Friday, December 19, 2008

President-Elect Obama's Pick Of Pastor Rick Warren To Give The Invocation At The Inauguration Stinks To High Heaven!

First of all, Warren is homophobic. Second of all, he is adamantly anti-abortion. It is absolutely the wrong message for the first black President to give a major platform to a mega-church conservative evangelical who holds beliefs and ideals completely contradictory to the majority of the millions of people who elected you. The President's inaugural invocation should be a message of inclusion for all of the American people and how exactly is Warren going to accomplish that since he has a clear record of excluding others?

Third of all, his inclusion STINKS of political pandering on Obama's part and it makes me sick that Obama would use religion to score political points on his inauguration day. And since Obama threw Reverend Wright under the bus during his Presidential political campaign, how about picking a religious figure from his personal religious denomination of over twenty years to celebrate his inauguration? Could you imagine the power and symbolism of an African American woman pastor delivering the invocation?

Quite frankly, overall Obama's entire inauguration program SUCKS big time. It doesn't even begin to reflect the body of people that supported and voted for his presidency. Where in the hell is Will.I.Am on this program? It could not possibly upset anyone to have the dude that created the you-tube political video of the year on stage at the inauguration. This inauguration program is nowhere as interesting, ambitious, or entertaining as President Bill Clinton's 1992 inauguration.

Check what my blogging sister Tami at What Tami Says has to say on this issue. Please feel free to let me know what you think.

15 comments:

TalentedTenth December 19, 2008 at 7:27 AM  

i, too, am greatly disappointed in his choice of rick warren. when i was explaining my reasoning to someone yesterday i told them that i thought warren cared more about the cameras than the Cross.

i did hear that joseph lowery is doing the benediction during the inauguration. i'm surprised they allowed him to deliver the benediction because he is known for slipping some "interesting" comments in when he speaks (i.e. coretta scott king's funeral). all in all, i think the inauguration should be interesting...not necessarily enjoyable.

Stephanie December 19, 2008 at 10:10 AM  

I can't express exactly how much I agree with you. I love Barack Obama to death, but this pandering to the right HAS to stop. Obama should use this event to thank those who got him into office; not pander to a crowd that will likely never vote for him. This whole thing makes me so mad.

michaelTO December 19, 2008 at 11:20 AM  

Professor Tracey,

I understand where you are coming from but why is the significance of Rick Warren
invocation outweighing the significance of Joseph Lowery's benediction? The great Reverend Lowery is a progressive. He has supported gay marriage and has been a fighter for equality all of his life. Is this Black man of less importance?

If the goal of the inauguration is inclusiveness then I think that Obama has succeeded. We might not like all the people in the tent but you have to accept that they do belong there. Both Warren and Lowery represent two extremes of American religious practice and thought today.

Obama is tasked with governing all of us not some of us. He's doing what he promised he was going to do through out the election. He is being inclusive. The mistake is believing that by including Warren he agrees with him. You can't make that leap without policy to back you up.

Partisanship, has left us in the mess we are in right now so why would Obama start practicing what he's been preaching against over the course of the election? I'm glad that I can't call Obama a hypocrite. And to me Reverend Lowery matters just as much as Rick Warren if not more.

The program does seem a bit boring and I was wishing for some Patti LaBelle but hey, you can't have everything. And though I feel bad that so many gays are upset at the choice of Warren considering how they behaved around Prop 8 by labeling all Black folks homophobes you'll excuse me if they have to just suck this one up like we did. If we have to pick a battle I'm not sure that this should be one of them. And we have to remember that we on the left can be just as partisan and narrow minded at those on the right. We have to check ourselves. God has right in his hand. We are all only human.

I read you everyday. You are a blast of fresh air every morning. Thank you for this glorious meeting place.

Peace.

bbgcmac December 19, 2008 at 11:44 AM  

Prof Tracey,

I am not quite as hard core against Warren. I wrote something on it yesterday for a more detailed take.

http://bbgcmac.wordpress.com/2008/12/18/preach-preacher-obama-chooses-right-man-of-god/

In a nutshell, though Warren and Obama disagree on some key religious issues - (Remember Obama is not for gay marriage himself) I don't see Warren as the hate mongering divider ala James Dobson and Pat Robertson - who were not too happy themselves when Warren invited Obama to speak at his AIDS Summit last year. I think they respect one another. And they don't have to agree on everything to work together - which is why Obama was invited to the Summit for Warren in the first place.

