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Obama’s Pastor Problem


 

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.


 

Obama’s Pastor Problem

  1. “I’m a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman.” Barack Obama, Chicago Tribune, March ’07

    Does Obama qualify to appear at his inauguration? And if being invited to inauguration is dependent on how you voted on Prop 8, I assume there will be no blacks or hispanics in attendance because they are most responsible for Prop 8 defeat.

  2. So when is Obama going to invite the racists and anti-semites into his big tent. Surely he’s not going to embrace one set of bigots while shunning all others.

    • You hit it on the nose, Robert.

      The marriage debate comes down to property rights. Not people as property, but people’s rights to the property of their chosen mate(s). Western culture has to wake the hell up and realise that a one-man one-woman marriage is NOT the default marriage type. In fact, you could really say that there IS no default marriage type. Though if you were going to go with the modality among known human cultures, it would be polygyny. I’m a little shocked that a man with an anthropologist for a mother could be so obtuse as to think that gays should not have the right to marry. Sexuality is fairly fluid and there’s solid scientific evidence that people are born ‘gay’. Even the Greeks were all about hot man on man action.

      That was tangential. The point I’m getting to is that marriage, according to the state, should be about property rights (and custody rights as far as children). It shouldn’t be about religion. Also, the whole ‘family values’ argument is cockeyed. We are so f***ed up in general as a culture that the notion that a hetero parent family can somehow naturally imbue their children with true ‘family values’ is just sick. I think truly decent values are only being passed on to chidren by parents or other figures who aren’t bigoted, who are accepting of others, who are caring, genuine people.

      • “One certainly should not fail to observe that when male unites with female for procreation the pleasure experienced is held to be due to nature, but contrary to nature when male mates with male or female with female, and that those first guilty of such enormities were impelled by their slavery to pleasure.”

        Plato, Laws, 636c

      • “I think truly decent values are only being passed on to chidren by parents or other figures who aren’t bigoted, who are accepting of others, who are caring, genuine people.”

        And obviously the non-bigoted view is that the only “caring, genuine people” around are all for gay marriage. That’s axiomatic.

      • I think baldygirl is right on with the analysis. If we want to dissect Rick Warren’s assertion of the 5,000 year old culture of marriage, it was about property and maybe procreation, but definitely not about love. You Canadians are very lucky since you’re way past this nonsense. Two Canadians that love each other can get married. What a novel idea and socially progressive way to live. And I doubt it’s had any affect on heterosexual marriage which seems to be the big fear in the U.S. I’m glad our American social issue is getting some attention in Canada. (BTW I love Canada, my great-grandparents were Canadian, the U.S. could learn a lot from your diverse culture and definitely from a parliamentary government)

    • The problem for you is that the world isn’t divided into a black-and-white, Manichean fantasy of “bigots” on the one hand, and a rainbow coalition on the other hand. The most anti-gay Americans are black women, the most pro-gay Americans are rich white people. Etc.

      • The most anti-gay Americans are black women

        Really? I don’t see a lot of American black women out there comparing homosexuality to pedophelia and bestiality, do you. Rick Warren is undeniably a bigot by every definition of the word.

        You’re missing the point, erskin. This isn’t about Warren’s belief in the traditional definition of marriage or his views on homosexuality. It’s about his bigotry and Obama’s inclusion of him in the inauguration is comparable to inviting David Duke to take part.

        • “I don’t see a lot of American black women out there comparing homosexuality to pedophelia and bestiality”

          That may be because you don’t know any, but homosexuality is can indeed be heard being compared to pedophelia and bestiality regularly at many black churches, which are mainly attended by women.

          “This isn’t about Warren’s belief in the traditional definition of marriage or his views on homosexuality. It’s about his bigotry”

          Dissagregate them then.

          • That may be because you don’t know any, but homosexuality is can indeed be heard being compared to pedophelia and bestiality regularly at many black churches, which are mainly attended by women.

            If that’s the case then it should be easy for you to name a black woman who routinely espouses bigotry.

      • Black women can’t be bigots?

        • Of course they can, it just proves the futility of trying to divide the world into bigots on the one hand, and non-bigots on the other.

  3. It’s a common misconception that the black vote essentially decided Prop 8’s fate, but that’s not actually the case. While Prop 8 had strong support among blacks (70%), it also had strong support among asians (49%), latinos (53%), and whites (“slightly under 50%”).

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raymond-leon-roker/stop-blaming-californias_b_142018.html

    I think it sucks that Warren was invited, but I also think I feel that in my partisan us-vs-them gland, and if Obama pulls off a disruption of that common feeling, it would be a very good thing for the world.

    • “us-vs-them gland”

      Good thing you didn’t use that in the same sentence with “Prop 8”.

      • I try not to use that gland whenever I can avoid it. :)

    • This is a distinction without a difference. Did blacks tip the vote? Maybe not, but they’re by far the most anti-gay marriage population out there obviously. The other groups don’t even come close.

  4. This post is nothing but condescending moralizing.

    • Your posts are nothing but douchebaggery

  5. Don’t you mean “Warren campaigned for Proposition 8 in California and its passage set gay rights back a quarter century.”

  6. “Western culture has to wake the hell up and realise that a one-man one-woman marriage is NOT the default marriage type”

    Riiiiiight, Western culture, that’s the problem, because gay marriages go over so well in Iran and India, obviously.

