Saturday, December 20, 2008

Amen, I Say

OK. This whole Rick Warren thing. At the risk of tarnishing forever my progressive image, if not blowing it up entirely, I have to say I cannot understand what all the furor is about. As anybody who's not brain dead knows, the proverbial shit has hit the proverbial fan when Obama named Warren to pronounce the invocation at the inaugural. My fellow progressives are raising cain about this. Just goggle "Rick Warren" on Technorati or Bloglines and duck. You'll be inundated. Honestly, I think it makes more sense to get exercised over an issue that really means something, like the escalating war in Afghanistan. What's going on here is some political horse-trading that does no read damage to anybody, despite the volume of wailing from the gays and liberals.

Rick Warren is your standard issue so-called Christian right-winger--actually, there's little that's Christian I can discern in these people, but that's another story. He runs a megachurch in Orange County, California, the prototype for rabid, knee-jerk conservatism, for goodness sake. That this guy is up on Obama's platform on January 20 saying a prayer may be incongruous, but it's hardly the end of the world. Nor is it a sign that Obama is either embracing Warren's views or dissing the gays. I don't agree with Warren on his views about gays. I don't think homosexuality is a matter of personal lifestyle choice. On the whole gay marriage thing (Warren's firm opposition to Proposition 8 in California is what gets the masses on the left totally riled up.), I don't much care one way or the other. I don't oppose these unions, and I don't care what they call them: marriages, civil unions, blessed cohabitations, love knots, whatever.

This fight is all about symbols. Having a card-carrying member of the Christian right on the podium is the real problem for the left, because Warren represents everything progressives loath. The progressive community is fuming because well, one of their constituencies, the so-called LGBT (God, what a horrid acronym.) group is highly offended and up in arms. And by God, we're in charge now, and we need our people in the spotlight. But here's the thing: Rick Warren is not going to change Obama's views on gay rights. He's not going to change my views, he's not going to change anybody else's views about it if he stands up there and says a prayer. Let's everybody just say "Amen" and move on to something important.
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