The New York Times’ Katharine Seelye is reporting that Rick Warren, the pastor at Saddleback Church, has been chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to deliver the invocation at the inaugural ceremony.
This is the same Rick Warren who recently said that the relationships of his “many gay friends” are no different from child rape, incest or polygamy. He also jumped on the paranoia bandwagon surrounding same-sex marriage by falsely claiming that Prop 8′s failure somehow would have overturned the Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and religion. (It can’t. No law or state constitution can.).
Warren himself has acknowledged that the only difference between himself and Focus On the Family’s James Dobson is just “a matter of tone.” So given President-elect Obama’s stated commitment to bringing the country together, it’s hard to fathom the reasoning behind choosing such a divisive figure. What’s worse, this decision to include Warren revives memories of the controversy surrounding ex-gay advocate Donnie McClurkin’s partication in an Obama campaign event in South Carolina during the primaries. This announcement will certainly be taken as another punch in the gut.
More details and reactions to follow, I’m sure. You can count on it.
Update: Are you looking for someone to email to express your outrage? Well, a well-placed source just provided these email addresses:
- email@example.com (Parag Mehta is Obama’s LGBT liaison in the transition team.)
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Steve Hildebrand)
You can also contact Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s office. She chaired the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and made the announcement.
Update: People for the American Way respond.