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Ear to the Ground

Rick Warren Tapped for Obama’s Inaugural Invocation

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Posted on Dec 17, 2008
Rick Warren

Pastor disaster?: Rick Warren was not high on some Obama supporters’ lists to do the invocation honors at the Jan. 20 inaugural ceremony.

So we’re aware by now of Obama’s “team of rivals” strategy for his upcoming tenure in the White House, but it’s still startling to hear that Pastor Rick Warren of Southern California’s Saddleback Church, home of the notorious “cone of silence” interviews with Obama and John McCain last August, is going to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20. This news has triggered a dismayed reaction from various groups, such as People for the American Way, which issued a statement criticizing the choice on Wednesday.

CNN Political Ticker via Crooks and Liars:

His public support for California’s Proposition 8 — the measure that successfully passed and called for outlawing gay marriage in the state — sparked the ire of many gay rights proponents, who seized on a comment in an October newsletter to his congregation: “This is not a political issue — it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about.”

But Warren has long sought to broaden the focus of the evangelical agenda to include issues like the reduction of global poverty, human rights abuses, and the AIDS epidemic.

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By dihey, December 19, 2008 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

My preceding comment was a “quickie”.
I wanted to read your piece three times before commenting on it.

1. “So, if you’re an atheist, why do you continue to suggest that Rev Wright was really ‘right’ and that Obama threw him under the bus? That’s really NOT the way it happened at all”.
Where in my piece do I state that the Rev. Wright was “really ‘right’”? I made and have no judgment about Wright. And what does being an atheist have to do with this for crying out loud?
You assume that I do NOT know the way it happened. What justifies your assumption? Here is my opinion on “the way it happened” with “IT” meaning in my book Obama and his wife leaving the Rev. Wright’s congregation. Obama was a long-time member of Wright’s congregation. Whether he was happy or not with the Reverend’s statements he never let us know until he and his wife quit. A number of his political opponents then cherry-picked some of Wright’s statements. True. It was a textbook example of guilt-by-association. Instead of saying that he would not give in to guilt-by-association Obama and his wife stopped being members of Wright’s congregation and moved to another church, thereby disavowing Wright’s statements even if they contained any truth and giving in to the religious terrorists. The press thought that Wright was “bad” and Obama was “good”. I revert to my earlier description of Obama’s act as “throwing under the bus”. That had nothing to do with Wright’s quality or character but with Obama’s abandonment at a time of vile public attacks on Wright.
2. “Now WHY pray tell, would Jeremiah Wright, who few outside the church community in Chicago or other large urban areas where he might have visited as a pastor, ever even HEARD of, gather the attention of the US voters and other assorted skinheads and racists from the religious right?” “In short, WHY were 6 year old sermons by Rev Wright cherry-picked out of context to spread though the mass-media, and WHY was Hillary Clinton the first to jump all over it? Odd, since Rev. Wright had been a personal friend and spiritual adviser to her Slick Willie when they were having “Monica and other Marital Problems?”
I have already answered your exam-questions above: guilt-by-association: Wright is “bad” and Obama is “bad” too. What was tried to do to Obama was unbelievably vile in my book.
(3) “Had Obama been a member of a different church, most American’s outside of Chicago or the African-American religious community would never have even heard of him”.
Sure, but Obama WAS not a member of a DIFFERENT church.
(4) I am sure that you know that both of us will end in Hell according to the Rev. Warren. If that is the case I hope that I will be the first to welcome him when he arrives! We may badly need a fallen preacher in that place.
(5) I am an empiricist. One of the most fundamental observations I can make today is that the Universe does not suddenly disappear. What force preserves it? Occasionally I think “God did not create the Universe but found it. He said: I do not know who made it but it is beautiful so I will preserve it. From that moment on this has been all God has been doing”.

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By Maani, December 19, 2008 at 9:09 am Link to this comment


“Any expression of religion at a government event is exactly that. Establishing religion.”

I would like to see your support for that statement.

The Constitution is very clear.  It says, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

At the Constitutional Convention, Jefferson offered three reasons for this: (i) to make sure there would be no “religious test” for office; (ii) to allow Quakers (and others) to “affirm,” rather than “swear,” their oaths of office, and (iii) to “refrain from recognizing Christianity, or one of its denominations, as an established state church.”

