The Rick Warren Debate

President-Elect Barack “No Drama” Obama opened up a giant can of what the hell this week, when it was announced that controversial evangelical pastor, Rev. Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church, would give the invocation at the inauguration.

Warren, quite famously, is against gay marriage and came out for California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage. The ballot proposition was pushed after the courts declared it discriminatory to allow heterosexuals the right of marriage but not homosexuals. Naturally, all kinds of people have cried foul, most notably in the gay, lesbian, transgendered community, as well as a host of Liberals and progressives. And while I understand what Obama is trying to do here (re: be inclusive, reach out to evangelicals), there are a host of evangelical ministers he could have invited to the big show who wouldn’t have arrived with nearly as much baggage.

“My blood pressure is really high right now,” said Rev. Chuck Currie, minister at Parkrose Community United Church of Christ in Portland, Oregon. “Rick Warren does some really good stuff and there are some areas that I have admired his ability to build bridges between evangelicals and mainline religious and political figures… but he is also very established in the religious right and his position on social issues like gay rights, stem cell research and women’s rights are all out of the mainstream and are very much opposed to the progressive agenda that Obama ran on. I think that he is very much the wrong person to put on the stage with the president that day.”

Warren does have a rather peculiar relationship with the incoming president. The two share a general ethos that political differences should not serve as impediments to progress. On topics like AIDS and poverty relief, they see eye-to-eye. But Warren’s domestic and social agendas are at odds with Obama’s. And for the gay and lesbian community in particular, the choice is a bitter pill to swallow.

“Pastor Warren, while enjoying a reputation as a moderate based on his affable personality and his church’s engagement on issues like AIDS in Africa, has said that the real difference between James Dobson and himself is one of tone rather than substance,” read a statement from People For the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert. “He has repeated the Religious Right’s big lie that supporters of equality for gay Americans are out to silence pastors. He has called Christians who advance a social gospel Marxists. He is adamantly opposed to women having a legal right to choose an abortion.” (Huffington Post)

Warren is sort of in the running for that unofficial position of “national spiritual leader,” a la Billy Graham. That particular evangelical minister attended 10 inaugurations (almost all of them) since President Dwight Eisenhower. He also showed up for other big events like the occasional “bless the war” ceremony. It’s a nice, influential position and with Graham old and sickly, there is some chatter about who will step into his shoes. Since it’s not the sort of thing you can apply for, all you can do is do your darnedest to hop on any and all hot topics that would put you in the middle of the political fray. Warren did this during the election, hosting a debate of sorts where Warren sat down individually with Obama and his opponent John McCain and shot the shit.

Mama Snob joked that Obama might as well have picked Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Father Michael Phleger if his intent was to have a good, vocal minority of people go into pique. (I offered up Jesse n’ Al, too, as all parties suggested would equally piss off someone, or everyone, at once.) But I’d argue that it was easier to pick someone who would irk Liberals and progressives because there has been a long-standing knowledge that you can push pinkos around because the modern right wing is so far right we truly have no other place to go.

Unless we’re going to all start voting for Ralph Nader or something.

Therefore this is the latest indignity to endure.

All I ask is that Warren remembers that the inauguration is about the presidency, not CONTROVERSIAL CULTURE WAR ISSUE OF THE DAY, and will just give the invocation without pissing of 48 percent of the country. The announcement has already distracted and derailed the news cycle. But I think Warren will keep-it-simple-stupid, because he is a smart guy and wants to be Graham’s heir apparent. And you don’t get to be Graham’s heir by being unpalatable, like crazy Pat Robertson or dearly departed but also crazy Jerry Falwell OR by being kind of skeevie, like Creflo Dollar, OR by being too vague, like Joel Osteen.

In a statement Warren recently released, he praised Obama for picking him and kept everything on message.

I commend President-elect Obama for his courage to willingly take enormous heat from his base by inviting someone like me, with whom he doesn’t agree on every issue, to offer the Invocation at his historic Inaugural ceremony.

Hopefully individuals passionately expressing opinions from the left and the right will recognize that both of us have shown a commitment to model civility in America.

The Bible admonishes us to pray for our leaders. I am honored by this opportunity to pray God’s blessing on the office of the President and its current and future inhabitant, asking the Lord to provide wisdom to America’s leaders during this critical time in our nation’s history.

