The Warren Invocation

Obama is going to have Rick Warren give the invocation at his inauguration, and this has a lot of people upset. A sample:

This selection is clearly not about “change”—it’s about making a high profile decision to give the stage over to a known homophobe; choosing Rick Warren is tantamount to asking any of the professional anti-gay “Christian” set to stand up there. There is no excuse for this; given there are so many leaders of the faith community that are in alignment with equality for all.

I understand this sentiment completely. I really do. In fact, in large part, I agree. I would prefer someone else.

But I also understand that I would much rather have Warren given a few minutes to speak about religion at a time and manner appropriate for religious discussion than I would having Obama give a nod to the religious right by appointing the God squad to Justice, to the FDA, to NASA, and so on. When Rick Warren and folks like him are driving policy in an Obama administration, I will then muster the necessary outrage.

So while not my first choice, not a big deal. Let him speak for a few minutes and be done with them. I will spend the time pouring a drink or going to the bathroom.

*** Update ***

This makes sense:

If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, you’d see this for what it is—not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye. They’ve been fighting to see who gets to be the spokesman for the movement, and lately it’s been a tie. Obama just broke it.

And let’s be clear, there is a difference between those groups. Warren may not be progressive on gay rights, but he’s been out front on a number of issues of global justice—traveling from Davos to Damascus, and working hard to get rank-and-file evangelicals invested in “creation care” environmentalism and the fight against global HIV/AIDS.

If he were put in charge of HHS or listened to on gay policies, I’d be pissed. But what Obama is doing here isn’t that. It’s a move that marginalizes the worst on the religious right, elevates a guy who’s more progressive than most religious leaders on a number of issues, and earns him some moderate cred at the outset.

If Obama sells out on the progressive promise in actual policy, I’ll be in the streets protesting with everyone else. But if his “selling out” is having a fairly moderate, popular evangelical give the invocation at the inaugural—when large sections of this country still worry Obama’s a scary evil Mooooslim—then who gives a flying fuck?

227 replies
  1. 1
    Laura W says:

    Pour a drink, empty bladder. Hey! That’s MY strategy for Tweety viewing.
    BTW, here’s the Tweety link from tonight for Demi and others who care to revisit not only the Tick Tock torture issue, but the slow and sad slip slide away of Christopher Robin.

  2. 2
    Catsy says:

    I think a big part of the problem I have with this is that while I don’t have to listen to Warren if I don’t want to, even if I grant all of your points as true, the fact is that giving Warren this stage legitimizes him. It legitimizes him at a time when his kind of fringe hate politics should be delegitimized and shunned by decent people.

  3. 3
    MattF says:

    Warren is rather widely respected– mistakenly, IMO. He does love publicity, though, and if giving the invocation at Obama’s inauguration is a step to his castration as a political force– that’s fine with me.

  4. 4
    demimondian says:

    It’s a slap in the face. Seriously, the best hope is that Obama is totally tone deaf to GLBT issues — first, he has an "inclusion" concert where he showcases an "ex-Gay" singer, and now he puts Rick Warren in the inauguration? He’s got near perfect pitch on other issues, so this sounds like it’s intentional.

    That’s very bad.

  5. 5
    Shygetz says:

    Nope, sorry, not buying it. It’s not an "either-or" situation–Obama didn’t have to choose to either let Rick Warren give an invocation or load the Executive Branch with God-Squadders. He could easily have chosen none of the above. This is Obama trying to build coalitions between an oppressed homosexual minority and a group of people that are upset that queer-stomping is no longer fashionable. Unless the first words out of Warren’s mouth is "Sorry about that gay bashing stuff", then I have no interest in hearing it.

    And on a general note, I have no interest in being part of a "At least Obama’s not as bad as Bush" line of thought. While I’m not jumping off of the Obama-train, I’m very disappointed at this selection. Given a purely symbolic choice to choose an inclusive speaker for the invocation, he chooses an exclusive one. Bad idea.

  6. 6
    Blogging in the Wind says:

    His actions are speaking louder than his words to me.

  7. 7
    glynor says:

    Here here, John!

  8. 8
    Catsy says:

    It’s a slap in the face. Seriously, the best hope is that Obama is totally tone deaf to GLBT issues—first, he has an "inclusion" concert where he showcases an "ex-Gay" singer, and now he puts Rick Warren in the inauguration? He’s got near perfect pitch on other issues, so this sounds like it’s intentional.

    There’s a reason why I’m holding my fire on this one: I’ve had visceral gut reactions to a lot of decisions Obama has made throughout the primary and general elections, and in nearly every single case, my take has been wrong. Almost every time, Obama shows that he’s playing a much deeper game than I am, and for that reason I’ve stopped second-guessing him as much.

    I don’t like this, but I’m not going to raise hell over it.

  9. 9
    demimondian says:

    @Catsy: I was right about the FISA capitulation, and I’ve been right about a number of other mistakes he’s made.

    Then again, as things get worse, he’s going to be forced to the left. In the long run, we’re all he has, too. He’s just taking a while to remember it.

  10. 10
    Shygetz says:

    I’m not gonna raise hell over it either, but seriously, how much juice do you think Macchiaveli himself could squeeze out of a damned invocation address? If Obama has gotten significant political concessions in exchange for letting Warren give the invocation, I’ll take my minor outrage back…and eat my hat, as well.

  11. 11
    Incertus says:

    @Catsy: You know, for me this is one of those cases where I don’t care what game he’s playing–the prize probably isn’t worth it. I mean, unless he’s doing this because he figures it’ll get him DADT overturned and DOMA repealed and both Scalia and Alito keeling over with heart attacks six months into his first term, then it’s a bad move. Trust me–I hate the "slap in the face" meme as much as anyone, but this really is a slap in the face to LGBT people. He better get the deal of the century out of it.

  12. 12
    John Cole says:

    Having Warren speak changes not one policy. Nothing.

    On the other hand, it may foster some good will which might make passing otherwise unpopular policies easier.

    I understand people are pissed, and I know why. I was pretty pissed about what I perceived to be shitty treatment of Arab-Americans.

    I managed to find a way to cope.

  13. 13
    Aristides says:

    I think I’m a member of the "so what?" coalition in regards to Obama’s appointments to cabinet positions thus far, but I gotta say having Rick Warren near this event is bothersome to me. There are quite a number of more deserving (that is, more progressive) leaders of all denominations who would be happy to deliver the invocation. Is the outreach to the not-as-crazy evangelicals really worth not using one of them?

  14. 14
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    What, Rev. Wright wasn’t available? Well, GAWD DAYUM Amurica!

  15. 15
    kay says:

    I hate this idea. What no one seems to realize is there ARE religious Lefties. I’m not one of them, but there are a LOT of them, and they were bonkers over Obama.

    If we’re going to have religion in the public square, and it appears we’re going to, is there some rule that says conservative religious are the only ones who get a forum?

    I’d like a little diversity, please, Obama. Religious Lefties have taken a real beating over the years from the screamers on the Right. That side of the religious spectrum is not heard from enough. Am I wrong to think the Democrat should give one of them the microphone? It’s been twenty years. They probably have a lot to say.

  16. 16
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    You know what no one is commenting on, at least from my look at the Big Orange? The benediction is being given by Joseph Lowery, of "good crazy" fame. Warren is no more going to be Obama’s "personal pastor" than Lowery is (or at least Lowery would be before Warren).

    I don’t like this pick either, but in my reptilian brain it seems politically brilliant. Co-opt the fuck out of Rick Warren, knock the leg from under the suburban white megachurch people. Take away their fake grievances as excluded people. For the more fuzzy-headed, make Rick Warren a vague non-partisan rah rah America useful idiot, instead of just a Republican one.
    Seduce him with power, make him want to be the next Billy Graham. He will bite, and tone down the anti-gay crap in exchange for an ego inflation.
    Then pursue the agenda you were going to anyway.

  17. 17

    I care about this about as much as I care who says grace at Thanksgiving Dinner. I just wait it out and grab for the food, doesn’t matter to me who says it or what they say. It’s not about me, it doesn’t affect me. Just let me at the mashed potatoes and the gravy and the squash and the peas, I’m hungry. I’ve probably been in the kitchen all day and I want to eat and get back to the football game on tv.

    And if they invited me to a meeting before dinner to discuss who is saying grace, my answer would be, please be quiet, I’m listening to the football game. Pick whoever you want.

    This invocation thing? Just like that.

    Who.Gives.A.Fuck.

  18. 18
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Ha!
    Fuckhead’s come home to roost.

  19. 19
    The Moar You Know says:

    Wow, nobody here has figured out what game is being played? Not one of you?

    Sad. I’ll just say this; when you guys figure it out, you’re gonna be laughing your asses off.

    (edit): Ha! Spoke too soon. Mazacote’s figured it out.

  20. 20
    Incertus says:

    @John Cole: No, but it makes LGBT people nervous as to what those policies will be.

  21. 21
    Shygetz says:

    Hear, hear kay. I hate to get all Nixon on you, but why doesn’t Obama use this opportunity to subtly insist that a "silent majority" of religious Americans don’t really give a damn what (or who) you do in your bedroom. Instead, he hands out an olive branch to a group of people that literally think he is a tool of Satan here to bring about the Apocalypse! Seriously, you don’t hand olive branches to people who are going to proceed to beat you about the head and shoulders with it.

  22. 22
    demimondian says:

    @John Cole: NO, it changes not one policy. But it shows a huge, glaring blindness to the suffering of a large part of Obama’s coalition, and, in so doing, strongly suggests that he really doesn’t get gay rights.

    Who? Gives? A? Fuck? Gay and lesbian voters, TZ — they give a huge fuck, as they ought to.

  23. 23
    The Other Steve says:

    Whatever, Billy Graham gave the invocation at Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

    Graham used to be the universal pastor. Now he’s old and can’t get out much anymore. Rick Warren is replacing him.

    Frankly, I think Warren is more of a self-help tool then a pastor, but whatever. He’s not hateful about it.

  24. 24
    Blue Raven says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    And if they invited me to a meeting before dinner to discuss who is saying grace, my answer would be, please be quiet, I’m listening to the football game. Pick whoever you want.

    This. It’s a prayer. He’s not making a speech, he’s reciting a freaking prayer. Frankly, anyone with a piece of paper and a microphone could do this. Is it a sop to the far right? I don’t know and I don’t care. We’re creating false drama, people. Can we tone it down a bit?

  25. 25
    Doug H. (Comrade Fausto no more) says:

    Can anyone remind me when the last time there was such a furor over a Presidential inagural?

  26. 26
    Blue Raven says:

    @demimondian:

    Who? Gives? A? Fuck? Gay and lesbian voters, TZ —they give a huge fuck, as they ought to.

    As a bisexual voter, I’d like to say that the coalition of the drama queens does not speak for me.

  27. 27
    Perry Como says:

    @Mazacote Yorquest:

    Bingo. This kneecaps the religious wingnuts. Either that or it’s a dastardly plan by a sekkrit Mooslim to convert a Good Christian(TM).

  28. 28
    Doug H. (Comrade Fausto no more) says:

    Whatever, Billy Graham gave the invocation at Clinton’s inauguration in 1993.

    Billy gave the invocation for Jimmy Carter too.

  29. 29
    Dreggas says:

    I can’t get overly bent on this one either. Granted I don’t think Warren is worth the flesh he’s printed on (nor are any leaders of organized religion for that matter). To me it was the same as people getting ticked over the "ex-gay" singer at an Obama event. The guy wasn’t there to shape policy, nor will warren be. Of course if I had my way there’d be no invocation of any celestial being anyway.

  30. 30
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Blue Raven: Yeah, I had the same thought. Is there nothing our online gay and lesbian brothers and almost brothers aren’t freaking out about these days? I can’t sustain the outrage. Yawn.

  31. 31
    Dreggas says:

    @Blue Raven:

    As another bi-sexual voter and someone who was against prop-h8 and voted against it and did not want it passed I still don’t care if Warren is giving the invocation.

  32. 32
    Shygetz says:

    Can anyone remind me when the last time there was such a furor over a Presidential inagural?

    You certainly have a low threshold for "a furor" if you think this qualifies. This is a few people expressing mild to moderate discontent over the symbolism of what is admittedly a purely symbolic decision. I don’t think even the most hardcore GLBT activists are advising to burn shit down over this.

    Bingo. This kneecaps the religious wingnuts.