In fact, the Constitution only says “CONGRESS shall make no law…”  It does not say “The president cannot have a religious speaker at his inaugural ceremony.”  Indeed, an invocation has been made at every inaugural ceremony since Washington.

You can wish it otherwise, but the Constitution is crystal clear on this point: having a religious invocation is NOT “establishing” a religion - not even in the most tortured twisting of that phrase.


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By dihey, December 19, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

Cyrena: would it be “once in a blue moon” if I changed “throw under the bus” by “disavowed?

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By cyrena, December 19, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment


Did he really say this?

“...Warren said that same-sex marriage could lead to “brother and sister marriages”. C’mon,. this is not a middle of the road preacher…”

Same-sex marriage can ‘lead to’ “brother and sister marriages.”?????????

OMG!!! I had to read that a few times. That’s the kind of insanity that existed in the Dark Ages. How does he make the connection/leap from same-sex marriage to “brother and sister marriages”? How absurd is that?

Anyway, since I don’t ‘follow’ this guy to know what he’s saying at any given moment, I had no idea he was so homophobic.

So, if he takes his homophobic Evangelical ass back far enough into those books they read, (The Old and New Testaments of the Bible) they’ll eventually find some brothers and sisters married to each other. I don’t see how else the family tree could have developed the way they claim it did. Lotta incest going on.

So, maybe that’s why old Rickie boy here, hanging out on a So. Cal coastal rock looking pretty gay himself if ya ask me, can leap from same-sex marriage to “brother and sister marriages”.

Beats the hell out of me.

Meantime, I don’t know why Obama is allowing him to do the invocation, and I don’t give a shit. I WOULD care if Obama shared his ideology and views on same sex marriage, but he DOES NOT!! And, we’ve known that for months. Obama spoke/wrote out forcefully AGAINST proposition 8 in California, and it’s all on the record that most folks (at least the ones I know) actually CARE about.

So, who gives a rats ass if this guy gives the invocation? No, the real question should be WHY???
It’s a prayer for Christ’s sake. (no pun intended there, but I can’t think of anybody else who might benefit from a prayer at an Inaugural ceremony.)

Speaking of which, the Inauguration of a US President IS an official STATE event, so it’s curious about the prayer inclusion. Interestingly enough, (or maybe not) Americans overall seem to just accept these idiosyncrasies (dare I say hypocrisies?) between our principles and what we actually practice. I’m gonna make a wild-ass guess that in most other SECULAR Constitutional or Parliamentary Republics, there is no prayer at a State event. Take for instance the British. Do they have prayers and ministers at these state events? (I’m speaking specifically of state events like the taking of office, or the appointments of any heads of state, however they do it?)

Off the top of my head, I don’t think so. I know they invoke the Queen at these events, but I don’t know about god.

Anyway, that’s just a guess. I don’t honestly know. But I still don’t see why we need to have a cleric from anywhere invoking a prayer at a State event. And I’ve got NOTHING against prayer, if people want to pray. I think it’s fine.

But at the same time, if we’ve never really practiced the Separation of Church and State, (which is evidenced by having ministers perform at State events) then it’s understandable that the lines have become as blurred as they have, in the consciousness of most Americans. (or the lack of it).

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By Shift, December 19, 2008 at 2:24 am Link to this comment

Perhaps C.S. Lewis would have been the heavyweight choice, but then again, he’s dead!

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By azythos, December 19, 2008 at 1:52 am Link to this comment

“You’ve GOT to be kidding!  Saying a prayer is “establishing” a religion?  I doubt even Harris would agree with that!”

Never mind “Harris”. That is exactly what it means: Any expression of religion at a government event is exactly that. Establishing religion. In any other country, with the exception perhaps of Saudi Arabia.

Except that we are so exceptional we can waterboard to oppose torture, bomb and massacre to establish peace and pray and mumbojumbo to implement the First Amendment.

