Friday, December 19, 2008

Why The Outrage Over Warren?

I like to think of myself as a progressive - not as the labeled voter per se but as a thinker. On the voting side, I hate labels though my voter's registration card identifies me with a party. But I'm more in the thinking of Chris Rock (can you tell I'm a fan of his comedy?) when he said "there are some things I'm very liberal about, and there are some things I'm very conservative about . . ."

During our recent election, my ballot would have confused any poll taker to figure out what box to label me based on how I voted. So over some months leading to the election, I had my criticism for the ultra-conservative folks but recently, my ire has been towards far-left liberals - THEY ARE BUGGING ME! And they are getting on my nerves with their whining on President-Elect's so-called choices for his cabinet positions and now, his choice for who to do the invocation (opening prayer) at the inauguration, Pastor Rick Warren.

Yes, the "Purpose Driven Life" 30 million plus books sold Pastor is making many on the far left upset with Obama because of Warren's stand on Prop 8 and some controversial sayings about gays. Reportedly, Warren has said some stuff with comparing the gay lifestyle to pedophilia and the like. I find that last statement hard to believe but if it is true, then that is some ignorance on the part of Warren. Statistically, pedophilia is overwhelmingly (over 70 percent) related to heterosexuals. But one dumb quote should not make the whole narrative of one's life.

Hel-lo the 30 million people (present company included) who bought the famed book could see there's more to Warren than just gay-bashing. This is a guy who was criticized by some of his faith (i.e. Pat Robinson and the late Jerry Falwell) because of his methods of teaching. He was one of the first preachers to shed light on AIDS, talked about poverty and admonished folks about the state of our environment. And might I add, the guy does "reverse tithing." That is, he gives 90 percent of what he makes away and lives off 10 percent. Tell me which other preacher does that?

Be that as it may, how many of us has agreed to everything the Pastors of our churches preach? I know I haven't. Sometimes, I've been in a church where a statement from the pulpit have gone from one ear and out the next. It doesn't stop me from respecting the Pastor the next day or for him/her not to pray for me during a notable event of my life.

So why would you think the President-Elect of all people choose not to follow the same example? Is he supposed to pick someone to pray (I can't believe folks are fighting over this) who he agrees with on every issue? Well, he did pick Rev. Joseph Lowery, a civil rights pioneer, who's also spoken for gay rights to do the benediction. But I noticed, the so-called base aren't acknowledging such balance - yeah balance; what a unique word!

Seriously liberals, what do you want Obama to do? Tell some (0r most) evangelicals who didn't support him "screw all ya!" Or could he try to live up to the promise he gave on election night that though he didn't get their votes, he hears their voices and will be their President too. In my opinion, I think Obama showed courage in this choice, and a word I don't use for most politicians, character.

Tags: Rick Warren, Inauguration invocation