    If you think this is enough to shut up the Religious wingnuts, then you haven’t been paying attention, my friend.

  33. 33
    kay says:

    @Shygetz:

    It may be an integral part of being a religious Lefty that they don’t yell loud enough. Maybe they ACTUALLY turn the other cheek. It’s beyond my understanding. Read the quotes from them, re: this decision, and compare to the religious Right, had Bush tried something like this.

    They’re ‘saddened". They’re "disappointed". They make sure not to trash Warren. They’re just completely out of their league up against slippery Megachurch Man.

  34. 34
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Shygetz:

    If you think this is enough to shut up the Religious wingnuts, then you haven’t been paying attention, my friend.

    .. or doesn’t know any..

  35. 35
    shera says:

    The last eight years have seen the government conflate religion and policy to such an extent that it’s reasonable to be nervous about Warren’s presence at the inauguration. I object to the idea of an invocation or any sort of religious ritual at the inauguration in the first place, but I find myself not too upset about Warren. If this kind of stuff is what’s important to the religious right, I say they can have it. I’ll get nervous when they start shaping the Obama administration’s policies.

  36. 36

    Sorry, I’m STILL stuck in THANK GOD MCPALIN DIDN’T WIN mode, what are we talking about?

    Rick Warren?

    [wince] Gads.

    In and ideal world he would take a flying half gainer off a tall building and I suspect he’ll attract unsavory elements to my fair city. But at least I don’t have to worry the Wrinkly Old Dude and PalinDrone will appoint him Bedroom Czar.

  37. 37
    Zifnab says:

    But I also understand that I would much rather have Warren given a few minutes to speak about religion at a time and manner appropriate for religious discussion than I would having Obama give a nod to the religious right by appointing the God squad to Justice, to the FDA, to NASA, and so on. When Rick Warren and folks like him are driving policy in an Obama administration, I will then muster the necessary outrage.

    A-fucking-men.

    The biggest whine the religious right has held over the Democrats’ heads for ages is that they aren’t "inclusive" enough. Obama is pulling a play from the GOP’s deck – token representation of religious figures at public events.

    If Warren wants to wave his magic Jesus dick over the assembled crowd and sing a prayer for Obama, Godspeed. He’s not a cabinet member. He’s not a legislator. He’s a clergyman doing the clergyman thing. Bully for him. We’ve got him right where we want him.

    If you think this is enough to shut up the Religious wingnuts, then you haven’t been paying attention, my friend.

    Obama isn’t trying to win over the Wingnuts. He just wants the middle. Let the wingnuts wank in the corner. No one ever won an election with 28% of the vote.

  38. 38

    Gay and lesbian voters, TZ —they give a huge fuck, as they ought to.

    Well then, let them have the floor. Because I don’t give a fuck and cannot be talked into giving a fuck just because they give a fuck or you pretend to give a fuck, which you and I both know you don’t.

    The world is in serious trouble, and people are sitting around having verbal diarrhea over who gives an invocation?

    And I don’t agree with you that those voters should give a fuck. What they should give a fuck about is whether they have jobs next year and can get healthcare when they need it. They should give a fuck about important things and stop acting like a bunch of whiney assed motherfuckers like you.

    They should thank their lucky fucking stars that they are not going to have to watch the inauguration of John Fucking McCain and his sidekick, Sarah Fucking Palin. That’s what I think they should give a fuck about.

  39. 39

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. That is what Obama is doing. I could care less if Warren or Robertson or the moldy corpse of Jerry Falwell gave the invocation. Now if Obama creates a Department of God and appoints Warren as it’s Secretary, then get back to me. Until then Yawn.

  40. 40
    Doug H. (Comrade Fausto no more) says:

    You certainly have a low threshold for "a furor" if you think this qualifies.

    Have you checked the front page at the GOS?

  41. 41
    Tim C. says:

    ‘They’re ‘saddened". They’re "disappointed". They make sure not to trash Warren. They’re just completely out of their league up against slippery Megachurch Man.’

    That or maybe they’re, you know, ACTUAL Christians.

  42. 42
    Laura W says:

    @demimondian:

    strongly suggests that he really doesn’t get gay rights.

    From what I’ve seen of you on this site, I can’t believe you really believe that. It’s early! He’s not even in office! Let’s wait till 2012 before we start blasting and bemoaning his positions on things he’s not even had a chance to deal with as Commander in Chief.

    I’m with the others in this thread that believe that like most everything else he does, there is a very well thought out strategy and long-term, macrocosmic game plan behind this move. The gesture may enrage many in the short term, understandably, but I believe the inevitable long-term, game-and-world-changing implications may be huge.
    Therefore, I continue to trust this man over the long haul, no matter how confusing or seemingly incongruent some of his microcosmic decisions and choices might look to us, on the outside looking in.
    Really. It’s going to be OK.
    As long as he stays alive and safe. Focus on that, if you want something to fret about.

  43. 43
    Evolved Deep Southerner says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: I was thinking it, Fuckhead, but you said it best. Salut.

  44. 44
    aimai says:

    Its just so stupid. As others have pointed out it wasn’t "warren or a warren court" it is warren or someone who is actually inclusive, loving, respectful. Hell, if it had to be a christian, which I personally don’t think it should be, it could have been Carlson Pearson preaching his gospel of inclusion, couldn’t it? I’d be the first in line to have a few devils cast out by someone who actually had decided to love his fellow man. Warren is really scum. I don’t think you can slice and dice it. And the thing is that the people who do care about who gives the invocation? they might be pleased with rick warren but on the other hand it may give them false hope that their other nutty, fucked up ideas are going to get a hearing from the obama people, or even going to be given a place at the table. Its bad politics because those people *should be left out* of the new coalition of politically significant actors. And to the extent that they are welcomed to the table it has to be in tiny increments, so that they feel grateful for every small concession not puffed up and sure of their power over Obama and the dems. If we’ve learned anything from the last eight years–hell, since the reformation–its that these religious nuts, hellfire haters, anti gays, anti feminists *can’t be satisfied* with ordinary, humane, politics. They actually demand complete submission and the destruction of all frightening others–gays, islamic people, independent women, children’s rights, etc…etc…etc… If they can’t be satisfied with nearly everything its better to work on ratcheting back their expectations. I far preferred them murmering to each other " Obama is a marxist baby raper–hey! he’s not so bad" to "Obama is really one of us! now why won’t he outlaw abortion?"

    aimai

  45. 45
    kay says:

    @Tim C.:

    Right. Agreed. It’s possible. It’s even likely. I wanted one of them up there not because I have some vested interest in the message, but just because I think of them as marginalized, in a way that seems deliberate.

  46. 46
    Shygetz says:

    Okay, so is the running commentary on this site for the next four years going to be "Well, the Obama administration is much better than the imaginary McCain-Palin administration, so quit complaining"? Or will it be "No one can criticize the Obama administration’s choices until AT LEAST 2012"? I think most of Obama’s choices thus far have been GREAT, but I’m not about to sit here and praise or equivocate every time he (in my opinion) screws something up.

    Have you checked the front page at the GOS?

    Yep…you must not visit there very often if you think that is representative of a furor at the GOS. That’s the GOS’ equivalent of a disappointed sigh.

  47. 47
    Reverend Dennis says:

    Warren gets three minutes, Obama gets four years. Moving right along…

  48. 48
    Montysano says:

    @The Moar You Know:

    Wow, nobody here has figured out what game is being played? Not one of you?

    My reaction as well. If I’ve learned anything about Obama, it’s that he plays the Long Game. He seems to think several moves ahead.

    If he truly fucks up, I’ll be first in line to take him to task. For now, I’ll wait and see where this goes.
    @Mazacote Yorquest:

    You know what no one is commenting on, at least from my look at the Big Orange? The benediction is being given by Joseph Lowery, of "good crazy" fame. Warren is no more going to be Obama’s "personal pastor" than Lowery is (or at least Lowery would be before Warren).

    My family and I were listening from outside the church when Lowery gave his "good crazy" intro to Obama in Selma. That was one of my best days.

  49. 49
    Perry Como says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Oh, I know plenty. The next time I hear my mother-in-law bitch about the cryptocommiemuslimextremistblackchristian I’ll just trot out having Warren giving Obama’s inaugural invocation. At a minimum it will shut her up. After all, Rick Warren wouldn’t bless the presidency of the anti-Christ, would he? She’ll have to wait a few more years for that precious, precious rapture.

  50. 50
    Darkrose says:

    @Dreggas:

    And as a bisexual voter whose marriage is now in limbo because of Prop. 8, I find the thought of giving someone who lied in support of said proposition a national platform to be repugnant.

    I supported Obama despite feeling that he was taking the GLBT community for granted. This does absolutely nothing to dispel that feeling.

    And yeah, Billy Graham gave the invocation at Clinton’s inauguration. Bill Clinton–who we have to thank for the Defense of Marriage Act. The comparison doesn’t make me feel any better.

  51. 51
    demimondian says:

    @Laura W: Well, nobody knows what I do or don’t believe on most things; I work very hard to make sure of that. As a result, I will neither confirm nor deny believing anything about this issue.

    Let’s put it this way. Would it be acceptable for Barack Obama to showcase a minister who believed that miscegenation laws were defensible? Why, then, is it acceptable for him to showcase a minister who believes that anti-marriage laws for gay men and lesbians are acceptable?

  52. 52
    Reverend Dennis says:

    I get the feeling that if Obama chose a gay, black woman who’d lost both arms in a subway accident to give the invocation there’d be comments to the effect of "She’s still got both legs and she’s not blind!"

  53. 53
    Shygetz says:

    My reaction as well. If I’ve learned anything about Obama, it’s that he plays the Long Game. He seems to think several moves ahead.

    Okay, since this is a common thread here, someone please tell me: Exactly how much juice do you think Obama is going to be able to squeeze out of this from the f*cking Religious Right? Since he’s playing such a long, deep game here, what’s the POSSIBLE payoff from this? The Religious Right was starting to kick the Republicans in the nuts for just giving them symbolic measures and not enough meat. So you think Obama can buy them off with a f*cking invocation!?!

    How many of you are typing drunk/high?

  54. 54
    gil mann says:

    Is there nothing our online gay and lesbian brothers and almost brothers aren’t freaking out about these days?

    I’m a straight guy who knows too many rich, good-looking, gay professionals to have a real sense of urgency about their civil rights, but this is bullshit. Warren may have been a big bipartisan Jesus-freak teddy bear last year, but he’s been very public about Yes on 8, and he’s been a lying sack of shit about it to boot.

    Fine, don’t get your panties in a wad over it, but just know that the Dems have declared their intention to tee off on you for as long as they can get away with it, and plan accordingly.

  55. 55
    HumboldtBlue says:

    He’s not hateful about it.

    Right, there’s nothing hateful in claiming supporters of civil rights, in this case, same-sex marriage, are nothing more than agents of intolerance who only want to shut up Pastors, like the all-loving fatass Warren, nothing hateful at all.

    There’s nothing hateful about an elementary school theology spouted off by this asshat that equates homosexual relationships with pedophilia, beastiality and necrophilia. There’s nothing hateful about an exclusionary theological philosophy, nothing at all, it’s just love baby, just love.

    Fuck Warren, fuck his church and fuck his parishioners. They deserve shunning for their ignorance, their intolerance and their willingness to subjugate our Constitution for their fucked up theology.

  56. 56
    tomjones says:

    I’m not gay, but it seems to me that gays and lesbians have started shifting, with the passage of Prop H8, from contenting themselves with symbolic gestures of support, to insisting on equal rights before the law.

    The selection of Warren is obviously not a symbolic gesture of support, but let’s keep the focus on winning equality. This is a civil rights struggle, not a popularity contest.

  57. 57
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @gil mann: I don’t see it as "teeing off" on anyone but yer certainly entitled to yer turn on the fainting couch.

  58. 58
    Jason Eckelman says:

    This doesn’t have anything to do with being thankful that McCain didn’t win, or how Obama is triangulating on an issue, or the gays being hysterical, or whatever. It’s about bigotry, plain and fucking simple.

    There is no way that any politician, Dem or Repub, would have a preacher speak at their inauguration who believed that inter-racial marriage is a grave sin, or that black people are inferior to other racial groups, or that women are inferior to men. It just wouldn’t ever happen. And the reason it wouldn’t ever happen is because homophobia is the last acceptable prejudice in this country. It’s just a big fucking joke, apparently.