  7. 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…. Still, I do not trust Warren and I believe him to be a condescending moralist.”

    And that, ladies and gentleman, is the sound of man who is not fearful of divergent views or debate!

  8. I thought his daughter was allergic.

  9. “Like the communists and homosexuals of the 1950s, boy-lovers are so stigmatized that it is difficult to find defenders of their civil liberties, let alone their erotic orientation… In twenty years or so, it will be much easier to show that these men have been victims of a savage and undeserved witchunt”.

    – Gayle Rubin

  10. Erskin: paedolphilia is entirely different. The issue is one of informed voluntary consent. Children cannot provide this, especially to adults, as there is a power relationship there that makes voluntary consent impossible. So take your sleazy implications and red-herrings elsewhere, please.. or better yet, swallow them whole and don’t bring them up again anywhere.

    • My implication? It was claimed in a post above that sexual anthropology proves in favor of homosexuality. So I was just quoting – as I assume you should know – from one of the most influential essays in the subject area, written by a lesbian feminist anthropologist who is a professor at the University of Michigan. If you want to distinguish between paedolphilia and homosexuality, you should take up the argument with the influential lesbian feminist professor, not me.

    • And, might I add that your condescending comments imply that you have a serious prejudice against lesbian feminist anthropologists.

  11. We can all agree that Warren is a bigot. We can all agree that he is not the only bigot in the States and that some of Obama’s supporters are also bigots. John is right though, the choice of Warren though despicable, is hardly surprising. Obama sees the future. The fundamentalists are not declining in number, but rather are growing and will continue to do so. Obama is saavy enough to know that to stay in power he’ll need their support. This decision was politically motivated, pure and simple.

    Erskin- We are discussing Western culture because we are in a Western country. How Iran treats homosexuality has nothing to do with how America treats homosexuality. Seriously.

    • One of the posters claimed that the problem was with Western culture. I was just responding by pointing out that you don’t see a lot of gay marriages in non-Western cultures.

    • Yes, because we all know countries don’t influence each other (especially now that it’s so difficult for ideas to spread from one place to another with this internet thingy).

      And that it’s far more important to address gay marriage in a democracy that voted against it, than it is to address imprisonment or stonings in a dictatorship that kills gay people for being gay.

      And yes, we understand that you believe Warren is a bigot along with 60% of the rest of California.

  12. “The issue is one of informed voluntary consent. Children cannot provide this, especially to adults, as there is a power relationship there that makes voluntary consent impossible.”

    Your misinformed comments show that you are ignorant of the advances in understanding that have been made by gay and feminist scholarship. Are you saying that some of the most influential scholarship produced over the last thirty years should be suppressed? Why are you so prejudiced against gay and feminist scholarship T.Thwim?

  13. Three points real quick. First holding a position that a particular act is not a moral act is NOT bigotry. Bigotry would need to be against a person and not an act. IE Racism. You don’t act your race, you just are your race, even if you adopt the culture of another race (like a white person listenng to hip hop is still white). With homosexuality, you can be gay without having to actually carry out homosexual acts. Race is genetic and one has no control over it, having sex with people of the same gender one can control, one cannot control the orientation bvut one can control the action. Henri Nouwen, one of the most famous christian writers and a former psychology professor at Harvard, admitted that he was gay before he died. He said that he chose not to engage in sexual acts with other men cause he believed it to be immoral. This is coming from a man who left his prestigious job at harvard to hep the handicapped at l’arche, a community for the mentally disabled.
    So please, if we want to have a discussion about whether or not gay marriage should be legal, that is ok, but stop writing off anyone who thinks differently then you as a bigot.

    • Mike th4 problem with th e distinction that you are trying to draw is that is is arbitrary. it may be the act that Warren and others are concerned with, but, they are denying rights to people that take part or have a preference for said act.

      • It might be the case that those people have a preference for said act, but my only point is that he is not a “bigot.” In fact, I think Bigot is a meaningless phrase used by people who would rather label then debate. Second every person has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. no one has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex. So everyone has the same rights. I dont have the right to marry man anymore then a gay person does (in the United States) as such the gay community is looking fo rhte creation of a new right. Which is fine, but just say that. Make your case to people and say that is what you want and then sooner or later people, if they think your argument is good, will agree. But calling people biggots is just more garbage from people who cannot think.

  14. If Obama’s change agenda includes allowing professing Christians in the Democratic Party tent, that is change I can beleive in. The Democratic party’s intolerant attitude towards Christians was in danger of placing the party to perennial also-ran status.

    The jury’s still very much out on this untested politician and we’ll have to wait to see how he governs.

    If I’m not mistaken Mr. Parisella was an advisor to the Obama campaign, so anybody expecting anything other than the party line on this blog shouldn’t get their hopes up.

  15. “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.”

    You might try writing something that actually makes sense. This is the same old gobbledy-gook from the campaign. Don’t worry, in a year’s time you’ll come down to earth and you’ll be writing proper English again.

  16. Mike, well said:

    “So please, if we want to have a discussion about whether or not gay marriage should be legal, that is ok, but stop writing off anyone who thinks differently then you as a bigot.”

    ———————–

    In any case, isn’t it so that Obama is in favour of same sex unions but is not in favour of same sex marriage? That’s have I have read the man.

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