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By KDelphi, December 18, 2008 at 11:38 pm Link to this comment

C’mon, fair-minded folks! I am an atheist, but , I wouldnt belong to any organization that would have me as a member, or something liek that. Sam Harris, is very intelligent , and, a funny guy. But, I just dont get the “Atheist, Inc.” stuff. I do participate in AU—for sep. of Church amd State.

Warren said that same-sex marriage could lead to “brother and sister marriages”. C’mon,. this is not a middle of the road preacher.

I didnt agree with Reb. Wright AS A PREACHER—his ideology, if a bit histionic, some if it, was spot on. But the era of “Christianity in the White House” should be over! It threatens church as well as state!
Other civilized democracies are starting to think that we are a theocracy!

Maybe Harris should be able to speak at the inaugeration, too…

But, honestly, I knew that Obama was a christian, and, this bothers me less than some of the other appointments. So why am I here?? I dunno. Cant sleep. Bye.

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 11:26 pm Link to this comment


“[B]ringing ANY religion into a civic event is establishing, even for the moment, a religion.”

You’ve GOT to be kidding!  Saying a prayer is “establishing” a religion?  I doubt even Harris would agree with that!

Whether you like it or not, the majority of people in this country believe in “God” (however they define him/her/it).  And the majority of THOSE people are Christians of one denomination or another.  Thus, the traditional “invocation” at presidential inaugurations has been by Christians (mostly Billy Graham, but others as well).  I am certain that if a Jewish person became president, they would have a rabbi do the invocation (and, no, I’m not joking).

Ideally, perhaps there should be invocations by leaders of all major faiths (including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Native American, etc.).  This would actually be a far more “inclusive” approach to offering the president “faith-based” support.  And to truly make it ALL-inclusive, I would have no objection to an atheist “invocation” of good will and support for the incoming president.

As for your comment on “the larger the church,” I’m not sure it is true in all cases, but it certainly seems to be so in many, if not most.


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By DavidPabian, December 18, 2008 at 11:01 pm Link to this comment

Maani, you misread me, but in any case, separation of church and state means exactly that (I know what the Constitution says), and bringing ANY religion into a civic event is establishing, even for the moment, a religion.  I believe all religion is a lie, but some are indeed worse (and better) than others.  Some religions are concocted out of resentment, ego, power plays, etc., and aren’t worthy of any respect.  Warren’s fake christianity is all about stroking the egos of his customers.  Generally, the larger the church, the less valid the message, as the need to keep the customers coming back for more and bringing in new ones makes necessary a message they WANT to hear, not one they NEED to hear.  Obama’s cynical dismissal of this fact is the reason his pandering act is so disturbing,  Thanks for caring, Maani,

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By JAMES CAMPBELL, December 18, 2008 at 10:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I’m FURIOUS!!!!!, my vote went to this political, fascist, BARRACK HUSAIN OBAMA! If you inserted the word “BLACK” for the word “GAY” in Rick Warren’s speeches, there would be riots in this country. It is dehumanizing and goes against everything we have fought for as a equal society and negates ALL equality. Tolerance for Intolerance is unacceptable and this Bigot is given more power by Obama’s Decision! This man speaking alienates and disenfranchises so many people not just homosexuals! This is not a platform or inspired, it is hatred and has no place in politics nor any public taxpayers forum. This man would never be able to speak at a college, or graduation and has no merit or relevance to what is happening at the inauguration.

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 10:25 pm Link to this comment


“And like lichen, I agree that there should be no religious invocation at all in the United States of America.  Just what is it about the separation of church and state that Team Obama and their “business as usual” mascot don’t understand?”

You obviously do not understand the concept of the separation of church and state.  The only thing the Constitution requires is that the “state” not SET UP and/or EXCLUSIVELY support a “favored” religion.  Thus, having a “religious invocation” is not, IN ANY SENSE WHATSOEVER, a violation of that separation.

“But if they feel they HAVE to have an invocation, what’s wrong with one of the established, sane mainstream churches, e.g., progressive Episcopal… or, hey, how about Unitarian?”

So now you show your true colors.  Despite being an admitted admirer of Sam Harris (who, by the way, supports the out-and-out killing of Muslims), and a rabid atheist, it is apparently not about “religion” at all, but only about SOME religions - or, more exactly, SOME religious LEADERS.

