No, Reverend Wright is not back. Rather, Pastor Rick Warren has been chosen to open Barack Obama’s inauguration proceedings. The liberal base and gay rights groups are upset—they should be.
Warren campaigned against Proposition 8 in California and its defeat set gay rights back a quarter century. What was most unfortunate was his incendiary comments comparing a gay union to incest and paedophilia. In itself, that should disqualify him for appearing at the inauguration.
That said, Obama’s decision does not surprise me. It is a reflection of his belief that America needs to be united and not be fearful of divergent views or debate. This has been his consistent message and the reason he embodies hope and transformational change. I may disagree with his decision, but his choice once again displays a new kind of leadership. Choosing a team of rivals to form his cabinet, working to keep Joe Lieberman in the Democratic tent, and tapping Warren for the inauguration ceremony show there is a change taking place. The change is more in attitude and values than in policy.
Still, I do not trust Warren and I believe him to be a condescending moralist. But then again, I am not the president-elect.