So while I wouldn’t have gone for someone who equated homosexuality with incest and pedophillia, in the end, I think everything will be fine. On the left, people will be offended. On the right people will be confused. (Many are wondering why Warren would give this sort of “endorsement” to someone who is pro-abortion, pro-gay rights. But, obviously, Warren has a plan too.) And if it were me, I probably would have picked someone who either no one’s ever heard of, was a 1960s Civil Rights activist or Osteen because I’m a punk and would not have wanted something as silly as pastor pickin’ to become the drama-rama du jour on Hardball. But that’s me. How did Obama’s latest pastor pick sit with you?

And what IS IT WITH THIS MAN AND PASTORS? I know he’s church shopping in Washington, D.C. Maybe he should let someone else pick this time. I’m sure someone in D.C. can point him and Michelle to the least controversial, all Jesus all, the time, Christian church in D.C.

BTW: As if to balance out Warren, Civil Rights activist, pastor and pro-gay rights Liberal Rev. Joe Lowery is giving the beneditcion. Lowery is best known of late for using the Coretta Scott King’s funeral to call out President Bush. Another moment in the Bush presidency that was hilarious, although (like with the shoe throwing) it was pretty rude to use a funeral to bash our craptastic president. That didn’t mean I didn’t laugh, but ..
. dude. There was a funeral going on.


79 thoughts on “The Rick Warren Debate

  1. My first reaction was ‘WTF??’ because it seemed like a giant pander to the religious right. Then after it settled in for a few days I just think it shows that Obama’s got a mind of his own and that he can respect people even if he disagrees with them on big issues. I do think that he could have chosen someone less controversial, but as you said, his former #1 (Jeremiah Wright) is a non-starter and Joel Osteen might be a safe choice, but he doesn’t seem to have a relationship with the guy. I’m sure he could have gotten away with two Joseph Lowerys but I think it shows a magnanimity that has been so absent from our politics that it occurs as shocking and offensive. Part of me still doesn’t think it was a well-thought-out move and kind of a stiff-arm to the LGBT community, but if he’d chosen some lesbian Unitarian minister that he met along the trail, he’d be catching hell for that now too.

  2. Poor Obama can’t get the religious thing quite right…kinda like a bad jerry curl (10 points for the film reference).I don’t thin Warren will show out and I appreciate Obama’s foresight to invite Warren despite the controversy (would yall rather have Bob Dobson/Pat Buchanon/Oral Roberts/Jerry Falwell esque people instead???). I’m not a fan of Warren (I read two pages of the Purpose Drive Life and quickly put it back down) but I see the constituency Warren represents and this folks is an olive branch to the ultra conservative Christians (who still hold a candle for Palin).As for the LGBT – their time will come. As to how soon? No one knows but I gurantee their time will come.

  3. isonprize says:

    Joel Osteen? Um, no. He just looked around at what his daddy did, and said “Hey, wait a minute. I can do this too (oh and yeah, it makes a ton of $$)And as for Rev Lowery, yeah, there was a funeral going on, but (not that you would make a habit out of going to funerals) keep on living. You’ll live to experience that fact that funerals are sometimes the ONLY place where certain things can get said. I think Rev. Lowery did the right thing at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. She and Martin were probably shouting a ‘hallelujah, yes lawd’ with his every word.

  4. warren is a vulgar, rabid, supreme turbo gaybasher!!!bo can never justify this choice…never!warren to gays is akin to david duke to blacksand no one would be justifying that choice!this is why “gay = new black”it is still cool to FLAGRANTLY diss and wound gaysand we are indeed wounded by this bs…joel olsteen is a better pastor, speaker, and human who is also (wrongly!) against gay marriage…he would have been a much better choicethis bs makes me even prouder that i voted for bo by default…hillary was my first choice!each day bo convinces me that i made the right choice initially…shame!!!!!!!alicia banksOUTLOOKhttp://aliciabanks.blogspot.com

  5. Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is. Yeah, Warren has some strongly controversial views. But it’s the invocation to the inauguration! He’s not a cabinet member, he’s not in charge of anything, he’s not the new Pastor Laureate….he’s just saying a 10 minute prayer. Sure I get why people are offended by Warren, and taken aback that Obama would even consider him, but I think they’re overstating the seriousness of this pick. Obama makes a gesture to the right, a gesture which has no real consequences…and bam, we move on.Although you’re right – he just can’t seem to pick a good pastor. Although McCain had Hagee, and Clinton had baby-daddy-in-the-making Jesse Jackson Jr. Maybe it’s…nah, I won’t go there