I think people can disagree without being disagreeable - and they can work together on that which they find common ground on. Warren isn't making policy here - he's offering a prayer and some words.

I do agree Prof that a minister from his UCC denomination (who are very progressive nowadays though they were some of the last to come along) and even a black woman from his denomination would have been totally awesome.

In terms or Rev Wright - I think Obama did the best he could with him but Rev Wright showed his ass at the National Press club and threw himself under the bus. And please feel me on this - you won't meet a more pro black reflective and thoughtful person than me. So I don't say that lightly.

In terms of Warren being anti-choice - Again I don't think everyone who disagrees with us on issues are necessarily enemies - some things are contextual. And views on abortion run very complex not just black and white.

Just think about the names pro choice vs pro life - who the hell isn't pro life? and how are standard pro lifers for the death penalty - similar what about affirmative action vs racial preferences. they are clearly not the same and yet they are tied together by idealogical feelings - dilluted in political rhetoric.

I think Warren is at least a guy who you can sit down with and discuss differences - unlike others who believe as he does. Everyone who is anti choice (or pro life as they would call it) are not the devil incarnate. Those who would blow up planned parenthood clinics - or intimidate woman who are looking to make a choice - they are. .



So I am sure I will take Obama to task as I would on any president on certain things as they appear - but I am not losing sleep over Warren at the invocation.

Just to be candid - i have discussed this at lenght with a close friend of mine whom I respect dearly that feel exactly the way you do. She said that if it were a black issue that I would not feel the way I do now. To which I disagreed. Because I can be with my brothers and sisters on one issue and critique them on another. I don't give free passes for the sake of being black - and I don't give free passes for everything that seems anti-homosexual either - If I think gays are tripping over a certain issue I can say that too - just like I don't think jews should get free passes or get the benefit of any critique being called anti-semitism.

We may think Obama's inauguration is boring or that he PR'd just a little too much, but I don't think the "wedding" details are as important as what the actual marriage substance will be. By March no one will care who was there.

bbgcmac December 19, 2008 at 11:46 AM  

**sorry one more note - Bush did a lot of pandering to us by doing things symbolically like laying a wreath on Dr King's grave - only to file suit against Affirmative Action in Michigan - that is why I am much more concerned over the policies coming forth from the Obama admin rather than the symbolisms - (which do hold a certain merit)

Shurl December 19, 2008 at 1:47 PM  

I agree with michaelTO's comments.

Shady_Grady December 19, 2008 at 2:27 PM  

Obama is a politician, a superbly skilled one. Everything he does needs to be seen through that lens. Inviting Warren to give the invocation could be a way to dampen future opposition to the Obama Administration from the Warren camp.

In addition Obama really does appear to believe in a big tent and post-partisanship. I disagree with this vehemently but it's who Obama is. He said this repeatedly throughout the campaign. He has always sought to reach out and engage people who disagree with him. It doesn't mean he endorses their belief system. I believe that this will backfire on him at some point but so far I've been wrong about that.

Also for what it's worth, Obama supports repeal of the Federal DOMA but also says he is against gay marriage. Obama also is reportedly considering an openly gay man to be Navy Secretary and has spoken of his intention to end the military's "don't ask don't tell" rule.

Lastly, this is purely a symbolic thing. Warren will not be making policy. If people want to get upset, I think they should be more upset about Obama's FISA reversal, his shameless pandering to AIPAC, his promise to expand the war on Afghanistan, his sidestepping on the pledge to end the Iraq war within 16 months, his cabinet picks, or even his stance on gay marriage.

But to paraphrase Hyman Roth, "Rick Warren is small potatoes".

jessica December 19, 2008 at 5:11 PM  

I think it’s important not to forget that Obama has chosen more than one minister to be on the program at the inauguration. Warren may open with prayer, but Rev. Joseph Lowery—civil rights pioneer and vocal LGBT rights advocate—is closing with the benediction. I think this one detail—seemingly overlooked by the mass media and some LGBT activists who are bloodthirsty over the Warren pick—is important as we try to get at what Obama is seeking to accomplish. Rick Warren as the only minister at the inauguration may suggest kowtowing to the religious right. But Rick Warren *along with* Lowery (two ministers who couldn’t be any more theologically opposed) suggests something altogether different in my opinion. In the presence of these two ministers—each providing the bookends to one inauguration—we see Obama nodding toward a major part of his platform that he hasn’t veered away from: unifying the nation. It’s the change that was promised. And it’s the change folk said they could believe in. Perhaps what that change will require of us (like having to withstand the stench of a right winger in our ubber liberal midst) is not exactly what we bargained for.

rjweems December 19, 2008 at 6:56 PM  

I'm disappointed. Real Disappointed.