    To all the people who feel like gays should "chill out" about this (and I’m assuming the vast majority of you are straight), I’m pretty sure you’d feel A LOT different about this were it to actually affect you.

  59. 59
    TR says:

    If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, you’d see this for what it is — not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye. They’ve been fighting to see who gets to be the spokesman for the movement, and lately it’s been a tie. Obama just broke it.

    And let’s be clear, there is a difference between those groups. Warren may not be progressive on gay rights, but he’s been out front on a number of issues of global justice — traveling from Davos to Damascus, and working hard to get rank-and-file evangelicals invested in "creation care" environmentalism and the fight against global HIV/AIDS.

    If he were put in charge of HHS or listened to on gay policies, I’d be pissed. But what Obama is doing here isn’t that. It’s a move that marginalizes the worst on the religious right, elevates a guy who’s more progressive than most religious leaders on a number of issues, and earns him some moderate cred at the outset.

    If Obama sells out on the progressive promise in actual policy, I’ll be in the streets protesting with everyone else. But if his "selling out" is having a fairly moderate, popular evangelical give the invocation at the inaugural — when large sections of this country still worry Obama’s a scary evil Mooooslim — then who gives a flying fuck?

  60. 60

    Okay, so is the running commentary on this site for the next four years going to be "Well, the Obama administration is much better than the imaginary McCain-Palin administration, so quit complaining"?

    Please do complain as is your want. When it’s about something more than some guy giving a three minute speech that says nothing and means nothing, then we pragmaticaters might listen. Some of you folks are like repubs in that the president needs to meet some personal reflection of self. That’s OK, but I sure don’t understand it. He or she is just a public servant with a sign around their neck that says, or should say, the buck stops here. I happen to personally like Obama, but that’s a non essential plus. The only other presnit I liked was Carter, though he was consumed by the office and fell short, IMO.

  61. 61
    John Cole says:

    I get the feeling that if Obama chose a gay, black woman who’d lost both arms in a subway accident to give the invocation there’d be comments to the effect of “She’s still got both legs and she’s not blind!”

    That isn’t fair- there are real reasons for people to be pissed about it.

  62. 62
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jason Eckelman: I’d feel terrible about it if it actually affected YOU. Chew on that.

  63. 63
    Darkrose says:

    @TR:

    If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, you’d see this for what it is—not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye.

    The problem is that even Warren himself admits that the only difference between him and Dobson is one of tone.

  64. 64
    Jay says:

    If letting bigots participate is a way to reach out I’m sure Farrahkhan and Tom Metzger have been invited to speak as well right?

  65. 65
    Perry Como says:

    Exactly how much juice do you think Obama is going to be able to squeeze out of this from the f*cking Religious Right? Since he’s playing such a long, deep game here, what’s the POSSIBLE payoff from this?

    It’s a token gesture that dampens some of the hate. The religious right expects nothing from Obama. They still won’t get anything, but this throws their talking points all over the place. It costs some goodwill in the LBGT community, but that’s going to happen as soon as Obama doesn’t sign an executive order legalizing gay marriage.

    How many of you are typing drunk/high?

    Guilty. But this gives me ammo to troll wingnuts.

  66. 66
    r€nato says:

    Obama has made it clear that part of his agenda is to change the tone in our politics.

    Delivering one big ‘Fuck You’ after another to the evangelicals is not the way that is going to get done. So what if Obama throws the evangelical right an insignificant bone at the inauguration. Now they have some skin in the game; believe it or not, some evangelicals can be peeled off from the GOP, particularly younger ones. There’s no better time than right now – when the GOP is at low ebb – to win them over and get them to think about voting Democratic and supporting a Democratic administration.

    Look at it another way; Obama is going to reverse Bush’s fucked-up stem cell research policy. The fundies are no longer going to wag the dog on that issue. That’s much more significant than who mutters a few words to the imaginary friend in the sky on January 20.

    Remember, Obama has also skillfully co-opted some of the pro-life vote by being pro-choice yet at the same time promising to work to reduce the need for abortion.

    If we can have a pro-choice government AND get pro-life votes at the same time, why not?

    As pointed out above, Obama knows what he’s doing. I don’t like Rick Warren one bit, but I trust the judgement of the guy who beat Hillary and the GOP slime machine.

  67. 67
    Laura W says:

    @demimondian: Because I was under the impression that you were representing yourself and your beliefs and feelings honestly in your post, I’m not of a mind right now to banter with "what ifs" and hypothetical scenarios that don’t exist in real time. One battle and victory at a time. Obama’s bi-racial. I have no doubt that by the end of his first term, LGBT (or GLBT if you prefer) rights will be radically different than they are today.

    And what Reverend Dennis said: FTW:

    Warren gets three minutes, Obama gets four years. Moving right along…

  68. 68
    clussman says:

    Late to the party. Shygetz has said everything I wanted to say at the point in the thread that I wanted to say it. Count me as Shygetz +1.

  69. 69
    Jason Eckelman says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead

    Your name suits you. Why make a valid point when you can just be a glib asshole?

  70. 70
    TR says:

    The problem is that even Warren himself admits that the only difference between him and Dobson is one of tone.

    I disagree, but even if it were just tone, tone matters.

    Consider this: Dobson and his allies were furious that Warren invited Obama to take part in the 2006 HIV/AIDS summit at Saddleback, saying that Obama’s prolife position made him someone who should be shunned like an untouchable. Warren ignored them and gave Obama a bear hug.

  71. 71

    Even though a majority of Americans (56 per cent, according to a Gallup poll last week) oppose gay marriage, public opinion is shifting, especially when it comes to conferring equal rights to same-sex couples by granting civil unions. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton oppose gay marriage but approve of civil unions.

    So, we are going to posture and suggest that a law that codifies the apparent opinion of the majority of Americans and both recent leading Democratic candidates for president is not acceptable?

    And before you decide to mount that soapbox, I have been asked, as a voter, to vote twice on gay marriage bans, and I have voted "No" both times. I will vote "No" every time the measure comes up for a vote.

    The blurb above was published in Newsweek last summer. There’s nothing new or shocking here about Obama’s position on this.

  72. 72
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    How many of you are typing drunk/high?

    I’m baking cookies and working on my railroad-village-christmas display. My snow is drying and I don’t care what anyone thinks.

  73. 73
    Pugnant says:

    While I am in general agreement with this not being a major issue, I can’t understand the animosity towards those that are rightly upset by this. Giving legitimacy to someone who equates homosexuality with incest and pedophilia is not my preferred flavor of inclusiveness. We need to create the political atmosphere that drives Obama towards taking the politically difficult steps towards equal rights for all Americans.

    To those that are saying that this is a brilliant political move to co-opt Warren’s influence, you are handing over a huge assumption to a politician. Could we just as easily say that the same is being done to the LGBT community by a simple senior level appointment? We shouldn’t extend such trust to ANY politician.

  74. 74
    Montysano says:

    @Shygetz:

    So you think Obama can buy them off with a f*cking invocation

    Of course not. But he can start. And then take another step, and then another.

    After the lurching about and lashing out that we’ve endured these last eight years, Obama’s deliberate style is fine by me. But we have to give him some time. Judging every single action in a vacuum does nothing.

  75. 75
    gil mann says:

    I don’t see it as "teeing off" on anyone

    Oh, good. I’ll pass that along to all those crazy homos that totally misinterpret it, then.

    "Fainting couch," yet. Is it too much to ask that you zing me with an apt internet cliche?

  76. 76
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jason Eckelman: Just because you choose not to recognize it as a valid answer doesn’t in fact mean it isn’t a valid answer. It doesn’t work like gay marriage, see.

  77. 77

    Did you folks even consider the full import of Obama asking a Wingnut Preacher to give the invocation AT HIS inauguration. Kind of turns the whole Uncle Tom thing on it’s head, DYT. And provides a warm fuzzy feeling in me tummy.

  78. 78

    I’m baking cookies and working on my railroad-village-christmas display. My snow is drying and I don’t care what anyone thinks.

    But, Joseph and Mary waiting at a RR crossing?

    That’s a little over the top, isn’t it?

  79. 79

    Okay, Warren is delivering the invocation.

    Who’s writing it?

  80. 80
    Reverend Dennis says:

    @John Cole:
    To be sure, there are real reasons for people to be pissed. And I’ll be just as pissed as soon as Obama gores one of my personal oxen. I do have to ask if people missed this quote from Obama in an interview granted before he was elected:
    "I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman."

  81. 81
    Jason Eckelman says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead

    So, what is your point, exactly? Do you have one?

  82. 82
    demimondian says:

    @Laura W: I don’t think so. I’ve been working on this issue for almost thirty years — since before it was physically safe to work for gay rights — and I have no reason to believe that Pres. Obama will do anything about this.

    I am deeply, deeply disappointed and offended, and this is the second time he’s done this to me. Other people can go off about "more important stuff", but to the people with whom I work, who fear the loss of their partners, who can’t truly share large parts of their lives because they can’t truly marry, this is "important stuff". Really important stuff.

  83. 83
    demimondian says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: Loving versus Virginia overturned a very popular set of laws, too, you know. The majority can be wrong when it suits their purposes.

  84. 84

    The majority can be wrong when it suits their purposes.

    Sure. But that doesn’t mean that they are wrong. Or right. It just means that the issue is a political loser right now, and the solution is carefully hidden in the positions of, for example, Clinton and Obama, and my post at 71. Cleverly, cleverly hidden. But I have a hunch even you can figure it out if you really wanted to.

    But of course, your main mission is to keep your real views a secret, as you said, so ….. carry on.

  85. 85
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Jason Eckelman: Nah, I was just poking at ya for fun. But if I had a point, it would be "Be the change you want to see in others."

  86. 86
    Ed in NJ says:

    Obama is so much smarter than the majority of reactionaries on the liberal blogs.

    It seems to me that by including Warren in this soon-to-be-forgotten event (who remembers anyone else who has given the inaugural invocation?), he is muting all the rapid religious right who were ready to shout about how Obama hasn’t included them in his administration. Oh, some will still be shouting it, it just won’t be credible. Which is really the story of the Republican party these days. The 20% who will never support the president are just being further marginalized.

  87. 87

    […] December 17, 2008 Rick Warren’s Invocation Posted by John O under Political | Tags: Balloon Juice, DKos, Invocation, John Cole, Rick Warren |   I take some time to post over at the Great Orange Satan’s place a similar sentiment, and then I go to John’s place and see it put much better. […]

  88. 88
    smiley says:

    @Laura W:

    on things he’s not even had a chance to deal with as Commander in Chief

    OT and nit picking: Please stop using CIC as synonymous with POTUS. The president is commander-in-chief of the U.S. military. H/She is not the "commander" of the people of the United States of America. There’s a difference (or, at least, there used to be).

  89. 89
    Laura W says:

    @demimondian: 30 years ago right now I was 20 and just breaking up with my girlfriend of 4 years. My first and last lesbian relationship, just cuz it happened that way.
    I understand the importance of these issues. I lived those issues in my senior year of high school and into my last year of college. I share that TMI bit just to qualify myself as someone who cares on a personal level and gets how important this shit is. (Without bringing up all of the LGBT friends I’ve had through the decades, dead and still living, who add to my desires to see it all change for them.)

    I don’t feel that Obama is doing anything "to me".
    I have every hope and expectation that he will do very good things for all of "us".
    When I am proven correct, I will accept your apologies in the form of a bottle of dry Riesling with reasonable residual sugar levels.

  90. 90
    demimondian says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat: No, that’s not the point here. As you say, Obama has said that’s he’s opposed to equality of gay Americans, but I could always hope he’d understand that they are his equals, all the same.

    I’m sorry he doesn’t.

  91. 91
    Laura W says:

    @smiley:

    Please stop using CIC as synonymous with POTUS.

    You’re not the boss of me, smiley.

  92. 92
    demimondian says:

    @Laura W: So, you don’t feel he’s doing anything to you. But, you see, I belong to that odd group of people called "left-wing Christians" (yeah, remember us?)

    We are taught that "whatsoever you do to the least of these, so also you have done to Me". If Obama has done something to Him, don’t you think he’s done something to me, too?

  93. 93

    @demimondian:

    . If Obama has done something to Him, don’t you think he’s done something to me, too?

    Maybe that’s why Obama came out against Prop 8?