  6. amen tony!i adore rev wright and his afrocentric, intellectual, pro-gay, anti-sexist churchand EVERYTHING rev w said was true!!!ESPECIALLY what he said about the soulless super politico obamashame on bo!!!peaceab

  7. and if he wanted to make a gesture to the grand wizard of the KKK in full garb…i see you are a true big tenter who would be down with that too….right?spare me the hypocrisy!!!when slaves were being hung from trees…the lynchers were praising how perfect the weather was, how tall the trees were, etc…bo has lynched gays with this horrid indefensible choiceit ruins the entire event for all of us..it is akin to oj hosting a miss black america gala…or michael jackson being the keynote speaker at a melanin symposium etc!shame!!!!!! ab

  8. Does anyone think that the Obama staff doesn’t have Rick Warren by balls and have threatened him with certain political death should he go off message? Come on! The Obama team is SO incredibly disciplined and together. Warren will make a nice pretty, polite prayer and all this hollering will be for nought

  9. On the other hand I think people should leave the great Prince of Hope alone. Geez oh pete. He’s a politician who has a lot of different agendas to balance and sometimes he’s going to piss people off. Stop nitpicking every single thing he does…Cheese and Rice…the country is acting like a woman who’s had a really bad relationship and has just met this really nice guy but now can’t trust him and second guesses everything he does in case the new guy is like the old guy.But speaking from experience, if you keep expecting the new guy to be the old guy…he’ll be forced to turn into the old guy. OR he’ll get so frustrated of you reading too damn much into everything that he leaves you. But what you should say is he’s human and sometimes he might have friends whose views I don’t share and some of whose views HE doesn’t share, but he’s his friend and we should put up and shut up for a minute cause eerything else about him is great

  10. 1. Barack Obama does not believe in gay marriage, he believes in civil unions. Do the naysayers even know that? 2. People need to stop comparing every travesty on earth to slavery and black people’s struggle in this country. No, it is not the same thing. Being gay and wanting to get married is not the same thing as being wrenched from the Motherland, forced into slavery, treated like the scum of the universe, raped, denied education and dignity, being counted as 3/5 of a person, then being freed and treated like scum some more –- remnants of which can still be felt today. Ditto with Mexican illegal immigration — – it is not the same thing so please stop comparing. 3. I do believe Pres. Elect could have chosen someone less controversial, but I also believe it will ignite a dialogue between both sides and that’s a good thing. This is the man who is putting together a “Team of Rivals.” He doesn’t need everyone one to be yes- men and women and agree with him. I admire that. And he can’t please everyone anyway. Somebody, somewhere would have a problem with his choice. Last time I checked Obama supporters are multi-faceted. He has a sizable number of Conservative and Republican supporters, and even all Democrats don’t all think the same way …

  11. isonprize: Joel Osteen’s talent is that besides being able to make tons of cash he’s relatively inoffensive. The only people offended by him are certain ministers and individuals who find the “Prosperity Gospel” he preaches heretical, but it takes more than three words to explain why that is so, hence … the lack of controversy.poeticwax: The issue at hand here is symbolism. If you read Alicia’s comments on the post these pretty much sums up why Warren is a lightning rod. Some of his stances on gender and sexual orientation issues are volitile, vile even. So it’s not about the job itself, it is about the man doing the job. It’s about the perception that by inviting him to give a prayer at the inaguration it is an endorsement of Warren and those who have views like his. Like having Dick Cheney speak at your university graduation. Some people will be interested, others will come armed with air horns, shoes, pies and curse words.That may not be the reality, but it is the perception.It’s really a lot of unnecessary grief on Obama’s part when he could have picked a much more safe evangelical. No one’s saying he had to pick the gay guy the Episcopalians made a bishop a few years back, but there had to be a happy medium between “Gay priest” and “Rick Warren.”