Warren is just the new face of the old Religious Right. He's the kindler, gentler version of the misogynistic, anti-gay, and anti-progressive platform of folks like Robertson, Dobson and Falwell.

And anyone who thinks this is all symbolism, and that symbolish doesn't matter much, hasn't been paying attention to American politics for centuries.

I don't doubt that Obama is showing himself to be the politician that he is by inviting Warren to the platform. But don't think for a moment that Warren and the Religious Right that he represents are gonna let it go at that.

And no, Lowry (as much of a beloved elder civil rights statesman as he is) does not have a political counterpunch to Warren's base.

Choosing Warren smacks of pandering to the Religious Right which, I thought, all progressives have been protesting and screaming about since Falwell, Gingrich and that whole crew came to power in the 80s.

Kim December 19, 2008 at 8:00 PM  

As long as Rick Warren isn't in his cabinet, I'm fine.President-elect Obama already said that he disagrees with the Warren's on abortion and same-sex marriage. So I see no problem. As long as Beyonce isn't singing, that is what I was afraid of most and well he does the musical selections from the The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus...LOL

Kim December 19, 2008 at 8:02 PM  

TO: michaelTO

I so agree with your comments.

plez... December 20, 2008 at 12:56 PM  

correct me if i'm wrong, but wasn't the entire premise of Obama's campaign that he was the best person to work with disparate and opposing views? Obama has never wavered in his support of gay rights, BUT he cannot stack his inauguration, nor his Cabinet, with folk who agree with him 100% of the time.

his selection of rick warren as the invocation speaker and joseph lowery as the benediction speaker is completely in-line with how Obama ran his campaign and how he intends to run this country. he is breaking the paradigm of right vs. left, blue vs. red, gay vs. straight, black vs. white... even though, rick warren's message may be reprehensible at times and isn't always one of inclusion, Obama's message must always be one of inclusion!

Obama is going to be the president of people who support gay marriage as well as people who think gays will burn in the fires of Hell. as he has said so many times, we must learn to disagree without being disagreeable.

RiPPa December 21, 2008 at 10:07 AM  

No big deal. Its his mission to be all inclusive. He's been pandering since day one. Speaking of which: I sure wish Black people would have held him accountable for NOT pandering to us or speaking to our "needs" as gov't can provide. He has managed to do that for other demographics but just not us.

Pantheon Zeus January 7, 2009 at 1:34 PM  

more reasons to detest Obama's choice of Rock Warren

He advocates abstinence only/anti-condoms in his AIDS in Africa outreach!!

oh hell no

Rick Warren's Anti-Gay, Anti-Condom AIDS Work in Africa Exposed

It's not pretty.

(from towleroad.com)

In a must-read piece in The Daily Beast, Max Blumenthal notes that, "[Rick] Warren’s defense against charges of intolerance ultimately depends upon his ace card: his heavily publicized crusade against AIDS in Africa."

Blumenthal looks deeper into Warren's activities in Africa in the name of AIDS, his ties to anti-gay Anglican religious figures, and his tacit endorsement of condom-burning and anti-gay 'witch hunts' in Uganda.

A couple of excerpts:

"But since the Warren inauguration controversy erupted, the nature of work against AIDS in Africa has gone unexamined. Warren has not been particularly forthcoming to those who have attempted to look into it. His website contains scant information about the results of his program. However, an investigation into Warren’s involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education...Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them."

Pantheon Zeus January 7, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

Rick Warren's Anti-Gay, Anti-Condom Abstinence Only "AIDS Work" in Africa Exposed

It's not pretty.

In a must-read piece in The Daily Beast, Max Blumenthal notes that, "[Rick] Warren’s defense against charges of intolerance ultimately depends upon his ace card: his heavily publicized crusade against AIDS in Africa."

Blumenthal looks deeper into Warren's activities in Africa in the name of AIDS, his ties to anti-gay Anglican religious figures, and his tacit endorsement of condom-burning and anti-gay 'witch hunts' in Uganda.

A couple of excerpts:

"But since the Warren inauguration controversy erupted, the nature of work against AIDS in Africa has gone unexamined. Warren has not been particularly forthcoming to those who have attempted to look into it. His website contains scant information about the results of his program. However, an investigation into Warren’s involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education...Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them."

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