  94. 94
    gil mann says:

    Laura W, smiley’s got a point about the CiC thing. He/she’s just trying to get the militarization-of-our-culture-paste back in the tube.

  95. 95
    Fencedude says:

    @demimondian:

    Thats not, actually, what he said.

  96. 96
    Laura W says:

    @demimondian: OK, you win.
    I honestly can’t follow you any longer, so I’ll just fold.
    I don’t come here for the debate. Sometimes, I honestly don’t know why I come here.
    Hmmmm…

  97. 97
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    A fucking men

  98. 98
    smiley says:

    @Laura W:

    You’re not the boss of me, smiley.

    No, I’m not. It was a request, Laura (thus the "please") because, legally, I can tell the president of the United States to go fuck himself if he tells me to shut up (orders from the Secret Service, well, not so much). US military can’t do that. Or throw shoes at him for that matter. . . Damn you’re cranky.

  99. 99
    Laura W says:

    @gil mann: I blame cable news…I had to flip off of Bush speaking to the troops "one last time" twice today after watching him "surprise" troops in Iraq and Afghanistan over the weekend. I just have CIC all up in my ass tonight.
    Unless it’s skinny Jenna and her multiple viruses.

  100. 100
    Incertus says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    So, we are going to posture and suggest that a law that codifies the apparent opinion of the majority of Americans and both recent leading Democratic candidates for president is not acceptable?

    Interracial marriage was vehemently opposed by a far larger majority when Loving v. Virginia was handed down. You’re fucking right I’m going to posture on something like this.

  101. 101
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Laura W: It ain’t all bad. Have a puppy pic.

  102. 102
    demimondian says:

    @Fencedude: Yes, it is.

    He said "Marriage is divinely constituted as being between a man and a woman." Now, first of all, there are Christian denominations which reject that claim, and, second, it’s every bit as much a denial of equal rights as the claim made by the original judge in Loving v. Virginia. I had hoped that he had gotten beyond his original blindness, but I see no good reason to believe he has.

  103. 103
    Incertus says:

    @Fencedude: Perhaps not, but if you oppose same-sex marriage, that’s the stand you’re taking.

  104. 104
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: ARE THERE PUPPY PICS???

  105. 105
    Fencedude says:

    @demimondian:

    And yet he came out against Prop 8.

    There’s a difference between believing that god doesn’t approve of Gay Marriage, and actively banning gays from marrying.

    He supports the first, and opposes the second.

  106. 106
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Laura W: Here ya go.

  107. 107
    demimondian says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Puppiez!

    Need woofy pups.

  108. 108
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Geez, even the Freepers have it figured out:

    http://www.freerepublic.com/fo.....0528/posts
    To: huldah1776

    Yeah, I smell something of a set up. On the one hand Obama chooses to be officiated thus, on the other he stealthily funds for a huge protest against it… all a matter of conjecturing and further the shaming of us vs. gays and of slowly accustomizing the culture in favor of those poor gays.

  109. 109
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    "Marriage" is a religious ceremony that unites a man and a woman "in holy matrimony". Even when you get married at the magistrates office there are religious connotations in the ceremony. "do you take blah blah blah so help you god"
    I do not believe, nor will I ever believe, that religions should be allowed to force their beliefs on me, nor should I be able to force my beliefs on them. Trying to force gay marriage upon religious groups is a pointless and ultimately a fruitless exercise. I think everyone in this debate should be pushing for and actively working towards "civil unions" which confer upon the couple every single legal right of a married couple. You can re-write the laws, you can re-write the constitution but you can’t re-write the bible which specifically prohibits gay marriage. Why do we not work toward something that is actually obtainable? Civil unions are the norm in the UK (gawd it pains me sometimes how much more progressive the "old" country is)

    BTW these are pics of John Barrowman’s "wedding" in the UK I love the way the dogs were invited.

    http://www.johnbarrowman.net/b.....ship.shtml

  110. 110
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Ahhhh… Puppies, baby bunnies and dead squirrels!?!

  111. 111
    demimondian says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: "Separate but equal is inherently unequal".

  112. 112
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Laura W: Yeah, prolly time to bury the squirrel.

  113. 113
    Fencedude says:

    @demimondian:

    The word "marriage" in civil law should be replaced across the board by "Civil Union", leaving a "marriage" as a purely religious institution.

    Then, any two adults could enter a Civil Union together, and if they so desire, they can make it a marriage by going to a willing religious organization. Of any sort.

  114. 114
    Grendel72 says:

    Rick Warren is "fairly moderate"?
    That’s the fucking problem, the God-botherers are so fucking batshit insane that that this bigoted moron is considered "fairly moderate". People who are too stupid to deal with the real world rather than the bloodthirsty fairytales of bronze age goat-fuckers need to just shut up and let those of us who use the grey stuff between our ears for more than insulation run things.

  115. 115
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    @demimondian:

    Sorry but you cannot be equal in the eyes of the Christian god because the christian god does not believe that you a) exist or b) if you exist you are an abomination. (BTW I am not a christian, I am a pagan) What you are fighting for is recognition by a religious organization that believes you are an abomination therefore requiring a complete re-write of the bible. It ain’t going to happen. Sorry, that is the way it is. You can expend all your energy trying to change 2000 years of history but in the end you are going to be tired and out of luck. Work to change something that you can change, i.e. Government’s recognition of gay’s rights to be joined civilly with all of the rights and privileges of hetrosexuals. I would like the right to paint myself blue and dance naked in my garden come the summer solstice but do you think that is going to happen? No. But I at least would hope that people like Sarah Palin don’t get elected and commence burning people like me at the stake. Get the picture?

  116. 116
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @demimondian

    Separate but unequal? I thought that was in reference to being able to use the same facilities as everyone else, not trying to rewrite some 2000 year old work of fiction.

  117. 117
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    There, dead squirrel gone, two more puppy pics and another bunny rabbit.

  118. 118
    Laura W says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Jesus. Your dead squirrel must’ve killed the thread.
    I go away to watch Top Chef repeat, come back, and I’ve missed nothing in half an hour.
    I hope there will be photos of the railroad-village-christmas display in an upcoming thread.

  119. 119
    KCinDC says:

    @aimai:

    "Obama is really one of us! now why won’t he outlaw abortion?"

    Since they never really asked that about Bush (or Bush the Elder or Reagan), I’m not too worried. Besides, this isn’t about the right-wing wackos. It’s about people in the middle who are deluded enough to think Warren’s a good guy and distrust Obama some but are reachable.

    Not that I’m happy about it.

  120. 120
    demimondian says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe: Have fun with the jackalopes, dude.

  121. 121
    Jon H says:

    It kinda seems like Warren’s been tacking right lately. Seems like he used to be a bit more moderate.

    Judging by his growing wattles, he’s probably aiming to fill the vacuum created by Falwell’s passing.

  122. 122
    Mazacote Yorquest says:

    You know what’s really funny, especially given the snarky comment above about the "gay, black woman"? Reagan and Bush 41 both had Peter Gomes do their invocation. He’s African-American, and in 1991 he came out of the closet. So the gay black invoker is actually a relic of the 80’s.

  123. 123
    jrg says:

    I think Obama can be trusted to keep Warren and his evangelical ilk away from the workings of government. Obama’s been right about everything so far. He’s surrounded himself with pragmatists of all types, and he’s going to be president for all citizens, even religious loons.

    Gays are right to be upset about this, but I don’t think that this action was meant in any way to de-legitimize them, it’s about acknowledging the fact that religious loons require pampering.

    If you’re gay and Obama’s selection of Warren pisses you off, the worst thing you can do is bitch about it, because you’d be assisting Obama to achieve his own ends. One thing evangelicals like is someone who pisses off teh gays.

  124. 124
    Len says:

    Let him speak for a few minutes and be done with them.

    Let us pray that we are indeed done with them after he speaks for a few minutes. But… if we have learned anything from and about the "religious" right, it is that once they have their foot in the door it is awfully difficult to close that door.

  125. 125
    Brian J says:

    This may be a stereotype of evangelicals, but if there was one who would really set a fire in the hearts of progressives, would he (or she) really be an evangelical? There might, as some have suggested, be a lot of progressive ministers out there, but if the Obama is trying to reach out to young evangelicals, perhaps Warren is the best the incoming administration can do.

  126. 126
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Laura W:

    I hope there will be photos of the railroad-village-christmas display in an upcoming thread.

    Gah, the snow won’t dry.

  127. 127
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @Brian J:

    This may be a stereotype of evangelicals, but if there was one who would really set a fire in the hearts of progressives, would he (or she) really be an evangelical?

    Being an evangelical has nothing to do with being left or right.

    Check this out.

  128. 128
    Cain says:

    @Laura W:

    @demimondian: Because I was under the impression that you were representing yourself and your beliefs and feelings honestly in your post, I’m

    Then I don’t think you quite understand demi. I would take anything he says as face value. I will consider the content of his messages though but don’t let it reflect on the "persona".

    cain

  129. 129
    Cain says:

    @Jason Eckelman:

    @Just Some Fuckhead

    Your name suits you. Why make a valid point when you can just be a glib asshole?

    Um.. this site is called "Balloon-Juice" for a reason. If you want decent convo, go hit Marc Ambinder’s blog.

    cain

  130. 130
    Darkrose says:

    @TR:

    I disagree, but even if it were just tone, tone matters.

    Not sure what there is to disagree with, since Warren is the one who said that he has the same positions as Dobson.

    And sure, tone matters: it’s so much better when people smile at you before smacking you in the face.

    Consider this: Dobson and his allies were furious that Warren invited Obama to take part in the 2006 HIV/AIDS summit at Saddleback, saying that Obama’s prolife position made him someone who should be shunned like an untouchable. Warren ignored them and gave Obama a bear hug.

    …and then proceeded to insist that he intends to keep pushing Obama to stop supporting reproductive rights.

  131. 131
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Heh, James Wolcott just got around to talking about John’s post about the Fairness Doctrine.

  132. 132

    Just as soon as you decide to involve this god character in your governmental processes you pretty much guarantee a mess. If you give a rat’s butt what the bible says about marriage, that’s your look out. BTW lilbrit, I’m quite legally married, in a ceremony called a marriage by the State of Oregon and that character was never brought up. Not once, not in the name of any-damn-thing except the State of Oregon am I married. I’ll take the brit part seriously and allow you the stupidity of having a State Church as a background, but telling Americans what a civil marriage ceremony involves would be more intelligently done by knowing what it involves – first.

    As for who is usurping the word marriage, that one is going to be damned hard to prove. If you think I’m going to redo my marriage in order to get the Christianists out of a civil issue – fuck off, you and them. You may feel like handing the language over, I don’t. You propose to make me move from a perfectly legal and dictionary correct word? WTF?

  133. 133

    @Cain:

    Um.. this site is called "Balloon-Juice" for a reason. If you want decent convo, go hit Marc Ambinder’s blog.

    Hey now, I found today’s treatise on Porn and Computers intellectually stimulating. Err, well, at least stimulating. A topic Ambinder wouldn’t touch with a ten foot poll. (Three Point Pun)

  134. 134
    DougJ says:

    I just hope this makes up for the fact that Obama doesn’t have any southerners in his cabinet.

  135. 135
    Cain says:

    @demimondian:

    I am deeply, deeply disappointed and offended, and this is the second time he’s done this to me. Other people can go off about "more important stuff", but to the people with whom I work, who fear the loss of their partners, who can’t truly share large parts of their lives because they can’t truly marry, this is "important stuff". Really important stuff.

    Demi,

    If there isn’t a shit eating grin while you were typing this message, I will be really be most disapointed. Bastard. :-)

    cain

  136. 136

    You’re fucking right I’m going to posture on something like this.

    So if I understand the fauxrage position on this ….

    Everything is symbolism (a view that I used to think was just for Republicans, but …. here we are) …… and ….

    If Obama picks somebody else for the prayer, that means that the gays get their pony?

    Am I missing anything?

    Is there any significance to the fact that "Rick" is the better part of "Prick?" Or is that not part of the symbolism?

    Just trying to learn here.

  137. 137

    As you say, Obama has said that’s he’s opposed to equality of gay Americans

    Nope, lie. Equality is about civil unions. "Marriage" is about symbolism and pissing contests.

    No sale. You = fail.