  12. txbabe98 says:

    Im sick of the FAR RIGHT and the day has come that the FAR LEFT is starting to get on my nerves.I am a black woman FOR gay marriage and I voted against prop 8 and I feel like those angered by the results are jumping on this petty shit.It is NOT THAT serious. He is not apart of their damn administration.HE is saying a PRAYER!!!!!The GLT community has a lot of work ahead of them and they need to start holding themselves accountable for what happened NOV4. They remind me of the Republican party.1.They didnt study their target audience (young minorities, college-aged, pretty much Obama voters) 2.They are both seen as predominately white male organizations.3.LACK OF ORGANIZATIONI mean Call in Gay Day…r u serious?? do they know how many mexican-american there are in this country??? You cant not go into black neighborhoods and let people know what you are about and then blame those who were not educated about you.PE Obama is not the gays savior. He and Biden both said there were AGAINST gay marriage.ALOT of work and sacrifice has to be done and acting like to LEFT-version of the last 8 years will get NOTHING done.

  13. Ditto txbabe. I also voted against prop 8 and have worked for GLBT supportive organizations (actually I currently work for a GLBT-ally and prochoice organization). You get no where pitching a fit about each and every perceived slight. In fact, that’ a great way to not be taken seriously

  14. I wouldn’t have chosen Warren. It he needed an evangelical, why not Wallis of Sojourners Magazine. But, I am tired of the Gay Community thinking this is the end of the world, when, on votes and policy -with the exception of gay marriage, Obama is on their side.And stop blaming Black folks for the loss of Prop 8.

  15. the black independent says:

    Double ditto, txbabe98 & Gracie B. Also voted "NO on 8" and feeling like some are getting a little too upset w/ this. He did choose polar opposites to give prayers at his inauguration. The choice of Rick Warren is beginning to look more like a shrewd political move, IMO. Obama would like to have more right-leaning evangelical support, so he chose Warren for a prayer at his inauguration. Furthermore, by getting mad and making a big stink about his choice, Warren supporters are more likely to favor Obama a little more. The same would've happened if the this situation was reversed (like if Obama was a conservative and the religious right got upset w/ his choice of Lowery).And I agree w/ you, txbabe98. A lot of this energy should be spent on formulating a better campaign or finding a better solution to the issue at hand. I've always been a supporter of getting rid of the word "marriage" in all government documents (heterosexual and homosexual couples would both share the term "civil unions" or "domestic partnerships") while letting religious institutions continue to define the word marriage. But that idea usually falls on deaf ears. Peace everyone

  16. Anonymous says:

    stuffbapslove, i agress w/ you. Being gay is not comparable to being the black in America, for several reasons I will not go into.I actually like Warren and agree w/ his stances, he is being bold about his Biblically based beliefs and people are mad at him for it. Christians are being persecuted morr and more lately from what I can see. He has chosen not to fold under the pressure of liberals and I admire that. By the way, i agree with most of what Wright said too!I love Obama, even though I dont agree w/ everything he says, arguing about social/moral issues is trivial at this point, we are in a financial crises and 2 wars. We have plenty of time later to do this. Besides, marriage is a state issue, he will proabably have little say so on that front from the looks of things right now.

  17. Why have “any” religious figure at all? I thought we had separation of church and state. Yeah yeah, I know. But Warren is equivalent to Sharpton in my book. *shudder*

  18. Joel Osteen? Um, no. He just looked around at what his daddy did, and said “Hey, wait a minute. I can do this too (oh and yeah, it makes a ton of $$)And as for Rev Lowery, yes, there was a funeral going on and we must have respect for the dead. But, live is for the living, and sometimes, funerals are the ONLY place where certain things can get said. I think Rev. Lowery did the right thing at Coretta Scott King’s funeral. She and Martin were probably shouting a ‘hallelujah, yes lawd’ with his every word.”Billions more for war but no more for the poor.”Preach, Rev. Lowery, Preach!

  19. txbabe98 says:

    I just feel like black democrats/liberals/centrists are starting to lose their voice I love watching Keith and Rachel and listening to Stephanie Miller and Ed Schultz, but since the election, i feel like "our" issues are starting to vanish: high HIV and cancer among our black women, crappy justice system, even crappier k-12 education.All i hear now is gay marriage THIS or the auto industry & blue collar workers (middle-class white folks)Cant turn to MSNBC(i like Tamron Hall) and i cant stand CNN(not you D.Lemon/JackCaff)

  20. You know, Warren still has to look that crowd in their eyes and try to say whatever he comes up with. I don’t think I’d want to do that if I were him. Obama has gotten comfortable with the huge crowds he draws by delivering the goods time after time. Maybe there could be a little trial by fire of extreme right viewholders situation developing here. Warren may run a mega church, but he has never faced this kind of crowd as there has never been this kind of crowd. This is history in the making and personally I hope it goes well. As for taking offense, if I were going to do that it would be about any religion at all being involved; it wouldn’t have taken the inclusion of views as foul as Warren’s. But I don’t trip over his inclusion because I want my own inclusion- my atheism is seen as every bit as radical as his fundamentalism- and I still feel as if Obama is trying to give all of us a voice, and to me that still feels pretty damn sweet. -Doug in Oakland

  21. Scott says:

    I have to agree with those that have already pointed out that since Obama doesn’t support gay marriage why is anyone surprised by the choice of Warren?

