Friday, December 19, 2008

On Picking Warren

I am trying to maintain a positive attitude about our next president in the face of his pick of Rick Warren to be part of his historic inauguration, but I just simply cannot consider it with anything other than serious disappointment and misgiving.

John Harwood on Countdown claims that because we like so many of the things that Obama is doing that we must therefor accept without complaint everything that he does. We should not complain about his pick of Rick Warren because he is getting the troops out of Iraq, cutting taxes on the middle class, etc.

While actions do exist within a pattern of the whole, I do not agree with Harwood. To me each action must stand on its own merits as well as being seen within the context of the pattern.

"We must learn to disagree,” Obama says, “without being disagreeable.” And he then picks a person to give the invocation who compares gay marriage to incest and pedophilia; who compares abortion to the Holocaust. Rick Warren disagrees in the most disagreeable terms imaginable.

“We must have a policy of including everyone,” Obama says. Rick Warren preaches exclusion of an entire class in the most disagreeable terms that one can think of and Obama, in the name of inclusiveness, gives him a world platform.

But perhaps this should not surprise us. Barack Obama says he supports equality for gays and lesbians, but he has told us that he would exclude them from the equality of marriage based on his own personal religious definition of that word. He does not care how you or I define it, or how they define it, or how any other church defines it; he would base that exclusion on his definition. He has repeatedly dodged the question of how he intends to deal with the issue of gays serving in our military.

There is an old saying that goes, “Your actions speak so loudly that I can’t hear what you say.” Perhaps, with this action, we just learned something about Barack Obama that we did not really want to know.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Jayhawk - while I usually agree with you, but I have to make an exception in this case. One of the comments on the Iraq shoe-throwing situation was a note that this is the first audience in years that hasn't been pre-screened for pro-Bush views. My understanding is that Warren invited Obama to speak at his church, *despite* the fact that Warren disagreed w/ Obama's views. Obama is returning the favor. What a breath of fresh air! The notion that we can actually talk with and even (shudder) have meaningful discussions with people who don't share our world view is, to me, a sign that adults are in charge again, for the first time in a long time. I don't agree with some of Warren's views either. On the other hand, he has done some astounding things with his life that I can only say, "I wish that I was more like him." We may have transitioned into a new era where things are no longer black and white, but various shades of grey. I sincerely doubt that Warren will change my perspecitve (especially as he has, what, 5 minutes?), I welcome the fact that he has the opportunity to be a meaningful participant in our national dialogue, despite the fact that I find some of his views to be troubling, at best.

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