You are a hypocrite of the first order.

Peace.  (Yup, I can call you a hypocrite and still with you peace, because they are not mutually exclusive…)

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By cyrena, December 18, 2008 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Come on now dihey,

Every once in a blue moon I can agree with you, and I suspect we hold the same religious views. I’m not a total atheist, if only because I spent too many of the early years as a Catholic, and it’s easy enough for me to accept the concept of a Higher Power, or at least respect that others do. That’s the extent of it though.

So, if you’re an atheist, why do you continue to suggest that Rev Wright was really ‘right’ and that Obama threw him under the bus? That’s really NOT the way it happened at all.

Indeed, Rev. Wright WAS (and remains) spot on in my view, of at least most of what he said. But, if you’re gonna keep dragging Rev Wright into this long after the plot was conceived and FAILED, then you should probably tell the story as it actually happened.

So, let us remember that the Hillary camp, AND the GOP, AND the panicky racists are the ones who dragged out bits and pieces (out of context)of unrelated sermons and blah, blah, blah. Now WHY pray tell, would Jeremiah Wright, who few outside the church community in Chicago or other large urban areas where he might have visited as a pastor, ever even HEARD of, gather the attention of the US voters and other assorted skinheads and racists from the religious right?

In short, WHY were 6 year old sermons by Rev Wright cherry-picked out of context to spread though the mass-media, and WHY was Hillary Clinton the first to jump all over it? Odd, since Rev. Wright had been a personal friend and spiritual adviser to her Slick Willie when they were having “Monica and other Marital Problems?”

And WHEN, exactly did Obama supposedly “throw him under the bus?” I could refresh your memory by noting the address Obama delivered in the midst of this shit, when he actually DEFENDED Jeremiah Wright.

It wasn’t until Wright somehow decided that he should ‘defend himself’ (which he had a right to do) that the rest of us saw him as pimping a member of his Congregation for political (and apparently personal) gain. (remember all of the interviews and addresses he delivered through mainstream media during the following weeks?)

So stop with the thing about Obama throwing him under the bus. Jeremiah Wright would be a non-entity to the average American if he hadn’t happened to be Obama’s pastor. Had Obama been a member of a different church, most American’s outside of Chicago or the African-American religious community would never have even heard of him.

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By DavidPabian, December 18, 2008 at 8:55 pm Link to this comment

The beerdoctor hits it on the head.  And like lichen, I agree that there should be no religious invocation at all in the United States of America.  Just what is it about the separation of church and state that Team Obama and their “business as usual” mascot don’t understand?  But if they feel they HAVE to have an invocation, what’s wrong with one of the established, sane mainstream churches, e.g., progressive Episcopal… or, hey, how about Unitarian?  Warren and his Saddleback do not, under any circumstances, preach biblical christianity, nor does any “non-denominational christian” church that I’m aware of.  Obama is cynical and pandering in the worst way by validating, publicizing and supporting a fraud who believes that millions of Americans are second-class citizens, unworthy of equality.  How fucking out of touch is Barack Obama?

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By thebeerdoctor, December 18, 2008 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

Despite all the homosexual intolerance promoted by this Saddleback preacher, I find it remarkable that very few have even noticed his promotion for killing the President of Iran, which is quite remarkable when you consider that this so-called man of faith is said to be a true believing Christian. Where is it that their most holy avatar, Jesus, advocated for assassination?
The Obama Big Tent that embraces clowns such as Warren, reveals that Obama’s professed faith is a bit of a sham. Why provide yet another platform for this goat-teed goon to proclaim he loves the sinner but hates the sin? If team Obama wanted to shine a spotlight, why didn’t they choose someone who performs good works without publicity?
Surely there are still some pastors who still work to help alleviate the sufferings of their fellow human beings, WITHOUT being best-selling authors of some kind of mega-church? This reveals that all things Obama is as celebrity obsessed as anyone else. This is not just symbolism, Obama apologists, this is a deliberate action.
Anyone who advocates assassination and calls himself spiritual, is in reality, a total fraud. Why Barack Obama feels the need to embrace the snake oil salesman, speaks volumes about the character content of the President-elect.