  22. Commonsensor says:

    Actually, I have never thought this was about reinforcing his message of “inclusion” since it rings rather hollow to book a divisive, extremist, gay-bashing, hate monger to such a hugely symbolic (and in this case historic) event.I have always believed this was simple Political Payback. Nothing more and nothing less. Warren helped Obama make inroads with evangelicals and Obama is now giving him a public forum for…whatever his personal career agenda is.Tacky at best but insulting and disturbing at its worst because to me (and apparently a LOT of others) it seems like Obama just blows a lot of smoke but is really just a crafty, sneaky politician placating the masses.This “inclusion” BS that his team keeps chanting like a mantra is growing tiresome. Take a lesson from Bush on tha tone – you take a word (in his case “tur-er-ists”) and repeat it enough – the meaning of the word disappears altogether.I’m not stupid, I know how the game is played – but I was hoping that Obama would at least give us all the benefit of the doubt and NOT insult our intelligence by telling us this is all about “building bridges” and “unity”. Warren scratched his back and now he gets to scratch Warren’s.Please wash your hands before returning to work!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Commonsensor, you said that Obama just blows a lot of smoke but is really just a crafty, sneaky politician placating the masses.As President, then, are you suggesting that he is supposed to placate to the fringe parts of this country? You sound as thought placating to the masses is a bad thing, if you are President.If placating to the masses is a bad thing, and he should be laser focused on everyone that is not part of the masses, then I submit that’s how you end up leaving your Presidency with 20-something percent approval rating, 2 unfinished and messy “wars”, a crumbling economy, and social unrest throughout the country.

  24. Did anyone listen to his speech on election night? He is President of the entire country, not just his supporters.I can’t believe given the financial crises, two wars, hell breaking out in Zimbabwe, etc. that a 5 minute speech is worth all this gnashing of teeth.(not referring to the comments on this blog but some of the news articles I’ve read where the far left has gone off on Obama.) Really the guy can’t win. First he was the most “liberal” man in the Senate, now he’s “betrayed” the left.

  25. the black independent says:

    txbabe: Stay encouraged, blacks haven’t lost their voice (well, not yet). Mainstream media just tends to flow w/ whatever the problem du jour happens to be. Right now it’s auto bailouts, Rick Warren, and Caylee Anthony. Who knows what it’ll be a month from now when Obama finally takes office? We’ll just need to let him enjoy his short honeymoon period and quietly lobby him to see things in our favor when the time comes. ;]Commonsensor: Exactly. It was simply a political power play that seems to be working in Obama’s favor. Though, I don’t believe his actions aren’t nearly as Rovianly sinister as you imply. I want to believe there is some sincerity in what he’s attempting to pull off here. I mean, he is a President [-Elect], more support is a good thing for him.Dorothy: I don’t follow. Explain that for me, I’m curious.

  26. For some reason, people believe that Obama owes them something personally; he’s obligated to comply to their every whim just because they rocked an Obama/Biden pin. This is hilarious stuff! Obama is no one’s personal savior, and he doesn’t live in anyone’s back pocket, ready to do whatever they wish. This man ran an honest and successful campaign that was inclusive–and now people don’t want that. They feel that once he was elected he’d further divide this nation and push some 100% progressive agenda. I knew this would happen, and I’m thankful for it! The bubble has burst, and people are falling out all across this nation. “Obama isn’t the Jesus we wanted,” I can hear them say. Just as NYC/Caribbean Ragazza said, it’s amazing how much press this is receiving when their are much bigger things to worry about than some 5 minute speech. People are so easily blinded by labels and ideologies (right or left) that they can’t function or think intelligently. This makes me wonder why gay people especially even wanted Obama in office. The man has gone on record stating that he’s against gay marriage. He was the best candidate, and he will make an awesome president. I really believe that he will turn this country around, but he will not be the second coming of Jesus Christ. If that’s what you want, I suggest you follow the Bible’s instructions on that matter and pray! Now everyone, please, unbunch your panties.