  138. 138

    so is the running commentary on this site for the next four years going to be "Well, the Obama administration is much better than the imaginary McCain-Palin

    Oh heavens no, I should say not! I think you should advance the idea that the selection of Warren means that an Obama administration = a McCain administration, and definitely hang your hat on that theme, all the time every day.

    By all means, let’s make that the theme of the blog. This guy is no better than McCain-Palin. Same thing. Six of one, half dozen of the other. No difference. Tweedle Dum, Tweedle Dee.

  139. 139
    Allan says:

    Pig Warren and Mike FatFuckabee are the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the Christianofascist right.

    If Obama wants to do outreach and go courting to the agents of intolerance, that’s fine.

    Just don’t give them a place on your platform.

    There’s a far better person to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inaugural.

    Openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson.

  140. 140

    I am deeply, deeply disappointed and offended, and this is the second time he’s done this to me.

    The pain you are feeing must be excruciating.

    Have you considered just ending it all?

    Seriously, GBCW seems too good for those bastards right now. Don’t you think?

  141. 141
    Comrade Kevin says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    Nope, lie. Equality is about civil unions. "Marriage" is about symbolism and pissing contests.

    Now you’re the one lying. Talk about "civil unions" is akin to "separate but equal". The phrase "marriage" will never, ever be scrubbed from the law books in this country. Using "civil union" will never, ever be the same thing.

    I could have sworn this was a subject you were tired of, and didn’t care about? Yet here you are, opining on it again.

  142. 142

    The majority can be wrong when it suits their purposes.

    You mean, their "evil purposes," don’t you?

    Because, we all know, majorities are evil.

    How can people be so heartless? How can people be so cruel?

    Easy to hard, easy to be cold.

    I just made that up. No, seriously, I did.

  143. 143

    People I don’t trust:

    (1) Businessmen who call you ‘buddy’.
    (2) Sailors who call you ‘shipmate’.
    (3) Any speaker at Obama’s upcoming inauguration.

    I am not an Obama supporter. But I trust Obama far more than I trust this Warren guy. Give me the opportunistic politician instead of the fat, wealthy man who leads a religious organization because he really cares.

    Glittering prizes and endless compromises.

  144. 144

    Talk about "civil unions" is akin to "separate but equal".

    Absolutely do not agree, in any shape or form. And that’s an argument I have already had, so you can help yourself to previous wars on that subject, I’m not reprising them here.

    We will have to agree to unpleasantly, if necessary, disagree on that point. Totally, I am not even remotely in that ballpark.

    The "separate but equal" argument is just epic fail. The term refers to forced physical separation, which has nothing to do with civil unions versus marriage. No physical or material separation is implied, or expected, in the latter context. It’s just a labeling difference.

    But whatever. The current fight was deliberately picked, and it can be just as deliberately un-picked. That’s not my choice. I’ll continue to vote no on those marriage bans, for whatever good that will do. I think the fight is a waste of energy, but I didn’t pick it.

  145. 145

    Yet here you are, opining on it again.

    What the fuck is it to you? Do you sell the tickets here?

    Fuck you, I post when I feel like it and say what I like.

    Shove it as far up your ass as it will go.

  146. 146
    Jeff says:

    My wife says he should have picked Rabbi Shmuley.

  147. 147
    The Moar You Know says:

    I think you should advance the idea that the selection of Warren means that an Obama administration = a McCain administration, and definitely hang your hat on that theme, all the time every day.

    OMG GUIZE ONLY RALPH NADAR CAN SAVE US

  148. 148

    I guess the thing that really startles me is the discovery that Rick Warren, and apparently, I, the end of the line in the Zone family, have the power to prevent gays from having equality. This is a mighty, and awesome, power.

    Separate but fucking equal!

    This is what separate but equal was about. When you see signs on the restaurant window that say "Straight Only" then we can talk about separate but equal.

    Even in a drought, I get cranky when somebody pisses on my leg and tells me it’s raining.

  149. 149
    Jim says:

    I knew that it was inevitable that I would be disappointed with an Obama Administration. I just didn’t expect it to come (literally) on Day One.

  150. 150

    I knew that it was inevitable that I would be disappointed with an Obama Administration. I just didn’t expect it to come (literally) on Day One.

    Zone’s Law comes into play again: When you can’t tell what is spoof and what isn’t, the spoofers win.

  151. 151
    John Cole says:

    Pig Warren and Mike FatFuckabee are the Tweedledum and Tweedledee of the Christianofascist right.

    If Obama wants to do outreach and go courting to the agents of intolerance, that’s fine.

    Just don’t give them a place on your platform.

    There’s a far better person to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inaugural.

    Openly gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson.

    And then Obama can be sworn in on a Quran while wearing assless chaps and having the Village People can sing the National Anthem. For fuck’s sake, it is like the election was forty years ago and you all have forgotten how Obama won.

    Obama, a black guy with the name of Hussein, won the election seven years after the worst attack on our soil in modern by Muslim terrorists BY NOT BEING FUCKING THREATENING. And, again, he did it with all sorts of smear campaigns against him, with a past involving a domestic terrorist, and news clips of Rev. Wright running 24/7.

    Say it with me. The reason Obama got elected was because he managed to convince enough people that he was safe, that he was rational and reasonable and moderate, that he was not scary, and that he was not threatening.

    Obama believes the way to implement change is to get people to pull together, to build consensus, and to go about things slowly. I understand this can be maddening to people who want things reversed right FUCKING now, especially because I recognize how awful it must be for gay people to be marginalized and shat on, but it simply is not how the man works, and to be honest, for now, I am kind of glad. I would rather he slowly and ploddingly build his case for social justice, try to work on the least odious of the evangelicals and continue to move the center of the body politic to the left, rather than cause a big stink, extend a middle finger to Republicans, and then spend a failed four years dealing with more acrimony and the inevitable backlash. I would rather these changes be slow and permanent than sudden and temporary.

    When you get elected President, you can have Gene Robinson speak. Until then, how about people take a second to figure out just exactly how Obama operates. Have you ever heard him speak- he pauses, he slows down, he thinks. That is how he operates. Slowly, carefully, cautiously, and methodically, and then when the time is right, he pounces.

    I swear to god some of you are the jackasses I win tons of money off playing hold ’em against, because you retards go all in on a pair of pocket sixes at the flop.

  152. 152
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    "Fainting couch," yet. Is it too much to ask that you zing me with an apt internet cliche?

    Clutching at pearls? Oh, right. That conjures up pearl necklaces and we don’t want to go there. ;)

    I am with others here who defer to Obama and his judgment. I too thought he had screwed up royally in past campaigning or votes/decisions, later having my concerns (and opinions) be proven wrong. I am not going to go as far as to say that gays (or anyone else) don’t have a reason to complain, but I think it is a very small issue in the scheme of things. Obama has made his position clear on gay marriage and anyone who voted for him should have been aware of that. In another way, as someone else said here, you are actually helping him because to the wingnut mind, the formula:

    Gays pissed at a democratic president = WIN!

    I also agree with others who say that this helps Obama among religious moderates and partially defangs the rabid right-wing fundies.

    As far as government and marriage goes, I think the government should focus on the legal aspect of marriage and rename it "Civil Union". Marriage was co-opted because that was what it was and people did not argue about it. Not so today, so let’s have the government get back to the legalistic aspect of marriage and leave marriage to the religiously inclined. Let judges perform civil unions and if a religious person wants to have their civil union performed by a pastor in a church, then let them. They can refer to it as a marriage, and the church can even issue a ‘certificate’ stating that the marriage ceremony was performed. Though without the legal document for a civil union that is signed and sealed by the participants and the clergy, the marriage would only be recognized by religious organizations and not carry the force of law (barring any common law recognition). As far as the government would be concerned, no matter how it is done it would be legally referred to as a civil union. A ‘marriage’ is how you and your church would recognize it, and that is between you and them.

    Have government focus on the legal aspects and leave the spiritual ones to the religious. Keep the church out of the state and the state out of the church. IMO, the complication in this situation is that the gay marriage supporters are pushing a leopard to change its spots (getting the religious to rewrite the bible and change their beliefs). It just ain’t going to happen as long as the government recognizes "marriage" as the definition of a union between two people. As long as that definition stands, the religious will be able to push for marriage to be defined as they see fit.

    Take that leg away from the stool and the whole issue is moot. Everyone gets a civil union and in the eyes of the law, that is all that matters. Everything else is just decoration on the cake.

  153. 153
    Cain says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    Glittering prizes and endless compromises.

    Well well well.. another Rush fan..

    cain

  154. 154

    […] John Cole provides a reasonable counterargument. I’m still not […]

  155. 155
    DougJ says:

    Rick Warren, and apparently, I, the end of the line in the Zone family, have the power to prevent gays from having equality selling meth to other evangelicals.

  156. 156
    Crusty Dem says:

    Is Obama using the tactics touted for the de-radicalization of islam in the Middle East on Fundamentalist Christians in the US? Raise up the moderates to smack down the radicals? Of course, in the end the result in either case will probably always be the elevation of the nutjobs.

  157. 157
    scarshapedstar says:

    I understand that some people are not creeped out by evangelical assholes. Hell, some people reading this thread are probably evangelical assholes. And Obama might be something of an evangelical asshole when he’s not praying to the wicked god Koran or whatever.

    But can’t we hear from someone other than an evangelical asshole once in a while? How about an Episcopalian? While I was raised nominally Catholic, I went to an Episcopal grade school, and there was absolutely no mention of gays or abortion, although there was plenty of stuff about implementing gun control and ending world hunger. You know, things that Jesus might conceivably have (and that Democrats obviously do) support, as opposed to whatever this Warren fuckstick is going to say.

  158. 158

    "Another Rush fan"

    Rush Limbaugh does not make $50 mil/yr by selling mattresses. As far as I can tell, he makes his money from oil companies. Rush Limbaugh is a good businessman, and more power to him. Personally, I try not to listen.
    Our Middle Eastern exploits are unnecessary as America is energy independent. People get in fights over tapping our offshore oil and natural gas reserves. This is ignorant thinking. I have a SW Asia medal.

    We have only between 2 and 5 nation-years of oil and an even smaller volume of natural gas off-shore. 2 years in Alaska.

    In contrast, we have 2.1 trillion barrels of shale oil in North America, or 400 nation-years of liquid fuel, obtainable at $25-30/bbl. The ban on oil shale exploration was recently extended by Congress in a party-line vote, the Democrats voting to ban oil shale exploration.
    Of the two parties, Democrats are the more corrupt.

  159. 159

    Obama, a black guy with the name of Hussein, won the election seven years after the worst attack on our soil in modern by Muslim terrorists BY NOT BEING FUCKING THREATENING. And, again, he did it with all sorts of smear campaigns against him, with a past involving a domestic terrorist, and news clips of Rev. Wright running 24/7.

    When you think about it, the whole thing seems thoroughly surreal. And he is going to use his middle name Hussein at the inauguration. It would be even cooler to play the theme song from Shaft after the invocation. We could tie a satellite to O’REilly’s ass when he goes ballistic. I mean, you just can’t make this shit up, and god help me, I do love it so.

  160. 160
    Grendel72 says:

    Y’know, the Bible actually speaks against gluttony without requiring half-assed selective mistranslation like it does for the gaybashing parts. How do you think Rick "Jabba the Hutt" Warren would react to it if we insisted the law prosecute his lard-ass for being incapable of dropping the twinkies?

  161. 161
    robertdsc says:

    Frankly, I think Warren is more of a tool

    Fixed.

    This is total fail to me. I’m not happy, even given some of the reasonable political stances John and others have offered. Warren’s bigotry should not land him a place on the dais for the big day.

  162. 162
    Zuzu's Petals says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    Sorry, the California Supreme Court pretty much disagreed with you on this one.

    Citing to two USSC decisions which found the creation of a "separate but equal" law school for blacks and military program for women were unconstitutional, the California court stated:

    As plaintiffs maintain, these high court decisions demonstrate that even when the state grants ostensibly equal benefits to a previously excluded class through the creation of a new institution, the intangible symbolic differences that remain often are constitutionally significant.

    More:

    Second, particularly in light of the historic disparagement of and discrimination against gay persons, there is a very significant risk that retaining a distinction in nomenclature with regard to this most fundamental of relationships whereby the term “marriage” is denied only to same-sex couples inevitably will cause the new parallel institution that has been made available to those couples to be viewed as of a lesser stature than marriage and, in effect, as a mark of second-class citizenship.

