Now, I am sure that some of my friends will take 'issue' with my pov that Warren doing the inaugural invocation isn't a big deal. To them I would like to say this;
I still love you even if we disagree on this point.
Warren is saying the opening prayer people, that is all. He isn't part of the cabinet and he won't be setting policy..so if all this yahoo is doing is saying a friggin prayer..how does that affect the fight for LGBT equality? Obama picked a pro-gay rights man, Joseph Lowery to give the benediction, which is another prayer right? Newsweek has a piece up written by two gay individuals on the subject of Warren and his inaugural prayer. These two writers are on opposite sides of this debate. It's a good read and it lays out two specific points of view on this brouhaha.
So check it out ok?
My point in this whole mess is that we must choose our battles carefully. Rick the fuckwit Warren isn't worth our time and energy. No one is ever going to convince him that the LGBT community deserves the same rights as everyone else. Having been put in the position to actually defend my pov over at DCup's post on this subject, I will say that Warren is less offensive than the vast majority of Theocratic wingnuts. He doesn't call AIDS God's revenge on gays and he believes climate change is real and churchs have a responsibility to deal with it.
That means we have some common ground with Warren. That means we, the universal we, should find a way to make Warren and his sheep part of the equation on climate change and AIDS. It also means we can take our talking points to him on the subject of gay equality, but do it in a respectful way. If we use the Rush Limbaugh method, we won't get far...correct?
Obama wants to unite us all around our common beliefs. I think he purposefully picked Warren to show he is reaching out to all sides. Personally, I don't give a shit why he picked him because giving the opening prayer in the pomp and circumstance extravaganza that is the Presidential Inauguration doesn't mean squat in the grand scheme of things. I am not a lover of organized religion..I hate it as a matter of fact. I do pray however and I try to follow Jesus's teachings on how to be a good human being. To me, that is a no-brainer, doing unto others as you would have others do unto you.
Let me use part of the Newsweek article that I think spells out a lot for me:
Leah, you and others are criticizing the selection of Rick Warren as a betrayal of Barack Obama's promise to unify the country, but the way you define "unity" is really very exclusionary. The inaugural committee has promised "an inclusive and accessible inauguration that ... unites the nation around our shared values and ideals." You argue Warren should be disqualified under that standard because his gay-marriage opposition is a "value and ideal" you don't share. But Obama's point was to unify us around areas of agreement, and here you are focused on disagreement, so where's the betrayal? For "unifying the nation" to mean anything, there must be "inclusion" for conservatives, including the many millions like Warren who oppose gay marriage. Excluding those with whom we disagree is the antithesis of unifying.
Even if you suspect the whole "unity" thing is really just about politics, the selection of Warren still makes good sense, including for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans. It is a stroke of political brilliance to recruit a conservative megapastor in support of a president-elect who is arguably the most pro-gay, pro-choice and progressive in our history. That's the kind of political dividend you get from focusing on common ground—like Warren's support for the fight against global warming and AIDS.
Obama is going to piss off the right, the left and the centrist folks many more times before his term comes to an end. Lets not allow Warren's prayer to divide those of us that believe in the fight for gay rights ok? If we are going to pick our battles wisely...this ain't one of them that will do us any good in the long or short run. If your someone who doesn't believe in prayer then you don't have anything to bitch about period.
It's a prayer people..it's not policy.
Update...as for the issue of prayer in a public ceremony..aka separation of church and state..I am totally in favor of knocking that shit off asap. Just wanted to clarify that m'dear friends. ;)