  27. No one is going to listen to gay people about the issues that really matter if they keep screeching about perceived slights like this one.I’m gay. I voted for Obama. I believed him when he said that he wants to be president for everyone, not just the right or left, red or blue. I’m going to join him in the spirit of compromise. 10 minutes of invocation doesn’t negate any of the wonderful things he’ll be able to do in office.I also wonder what non-Christians must think of this huge flap. I mean, who’s really getting marginalized here?

  28. txbabe98 says:

    Is this all Maddow want to talk about now? Someone needs to ask miss rachel why she repeatedly had Pat Buchanan on her show even though she knows his reputations. Did it slip her mind that he said that black americans should be grateful for years of oppression and segregation or his use of “racist” research to attack blacks. Where was the far-left outrage then? And why can Mike Hukabee appear on her show with his firm stance against gay marriage but Warren cant say a prayer?she thinks Obama has thrown gays/progressives under the bus, but i think she should worry about the viewers like me she might be losing…

  29. The more I follow this debate and uprising online the more pissed I become at the Kanye Westing of Barack Obama summarized as: “Barack Obama does not care about gay people. He’s a liar and a betrayer and Hillary was my 1st choice anyway”. Check this out: The only two demographics in which BHO did not outperform John Kerry are gays and seniors 65+. Yeah, that’s right, John McCain got the most number of votes from the gay community of any Republican ever!!!Even Evangelicals went with the black dude at a higher rate than they did Kerry. So, if we’re gonna get all the way real, BHO has more ass-kissing to do to them than he does the (white) gays. Because at this point I am inches away from telling the ones who have just washed themselves of Barack’s hands to go frack themselves and have fun with the Republicans out in the wilderness. Hopefully they’ll find a happy place where everyone agrees with them all the time.

  30. I am not a member of the LGBT community (I’m a straight black woman) but I support equal rights for all human beings. I have been a fervent supporter of Obama’s and I completely agree with his appeal for unity and inclusion at this time. That is why the selection of Rick Warren is so heartbreaking for many people myself included because it reveal something very troubling about Obama. He says that they merely disagree but Warren compared gay relationships to pedophilia and incest which to me is not just something I disagree with it is something I find offensive. He doesn’t allow gays to worship in his church which is simply an exclusionary practice. This is not about gay marriage this is about equality and human rights. The idea that Obama either doesn’ t understand that or chooses to overlook it for political expediency is disheartening and insensitive. I can understand why many of his gay and lesbian supporters now feel disenfranchised from the inauguration.

  31. Hello- i think the issue is if you want to balance what has been imbalanced for 20 years than you need to give some power to the folks and the positions that have been marginalized for 20 years- like we are not a Christian nation- we can have an invocation from a rabbi or an iman or a buddhist nun. not giving a position of power to a person who has many positions of power is not hardly silencing him. but pretending there is only the new Christian right and the old Civil Right left is not change or bridgebuilding or looking at the new world.and also, Rev. Lowery had a need to speak at that funeral- why was Bush even there? why was Harry Belafonte not allowed to speak? how do you commemorate the life of a truth teller and social justice fighter by pandering to the war mongering President.

  32. khal02 says:

    This has shown me that there really is no difference between the far left (dailykos) and the far right (freerepublic). Both groups are batshit crazy. If I read one more editorial about gays being forced to sit in the back of the bus or using some other black American reality as their symbolic metaphor, I am going to scream. They need to come up with a new argument/angle cuz as soon as they make the case for gay marriage by equating it with what we’ve been through, most blacks turn on their internal mute button and stop listening. And Snob….first fam in Hawaii pics are starting to pop up!!

