Obama’s Invocation

All across America LGBT groups and their Liberal allies are outraged by President-elect Barack Obama’s choice of Pastor Richard D. “Rick” Warren to perform the Invocation at the Inauguration on January 20, 2009.

Their queers’ problem is that Warren, Pastor of Saddleback Church, publicly supported California’s Proposition 8. They view Obama’s honoring him in any way is seen as a slap in the face.

They’re right. President-elect Obama’s selection of Pastor Rick Warren to perform the Invocation at his Inauguration is a “slap in the face” to the LGBT community’s currently vehement and vitriolic – but fully understandable and expected- single-issue mindset. For those whose sole self-identification is as homosexuals, Obama’s selection of Warren is painful blow.

So why would Obama choose the controversial Pastor of Saddleback Church?

Well, it could be that President-elect Obama has no issues with Pastor Warren’s Biblically based opposition to gay marriage. Obama has never said that he was in favor of gay’s being allowed to marry. Obama has previously stated exactly the opposite.

Instead it could be that Obama sees Pastor Rick Warren differently than the LGBT community does. It is very probable that he doesn’t look at Warren solely through the narrow lens of gay rights as expressed through marriage.

Not only is Pastor Rick Warren the founder and leader of the 4th largest church in America, he is a bestselling author of numerous Christian books.  U.S. News and World Report named him one of “America’s Top 25 Leaders.” Time magazine listed him as one of the “15 World Leaders Who Mattered Most in 2004” and as one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2005. Pastor Warren has also been sought out to speak at various national and international forums including the United Nations, the World Economic Forum, the African Union, the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Time’s Global Health Summit.

The often controversial Pastor Warren has repeated went against the narrow and conservative views of US evangelical leaders by focusing less on issues such as abortion and gay marriage and calling on the church to include: fighting international poverty and disease, expanding educational opportunity for the marginalized, and combating global warming in their core agendas.

Perhaps President-elect Obama feels that a religious leader who is busy mobilizing – directly or indirectly – hundreds of thousands, if not millions of churchgoers worldwide to actively combat poverty, disease, lack of education, and environmental depredation is fit to give the Invocation and his Inauguration – even if that religious leader holds to the Biblical view of marriage being between one man and one woman.

Yes, it’s a “slap in the face” to the American LGBT community, but isn’t that classically what ones does to the hysterical in order to get them to pause, focus, and think rationally?

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7 Responses to “Obama’s Invocation”

  1. Moriah Says:

    I heard Warren and his wife speak separately a few years ago as two of dozens of international speakers speaking out to over 20,000 people on such issues as you highlighted in this post – that was my first time actually hearing him speak (I was familiar with his book, of which I’m not a fan ;). I don’t know what I think of him…jury’s still out – I loved his wife and the work she is doing. 🙂 What I do like is that he is helping to fight “international poverty and disease, expanding educational opportunity for the marginalized, and combating global warming” among other issues, and I’m thankful he is raising these issues for the evangelical community here in the U.S. and demanding that they take a look at areas they have for far too long ignored and neglected. Scripture says true ministry is taking care of the widow and the orphan. We need to start checking ourselves and see where our passions/values are by where and how our time and money is spent, starting with me, foremost. 🙂

    I was surprised to see Warren as Obama’s pick…interesting…

  2. jonolan Says:

    I’m torn when it comes to Warren myself.

    As a priest I do not favor him; much of Warren’s religious behavior tends towards that which would inspire people towards “boot camps” and such as opposed to a lifetime’s devotions. This does not seem to me to be something that is of benefit to people in the long run.

    On the other hand, as a leader inspiring people in “applied righteousness” he seems to be doing a great deal of the good works that need to be done.

  3. Moriah Says:

    For me, he’s too pre-packaged in the sound bytes and videos I have seen and heard and in his book – because of the hype, I decided to see what all the fuss was about…but I got through 1.5 chapters of “The Purpose Driven Life” before I had to put it down. Too saccharine, simplistic and formulaic. (Not that I have an opinion or anything. 😉 In interviews on paper that I’ve read, he’s been decent. And the causes he champions are ones I think we all need to be concerned about. But he’s just one man, among many.

    I liked your term “applied righteousness” – have never heard of that before. Hmm.

  4. jonolan Says:

    I thought about just sending you an email about this so as to not “out” myself, but i suppose it’s time to come clean as it were.

    Applied Righteousness was the topic for my thesis when I was getting my DD. Ok I said it…

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