How do I hate this idea? Let me count the ways:
1. Warren supported California’s Proposition 8 banning gay marriage.
2. He opposes abortion, terming it an “American holocaust.”
3. He opposes stem cell research.
4. Warren agreed with FOXNews’ Sean Hannity, who advocated “taking out” Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
I really do understand the strategy at work here and in general approve of it. It’s a good thing to reach beyond the traditional Democratic base and embrace evangelicals. Seeing evangelicals as our mortal enemies is not a good thing. Where we have common interests we should make common cause.
But Obama is playing a dangerous game. He’s figuring if I want to draw in evangelicals I’ll go to the big Kahuna. If I can work with him then his followers will follow. He figures that as president he will be able to subsume Warren and his followers within his own overarching political agenda. But what happens if Obama’s charisma isn’t enough to keep the evangelicals in line, and he finds at some later date that he needs their vote in 2012 or he needs their legislative support? What price will he be willing to pay then? What’s he willing to jettison from his social agenda for the sake of keeping Rick Warren happy?
I would much rather Obama have chosen a more moderate evangelical to deliver his invocation. There are such figures in the movement. It is not all Pat Robertsons and Jerry Falwells. By choosing someone with whom he had more in common politically he would’ve made his point about drawing in evangelicals, but wouldn’t have done such violence to his own political philosophy.
Obama apparently believes that inviting Rev. Joseph Lowery, one of Martin Luther King’s chief aides and former leader of the Southern Christian Leaership Conference, to deliver the benediction, he’s provided some political-religious balance.
I’d urge Obama not to forget American Muslims as well. They were virtually invisible during the campaign and Obama ran away from them as fast as he could for obvious reasons. But he shouldn’t have to do that now. And using his middle name during the swearing in ceremony isn’t sufficient.
While everyone loves Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman, for political and creative reasons I would love to have seen Daniel Barenboim perform as well. His support for Palestinian rights and status as an Israeli citizen would speak volumes without having to say a word.
John Dickerson says
Rick Warren’s Hero, W.A. Criswell, Was Fierce Foe of Desegregation in the 1950s
By MARC McDONALD @ beggarscanbechoosers.com
Rick Warren is a big fan of the late Southern Baptist pastor, W.A. Criswell (1909–2002). Warren once wrote, “In fact, I believe W.A. Criswell was the greatest American pastor of the 20th Century.”
And just who is this pastor, who Warren believes is worth of such praise?
Criswell, like Warren, was a pastor and author. He was a president of the Southern Baptist Convention. And he was regarded by many as a major figure behind the right-wing fundamentalist takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention, beginning in the 1960s.
Oh, and early in his career, Criswell was a racist bigot. In fact, like Warren, Criswell used his twisted interpretation of the Bible to try to defend his bigotry……..
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.beggarscanbechoosers.com/2008/12/rick-warrens-hero-wa-criswell-also-used.html
John Dickerson says
Rick Warren: The New National Preacher – He’s “Davos People”
by Michael Collins @ thesmirkingchimp | December 20, 2008
Rick Warren’s selection to open the upcoming inauguration created a well justified scandal given his appallingly bigoted views on gay marriage. Equating that institution with both incest and pedophilia shows a total lack of judgment and compassion. This should make him unacceptable for civilized company, not to mention the opening act of the 44th Presidential Inauguration.
Taking a broader look at Warren and his rapid rise to prominence, however, the choice seems logical. Warren has been cultivated as the new Billy Graham, the right wing preacher who ratified the actions of the leaders that he blesses as God’s representative. Since the Eisenhower presidency, Graham legitimized every war and military incursion by “visiting” the White House, praying for the current president, and conferring “Godliness” on them. Graham would then go public after the prayer event and say kind things about the president, every president.
Billy Graham even went along with President Nixon’s prolonged anti Jewish remarks during a recorded 1972 conversation by saying, “This stranglehold (of Jews) has got to be broken or the country’s going down the drain.” Chicago Tribune, Feb. 28, 2002………..
ENTIR ARTICLE – http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/19319
John Dickerson says
GOD SEZ BOMB IRAN! – RICK WARREN’S INTERPRETATION OF “ROMANS 13”
Rick Warren: Stopping Evil ‘Is The Legitimate Role Of Government’»
By Matt Duss on Dec 4th, 2008 @ thinkprogress.com
Appearing on Fox’s Hannity and Colmes to promote his new book, Pastor Rick Warren made a brief foray into foreign policy. Responding to Hannity’s assertion that “we need to take him [Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] out,” Warren agreed, saying that stopping evil “is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers.”
TRANSCRIPT / VIDEO – http://wonkroom.thinkprogress.org/2008/12/04/warren-stopping-evil/