Okay, so here I am again, on the soapbox, only I’m a little at odds with my opinion. Must be that whole split personality thing, I guess. I keep reading about Pastor Rick Warren being selected to give the invocation at President-elect Obama’s inauguration and it gives me pause.
You see, Rick Warren is a big fat homophobe. There, I said it, and in nice language, too, because all sorts of profanities run through my head when I think of this bigot and his smug smile that I just wanna smack him upsi……anyway.
Pastor Warren uses his pulpit to preach. Good, that’s the use of a pulpit, to speak, to educate, to enlighten, to spread the word of God. But Warren also uses his pulpit to talk politics in a land with a separation of church and state. Separation, Warren. Separation.
So I don’t want Warren to speak. I don’t want to look at his face while he says one when you know damned well he is anti-gay, and spreads the same old lies about 5,000 years of marriage, blah blah blah one-man/one-woman blah blah sanctity of marriage. Blah.
But then Warren said this, via email, in regards to Prop H8:
“For 5,000 years, EVERY culture and EVERY religion — not just Christianity — has defined marriage as a contract between men and women. There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2% of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called ‘gay marriage.’ Even some gay leaders, like Al Rantel of KABC oppose watering down the definition of marriage…Of course, my longtime opposition is well known. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about. There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue…This will be a close contest, maybe even decided by a few thousand votes. I urge you to VOTE YES on Proposition 8 — to preserve the biblical definition of marriage. Don’t forget to vote!”
THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL ISSUE, he says in one breath, and follows it with, DON’T FORGET TO VOTE! Who does he think he’s kidding. You’re a Pastor, sir, you are supposed to spread the word of God, and last time I checked God was not a registered voter.
He also released a video message. Watch this buffoon talk about the “four judges” while he holds up three fingers. I have the other finger at the ready, Rick. Listen when he talks about marriage having remained unchanged for 5,000 when we know that isn’t true. Listen to him use his ministry to campaign. Moron.
Obama says he invited Warren to speak because he was asked to speak to Warren’s congregation. So was John McCain; it’s all political. Barney Frank, the first openly gay man to serve in Congress, is also upset, hurt, angry, by the inclusion of Warren. His words express my opinion quite well:
“I am very disappointed by President-elect Barack Obama’s decision to honor Reverend Rick Warren with a prominent role in his inauguration.Religious leaders obviously have every right to speak out in opposition to anti-discrimination measures, even in the degrading terms that Rev. Warren has used with regard to same-sex marriage. But that does not confer upon them the right to a place of honor in the inauguration ceremony of a president whose stated commitment to LGBT rights won him the strong support of the great majority of those who support that cause.
“It is irrelevant that Rev. Warren invited Senator Obama to address his congregation, since he extended an equal invitation to Senator McCain. Furthermore, the President-Elect has not simply invited Rev. Warren to give a speech as part of a series in which various views are presented. The selection of a member of the clergy to occupy this uniquely elevated position has always been considered a mark of respect and approval by those who are being
Time magazine Person of the year cover illustrator Shepard Fairey:
Tomorrow my illustration for Time Magazine’s “Person of The Year” hits the newsstands. While I’m very honored to be validated by a periodical that is nothing short of an American institution, the moment is bittersweet because I’m very disappointed by Obama’s appointment of Rick Warren to deliver his invocation during Obama’s inaugural address. Rick Warren is against gay marriage and reproductive rights, and he does not believe in evolution (maybe he offers himself as proof of lack of evolution). I understand that Obama is trying to appeal to conservatives and evangelicals, but this move is symbolically a slap in the face to many people. Warren is not a uniter, but a divider… he is intolerant in many of his views. I still think Obama is the best choice for president, but I can’t condone Warren’s involvement in Obama’s inauguration, no matter how insignificant it is. While I’m on the subject of gay marriage, I will be donating a chunk of the proceeds from an inauguration poster of Obama I was asked to create to the movement to overturn Prop 8. At first I was considering pulling my inauguration poster, but I think re-directing funds from it to put into a cause I care about is actually more constructive. Plus, I wouldn’t want withdrawing the image to come across as a blanket boycott of Obama. I’m sure I will ultimately disagree with Obama about many things, but I think I will agree with him on more. I think it is important to speak one’s mind, but also to not let the narcissism of petty differences sabotage our unity and progress.
And the Obama camp has offered up an explanation for the inclusion of Warren, their so-called ‘talking points’–how I hate that phrase.
*Pastor Rick Warren has a long history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, the President-elect recently addressed Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to salute Warren’s leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and pledge his support to the effort in the years ahead.
*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.
While the inclusion of Warren makes me angry, annoyed, ill, bitter, pissed off, and a bitter, angry, annoyed, pissed off queen is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, but be afraid, be very afraid, I do agree with some of these reasons for including him. I admire Warren for his work with the “downtrodden”–unless you’re gay of course, because then he considers you ‘less than.’What exactly is ‘less than’ downtrodden? And while I applaud his work with HIV/AIDS, I still have a problem with him campaigning and using his church and pulpit to do so.
However, as if to counterbalance Warren’s bigotry, the Obama inauguration will also include Reverend Joseph Lowery, one of the most prominent figures in the Civil Rights movement and a proponent of LGBT causes. Lowery is the man who stood up at Coretta Scott King’s funeral, in front of George Bush and said, to a standing ovation:
We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor!
Lowery spoke these words at the funeral of Mrs. King, a woman who said this:
“Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”
Lowery’s remarks will close the ceremony and perhaps the inclusion of one so inclusive will water down the appearance of Rick Warren. See, I do think Rick Warren has the right to say what he wants; so do I. I do believe he can preach to his congregation every Sunday from now to the end of time that homosexuality is wrong, a sin, an abomination. He has the right to talk. I don’t, however, believe he has the right to use his church to campaign for anything, or to stand in the pulpit and tell his congregation how to vote.
God is not a Republican, Pastor Warren. Lest you forget.
This was posted by someone calling himself dmac at Oxdown Gazette and I think it sums up things for me quite nicely.
The aspect I keep coming back to, is that Pastor Warren is outmatched. That will be evident. His appearance won’t matter as much as he thinks it does right now. Not after Reverend Lowery starts to speak and continues the thread of tolerance and civil rights for all that Coretta Scott King tried to get the Southern Baptist Convention to embrace. He won’t shine like a new nickel when Reverend Lowery is done with him and the ideals of Pastor Warren’s proponents will not shine in comparison to the truth-that we are all created equal and until we are all equal someone isn’t doing God’s work. You can bet that Reverend Lowery knows exactly what kind of demon he will be facing, he has an entire lifetime under his belt casting them out. And winning.
So Warren can speak and speak and speak, but the last word goes to Lowery.
Actually the last word goes to us, to America, who can decide for ourselves whether we want to follow a bigot like Warren, or a Civil Rights leader like Lowery.
For me, the choice is clear.