Monday, December 29, 2008
"The Politics of Prayer"
This guy (not Obama) keeps appearing in the newspapers like Brittany Spears appears in traffic court. Nobody understands why either keeps happening.
Who is Rick Warren and why is it such a big deal Obama 'saddled' him with the job of giving the invocation at his inauguration in a few weeks?
The Reverend Rick Warren is the founder of the Saddleback Church in California. Some people compare him to Billy Graham in that he's immensely popular and appeals to a wide range of people. The only other time I've heard of him is when he held that 'friendly' forum for both McCain and Obama before the election, in which he asked supposedly unscripted faith-based questions to each of the two candidates separately. (Unscripted means McCain answered the questions so well - and he went second on the program - I was sure he got to hear them first.)
Warren supported California's Proposition 8, not very well according to some conservative Christians, who from what I've read continually complain he's is not 'conservative' enough, whatever that means. They say he's not made these hot topics the cornerstone of his ministry. He apparently tithes 90 percent of his considerable income to charitable causes. (So he gets 10 million instead of 100 million. Hmmm...) I wonder how much he gave to the Prop 8 campaign?
He says he's against gay marriage. But wasn't Obama as well? What did Biden say in the VP debate, that they - meaning he and Obama - are for civil unions but not gay 'marriage'? During his campaign Obama said that he believed marriage to be the union “between one man and one woman,” but when Prop 8 passed didn't he say he was disappointed? Ah, typical politician.
By inviting Rev. Warren to be part of his inauguration, he's trying to have it both ways, and that's what all the hullabaloo is about. Some of his ardent supporters aren't happy about it.
Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen accused Obama of condoning a man who “dehumanizes” homosexuals. NPR talk-show host Diane Rehm called some of Warren’s comments on gays “ugly.”
In light of some of these reactions, what exactly is Obama's motive in selecting Warren I wonder? Is Obama just trying to build bridges to a greater good? Or is it a calculated political move to further his rockstar status?
Perhaps he is trying to compile an inauguration that embodies the diversity that is America today. His choice for closing prayer, or final blessing, in some religious traditions the most important prayer of all, is the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery. An African-American, 87 years old, a Methodist well-known for his civil rights work with Martin Luther King. A gay rights supporter and some say a "lifelong champion of equality for all."
In all honesty, I think it's both. A calculated move and an olive branch. So I will add my words to what's already been said, brilliant move Obama.
*****A side note - in the picture above, which one is cute as a button?? Ah....no contest I'm afraid.)