I’m impressed. Really. I mean it.
President Elect Obama is consistent in his insistence that all viewpoints be heard.
As I was watching Dateline tonight, I found cause to admire our up-coming President, Party affiliation notwithstanding. Ann Curry was interviewing Rev. Rick Warren because the President-elect recently chose Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author The Purpose-Driven Life, to deliver the opening prayer at his inauguration.
A segment of the gay community, already outraged by Rick Warren’s opposition to Proposition 8 [they camped out on his church doorstep with signs and shouting the moment they lost; Warren served them donuts], were further incessed against him. The Human Rights Campaign wrote Pres-elect Obama a rather shrill demanding letter, in which they completely misrepresent Rick Warren [they lump him in with homophobic church leaders who are standing in the way of combating HIV and AIDS in this country, the tons of money he's given towards such aid notwithstanding; either they poorly researched Warren or they never let the facts get in the way of a useful stereotype], made a rather odd punctuation error [why IS there a comma between the words vehemently and anti-gay?], used a lot of loaded weasel words and stated bluntly…
“By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table.”
Oh the drama!
Why do gays always feel like that you don’t have the right to associate with someone who doesn’t agree with them? Why do they feel free speech ends when it deigns to part with their accepted dogma? That’s not the democratic marketplace of ideas. That’s not the USAmerican dialogue. That’s not free speech. It’s fascism! In fact, it’s rather crude fascism at that. Junior high fascism, if you will. They want to polarize USAmerica into armed camps. Us versus Them.
Rick Warren doesn’t completely agree with everything Pres-elect Obama stands for and vice versa. I don’t completely agree with EITHER of them! Everybody knows I don’t agree with what homosexuals believe! God Bless America! Free speech is wonderful. It means you can’t tell me what I can or cannot say. It’s based on the idea that we are not governed, so much that we govern ourselves because we ALL have a voice. Even if that voice is as shrill as the HRC.
I’m glad to report that the President-elect agrees. He issued a statement defending his choice:
I am fierce advocate for equality for gay and — well, let me start by talking about my own views. I think it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something I have been consistent on and something I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.What I’ve also said is that it is important for America to come together even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues.
And I would note that a couple of years ago I was invited to Rick Warren’s church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion.
Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak, and that dialogue, I think, is a part of what my campaign’s been all about, that we’re never going to agree on every single issue. What we have to do is create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable, and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans. So Rick Warren has been invited to speak, Dr. Joseph Lowery — who has deeply contrasting views to Rick Warren about a whole host of issues — is also speaking.
I’m glad President-elect Obama didn’t cave in to the rediculous demand that he only choose the “right kind” of people [wink wink].
Kudos to President-elect Obama!
Kudos to Rev. Rick Warren!
Donuts to the HRC.