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  I know there's been a lot said regarding this decision by President-elect Obama regarding his choosing Rev. Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Ca. to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration. Many have tared and feathered an effigy of Obama over this pick simply because of this choice, but truthfully I think it is a brilliant pick not because of what Rev. Warren stands for (because I personally disagree with is position of abortion and gay rights) but for the message that ALL Americans have a place at this administration's table.

  My frustration is with both right and left critics and proponents who have lambasted both men for the move and the acceptance on Rev. Warren's part. Many talk about being inclusive or accepting of others, but both sides refuse to even meet together on neutral areas for the sake of the country. If we are to work together on the problems we face in our line of fire we got to get over "our ugly selves" (as a friend of mine says) and get to a place where we can talk understanding where each of us are in our position(s).

 How we forget how Obama is one who isn't afraid of going across the aisle and trying to work with them finding common ground to build on. How we forget that Obama was against gay marriage on record before Proposition 8 came to light. His choice may not be the most approved thing on the books in his political career. If we let this decision concerning who prays for the nation keep us from witnessing the peaceful transfer of power and the new step Obama wants to take we miss out on the whole purpose of this campaign to begin with. WE talk out of the side of our heads if we just say we want to work with our enemies to find common ground. Say what you will about Obama's choice or policies, Obama can't be faulted for not taking a stand and living to his principals.

  As a believer in Christ, I was taught by a wise Pastor (who happened to be gay) about holding a grudge. If you hold on to a grudge too long you won't be able to get to the business at hand. It's true. I hold on to too many grudges in my own life; many of these grudges could be let go so I can get to the place where I can reconcile with the people I have issues with. Trust me, I have issues not just with Rev. Warren but with all those who hold to this bigotry against my GLBT friends and family members. I can hold on to this grudge against Rev. Warren and his ilk missing the opportunity to turn the page on this divisive debate. Or, I can take a chance to put my grudge down and give a chance for someone like Rev. Warren a place in the spotlight letting all Americans know this administration doesn't represent just one type of American, but every American on these shores. Obama demonstrates with his choice his willingness to make the White House "the people's house"--ALL THE PEOPLE'S WHITE HOUSE!

  If we want to discuss this topic on gay marriage and bring it to the rest of the country there needs to be three things necessary to win over our opponents:

  1. A willingness to talk directly to our enemies--religious or non-religious who cannot accept people of the same sex joined together in marriage.
  1. A willingness for the GLBT community to reach out to minorities who are strongly against anything that clouds their views about marriage. One of the main critiques from those who saw the aftermath of Prop 8 was that not enough outreach was made to minority groups and GLBT people of color to see where they stood and how they could find inroads within those communities. (Some of these communities still see the gay/lesbian community as a "white only lifestyle"  or a "novelty" as apposed to something which is found on every social level of life.)
  1. A willingness to put the issue of marriage to the light and find who is telling the truth regarding what marriage is all about. There are many who think of marriage as a religious issue; some may see it as a secular issue. Should Americans look at marriage as a civil/religious subject? Can we find a common solution without the loss of life or personal attacks? Can government separate religion from politics and let both sides find a reasonable solution to this?

  Look, I don't want to fight either side on this I just want to see Obama sworn in as our 44th President of the United States. Crucifying him before he even comes to D.C. is not the answer. I know not everyone will agree with this view and I am willing to be in the minority on this. But to me this is a brilliant and powerful move to me simply for one reason: If he is willing to give his enemies a moment to participate not as an enemy but as a human being with strong viewpoints then I can only imagine how he will deal with our enemies abroad. I do think just treating an enemy like Rev. Warren (and those in the Religious Right who agree with his views) like a human being --a part of the main populace--is a good sign for diplomacy with other domestic and foreign groups from this young administration.

  I can appreciate Obama's approach knowing if I do disagree with him I got a chance to work hard, form with others, march, write letters, call my congressperson, challenge the President, protest, etc. I appreciate how he is willing to call those on the other side of the aisle and get beyond "gotcha" politics by making sure he is willing to treat them as people with views not targets for a "presidential list".

  To ignore those on the other side (no matter how despicable they are and no matter how much I want to hold a grudge against them) and say we care more about America then they do is the wrong message in all the yelling and debating over the Warren pick. Those on the right do care about their country, they do care about where this nation is going, and they do have their men and women in all walks of our society. I know others will not agree, but to keep their chair empty from the table would be the worst signal possible in these trouble times we live in.

  My .02...let me get my goggles so I can get my share of tomatoes.

Originally posted to Abacab on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 06:59 PM PST.

Poll

Do you think people like Rev. Rick Warren can be reasoned with regarding progessive issues?

21%16 votes
18%14 votes
43%32 votes
6%5 votes
9%7 votes

| 74 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tomatoes? (7+ / 0-)

      I'm standing behind the podium now. Let me get through shaking the hand of my friend before you fire though.

    "Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes..." --Tears for Fears (Seeds of Love)

    by Abacab on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:00:41 PM PST

  •  All a big mix-up: its actually Warren Beatty... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abacab

    ...Arch-Deacon of the church of liberalism, who will be giving the invocation.