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By Anthony Look, December 18, 2008 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

If this was the Nazi era and I was of Jewish descent and a president elect chose a vocal anti Jewish Nazi sympathizer to participate in his inaguration; how should I feel. Obama’s lack of sensitivity and outright pandering with overtures to conservative extremists only says to the gay community that Obama tolerates their claims of equating gay men and women with pedofiles and gay marriage rights as a slippery slope to beastiality. Quiet desperation, stunned into a rage of betrayal is how the gay community finds itself. First Obama’s betrayal on FISA, then his Pelosi/Reid like capitulation to Lieberman coupled with his continuation of obvious right of center choices for his cabinet and the choice of this bigot homophobe to participate in his inaguration; only demonstrates what many in the gay community feared all along, Obama is showing his true Christian Black Homophobe roots.
This president is not a friend of the gay community. His selection of Rick Warren is tantamount to condoning racism.

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By lichen, December 18, 2008 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment

Why the fuck is there a religous “inaugural invocation” in the first place?  As for this fool, obama is vastly destroying my hope in any comfortable future for the human race; this revolting, right-wing theatre needs to stop; we don’t have time for it, we are running out of water, we are being poisoned by multinational corporations, runaway global warming has already begun, and the livelihoods of people are being daily destroyed.  But yes, lift up the distorters among us, those who can bring up the essential hatreds ( against gays, foreigners, sick people, immigrants, non-christians) to blur these issues and keep the policy on death and destruction.

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By DavidPabian, December 18, 2008 at 7:12 pm Link to this comment

So, why wouldn’t Obama get a holocaust denier or segregationist preacher for the invocation?  Oh, I think I get it… cuz no one really cares about fag rights except fags and the wusses who support them.  Rick Warren represents and stands for irrationality, ignorance and stupidity, and weekly lies to his “congregation” about the state of the world.  He is not a person qualified for conferred respectability/authentication/validation by ANY enlightened office holder, or in any enlightened civilization.  As an atheist, I agree with Sam Harris and many others that it’s the “religious moderates” who, by their pandering to the irrational idea of acceptance of demonstrably incorrect theories or opinions, validate and uphold the acceptance and propagation of the most heinous and evil “religious” sects, cults and institutions.  Obama is a willing dupe of Warren’s self-serving need for more customers.  His cynicism and offhand dismissal of the people who put him in office is shocking and disgusting.  It’s more of the same - he’s just another tin prop wrapped in a flag.

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By KDelphi, December 18, 2008 at 7:07 pm Link to this comment

Obama knows exactly what he is doing. He said he didnt believe in gay marraiage and he doesnt.

I find it hard to belive that the LGBT community didnt hear it.

Obama has consolidated his choices around moderate-conservatives. That is what he is. He should have run GOP.

Maybe next time, he will. Then it will be more clear..

I understand the LGBT communities’ anger—but , he lost me with his first few appointments. Hell, I’ll admit it he never “had” me. People just convinced me it was going to be close in Ohio. It wasnt.

It is the religious “stuff” (always was with me), the “environemtnal” Clean Coal and nukes and offshore drilling; the lack of clarity on the “war on terror”, the reversal on teh Bush tax cuts, the market based heatoh care industry gift,—how much more can you take, people?

What was it, “fool me once shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me”??

Dont be a “Dubya”...

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By Maani, December 18, 2008 at 6:11 pm Link to this comment


Bravo.  I concur.


Everything you said is on the money (and brava!) - except one.  The phrase “And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me” is NOT a “political” statement.  All Scripture must be read IN CONTEXT - i.e., vis-a-vis what comes before and after it.  (Indeed, it is because the so-called Christian Right takes Scripture OUT of context that they would not know Jesus if He bit them on the ear!  LOL).  When read this way, it is clear that it is a spiritual statement.

Folktruther et al:

“President-elect Barack Obama was asked Thursday at his news conference about the furious reaction from some gay-rights groups to his decision to ask Rick Warren to play a role in his Inauguration.

“The choice of Mr. Warren, pastor of a megachurch in Orange County, Calif., set off a round of criticism by gay rights groups angered by his support for California’s ban on same-sex marriages. Mr. Warren is an outspoken opponent of abortion and same-sex marriage — litmus-test issues for Christian conservatives.

