Debate Over Rick Warren Continues
December 18th, 2008
Hillary Rosen appeared on Anderson Copper’s AC360 on CNN to talk about Obama’s selection of Rick Warren, where she called this selection an “outrageous mistake.” She’s clearly angry about this choice. Good for her.
Outrage over Warren’s recent comments in which he equated the relationships of his “many gay friends” to child rape, incest and polygamy were just reaching its peak when the Obama team made the announcement. The inaugural committee has already issued their talking points. They go like this:
- This will be the most open, accessible, and inclusive Inauguration in American history.
- In keeping with the spirit of unity and common purpose this Inauguration will reflect, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have chosen some of the world’s most gifted artists and people with broad appeal to participate in the inaugural ceremonies.
- 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.
- As he’s said again and again, the President-elect is committed to bringing together all sides of the faith discussion in search of common ground. That’s the only way we’ll be able to unite this country with the resolve and common purpose necessary to solve the challenges we face.
- The Inauguration will also involve Reverend Joseph Lowery, who will be delivering the official benediction at the Inauguration. Reverend Lowery is a giant of the civil rights movement who boasts a proudly progressive record on LGBT issues. He has been a leader in the struggle for civil rights for all Americans, gay or straight.
- And for the very first time, there will be a group representing the interests of LGBT Americans participating in the Inaugural Parade.
There are a number of pastors who can disagree without being disagreeable. Pastor Warren just doesn’t fit the bill. I cannot allow my relationship to be considered “equivalent” — his assented characterization — to child rape or incest. A man who hold such profound animosity with his fellow Americans to say such a thing has no place in this celebration.
Rev. Joseph Lowery is an excellent choice to deliver the benediction, but that doesn’t excuse Warren’s selection for the invocation. “Balance” isn’t achieved, for example, by having a segregationist and a civil rights worker, or an anti-Semite with a Rabbi. There would be no justification to have a segregationist or an anti-Semite as part of the program to begin with. Nor is there any for having Warren at the podium as well.
But hey, thanks for including a band in the parade.