  33. starrie says:

    i just wish we could keep religion and politics separate…i saw rcik warren on tv last night and i was not impressed…since it’s now in the cards, let him to the prayer and crawl back into whatever hole he came from…

  34. Anonymous says:

    I am tired of hearing some gay people equate being gay to being black! Tired! Tired! Tired! Does this mean that gays were originally from Africa, were subjected to slavery for at least 100 years in its most comprehensive form up to today in more subtle ways, were gays raped constantly by their so called “masters” and were all their children called slaves before they were even born and throughout most of their lives? Were gays counted less than a whole person by constitution or law? Another set of questions, does it mean that a disabled, black, woman, who is gay, has four strikes against her, She is disabled, A woman, black and gay while a disable white gay man only has two strikes against him, disabled and gay right?What is all this talk about always wanting to compare being black to being gay? I personally do not think it is the same thing. I could put a gay man or woman on an Island with people of the same race and no one will know their sexual inclinations until they act on it, same with heterosexuals by the way however if you put a white guy on an Island filled with black people, I can assure you he will not have to tell anyone that he is different neither will the indigenous people on the Island have to seek an oracle to tell them that is a white man of a different race than they are though he is still a man.I liken the struggle of gays in America now a little to that of white women to get equality with men and are still facing today, just as gays in America are still fighting for that equality. Though the women comparison is not exactly perfect because unless a woman takes action to visible conceal that she is a woman, this is another fact that is obvious too. The Rick Warren Issue – I might be wrong but I think the invitation had gone out before the interview that has so riled many people and I cannot believe that P-E Obama is particularly happy with the drama this selection has caused. He may have anticipated some resistance to choosing him because he is a conservative with right leaning views but with that sound byte of an interview, it has escalated something which should have been a minor resistance into all out revolt.Another thing I would like to add is that all the screaming and anger however justified has only helped the religious right, maybe a few people might have watched the interview, but with all the ruckus, everybody both nationally and internationally have now seen and heard the sound byte. Thus making it possible for some of the wackjobs out there (who ordinarily would not have taken any notice) to use the sound bytes as justification for their evil without listening to the whole interview. Barack Obama has not validated this guy, the very people who should know better have (Albeit unwittingly). It reminds me of the religious right’s scream about The Harry Potter books the more they screamed about how evil the book was the more people took notice and wanted to know what the book was all about thus increasing sales and making the author a very, very rich woman!Finally remember Rick Warren was not particularly fair or kind to Barack Obama during that forum at his church and I am pretty sure he did not vote for him either, yet the P-E selected him for that short prayer. I say let sleeping dogs lie on this one and know when to choose your battles. This battle is not worth it. Sticks and stones mates, sticks and stones.

  35. Anonymous says:

    I say YEAH for Obama ~ he can pick whoever he wants to do the invocation. I am sick to death of gay rights ~ why can they have their opinion, but nobody else can? Tolerance goes both ways baby. Go Rick Warren, go Obama!!!!!

  36. Anonymous says:

    Rick Warren is only giving the prayer at the inauguration. I guess we have rejected Obama’s promise that he would not only be the president of the Left or the Right, but of America as a whole. It’s amazing how liberals get in an uproar when someone emerges who does not share their point of view. During the campaign, Biden said during the VP debate that he and President elect Obama were not in favor of gay marriage. These white liberals are just as bad as white conservatives. Each thought that they were going to “own” Obama, and it’s not the case.

  37. whether you are lynched by a gaybasher or lynched by a racistm you are still deadno fool has ever equated gaybashing with racismlikewise, only fools deny droves of similaritiessee:”the other niggers”http://www.geocities.com/ambwww/GAYBASHERS.htmthere is NOTHING to defend the choice of warrenand this is far deep than the gay marriage issuejoel olsteen agrees with obama on gay marriage and would have been a much better choicesee more on this indefensible warren bs at:OUTLOOKhttp://aliciabanks.blogspot.compeaceab