“Mr. Obama defended the decision as part of his effort to involve a broad range of Americans in the nation’s business without sacrificing civility.

“‘I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans,’ Mr. Obama said.

“He noted that he had been invited by Mr. Warren to speak at his church a few years ago — despite their obvious differences — and added that ‘that dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign’s been all about; that we’re not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable.’”

“‘That’s part of the magic of this country,’ said Mr. Obama, ‘is that we are diverse and noisy and opinionated.’”


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By eileen fleming, December 18, 2008 at 4:59 pm Link to this comment

Jesus was NEVER a Christian and there are NO words attributed to him re: gay love, but plenty about the teachers of the law who were judgmental hypocrites that thought they alone understood the mind of The Divine.


The term ‘Christian’ was not even coined until the days of Paul, about 3 decades after Jesus:

AKA: The Prince of Peace walked the earth and taught that it is the peacemakers who are the children of God, NOT those that bomb, occupy or torture other ones!

2,000 years ago The Cross had NO symbolic religious meaning and was not a piece of jewelry.

When JC said: “Pick up your cross and follow me” everyone THEN understood he was issuing a POLITICAL statement, for the main roads into Jerusalem were lined with crucified agitators, rebels, dissidents and any who disturbed the status quo of the Roman Empire and Military Occupying Forces.


Jesus, while never a Christian, was a social, justice, radical revolutionary Palestinian devout Jewish road warrior who rose up against the corrupt Temple authorities and challenged their job security by teaching the people they did NOT need to pay the priests for ritual baths or sacrificing livestock to be OK with God; for God LOVED them just as they were:

Sinners, poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under the Roman Empire and Military Occupation.

What got JC crucified was disturbing the status quo of the Roman Empire and Occupying Forces by teaching the subversive concept that God preferred the humble sinner, the poor, diseased, outcasts, widows, orphans, refugees and prisoners all living under the Roman Empire and Military Occupation above the elite and arrogant.

The early followers and lovers of Jesus were called members of THE WAY-being THE WAY he taught one should be and that his sisters and brothers were those that DID the will of the Father:

“What does God require? He has told you o’man! Be just, be merciful, and walk humbly with your Lord.” -Micah 6:8

Eileen Fleming, Author, Founder WAWA:
Producer “30 Minutes With Vanunu” and “13 Minutes with Vanunu”

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By RedSoxCyr, December 18, 2008 at 4:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama has been TREMENDOUSLY consistent since 2004 - ‘there is not a red america / a blue america - there is the united states of america’.

He is a man, unlike many others - that actually practices what he preaches.

Who did people think they were voting for?

Someone who could be a fulll partisan democrat?

He promised NOT to be one!! And he is delivering.

He is pulling together a team - not of partisan democrats to push a particular democratic agenda - but the best americans to push the american agenda. He invites religious from all sides who share the common goal of a better america.

There will NEVER be 100% agreement on all issues. The problem in this country ARE those that push THEIR agenda as if it is the most important item on ANY agenda. This is what divides the country - this is what causes the huge divides - and divicive dialogue. The man I voted for would have none of it—he promised to be inclusive—and he is—and I am happy.

With his leadership - with his willingness and his practice of being inclusive - maybe for once - the walls within our country can come down so we can finally face the AMERICAN problem from common ground

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By maxxie, December 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Drew threw three true free throws.  Three times fast, without reading it.  Oh, go ahead, you can READ it 3X fast. 


What’s it called when you argue about a thing that’s already based on an absurdity, i.e., the Inauguration of the POTUS is no occasion for any kind of a prayer to one or another imaginary god. In fact, it might be unconstitutional.

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By DavidPabian, December 18, 2008 at 4:29 pm Link to this comment

Nzuzo commented on some of the posters here as possibly defining who we are by our sexual orientation.  No, it’s defining who we are as U.S. citizens sick of the pandering to a hypocritical minority calling itself the Christian Right, or Social Conservatives, or Evangelicals.  Rick Warren makes his living off the ignorance, both biblical and historical, of that clamoring minority, and for Obama to become just another part of Warren’s self-serving publicity machine is nothing less than heart-sickening.  Obama has started off on a VERY wrong foot.  When you try to please everyone you please no one, and when you try to play all angles you will always lose.  Will this be another one-term Democrat with the horrendous Sarah Palin as the result?

