matthew Stinson — Thursday, December 18, 2024 @ 6:21 pm

    2. Two points:

      1. Gays are not damning the choice because of Warren’s support of Proposition 8. They are are damning the choice because Warren, as recently as six days ago, equated gay marriage with incest and pedophilia. Anyone who dismisses that as “trivial” needs to go out and meet more gays.

      2. Billy Graham, who admittedly was surely not a supporter of gay marriage, nevertheless achieved the position he did precisely because of his inoffensive, milquetoast approach to faith in the public square. Warren is as far from that as is Louis Farrakhan.

      Comment by KipEsquire — Thursday, December 18, 2024 @ 8:14 pm

    3. For the record (so that my own position is clear):

      -I support the rights of same-sex couples to engage in civil marriage.

      -I can understand why some are upset over Warren’s selection, I just think that in terms of the political it is overblown and overall will redound positively to Obama (whether that is a good or bad thing is another issue).

      -In regards to Warren and Graham, the choice of the phrase “fancies himself” was chosen quite deliberately.

      Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Thursday, December 18, 2024 @ 8:41 pm

    4. One of the many disturbing things about being a Democrat under the Bush regime was the feeling I didn’t have a president. Even though I strongly disagree with Warren about gay marriage and abortion, I realize many people agree with him. I love the idea that Obama wants to be everybody’s president.

      Comment by Howard Joseph — Thursday, December 18, 2024 @ 9:54 pm

    5. Obama will be another divide politcian. So much for bringing us together.

      Obama is a big disappointment

      Comment by Nick — Thursday, December 18, 2024 @ 10:53 pm

    6. I’m FURIOUS!!!!!, my vote went to this political, fascist, BARRACK HUSAIN OBAMA! If you inserted the word “BLACK” for the word “GAY” in Rick Warren’s speeches, there would be riots in this country. It is dehumanizing and goes against everything we have fought for as a equal society and negates ALL equality. Tolerance for Intolerance is unacceptable and this Bigot is given more power by Obama’s Decision! This man speaking alienates and disenfranchises so many people not just homosexuals! This is not a platform or inspired, it is hatred and has no place in politics nor any public taxpayers forum. This man would never be able to speak at a college, or graduation and has no merit or relevance to what is happening at the inauguration.

      Comment by James Campbell — Thursday, December 18, 2024 @ 11:35 pm

    RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

    The trackback url for this post is:

    NOTE: I will delete any TrackBacks that do not actually link and refer to this post.

    Leave a comment


    Wikio - Top of the Blogs - Politics



    Visitors Since 2/15/03

    Powered by WordPress