Rick Warren to Give Inauguration Invocation

Posted by Katherine | December 19, 2008 – 9:27 pm

Pastor Rick Warren — a vocal opponent of homosexuality and gay marriage — will be giving the invocation on January 20th. For many on the left: not a popular move by their man Barack.

Thirty-year-old trevorkiel is an Obama devotee willing to grant the president-elect lots of wiggle room. But not on this one:

Matthew Cheney, a writer and high-school teacher in New Jersey, is generally skeptical of politicians and hasn’t loved most of Obama’s cabinet picks. But the Warren decision downright pissed him off.

The inauguration is not a conference or a summit where ideas are tossed around and debated; it is a symbolic moment, one that, in this instance, for good or ill, will resonate for many years. […] The invocation for this profoundly symbolic event will now be given by a man who believes — and who acts upon his belief, encouraging other people to join him in it and to create laws based upon it — that a group of people are, because of who and how they love, less deserving of equal human rights than he is. […]

It wasn’t specific policy proposals that caused the widespread passionate support of Mr. Obama, it was our belief that he held a more generous view of his fellow human beings than do such people as Rick Warren.

The Tin Man is a gay 34-year-old legal editor in Manhattan. He feels the salt in the Prop-8 wound:

I think it was a rare tone-deaf decision. And it means one of two things, neither of which makes me feel good. Either Obama didn’t expect the reaction he got because he doesn’t understand what a bitter thing Prop 8 is for gay people, which reflects poorly on his empathy for us; or he did expect the reaction but thought it was worth taking the heat because Warren could be valuable to him in the future.

My guess is a little bit of both.

Immutef, although personally opposed to Warren, understands — and supports — Obama’s decision. He says Warren’s followers are every bit as American as progressives — and need to be included in solving the critical issues everyone can agree on:

Hot-sauce-loving Texas lawyer publius (featured previously here and here) gets the anger about Warren but thinks it obscures “the larger long-term political benefits of Obama’s outreach.”

There are a lot of evangelicals in the country. And carving out just a slice of them would cripple the GOP.

And at present, there’s a battle going on within the evangelical community — a crossroads. […] Warren (literally and symbolically) is challenging an evangelical leadership status quo that is extremely hostile to Democrats. […]

In short, Obama’s invitation is extremely ambitious — FDR or Nixon-level ambitious. He’s trying to wedge one of the other side’s key coalition groups and assemble a new permanent coalition (or at least one that attracts less incoming fire). With that new coalition in place, the legislative environment for LGBT rights will much more conducive to progress.

ModernEsquire is a lawyer in southwest Ohio. He’s a progressive gay-rights supporter but doesn’t get “why the gay community is all up in arms” over Warren. He doesn’t believe the choice signals hostility towards the LGBT community.

If the gay and lesbian community truly believes that this means that they don’t have a place at the table, then they apparently had a fundamental misunderstanding of exactly what kind of “table” they were being offered access to under an Obama Administration. It was never a table for two, nor was it one where the Rick Warrens of the world would be asked to leave in Obama’s promised post-partisan political world where issues are discussed and debated in a transparent way involving all interested parties, instead under the myopia of the partisan lens. […]

The inauguration of a President is a governmental act, not a partisan one. I welcome a ceremony that reminds everyone that President-elect Obama will be the President of the United States of America, and not the Democratic citizens of America.

Brandon A. Cox has been a “follower of Jesus Christ” since 1984 and is now Lead Pastor at Bethel Baptist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. He believes it’s “commendable when someone wants greater harmony for humanity at large” and favors an invocation by Warren:

I do think Barack Obama is working for greater unity and discussion. I think Rick Warren hopes for the same. I would simply urge the majority of Americans to listen to the dialogue, allow for differences to be expressed in the marketplace of ideas, and be willing to grant that many Christians can love homosexuals while embracing the Bible as an inerrant source of information about moral issues.

Tricky, this postpartisan thing.


  1. 2 Responses to “Rick Warren to Give Inauguration Invocation”

  2. During the election, people said they wanted a more civil political system. That’s why they chose Obama.

    By amzvideos on Dec 20, 2008

  3. good memory on the hot sauce! :)

    i got a sriracha sauce T-shirt for my birthday and it’s become my favoirte possession

    By publius on Dec 20, 2008

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