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By Robert Gleason, December 18, 2008 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Choosing Rick Warren is like inviting the Grand Wizard of the KKK to his inauguration.  It confirms the beliefs of many Americans who agree with Rick’s ideas on gay rights and abortion.  I voted for Obama and convinced many people to vote for him because he represented change.  There is no room for any kind of bigotry in this world and by allowing Rick to be with him on such an historic time makes me doubt his true intentions.

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By In Exile, December 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As a gay AMERICAN man living in another country with no way to sponsor my partner of 15 years for a US green card to hear that Warren is speaking at the inauguration really hurts. I thought the new administration would be more inclusive of all people. To give a hate promoter such a high level platform to spread his hate is wrong. The extreme right wing religious extremists have had center stage for 8 years, isn’t that long enough? You try living in another country because you own country does not recognize your long tern relationship and see how it feels!

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By Frank F1, December 18, 2008 at 3:20 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With the crowd of inaugural attendees estimated at 4 million, perhaps giving Rick Warren this platform is just a brilliant tactic for getting some people to stay away. I for one just traded in my airline tickets; I’ll be flying to NY on Jan. 19 instead.

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By Nzuzo, December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chill every one! This overreaction is really being short-sighted and not looking at the bigger picture. If you just define who you are by your sexual orientation or gay rights, then you are selling yourselves short.. and one would think that’s what the gay community would want the world to see them- as being more than just people with sexual orientations that differ from the mainstream.

Obama is not electing the man into his Cabinet- and if you think his two minute invocation speech is going hypnotize Obama and turn his back on your rights you’re just judging a matter before it’s time. What makes you think now that he is the PE he’s going to return evil for evil, something he could not do during the primaries.
Obama is trying to shame those who think they are wiser than God or everybody else by extending an olive branch and cause them to be humbled by his sincere inclusive agenda. This is unity in action- It is not just stump speeches- and of course you cant make everybody happy.

So, get over it and chill.. Obama is on to something

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By David Pabian, December 18, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment
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I voted for Obama but Ralph Nader was the only real choice.  I’m still getting email from the Obama camp asking for money to cover debts, new fights, blah, blah, blah.  I’ve told them to unsubscribe me for one reason only:  Rick Warren.  If anyone reading this is on the Obama Machine’s mailing list and wants to get off it, good luck.  There’s no automatic unsubscribe, and contact info takes you to another site that seems more of a dialogue with other bloggers than anything that’s actually directed to the campaign.  Just another politician?  Looks that way.

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By Folktruther, December 18, 2008 at 3:02 pm Link to this comment

Many TD truthers geniunely don’t seem to understand the implications of Obama’s picking right wing people.  Warren is against abortion, stating it is a form of Holocaust, and against homosexuality.  By seleecting Warren, Obama is pandering to the right and endorsing these positions agaisnt gays and women symbolically.

In doing so he is increasing his personal power.  But only at the price of selling out the progressive positions he campaigned on.  He is renegning quickly and massively on the program he ran on, which was conservative, to go to the right to continue the policies of Bush.

This increases his personal power.  But only at the price of making it impossible to pursue a progressive agenda in anything but rhetoric and marginally.

This was indicated by his appointment of Arne somebody as Education minister, after his militarizing and corporatizing the Chicago school system and trying to break the teacher’s union.

Obams is consolidating the political revolution initated by the Bushites.  There is no Change You Can Believe in.  To get it, you have to oppose Obama and his program of continuity with the Bushites.

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By sophrosyne, December 18, 2008 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
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Warren is an embarrassment theologicially.  I am a left-wing progressive Christian who always thought Obama was an opportunist, centrist and concilator.  He is not a first rate mind although he is far smarter than the porcupine Bush.  But Warren is moronic in his simpliostic theology.  Where is our Niebuhr? Warren is just another huckster selling books and tapes to the easily fooled.  There have been many like him over the many years of American history.