  38. I’m just going to say a few things based on the tons of comments here.1) While it is often hurtful, annoying and mean to hear people bash Christians, this tongue lashing does not make being a Christian in America one of the many put upon groups. Christianity is attacked because Christians make up the majority of this country. Our country’s laws are structured to protect people who aren’t Christians (or who don’t share our beliefs) from us because we could simply run roughshod over them if we really wanted to.Really.The reason why it is seen as OK to ridicule Jesus as opposed to Mohammad is simply because Jesus is under no threat of being marginalized and banned from American life. But Muslims in this country are always one war or one terrorist attack from being rounded up and sent off to detention facilities.And because Christians are the majority, mocking us is “OK” in the same way minority groups and women mock white men. White men hold nearly every major office, control most of government (with the exception of our president-elect now), are the bulk of judges, the military, the police, the shareholders, CEOs and Fortune 500 company heads. Therefore, they get mocked … constantly and are told to “suck it up.”So while I am a Christian hearing Christians complain about others being jerks to them is a lot like white men complaining that they’re the “last ethnic group that is OK to mock.” This simply comes with being in the position of power or of being part of the majority.Christianity has only GROWN in this country since it’s founding. The “whining” from gays is about fear in the same way it is for every minority group that faces being marginalized in our Democracy if they remain silent. I feel it would make more sense for Christians to follow Jesus and be the bigger person, and not be petty, rude or chippy over this. Homosexuals aren’t acting any different from any other minority group trying to protect their interests from a dominant majority culture.2) I agree that the whole “blame the Negroes” crap of Prop. 8 was bull. But this is a classic case of one group not knowing shit about the other. I feel a lot of white gays made a false assumption that most black people would identify with them as minorities, not realizing that homosexuality and how you feel about it is often rooted in your personal, often religious beliefs. For a lot of black people this was not a “civil rights” issue. I don’t feel that way, but for many it simply isn’t.But the gay men who often spearhead activism among the pro-gay marriage movement made a massive mistake if they “assumed” black people would identify with them when it is a struggle to get black people to identify with other gay black people.Also, it was easy to scapegoat the black vote (a sick way of twisting Obama and Prop. 8 together), when the reality is that other white people … the ones they work with, are neighbors with, grew up with, went to school with and were related to did not vote with them. If they had convinced more white people that the measure was important this might not have come to this — lazy people pitting minority groups against each other.3) I think it’s stupid to compare bad situations. The gay v. black argument is a ridiculous to me as the slavery v. holocaust argument. None of these things are truly comparable. But people shouldn’t pretend like being gay is some walk in the park because if that were true, more people would be public about it. To this day as a homosexual from any ethnic community if you chose to live openly you run the risk of being murdered, raped, beaten, ostracized, kicked out from your family and community, isolated or discriminated against. I think people get too hung up on the “well, if they stay in the closet then everything is fine.”Considering the high suicide rate among homosexuals, especially homosexual teens, I’m going to go with being in the closet sucks. Lying to everyone sucks. Not being accepted for who you are sucks. While it’s true many come out, live openly and are successful. There are others who come out are disowned or kicked out of their church or are physically attacked.So, yes, unlike black people, they can just pretend to be straight … and live in constant fear of being found out then facing the wrath of those unknown things that could run from an occasional unpleasant slur or gesture to being beaten to death.And let’s not forget that most gay people do not live in NYC of the Bay Area. The bulk live in the vast, expanding middle and if you’d like to convince me that it would be fun to be openly gay, no matter your race, anywhere there’s a Dairy Queen, I’d love to hear that argument. Because I’m pretty sure it’s sucks to be gay in Alabama or rural Missouri. Or even St. Louis, Mo.So black = gay isn’t an argument. (Largely because one is a sexual orientation and the other is an ethnic type.) This is really more of we’re both minority groups who are discriminated against and ostracized. It’s not apropos to compare the gay rights movement to slavery, but the plight of gays shouldn’t be ridiculed or diminished considering being gay in America is not an easy thing.4) It may be obnoxious to hear people flip out over Warren (and I know I’m tired of it somewhat), but whenever I hear someone accuse another group of “whining” it makes me think of all the times I was told I was “whining” when someone was being insensitive towards me based on my gender and ethnicity. If people want to be upset, let them be upset. As I said before, they’re freaking out over the symbolism. You can debate whether or not this is worth throwing down the gauntlet, but you could say that because of Prop. 8 there is some hyper vigilance afoot of activists who want to keep gay marriage in the forefront, fearing another major setback. And to me, the caterwauling isn’t any worse than the “How could Barack pick Hillary” bemoaning that so many people went through. The reality is Barack is everyone’s president and I’m sure some in the gay community would argue that no president has been their president, hence this is “same shizz/different day” for them. Some are simply using it as a lazy way to blame black people. And that’s the part I find annoying. Not the griping, which they have the right to do, just as we have the right to raise all sorts of stinks over the issues that matter to us.That said, I was really hoping to hear some other pastors named. I’m familiar with Warren (who’s pretty harmless with the exception of this particular issue), Osteen and a few others, but in like of Obama’s “Pastor Pickin'” problem, I really wanted to hear who people would have picked instead.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Why is Rick Warren being bashed for… just preaching the Word Of God, the Bible condemns same-sex relationships and marriage. Warren is getting slammed for preaching the TRUTH!

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