    And more:

    Applying this [strict scrutiny] standard to the statutory classification here at issue, we conclude that the purpose underlying differential treatment of opposite-sex and same-sex couples embodied in California’s current marriage statutes the interest in retaining the traditional and well-established definition of marriage cannot properly be viewed as a compelling state interest for purposes of the equal protection clause, or as necessary to serve such an interest.

    A number of factors lead us to this conclusion. First, the exclusion of same-sex couples from the designation of marriage clearly is not necessary in order to afford full protection to all of the rights and benefits that currently are enjoyed by married opposite-sex couples; permitting same-sex couples access to the designation of marriage will not deprive opposite-sex couples of any rights and will not alter the legal framework of the institution of marriage, because same-sex couples who choose to marry will be subject to the same obligations and duties that currently are imposed on married opposite-sex couples. Second, retaining the traditional definition of marriage and affording same-sex couples only a separate and differently named family relationship will, as a realistic matter, impose appreciable harm on same-sex couples and their children, because denying such couples access to the familiar and highly favored designation of marriage is likely to cast doubt on whether the official family relationship of same-sex couples enjoys dignity equal to that of opposite-sex couples. Third, because of the widespread disparagement that gay individuals historically have faced, it is all the more probable that excluding same-sex couples from the legal institution of marriage is likely to be viewed as reflecting an official view that their committed relationships are of lesser stature than the comparable relationships of opposite-sex couples. Finally, retaining the designation of marriage exclusively for opposite sex couples and providing only a separate and distinct designation for same-sex couples may well have the effect of perpetuating a more general premise now emphatically rejected by this state that gay individuals and same-sex couples are in some respects second-class citizens who may, under the law, be treated differently from, and less favorably than, heterosexual individuals or opposite-sex couples. Under these circumstances, we cannot find that retention of the traditional definition of marriage constitutes a compelling state interest.

    Accordingly, we conclude that to the extent the current California statutory provisions limit marriage to opposite-sex couples, these statutes are unconstitutional.

    Oh heck, just read the whole case.

  163. 163
    TenguPhule says:

    In contrast, we have 2.1 trillion barrels of shale oil in North America, or 400 nation-years of liquid fuel, obtainable at $25-30/bbl

    And with a little more clapping, Tinkerbell can fly!

    JFCNTZY, the stupid burns with the hate of a thousand flaming wingnuts.

    Shale oil is environmentally destructive in recovery and consumes large quantities of water, something already in high demand in the states that have all the shale. Add that cost in to your cost of production and then tack on the profits that private companies are going to want for the recovery and you are no longer talking $25-$30 oil.(Bonus wingnut points to you for confusing cost of recovery as the cost to consumers).

  164. 164
    Church Lady says:

    Wouldn’t it be a whole lot easier if our laws concerning marriage were similar to France’s? There, you have to have a civil ceremony performed by a government official before you can have, if desired, any type of religious ceremony.

    If that was the way it worked here, there would be no separate but equal arguement. Everyone, gay or straight, would have a "civil union", and those desiring a religious blessing of their union could obtain one in any church that would be willing to provide that blessing.

    As stated by others, getting many of the religious to accept gay "marriage" seems to be such a tall order, at least right now, but when presented with the prospect of a gay "civil union", they seem to be more tolerant. I was married in a church, but if the government wanted to change the status of my relationship with my husband, as it concerns the government, to a "civil union", if wouldn’t bother me a bit.

  165. 165
    Perry Como says:

    I do sometimes wonder…

    The Mrs. and I were married in Honduras and that was respected over international lines. Neither of us were Honduran nationals, so recognizing marriages over borders is an issue,

    But Warren doing an invocation? Ya’ll really aren’t taking the long view. Pull the intolerant folks in and let them know that we are all just people. Gay, straight, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, whatever. People that are intolerant of others need to be embraced so we can show them why intolerance is wrong.

  166. 166
    Grendel72 says:

    I always forget the only thing it’s wrong to be intolerant of is bigotry. How stupid of me.
    Of course it’s OK for the ignorant Christopaths to hate me for no reason, but heaven forbid I should consider their ignorance and bigotry to be somehow wrong. My God, I’m no better than Hitler, am I?

  167. 167
    Comrade Jake says:

    @John Cole:

    Obama believes the way to implement change is to get people to pull together, to build consensus, and to go about things slowly. I understand this can be maddening to people who want things reversed right FUCKING now, especially because I recognize how awful it must be for gay people to be marginalized and shat on, but it simply is not how the man works, and to be honest, for now, I am kind of glad.

    Seconded. Folks are taking a very shallow view of this selection, IMO.

  168. 168
    kay says:

    @Comrade Jake:

    Nice theory, but where’s Warren in all this?

    Moving slightly to the Left on a single popular issue, right around 2006, around the time that conservative Republicans started losing elections.

    Good timing, on his part. Good time to rebrand as a "moderate".

  169. 169
    Phoebe says:

    I don’t like it. I’m trying to like it. I don’t. That gay shit is important. A huge part of Obama’s power to change this country is his leadership, that is, what people call the bully pulpit, although I don’t get where "bully" comes from. What Her Royal Clinton called "just words". He’s the popular jock at school who gets the asshole jocks to quit beating up the nerds. And the fags. I don’t like this.

  170. 170
    kay says:

    @Phoebe:

    Weird that Rick Warren dropped the radical Right rhetoric just as conservative Republicans lost power in government, and started calling for civility.

    Obama’s not the only one playing "long ball".

  171. 171

    I honestly am finding it hard to be outraged about this. Now, maybe that’s because I’m not gay, so it may seem like I don’t have a dog in the gay marriage fight, but I would disagree with that. I believe in marriage equality, straight or gay, so I am as offended by Warren’s stand on this as anyone. His opposition to gay marriage undermines my straight marriage.

    But still, I don’t find this all that outrageous. In fact, I find all the constant "outrage du jour" around Obama appointments to be a bit tiring. Yes, there are lots of people I wouldn’t personally have chosen. But I just don’t see that any of these moves by Obama is inherently indicative of where Obama will go on any particular issue. In fact, I think Obama has remained remarkably mute on almost all of these controversies. He opposes gay marriage, but he also opposed Prop 8, but he has never made a big deal of either position and has refused to get drawn into a big fight about it.

    So why pick someone like Warren? Maybe it’s just camoflage for when Obama finally does make a decision. He may want to eventually give the GLBT community what it wants, but he doesn’t want to get into a fight about it until the time is right and he doesn’t want to get to easily labeled as the gay rights candidate either. By bringing in Warren, he provides cover.

    I’ve seen lots of comparisons of Obama and Lincoln or Obama and FDR. But I think a more apt comparison might be Obama and Jefferson. Jefferson was a complex person whose public actions and public statements sometimes seemed contradictory. Yet he is held up as a model of moral leadership in this country. Could Obama be the second coming of the American Sphinx?

    I choose to wait and see what Obama actually does on policy before getting truly outraged.

  172. 172
    AnneLaurie says:

    I understand people are pissed, and I know why… I managed to find a way to cope.

    And the beverage alcohol industry is duly grateful.

  173. 173
    Cain says:

    @Brick Oven Bill:

    "Another Rush fan"

    Rush Limbaugh does not make $50 mil/yr by selling mattresses. As far as I can tell, he makes his money from oil companies. Rush Limbaugh is a good businessman, and more power to him. Personally, I try not to listen.

    Uh.. I was referring to the band. "Glittering prizes and endless compromises" is part of a lyric from the song "Spirit of the Radio" it ends with ‘shatter the illusion of integrity’. Since you didn’t get the reference, you’re probably not a fan and your quote was from somewhere else.

    At least you didn’t discuss the issues with using a fan during the winter or something.

    cain

  174. 174
    AnneLaurie says:

    …what people call the bully pulpit, although I don’t get where "bully" comes from

    Teddy Roosevelt referred to his Presidency as "a bully pulpit", because he used ‘bully’ the way we use ‘kewl’ or ‘righteous’ or ‘wifi broadspectrum compatible’. (Yes, I know those are dorky outdated expressions; so was ‘bully’ in TR’s day.) Moderns tend to conflate the phrase with the current usage of ‘bully’, and assume it’s a reference to the Supreme Dear Leader CinC Preznident Commander-Guy’s (perceived) ability to shove us towards his preferred outcome, but all Teddy meant was that every American president gets an international platform to share his prejudices, good or bad.

  175. 175

    @Jason Eckelman:

    There is no way that any politician, Dem or Repub, would have a preacher speak at their inauguration who believed that inter-racial marriage is a grave sin, or that black people are inferior to other racial groups, or that women are inferior to men. It just wouldn’t ever happen. And the reason it wouldn’t ever happen is because homophobia is the last acceptable prejudice in this country. It’s just a big fucking joke, apparently.

    50 years ago you certainly would have seen politicians use a preacher who believed that inter-racial marriage was a grave sin. It was a socially acceptable point of view at the time, even if it was wrong. The same can be said of current attitudes about homosexuality. 50 years from now a lot of people will look back with amazement that anyone got upset at the idea of gay marriage. But we aren’t there yet.

  176. 176
    kay says:

    @Chris Andersen:

    The thing about Lefty religious is they’re a good fit with the values Democrats claim to promote, across the board, so economic, etc.

    Pastor Warren has called them "Marxists" for those views. They’re mainstream Democrats.

    Did he have a change of heart? It’s not just gay marriage.

  177. 177
    Person of Choler says:

    The spectacle of the Shriekers raging at Obama is fun to watch. This is getting to be amusing quicker than I thought.

  178. 178
    bago says:

    If anything you can take this action to be seen as "nuking the secret muslim rumor from orbit". By having an intolerant religious righty like warren literally endorse and vouch for Obama, perhaps there will be a little bit less rage and perhaps even stave off a few assassination attempts.

    Seriously, he’s a black man named Hussein.

    Additionally, it’s good politics. If the republicans are running a 50+1% southern strategy, and Hopey can pull off 2-3 % with some symbolic rhetoric (much like the money-cons do to the religious right), he breaks the back of the republicans. Surely, that is far more valuable than some face time for a prayer.

  179. 179
    myiq2xu says:

    I will spend the time pouring a drink

    Kool-aid?

    I t___ y__ s_!

  180. 180
    Linda says:

    Lost in this debate is the fact that Rick Warren is antichoice and anticontraception. He supports abstinence only. This choice is a slap in the face of the GLBT community. It is also a slap in the face of the feminist community. One of the concerns Hillary supporters had, was that Obama would be flexible on right to choose issues. This selection doesn’t reassure me on this issue.

  181. 181
    Xenos says:

    If that was the way it worked here, there would be no separate but equal arguement. Everyone, gay or straight, would have a "civil union", and those desiring a religious blessing of their union could obtain one in any church that would be willing to provide that blessing.

    But it is the way things works here. Everybody gets a civil marriage, some people have the civil marriage solemnized be a religious authority that recognizes their marriage.

    I married a Greek woman. The Greek church would not marry us because I did not want to become Orthodox. More specifically, my wife did not want me to become Orthodox just to please the church. So we had a purely civil ceremony, and the Greek Church, which is incredibly jealous of its power in Greece, meekly accepts the state authority here and would never challenge the legitimacy of our marriage or dare to denounce our children as illegitimate. The church part is optional, and always has been optional, for as long as Europeans have lived in North America. Because, among other reasons, it keeps churches in line.

    Since we have 400 years’ history of civil marriage in this country, why demote the majority of marriages to ‘civil unions’ just to please religious authoritarians? It is far better to stand up for our history and our rights and to tell the authoritarians to piss off!

  182. 182
    TR says:

    One of the concerns Hillary supporters had, was that Obama would be flexible on right to choose issues. This selection doesn’t reassure me on this issue.

    Oh, Sweet Jesus Christ. Pull your head out of the ground, stop reading into this stupid fucking three-minute ceremonial position, and look at what he’s actually preparing to do.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, in a piece titled Bush-Era Abortion Rules Face Possible Reversal, Obama is going to rush to reverse all the damage of the Bush years.

    "We have a lot of work to do to fix the damage the Bush administration has done," said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

    As one of his first actions, Mr. Obama is likely to issue an executive order lifting President George W. Bush’s restrictions on funding for research using embryonic stem cells, a move with bipartisan support.

