Gay Activists Oppose Rick Warren at Inauguration

Barack Obama has invited Rick Warren to pray at the upcoming presidential inauguration, and the Politico is reporting on the reaction from gay rights activists:

‘Barack Obama’s choice of a prominent evangelical minister to perform the invocation at his inauguration is a conciliatory gesture toward social conservatives who opposed him in November, but it is drawing fierce challenges from a gay rights movement that – in the wake of a gay marriage ban in California – is looking for a fight.’

According to this report, the editor of the Washington Blade, Kevin Naff, called the choice “Obama’s first big mistake.” Naff said:

‘His presence on the inauguration stand is a slap in the faces of the millions of GLBT voters who so enthusiastically supported him. This tone-deafness to our concerns must not be tolerated. We have just endured eight years of endless assaults on our dignity and equality from a president beholden to bigoted conservative Christians. The election was supposed to have ended that era. It appears otherwise.

I can understand why gay rights activists would be upset. But in reality, Obama’s choice of Warren is purely symbolic. As far as policy is concerned, I suspect that the gay rights movement will have a friend in President Obama. Thus the Politico concludes:

‘Despite the symbolism of picking Warren, Obama is likely to shift several substantive policy areas in directions that will please gay voters and their political leaders, including a pledge to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” in military service.’

Time will tell how much of the gay rights agenda will actually become public policy in the next four to eight years. One thing is for sure, however. The fact that the activists are complaining already provides political cover for Obama by making him to appear as a centrist. Perhaps that is the point of this selection in the first place.

11 Responses to Gay Activists Oppose Rick Warren at Inauguration

  1. Don Johnson December 18, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    I think Obama is trying to look inclusive. Whether he actually IS inclusive remains to be seen. He claims to want vigorous debate in his cabinet. I think he is a great talker, but we need to see what he does.

  2. Rick December 18, 2008 at 10:16 am #

    Over that the Jesus Creed today, a comment by “Jason” stated:

    “No doubt the neo-fundamentalists will say this is a political ploy to make Obama look bi-partisan, but it’s more the “calm before the storm.” I don’t understand why some, even if we disagree with the guy policy-wise, have to act like there is this hidden agenda beneath everything Obama does to try and increase gay-marriages and abortion.
    The rhetoric is truly disturbing, and frankly, just downright embarrassing. To see other Christians talk like this about a noble and honorable gesture makes me embarrassed to be associated with Christians. Many of them just need to read the “Prophesies of Godlessness” book you blogged through a while back to help them see that the eschatological rhetoric has been going on for quite a while, and we’re no worse now than we were then. There was never a golden age.”

    I, not having seen your post yet Denny, responded:

    “Luke #1-
    What are you talking about? Have many come out and said such a thing? If not, it seems like you are setting up a straw man to knock down.
    The only people really upset with this (at this point) appears to be homosexual rights advocates.”

    Then I come across your post and see that Jason was in fact prophetic.

    Denny-
    Can you not see some positives in the selection? Are you just a “the glass is 1/2 empty” guy?

  3. Rick December 18, 2008 at 10:19 am #

    correction to my #2 comment, the comment was made by “Luke”, not “Jason”.

  4. Denny Burk December 18, 2008 at 1:17 pm #

    Rick,

    Fair question. Actually, the analysis I gave above is not original with me. I am virtually quoting the Politico (a secular media outlet):

    ‘Despite the symbolism of picking Warren, Obama is likely to shift several substantive policy areas in directions that will please gay voters and their political leaders, including a pledge to end “don’t ask, don’t tell” in military service.’

    My main concern is not with divining Obama’s motives in choosing Warren. My main concern is that evangelical leaders beware of participating in such a way that they provide political cover for policies that are destructive of human life and the family.

    That is not to say that Warren shouldn’t pray at the inauguration. I’m just saying that leaders need to be careful here.

    Thanks,
    Denny

  5. Alando Franklin December 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm #

    Rick, it appears that even if Obama saved a drowning man, someone would complain that he tore the man’s shirt while pulling him out the water. It appears that no matter what this guy does, there will always be some negativity associated with it. There is something underlying there, just can’t seem to put my finger on it. Here again, I commend Dr. Mohlers exhortation:

    “America has chosen a President. President-Elect Barack Obama is that choice, and he faces a breathtaking array of challenges and choices in days ahead. This is the time for Christians to begin praying in earnest for our new President. There is no time to lose.”

  6. Darius T December 18, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Alando, Denny is basically quoting Politico verbatim. Furthermore, it is a fair comment to say that Christians need to be careful not to become “useful idiots” (as Lenin supposedly once said about Western communist sympathizers) for an anti-life agenda. So while I applaud Obama’s choice, I still agree that it doesn’t necessarily indicate any shift in his overall policies.

    As Sinclair Lewis once said, “when fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” In other words, evil usually needs to have at least some semblance of a religious cover for it to long prevail, especially in a country like ours which is very religious. That’s why Hitler thought it was necessary to have a Reichbishop, a religious minister of the government so he could try to get the churches to go along with his plans (of course, he largely failed). For all its faults, the Left Behind series did likely get one thing right about the end times and the Antichrist: most of the major religious leaders will promote the Antichrist as a savior.

  7. Alando Franklin December 18, 2008 at 10:44 pm #

    Darius,

    Are you suggesting that if we as Christians resort to praying we will be nothing more than “useful idots”? If so, could you supply the biblical support for your argument?

    Secondly, are you suggesting that Obama is the Antichrist? If so, could you supply the biblical support for it as well?

  8. Mike Templin December 18, 2008 at 11:51 pm #

    Darius,

    Obama is not the Anti-Christ…he might be an anti-Christ, but he is not the “Beast” from Revelation. That does not fit with the accurate hermeneutics and historical background of the New Testament. Do you really think that St. Johns original audience (1st century Christians under severe Roman persecution) the 7 churches, would have any intellectual capacity to conclude that Pres. Obama is the “Beast” that John was speaking of? Now I strongly dislike Mr. Obama, but in being faithful with the authority of scripture we cannot claim that he is something that the bible does not affirm. Check out the “Gospel of the kingdom” by George E. Ladd (historical premill) or “The theology of the book of revelation” by Richard Bauckham or basically any eschatologically themed writing by NT Wright for a different eschatological perspective.

    P.S. please show me biblical support that the beast in the Apokalypse is the “anti-christ”.

    In Christ,

    Mike Templin

  9. Darius T December 19, 2008 at 12:07 am #

    Hmm, this is odd. My comments in reply to questions asking if I thought Obama was the Anti-Christ were deleted, along with the instigating question. In short, NO, I don’t believe Obama is the Anti-Christ nor was I implying that. The basic point of my comment was that Christians will likely offer significant aid and cover for any major evils in this country.

  10. Darius T December 19, 2008 at 12:08 am #

    Mike, I wasn’t saying he’s the Anti-Christ. I wish my comment hadn’t been deleted (not sure why, unless Denny doesn’t want that rabbit trail followed), but I completely agree that he COULD be an anti-Christ, but who knows. My bigger concern is with anti-Christ worldviews which are much more clearly discernible.

  11. Mike Templin December 19, 2008 at 1:58 am #

    cool sorry for the misunderstanding.

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