    The theme will be heaven can wait...

    Will W get to keep Saddam's trophy pistols? Will he get to collect unemployment?

    by Minerva on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:03:50 PM PST

  •  A different take (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    homoaffectional, theKgirls

    In order to win this election, the Republicans went to great length to create fear of Obama, and (especially with low information voters) succeeded. I've personally run into folks in the rural south and some fundamentalists who are truly terrified of the man they call "Hussein."

    When Rick Warren (who makes millions and has inordinate influence on these folks) asks God's blessing on the Obama administration, he is giving many of these folks permission to relax.

  •  All people should not have a place (10+ / 0-)

    at this administration's table, because some people don't have anything legitimate or worthwhile to add to the dialogue.  White supremacists and anti-semites don't belong at the table.  Likewise, people who think that gays and lesbians are morally equivalent to child molestors don't belong at the table.  This should be non-negotiable.

  •  Look, lets do this again. (6+ / 0-)

    He equates me and my love with love with a brother and a sister, or love between an adult and someone under age.

    So NO.

    I cannot "talk" to someone and discuss issues with someone who thinks of me in this way.

    Obama gave tepid support to gays and lesbians in the past.

    The gay and lesbian community is used to donating large sums of money and getting shafted in the past.

    Many thought this time would be different.

    Many felt betrayed due to 8 in CA.

    So when this hit the fan....and Warren actively made pro-8 comments and anti-gay statements about our love being like incest and pedo-phillic love it struck us very hard.

    So we were stung and hurt.

    So no...many of us cannot and will not 'talk nice' and we feel slighted and hurt and feel stabbed in the back.

    Economic Left/Right: 6.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -4.92

    by BFSkinner on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:06:44 PM PST

  •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Viceroy, Matt in AA, rf7777

    When Obama invites John Hagee and Fred Phelps to deliver prayers alongside Warren and his 'token' Progressive choice, then i will buy your inane and psych-babble-filled 'reach out to EVERYONE' argument.

    Until then.....

    I;m sure there's a Nazi or white Supremacist in your neighborhood that could use a nice plate of chocolate chip cookies and a hug!

    I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!

    by GayIthacan on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:08:34 PM PST

  •  Hyperbole much? (5+ / 0-)

    tared [sic] and feathered an effigy of Obama

    How about Obama say something to the public positive about GLBT people and their rights?  You know, as a gesture of good faith?

    Would that not be the right thing to do for you?

    •  Read much Rserven? (0+ / 0-)

      So what do you say Obama boots Warren from the progam and doesn't work for gay rights too?  Because from this corner, that's what seems to be so important to you.

      "It’s important for Americans to come together even though we may disagree on certain social issues," Obama said.

      Thepresident-elect asserted that he is and will continue to be a "fierce advocate for equality" for gay and lesbian couples, but he noted that Warren invited Obama to speak at his church knowing that the two men disagree on hot-button social issues.

      Obama noted that the Rev. Joseph Lowery, the preacher giving the benediction at his inauguration, holds opposing social views from Warren, adding that there will be "a wide range of views represented" at his inauguration.

      "And that’s how it should be because that’s what America is all about," Obama said.

  •  But this isn't a discussion (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vacantlook

    This is a reward to Warren to speak.  Nobody is saying that in the right setting we should shut out other voices.  This isn't about shutting out voices.  This, as seen by many gay people who've been wrongly vilified and seen rights voted away time and time again while the right smiles with glee and the Democrats cast their eyes elswhere, is seen (and you might disagree with this) as a reward of some sort.  THAT's where the anger is coming from. Of course all sides should be able to sit down and be civil.  But there won't be a discussion on that platform.

    Cheers.

    Formerly of Ann Arbor (AA). Now in Baltimore!

    by Matt in AA on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:11:02 PM PST

  •  Ah well, fooled again! (3+ / 0-)

    Obama almost had you there, didn't he?

    It's like when Biden laughed when asked about gay marriage during the VP debates...

    .. You see, for people like Obama and Biden... homosexuals are a fantastic group to pander to when they need votes... but, when the rubber hits the road, they'll drop you like a bad habit.

    Ambassador Trentino: I am willing to do anything to prevent this war. Rufus T. Firefly: It's too late. I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield.

    by Why A Duck on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:11:24 PM PST

  •  Fail (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer

    Why not invite white supremacists and neo-nazis to the table?  I don't see him having those bigots to say a prayer.

    Obama is a pure politician, already running for 2012.  I believed in him.  Now?  Meh...

  •  Sorry... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    paxpdx, newpioneer, BFSkinner

    but this issue is not exclusively about equal protection of marriage rights or women's liberty.  Rick Warren, this fall, outed himself as a devout and driven homophobic bigot, with numerous public comments that are not only wrong, but utterly despicable.  He was the public leader, with television addresses, of the campaign to extinguish civil rights of gays and lesbians in California, which succeeded.

