Posted by: brian | December 18, 2008

Oh noes! Obama pissed off teh gays!

Rick Warren, religious nutter & opponent of gay rights & abortion, has been selected to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration. Naturally, a lot of people in the lefter part of our American political field are super-upset about this choice. Why? Because Warren is leader of an evangelical megachurch in Southern California, and was an outspoken supporter of Prop 8. He also wants to outlaw abortion. And if there’s anything gays love more than getting abortions, I don’t know what it is.

Obama defends the choice on the grounds of being inclusive:
“A couple of years ago I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion,” he said. “Nevertheless I had an opportunity to speak, and that dialogue I think is part of what my campaign’s been all about, that we’re not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable, and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans.”
Given that Warren bases his approach to modern society on a book of semi-historical fairy tales, and seems to think that everyone should do as he tells them, whether they share his belief system or not, I feel comfortable in classifying him as a fundamentalist nutsack. (Also, given the propensity for outspoken opponents of gay rights to get caught up in gay sex scandals, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Warren regularly hires male prostitutes for his personal gratification. Either that, or he’s in an airport bathroom right now trying to give an undercover cop a blow job.)
But leaving aside the fact that he’s a nutter, he’s also one of the most significant and prominent religious figures in the nation right now. In his election-night victory speech, Obama said:
As Lincoln said to a nation far more divided than ours, “We are not enemies, but friends… Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection.” And, to those Americans whose support I have yet to earn, I may not have won your vote, but I hear your voices, I need your help, and I will be your president, too.

Yes, Warren is a douchebag, but he’s an important figure to a significant portion of the American public. Having him participate in the inauguration illustrates that Obama is not only a brilliant politician, but that he is genuinely making an effort to exclude no segment of the population that he must lead for the next four (or eight) years.

Anyone who’s paid even a little bit of attention to previous posts in this blog ought to know how I feel about organized religion in general. But leaving aside discussions of ideology, it’s a simple fact that the majority of Americans are religious, at least nominally. Ignoring that fact or excluding people for whom religion is a central component of daily life would be worse than politically stupid; it would be counter-productive. If Obama wants to make progress in improving the nation and the world, he must work with people of diverse viewpoints, and seek common ground with every major constituency. In the case of Rick Warren:

The President-elect disagrees with Pastor Warren on issues that affect the LGBT community. They disagree on other issues as well. But what’s important is that they agree on many issues vital to the pursuit of social justice, including poverty relief and moving toward a sustainable planet; and they share a commitment to renewing America’s promise by expanding opportunity at home and restoring our moral leadership abroad.

It seems as if some people are so entrenched in their own perspectives that they can’t see that. The LGBT community wants to throw away the opinions they don’t agree with, and make everyone see things their way. As “magic titty” says:

Seriously, “liberals” are really fucking stupid sometimes.
You can’t bitch about wanting an inclusive society, by wanting and HOPEing that someone who’s views you don’t like is EXCLUDED. It is ironic. And also dumb.
It doesn’t matter that they have Reverend Rot-Gut has dim-witted, mouth-breathing views. The point is, if you don’t include/tolerate/accept all opinions, you’re just as large a fucking dingus as the asshats on the other side.
The end.

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