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Obama swings…and misses

December 22, 2008 - John Stack
President Elect Barack Obama has chosen the pastor of Mega church Saddleback Church to give the invocation at his inauguration, the author of ‘A purpose driven life’ Rick Warren. To hear Rick speak, you almost don’t realize how bigoted he is. He is very warm, a good speaker and does many good things. But, he is unapologetically against gay marriage. Then again, many preachers are anti-gay rights. Rick believes marriage is between ONE man and ONE woman. He then, as so many religious leaders have done for centuries, conjures up that ‘this is how it’s been for 5,000 years and that its God’s will’. Well, that doesn’t make anything right. The Crusades were also done in the name of God and what was ‘right’. And the Crusades butchered tens of thousands, including innocent women and children. Religion and ‘history’ was provoked to forward such causes as slavery, keep women from voting, as well as many other mean spirited causes.
            He fought tirelessly to pass Prop 8 in California, which bars gay marriage in California. He also equates gay marriage with a man marrying a child. He also equates gay marriage with to incest!  He has claimed he fought for Prop 8 out of a free speech issue! Rick claims that it’s not just a Christian fight. He says that all cultures and all religions throughout history have defined marriage as ONE woman, ONE man. I guess Rick the pastor is not the religious historian he claims. Throughout history, Christianity, Judaism and Islam have all at one time or other either promoted or condoned polygamy. Many religions still do today. Also, many cultures do accept gay marriage or gay rights in some way or form. (Check the link below for gay rights in other countries).
            Barack Obama’s choosing Rick Warren causes a rightful indignation to those of us committed to the cause of equal rights for all. Obama poorly states that we must bring together people of different social views. I agree we must do this, but not in this arena. We must recognize people for having different views, such as pro-life/pro-choice, gay marriage and raising or cutting taxes. We have to try and understand the other side. But, to choose someone who is so demonstrably against a civil right such as this as a symbol of his presidency is the wrong place to make this stand. In a column in Newsweek (I believe) earlier this year, Arianna Huffington was asked about the problem with the ‘liberal bias’ in the media. She claimed the problem wasn’t ‘a right/left bias, but a bias to too often give both sides of a story equal footing. Sometimes, when something is wrong, its just wrong. ‘. I’m sure Obama isn’t going to choose Scooter Libby for a position in his administration, nor Dick Cheney to be on his cabinet. But, by the same reasoning, he could and explain it as ‘we have to understand that this government needs to even include those that hold morals that are distinctly different than most everyone who is an American’.
            Maybe Obama is still learning the ropes. He tried to reach out to a community and turned out to inflame another. There are hundreds of other ministers he could have chosen who would have not caused a stir. Maybe he needs to realize everything he does is dissected and put through the wringer and under a microscope. His selection as Warren is seen as a symbol of his administration.
            I still believe Obama is capable of incredible actions for our country, but on this one, he missed the ball.


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