    With those views, he should be allowed nowhere near any policy table; let alone an inaugural ceremony.  Should LBJ have invited Bull Connor to hear his views on the Civil Right Act?  Should Alice Paul have invited Pa Ferguson and Joe Bailey to the table to discuss women's suffrage?

    Inviting avowed bigots to expound upon their views is rarely a good idea; honoring them with prominent dais positions at the inauguration is idiotic.  

    "As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."

    by Viceroy on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:17:05 PM PST

  •  So ALL people have a place at the table? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newpioneer, BFSkinner

    Even hatemongers and bigots??? Explain to me why having them at the table is a good idea.

  •  Please... (0+ / 0-)

    Rick Warren compared my loving marriage to another man to incest, beastiality, and felonious behavior.

    How am I supposed to trust a man who believes that the only thing worse than me being a gay man is me being a Satan worshiper?

    We have tried for 30 years to reason and negotiate and break bread with the religious right and they are just as mean-spirited and hostile and nasty as they were when Reagan was in office.

    So, you tell me.

    How many more YEARS am I going to have to wait until we realize the religious right hates me and you and everyone else that doesn't march lockstep in whatever it is they are peddling this month?

    NARAL and HRC endorsed Lieberman. Therefore, I can no longer endorse them.

    by LeftofArizona on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:18:47 PM PST

  •  Addiction (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Abacab

    These Warren diaries are like an addiction.  Just when I think I'm sick of them, I click on another interesting one and can't get enough of it.  

    I'm supportive of the Warren choice.  

    •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      LeftofArizona

      How about if Obama invited the Grand Wizard of the KKK? Would you support that too? Because from where I'm standing, there ain't a spit of difference between the two.

      Ambassador Trentino: I am willing to do anything to prevent this war. Rufus T. Firefly: It's too late. I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield.

      by Why A Duck on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:22:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  No; but there is a difference (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Abacab

        First obligatory disclosure that I'm a gay guy. I'm not offended in the least. It's a prayer and he isn't the Grand Wizard. There happens to be about,oh maybe, 200 million people in the United States who do not support gay marriage, including two people named Obama and Biden. I happen to think gay marriage is something people can reasonably disagree on.  Oh, (sigh)...I am tired of arguing about this after all....

        •  I'm gay also... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Abacab, Support Civil Liberty

          ... and if African-Americans ran the civil rights movement like we run the gay rights movement... they'd still be riding on the back of the bus!

          Ambassador Trentino: I am willing to do anything to prevent this war. Rufus T. Firefly: It's too late. I've already paid a month's rent on the battlefield.

          by Why A Duck on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:31:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  yeah, but we dont want "americans" like warren (0+ / 0-)

    yeah it is nice to have everyone at the table
    but the goal would be not have have ppl like warren in existence for them to be at the table
    obama is condoning bad behaviour

  •  From Huffington Post, and intersting take (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Viceroy

     Thanks for your comments--pro or con. I'm not here to dog anyone's comments, just think I needed to share what I felt about it and let it all hang out.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

    "Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes..." --Tears for Fears (Seeds of Love)

    by Abacab on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:27:04 PM PST

    •  Abacab (0+ / 0-)

      Why are you willing to trust people like Warren when they have a proven track record of caring little for anyone but themselves and their own cause?

      NARAL and HRC endorsed Lieberman. Therefore, I can no longer endorse them.

      by LeftofArizona on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:31:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Re: Abacab (0+ / 0-)

          Because, frankly, you got to start somewhere.

         I can spend all my energy hating a guy, but maybe a few moves to build the type of relationship to maybe sway a person to see things on the other side. Hey, a guy like me didn't think gays had a place in church. It took my best friend to show me different; then she introduced me to others in the GLBT community and in time I changed my tune. Maybe it takes a willingness on both sides to overcome differences.

        "Time to eat all your words, swallow your pride, open your eyes..." --Tears for Fears (Seeds of Love)

        by Abacab on Thu Dec 18, 2008 at 07:37:02 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Fundies DON'T CHANGE (0+ / 0-)
    Damnit! It must be nice for you liberal white-tower elites who grew up in big cities to think nice of the Fundies. Those of us down in the trenches --- those of us living in red states like West Virginia and Ohio --- those of us who were raised by Fundamentalists know that they cannot be reasoned with!

    I'm supposed to be grateful that Barack Obama THINKS Rick Warren can change? Fuck that!

  •  Straights tell gays, " Just let it go..." again. (0+ / 0-)

    How many times have I heard "progressive" straight people rationalize why now isn't the time for gay people to push their agenda....

    Shit.  We busted our asses for Obama and all we believed was represented by 'change.'  And not just in this presidential election, but for those of us in Illinois, back in the Senate primary in 2004.  My friends and I on the northside of Chicago were early and avid supporters.

    Were Rick Warren speaking about Blacks, Jews, Latinos or Asians the way he's talked about Gay people and Gay relationships, no way he'd be invited to the inauguration.

    Want to be inclusive?  Invite Karl Rove, invite the KKK.  

    Shit.

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