    Women’s health advocates also expect early action on the "global gag rule," which bars foreign organizations from using their own money for abortion services or advocacy if they accept U.S. aid for family planning. This policy was instituted by President Ronald Reagan, immediately overturned by President Bill Clinton and then reinstated by Mr. Bush.

    Mr. Obama is also expected to restore federal funding for family planning to the United Nations Population Fund soon after taking office. This policy also has gone back and forth with control of the White House, with Republicans arguing that the U.N. agency supports coercive abortions because of its work in China with its one-child policy, and Democrats saying that the agency doesn’t.

    But he has a pro-life preacher giving an opening prayer and suddenly you’re worried he’s not going to be "flexible" on pro-choice issues?

    I suppose in one sense, you’re right — he’s not looking like he’ll be flexible, he’s looking like a pro-choice activist. Every indicator, every media report, every insider comment from NARAL to NOW says that he’s going to be rock-solid on choice.

  183. 183
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    Reading at ‘wingnut sites’ and ‘moonbat sites’, it is clear that the extremes on either side loathe each other. The religious wingnuts hate the gays for being gay, and the gay moonbats hate the religious wingnuts for being homophobic/intolerant. The people in the middle, gay and straight, slightly left and slightly right, end up in the middle of the pie fight.

    As I see it, there is a lot of intolerance on both sides of this issue and that alone is going to make this nearly impossible to solve since neither side will budge. What I find a bit disturbing is that the gay voices seem to believe that Obama ‘misled’ them. No he didn’t. His position was clearly stated well in advance.

    In some respects, I am beginning to think the GLBT community (at least the more vocal ones in it) are not doing themselves any favors by being tit-for-tat intolerant with the religious wingnuts. In fighting for what they believe in, they are allowing the bitterness to seep through and they are losing the real message they are trying to get out there.

    Let the wingnuts spew hate, that is what they do. But when you stoop to their level (intolerance) then you are no better than they are. Read some of the gay outrage at Kos and it is coming through loud and clear, anger or hate are not going to win a battle like this.

    Wrong tone. But what do I know, I am just stuck in the middle.

  184. 184
    Xenos says:

    Lost in this debate is the fact that Rick Warren is antichoice and anticontraception. He supports abstinence only.

    Abstinence only education for children, or for adults as well?

    Because if he is against contraception then he is way outside Protestant tradition. He is a Baptist, isn’t he?

  185. 185
    Xenos says:

    Wrong tone. But what do I know, I am just stuck in the middle.

    We have a long history of people fighting against religious authority in this country. You are not being ‘in the middle’ by deferring to religious figures who want to persecute and marginalize people they do not approve of. Unless you can identify a legitimate moral issue behind their positions, you don’t agree with them and ought to be suspicious of their claims to authority via moralism. Resenting and distrusting religious authorities is not mischief.

    What is making you stuck in the middle? Or are you concerned because you are concerned?

  186. 186
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    What is making you stuck in the middle? Or are you concerned because you are concerned?

    Because there is nothing I can do to change the situation, so in the meantime I get to listen to fighting in stereo. One other point is that I am not deferring to anyone here on either side, the situation is what it is and I am just ‘inheriting’ the mess from someone else (our past). While I do not believe in government sanctioning marriage, I find the rhetoric from the extreme left becoming just as intolerant of others as they are complaining others are being intolerant of them.

    Like my Ma says, two wrongs don’t make a right. But what the hey, every time someone like myself speaks to some hothead on either side of the issue we just get hammered for doing so. By both sides.

    Honey. Flies. Vinegar. Attract?

    No. By pushing people in the middle to stay out of it via berating them for not being in lockstep agreement with the ‘right’ side in this issue (as each side sees it), that leaves the rabid elements on both sides to fight it out between themselves.

    Let me know how that is working out. I will head back to the peanut gallery and stay the fuck out of it. You deal with it.

  187. 187

    And what about ‘reproductive rights and stem cell research’ being ‘non-negotiable’ issues for Christians?’ And jeebus, what the hell could Obama have said in the ‘faith forum’ that could have been so objectionable to this man? Why DO these myopic Christian leaders get the stage all the time?

    At any rate, it is the job of the left to agitate against these sorts of things so, yeah, I don’t blame them. Obama is just going to have to deal with it. That’s going to be part of his job and also that’s how ‘change’ happens, albeit very, very slowly, see Civil Rights Movement.

  188. 188
    Michael D. says:

    As one of the resident homosexualists here – and one of the only homosexualist atheists – I DON’T CARE who prays at Obama’s inauguration.

    I simply don’t.

    I care that someone IS praying that the inauguration AT ALL – but I won’t air that stuff here amongst y’all fundie Christians!

    But if anyone does, then I agree with TG – I believe the choice of Rick Warren is a slap in the face to people who are MUCH MORE homophobic than Warren (who I know IS homophobic – I hate that word because I don’t think he’s scared of the gays – but much less so than others.)

    Let him say a few meaningless words to a meaningless non-existent deity.

    I don’t care.

    I DO care that James Dobson is not doing it.

  189. 189
    Robert Johnston says:

    If Obama sells out on the progressive promise in actual policy, I’ll be in the streets protesting with everyone else. But if his “selling out” is having a fairly moderate, popular evangelical give the invocation at the inaugural

    There’s the problem right there: there’s nothing even a little bit moderate about Rick Warren. Substantively speaking he’s James Dobson. He just puts on a friendly act. Personally I’d be much less offended by Dobson speaking at the inaugural, because at least he doesn’t try to hide his theocratic nutbarism behind a sham friendliness.

    And, of course, the problem isn’t so much that Warren gets an audience as that Obama’s lending his credibility to Warren. Anything that perpetuates the myth that Warren is a moderate is extremely dangerous.

  190. 190
    Michael D. says:

    @Robert Johnston:

    Substantively speaking he’s James Dobson. He just puts on a friendly act. Personally I’d be much less offended by Dobson speaking at the inaugural, because at least he doesn’t try to hide his theocratic nutbarism behind a sham friendliness.

    Know what? I actually came back to this thread to retract what I just wrote.

    You are absolutely right – and what you wrote was pretty much how I was gonna say it.

    Dobson is a wolf.

    Warren is a wolf is sheep’s clothing,

    At least you know who Dobson is and what his motives are.

  191. 191

    Mmm, I guess I should expand on what I just said about choice. Contraception used to be uncontroversial amongst the general population. Shoot, my southern belle mom was just talking the other day about how social workers, back in the day (we are talking the 40’s and 50’s) handed out condoms and such and it was no big deal.

    So considering we’ve apparently regressed on that issue, thanks to the likes of people like Rick Warren, it’s not so much change we are working toward (on reproductive rights) as it is a return to the good old days when people had enough sense to know that overpopulation was a legitimate concern and should be dealt with in common sense ways.

    Encouraging people to pop out babies like rabbits shows absolutely no regard for the effect overpopulation and unwanted children will have on society as a whole. It’s based, in large part I believe, in a cravenly selfish (unChristian) ideal of creating mini-me’s. I think these people are gonna find themselves in a world of hurt when a depression strikes and they’re gonna have to figure out how to feed all those rug-rats.

    But this may be another symbolic ‘reach across the aisle’ gesture that, as John says, does not reflect future policy decisions at all, but does make me want to puke. I’m just not in the mood to reach that far.

    So John, I hope you don’t mind if I puke in honor of this decision but otherwise keep my mouth shut save these 2 comments.

    Abstinence only — see, Piper Palin

  192. 192
    Michael D. says:

    @John Cole:

    Having Warren speak changes not one policy. Nothing.

    Neither would having Dobson speak. What’s your point?

  193. 193
    Michael D. says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    This invocation thing? Just like that.

    Who.Gives.A.Fuck.

    The problem is that the selection of who says grace gives you some insight about the host and the host’s beliefs, does it not? And, perhaps, how the host will act.

  194. 194
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    BTW, the opening invocation is being given by someone who is intolerant of gays, and the closing invocation is being given by someone who is tolerant of all.

    Good, now both sides have something to bitch and be happy about at the same time!

    It’s a draw! ;)

  195. 195
    Michael D. says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    And I don’t agree with you that those voters should give a fuck. What they should give a fuck about is whether they have jobs next year and can get healthcare when they need it. They should give a fuck about important things and stop acting like a bunch of whiney assed motherfuckers like you.

    They should thank their lucky fucking stars that they are not going to have to watch the inauguration of John Fucking McCain and his sidekick, Sarah Fucking Palin. That’s what I think they should give a fuck about.

    That’s about the most stupid thing I’ve ever read on this blog – and I’ve been reading you for awhile, so the bar has been set high on occassion.

    Shorter TZ: “You’re a second class citizen. Stop your whining and be thankful you’re not in steerage, you ingrates.”

    Asshole.

  196. 196

    Too busy to get sucked into today’s episode of Symbolic Ideological Pearl Clutching on BJ, I find this, the most cogent thought I can find on the tubes this morning, on the front page at GOS:

    Every time you hold a fart in, an angel explodes.

    I don’t think we can say anything more profound than that here. Sometimes, less is really more.

  197. 197

    […] reading the Warren thread from last night, I have come to the firm conclusion that anyone who uses the phrase “slap in the face” […]

  198. 198

    That’s about the most stupid thing I’ve ever read on this blog

    You really aren’t very good at hyperbole, man.

  199. 199
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    @Balloon Juice » Blog Archive » I Have Decided: Don’t forget about all the non-whites that were slapped in the face when Obama appointed HRC to Sec. State, what with her white-people-matter-more tour through Appalachia.

    I’m sure that’s just the tip of the face slapping.

  200. 200

    […] I like what this Balloon Juice commenter has to say: If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, […]

  201. 201
    Comrade Stuck says:

    The problem is that the selection of who says grace gives you some insight about the host and the host’s beliefs, does it not? And, perhaps, how the host will act.

    Much more so are Obama’s own words that he believes Marriage should be between a man and a woman. And his actions in not supporting prop 8, which indicates he is unlikely to take a proactive approach to ban or inhibit gay marriage. His selection of Warren is a purely political one to triangulate against his wingnut foes and has nothing to do with gay marriage, pro or con.

  202. 202
    Michael D. says:

    @TheHatOnMyCat:

    When you see signs on the restaurant window that say “Straight Only” then we can talk about separate but equal.

    I see them at government marriage license counters. Does that count? I see them at adoption agencies. What about that?

  203. 203
    Comrade Stuck says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    I’m sure that’s just the tip of the face slapping.

    That is a slap in the face to those who’ve been slapped in the face. Which to me is a slap in the face.

  204. 204
    Xenos says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    It’s a draw!

    I thought that was an invitation to a showdown, requiring me to start firing my guns.

  205. 205
    Duke of Earl says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    The religious wingnuts hate the gays for being gay, and the gay moonbats hate the religious wingnuts for being homophobic/intolerant.

    The difference in the two positions being that the religious wingnuts hate the gays for what they *are* while the gay moonbats hate the religious wingnuts for what they *do*.

    I’m only slightly surprised that you are unable to differentiate between hating somone for an innate characteristic and hating somone essentially because they hate you and want you to die. And make no mistake, there are a great many religious wingnuts who would enthusiastically put gays on the trains to the gas chambers.

    BTW and FWIW, I’m about as hetero as it’s possible to get so I have no dog in this particular fight.

  206. 206
    Michael D. says:

    When you see signs on the restaurant window that say “Straight Only” then we can talk about separate but equal.

    I will also see them on thew walls at the social security office when I go to apply for my deceased partner’s social security benefits.

    Ooops! What’s that on my income tax form? Ooooh. Straights only.

    TZ, how can you, someone so smart, be so willfully stupid?

    (EDIT: It may be just genetic, but I am assuming willfull so as not to offend.)

  207. 207

    There were no atheists available?

  208. 208
    Shygetz says:

    "Building consensus"? Have you seen Obama’s approval ratings? Even the non-crazy Evangelicals are already on board–are you saying that just choosing Warren is going to convince the dead-enders? I don’t think you’re that naive, and I guarantee Obama’s not. "Providing cover"? It’s a three minute invocation. It provides cover for NOTHING; it’s a one dollar chip in a million dollar point, a damn rounding error when it comes to policy pushes.

