Note: I debated with myself for awhile over whether or not to post this. Eventually I decided I had to because, although I understand Obama’s invitation as a gesture of goodwill and acceptance regardless of beliefs, Rick Warren’s type of hateful thinking simply cannot be tolerated anymore. I’m sure Rick Warren is a good husband, a good pastor, and a good friend but regardless of this I do not believe that he is an appropriate choice to address America during future President Obama’s inauguration. In allowing Rick Warren to speak Obama is allowing him a platform to legitimize and air his bigoted views and this in not acceptable – it is not right for our future president to reach out to Rick Warren’s “demographic” at the price of so many homosexual and bisexual people’s comfort.
While I am waiting eagerly, along with the majority of Americans, for President Elect Obama’s inauguration there is something I simply cannot let go of. Rick Warren. I simply cannot comprehend why President Elect Obama, a man who has come to be admired by millions as a symbol of hope, change, tolerance, acceptance, and civil rights, has invited a pastor who will not allow gay people to join his church to perform his inaugural invocation.
Democracy doesn’t end when we exit the voting both, it is the responsibility of every one of us to make our voices heard! Tell your friends, tell your family, tell everyone… write President Elect Obama, protest, do whatever it takes – we have to let him know that this is not okay. President Elect Obama should not, absolutely not, be staring off his campaign by welcoming hatred and bigotry with open arms.
Obama defends his choice:
The president-elect stressed that he is a “fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans,” but said it was also important for Americans to come together despite disagreements on social issues.
Mr. Obama said the inauguration would include people with a wide variety of viewpoints represented and “that’s how it should be.”
He also pointed out that he was invited by Warren a few years ago to speak at his church, despite his disagreement with Warren on those issues. “That dialogue is part of what my campaign has been about,” he added.
While I am all about inclusion I do not believe in rewarding people who hold such hatred in the hearts; the invocation should be performed by a loving and open figure, not one who is willing to turn his back on an entire group of America. While Obama may be including Rick Warren he is symbolically excluding millions homosexual and bisexual allies, as well as the openminded straight individuals who oppose homophobia. This is not the example Obama should be setting for his country and the world.
In case you’re not convinced, here’s what Warren’s Church thinks of gay people…
“Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one’s life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted as a member at Saddleback Church.”
[From his Church’s Website]
Here’s a great video for those of you who still need a bit more convincing, watch Rick Warren liken living openly as a gay individual to having random sex with every women he encounters…
Here’s a fantastic video… he starts off sounding almost tolerant (equal rights and all) and the goes on to explain that he thinks homosexuality is perverse, just like incest or pedophilia. Rick also falls prey to the idea that marriage has been defined in the way that Christianity now defines it for the last “5000 years.” This is bullshit. He also falls prey to the idea that allowing Gay Marriage would rob him of his ability to “free speech”; to freely express his belief that being gay is perverse. Nothing can take that right of free speech away from Rick, certainly not this law.
I just find it sad that our laws, in this case, protect one man’s right to spew hatred into the world while that same legal body denies couple’s the rights to legally validate their love. Can we really allow our President to support this?
Finally, this blog post reveals the truth behind Warren’s AIDS “outreach” and another that speaks of his opinions on abusive marriages – namely that individuals should NOT divorce from an abusive spouse because “God hates divorce.”
We have twelve days to write, protest, and do all we can to express our outrage. Help me show our future President that hatred and bigotry should not be a part of America’s bright and hopeful future.
EDIT: I sent in my message, tell me what you said in the comments!
With all due respect to President Elect Obama and the whole transition team I feel I must express my disappointment over the choice of Rick Warren to speak at the Inauguration. While I agree that inclusion of many different types of people and opinions is important in any government I believe that this choice speaks more strongly of exclusion than inclusion. By asking Pastor Warren to speak this team has alienated it’s many gay and bisexual supporters as well as the allies of the gay rights movement.
I believe that inclusion is good and I am glad to see President Obama being friendly and respectful of Warren, however, I do not believe a man who holds such bigoted beliefs should be allowed to have such a position of honor and importance in the inauguration. I wish President Elect Obama would select someone who sends a message of love and tolerance to ALL, the same message President Obama is trying to convey by inviting Rick Warren, to speak.
While I do not regret casting my first ever vote for President Elect Obama, I do regret not saying something sooner. Obama has a responsibility to the many idealistic people, like me, that he has inspired with messages of hope and tolerance; I can only hope he lives up to that promise, beginning with this decision.