    Others have pointed out that it’s a purely symbolic move, and I agree. But these same people are then trying to claim that this symbolic move will cover real policy changes. Look, I like to rail about the stupidity of the Religious Right as much as the next guy, but even I have my limits. The Republicans, whom they trusted, were already getting in deep shit with the Religious Right because they offered symbolism instead of sufficiently reactionary policy. Do you really think an Islamo-fascist Democrat is going to get ANY traction at all from a purely symbolic move? The only people that this move truly has a positive influence on are those people who think good policy is whatever pisses off commie liberals and fags. Is THAT who Obama is trying to bring into his coalition government?

    Some people are saying "No, no, this is a symbolic slap in the face to Dobson." You know what else would be a symbolic slap in the face to Dobson? Inviting a bland, uninteresting, uncontroversial Protestant preacher to give an invocation. We’ve got several dozen of ’em in my little town, if Obama was having a hard time finding one. Instead, he picks Dobson-lite.

    And for those of you touting Warren’s not-quite-Neanderthal stance on environmentalism and heterosexual AIDS, allow me to point out that there are many, many pastors who are pro-environmentalism, pro-heterosexual AIDS relief, AND pro-equal rights. Again, it’s not that Obama had to choose between Warren or Dobson. He had a chance to make a PURELY SYMBOLIC gesture to the Silent Majority of Christian believers who don’t picket abortion clinics, and instead he decided to put an approving spotlight on those who do.

    For a purely symbolic gesture, the symbolism is all wrong.

  209. 209
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    I’m only slightly surprised that you are unable to differentiate between hating somone for an innate characteristic and hating somone essentially because they hate you and want you to die.

    I’m only slightly surprised that you could take what I said and interpret that what I was saying was drawing an equivalence between the two.

    Carry on.

  210. 210
    Cyrus says:

    I get why people are angry about this pick, but I like what TR said in 59. And I love what DougJ said at 134. Seriously, that looks to me like it’s a big deal. For 20 years now we’ve been hearing that the only way a Democrat could get elected was by being a folksy Southern guy, and here we have Obama not even picking any Southerners for high-profile Cabinet appointments? That is a slap in the face, pardon the cliché, to all the Blue Dogs, Broderites, and concern trolls in the mushy middle, and it seems no one has even noticed so far. If three minutes for one of the more moderate right-wing zealots keeps people from noticing for a while longer, it seems like a small price to pay.

    It does seem like we have to take Obama on faith on a lot about stuff like this, but there’s a part from his speech accepting the Democratic Party nomination that I sort of found a hidden meaning in.

    What has also been lost is our sense of common purpose, and that’s what we have to restore.

    We may not agree on abortion, but surely we can agree on reducing the number of unwanted pregnancies in this country…

    I know there are differences on same-sex marriage, but surely we can agree that our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters deserve to visit the person they love in a hospital and to live lives free of discrimination.

    Look at that last paragraph. The thing he says we surely can agree on, isn’t actually true. Hospital visits and all the other civil benefits of marriage are 90 percent of what the fight is about. The more outspoken gay marriage opponents tend to oppose civil unions too, and while the "separate but equal" criticism is valid, if civil unions were nationally available I’ll bet there would be less fervor and urgency to fighting for gay marriage. There is not a nationwide consensus in favor of equal civil rights for gays right now, but this is Overton Window stuff. When a presidential candidate says that it’s the centrist compromise position, when he treats it like a fait accompli, it goes a long way towards becoming one. So even if he is taking the gay community for granted, being taken for granted will probably mean something very different with him than it did with Clinton.

  211. 211
    Duke of Earl says:

    @Conservatively Liberal:

    I went back and reread your post, I see nothing there that would indicate you understand the difference between hating someone for what they are and hating someone for what they do.

    You may understand the difference but your post does not reflect that.

  212. 212
    gil mann says:

    In some respects, I am beginning to think the GLBT community (at least the more vocal ones in it) are not doing themselves any favors by being tit-for-tat intolerant with the religious wingnuts.

    I can almost understand where you’re coming from, but God damn you’re asking a lot. I can’t keep my anger toward these retrograde ghost-humpers in check and not only am I not their target, I don’t even really give a shit about their target’s flagship issue.

    not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye

    I’d love to buy into this, but it seems to me the slap in the face already happened; it’s called not electing a Republican. I’ll admit making Warren the new face of evangelism is a good rebuke to global warming deniers, but that’s about it.

  213. 213
    4jkb4ia says:

    @Michael D.:

    Very late to last thread, but sorry to see you not posting above the fold anymore. The posts were fine.

    Despite having collected no comment from my married-in-Ontario sister, who blew off the McClurkin thing and had opportunity to observe Obama very favorably in graduate school in Hyde Park, at present gay marriage is not a federal issue. IIRC the federal anti-discrimination bill was DOA in the Senate and should be worked on before the marriage issue.

    Also Prop 8 was defeated because of people who came out to vote for Obama. Obama may have limited ability to change the conversation on gay marriage. The gay community itself may have ability to change this conversation which they have not used yet.

  214. 214
    Silver Owl says:

    There are way better christians than Warren. Warren is a shitty human being that uses religion as his excuse for being an asshole.

    How come the ones who believe God is a big huge insecure homicidal asshole like Warren does, is the only side of christianity allowed to be seen and heard? It’s not like Warren is going to wake up suddenly and say, "Whoa! God really isn’t an asshole like me."

  215. 215
    Cyrus says:

    @4jkb4ia:

    Also Prop 8 was defeated because of people who came out to vote for Obama.

    Just for the record, according to Nate Silver, this isn’t true. The majority of new voters voted against Proposition 8, according to exit polls. They didn’t oppose Proposition 8 as strongly as they supported Obama, and if they had, yes, it probably would have failed, but if turnout had been exactly the same as in 2004 it would have passed even more strongly.

    At the end of the day, Prop 8’s passage was more a generational matter than a racial one. If nobody over the age of 65 had voted, Prop 8 would have failed by a point or two. It appears that the generational splits may be larger within minority communities than among whites, although the data on this is sketchy.

  216. 216
    MH says:

    I’m only slightly surprised that you could take what I said and interpret that what I was saying was drawing an equivalence between the two.

    Wow, you just topped the earlier record for "stupidest comment" for not even reading your own words. GJ.

    BTW and FWIW, I’m about as hetero as it’s possible to get so I have no dog in this particular fight.

    No, you’re wrong, you DO, even if you don’t realize it. You think fundies are going to stop at banning gays? In the words of Will Smith, "Oh hell nawl."

    Have you had sex outside of marriage? Have you used a condom, even within a marriage? Do you enjoy sex that isn’t missionary-style? (heck, do you enjoy sex?) Are you, god help you, a woman (or worse, a woman with a job)? Then you DO have a pressing interest in seeing the religious right punted out to sea, because if they had their way, you would be a criminal.

    Conservatives use sex as a means of controlling people. Part of why gays bug them so much is they fear that if people learn about gays, they might start thinking that there’s more than one correct way to have a sex life. That would undermine their control over people, and Lord knows we can’t have that.

  217. 217

    […] . . this whole who-shot-john over Rick Warren is to […]

  218. 218
    Hedley Lamarr says:

    Let him speak this once. It’s the constant droning by the likes of Limbaugh and Hannity each and every day that brainwashes an ignorant public. Those who do not already know Warren will henceforth understand what he is.

  219. 219
    Duke of Earl says:

    @MH:

    Conservatives use sex as a means of controlling people. Part of why gays bug them so much is they fear that if people learn about gays, they might start thinking that there’s more than one correct way to have a sex life. That would undermine their control over people, and Lord knows we can’t have that.

    I do know that, what I meant by "no dog" was that the specific issue of gay marriage does not have a personal effect on me or my family (at the moment, my grandchildren are not yet to the point of puberty).

    Unlike a great many of my generation I don’t have a bias against gays, my mother was an antique dealer and had many gay friends and colleagues, they treated me with more respect than just about anyone else when I was growing up a rather odd little boy.

  220. 220
    scarshapedstar says:

    Conservatively Liberal:

    The religious wingnuts hate the gays for being gay, and the gay moonbats hate the religious wingnuts for being homophobic

    Enter the Godwin: the Nazis hated the Jews for being Jewish, and the Jews hated the Nazis for persecuting and murdering them.

    Six in one hand, half-dozen the other!

  221. 221
    Hyperion says:

    There are way better christians than Warren.

    reading most of the comments here has put me back in touch with my inner atheist. (because i live in seattle, i don’t have to interact much with god folks and so i occasionally forget that religion is important to so many.)

    the thing i like the least about Obama is his christianity. given his christianity, his choice of warren does not surprise me. and i think Obama is a way better christian than warren. but for me that’s a difference without much of a distinction.

    the change i want to see is more non-believers in public office. if someone wants oppose "gay marriage" on non-religious grounds, fine. but saying that "god opposes gay marriage" is just religious bigotry, which "hardens hearts and enslaves minds".

  222. 222
    Broken says:

    I’m about as hetero as it’s possible to get …

    Closet alert..

  223. 223
    zoe kentucky says:

    People need to chill out and reserve their outrage for something that actually matters. I write this as a liberal lesbian in a 10-year relationship. On top of that I spent 6 years as a professional opposition researcher specializing on the religious right. I truly get what Warren represents– he’s basically Dobson’s slightly nicer brother– but I just can’t gin up the energy to care about this.

    Do I like Warren? Hell no. And as an atheist I’m annoyed that there are any preachers giving benedictions or whathaveyou on inauguration day. But at the end of the day I do not and cannot care about this. If this is a taste of the lgbt/left’s reaction to everyting over the next 4-8 years I’m going to have to tune out a lot of progressive politics. I’m tired of being outraged. There are much bigger problems facing the world than who speaks for a few minutes at Obama’s coming out party.

    I think Obama’s overall strategy is all about olive branches. This fits in with what I know about Obama and is actually one of the reasons I voted for him. That means he’s going to do a lot of things people aren’t going to like. But take a step back and a deep breath. This is not an indication that Obama’s views or principles have changed.

  224. 224

    […] I think Obama’s courtship could pay major long-term dividends, assuming Obama is committed to pushing for progressive goals (including LGBT equality). 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. That’s what people are overlooking. Specifically, they’re overlooking the extent to which Warren (literally and symbolically) is challenging an evangelical leadership status quo that is extremely hostile to Democrats. A commenter at the indispensable Balloon Juice notes: […]

  225. 225

    […] political discussion, you can pretty much throw a rock and hit it. But if you need a direction, see John Cole or Maha. For background on the religious argument, see (as always) Jason […]

  226. 226

    […] still don’t like the idea, but having thought about it some more, I think John Cole has a pretty good take on this subject: But I also understand that I would much rather have Warren given a few minutes to speak about […]

  227. 227

    […] Balloon Juice: If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, you’d see this for what it is—not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye. They’ve been fighting to see who gets to be the spokesman for the movement, and lately it’s been a tie. Obama just broke it. […]

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] Balloon Juice: If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, you’d see this for what it is—not an elevation of Warren, but a slap in the face of the old guard leaders like Dobson and LaHaye. They’ve been fighting to see who gets to be the spokesman for the movement, and lately it’s been a tie. Obama just broke it. […]

  2. […] still don’t like the idea, but having thought about it some more, I think John Cole has a pretty good take on this subject: But I also understand that I would much rather have Warren given a few minutes to speak about […]

  3. […] political discussion, you can pretty much throw a rock and hit it. But if you need a direction, see John Cole or Maha. For background on the religious argument, see (as always) Jason […]

  4. […] I think Obama’s courtship could pay major long-term dividends, assuming Obama is committed to pushing for progressive goals (including LGBT equality). 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. That’s what people are overlooking. Specifically, they’re overlooking the extent to which Warren (literally and symbolically) is challenging an evangelical leadership status quo that is extremely hostile to Democrats. A commenter at the indispensable Balloon Juice notes: […]

  5. […] . . this whole who-shot-john over Rick Warren is to […]

  6. […] I like what this Balloon Juice commenter has to say: If you followed the internal politics of evangelical and fundamentalist leaders, […]

  7. […] reading the Warren thread from last night, I have come to the firm conclusion that anyone who uses the phrase “slap in the face” […]

  8. […] John Cole provides a reasonable counterargument. I’m still not […]

  9. […] December 17, 2008 Rick Warren’s Invocation Posted by John O under Political | Tags: Balloon Juice, DKos, Invocation, John Cole, Rick Warren |   I take some time to post over at the Great Orange Satan’s place a similar sentiment, and then I go to John’s place and see it put much better. […]

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