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By Jon, December 18, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
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Obama clearly lacks judgement, as evidenced by this choice of Warren.

What will Obama do next, announce the he’s making Dick Cheney the assistant to the National Security Adviser?

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By jpinsatx, December 18, 2008 at 1:28 pm Link to this comment

Yes, I know, Pastor Rick Warren is there to support President Obama,
not the other way around. But, why choose someone so divisive? Why
pander to those who oppose what Obama stands for? This country needs
spiritual inspiration… not a religious slap in the face!

In the USA, all religious groups have the “Constitutional Right” to
determine their own individual belief systems and regulate their
members. Evangelical and Fundamentalist religious groups specifically
exclude and denounce gay marriage, abortion rights and their
supporters. However, many other religious groups do not share the same
beliefs and support gay marriage and abortion rights.

Hmmm… Should government mandate and enforce the belief system of
specific religious groups? Should government honor the belief systems
of all religious groups?

Let us hope, this bold move will serve to unite the country on our areas of
agreement, such as jobs, education and health care.

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By Blackspeare, December 18, 2008 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment

WAGONS HALT——Obama makes a sudden turn to the right.  However, this was expected so that all parties can get a little piece of the pie!

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By ARTIST GENERAL, December 18, 2008 at 12:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

—i.e., teach that dinosaurs walked with Man!
meanwhile, the rest continue to educate
India eyes our place, China moves toward our Seat
a brain-stemmed superpower:
cortical omission accomplished! amber waves of grain
go brown
turd blossom yields to fruit
from the root of all evil
well-served by their Con$tant Gardener
(“The Father of Lies”)
a clean break or a dirty stretch! straight-
out, back through their carnival-haloed looking glass
secular vision has it down
today’s “word”—
DE Bush el ze BUB ba nate

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By Artist General, December 18, 2008 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment
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Re: One Is FALSE…
  The Flag on the LEFT
  ...Is TRUE.


‘Cross-The-Aisle OverReach,

There ARE issues that should remain above “compromise”, as a matter of principle unmitigated by the winking siren-harlot of “Post-PARTisan” shiT.

Kissing the ass that just derservedly got kicked is every bit as ‘counter-productive’ as seeking political payback per se. 

BOTH cheapen and undermine the meaning of ‘victory’, which is to say, making nice is fine, but you don’t let a caught burglar go with what’s he’s got in hand with a promise to ‘steal no more’. 

Let Justice wax poetic as the spirit moves, and fly a higher and better flag than the unfurling ripples of the one we’re starting to see:

the shucks-don’t-worry, we’ll keep the principled footprint of our win “small” so you clueless losers can still feel “in” the game you’ve cheated in for 8 long years.

We wouldn’t want to appear too “pushy” on leveling the playing field for the Middle Class and Accountability for the “Ba$e Elites” that misled us to this mess!

WTF—No Brainer Alert: we’re in the ditch of the far right, but the tow-truck driver’s afraid to leave the addictive “middle” of the road?!

Duh, Political cold turkey-time! The only SENSIBLE direction left for the forseeable future IS “LEFT”...

“But-WAIT-there’s MORE”—looks like we’re front-end shit-loaded with the last thing we need—the Old-School Dem Nervus-Nellie Nice-makers!

...EVER-so-gingerly Grateful to not have our ‘victory’ rubbed in our face, Taking moral ‘pennies on the dollar’ from our “mandate”, sweetened for their hyper- sensitive palate, lest those GOPetered-principle poor losers bemoan a ‘bitter’ taste & accuse of us of poor winning, OMG-forBID.

Of our own victory’s shadow, scared shitless. 


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By dihey, December 18, 2008 at 11:31 am Link to this comment

Here is what the Reverend Warren had to say about abortion and the holocaust:

“Attempting only to make abortions rare is not much different than saving some of the Jews during the Holocaust when all could be saved, according to mega church pastor Rick Warren. “Don’t tell me it [abortion] should be rare. That’s like saying on the Holocaust, Well, maybe we could save 20 percent of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that, Warren said. I’m not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended.”

During WW2 my mother saved the lives of two Jewish boys in our home in Amsterdam (my sister and I were also present). One of them is still alive in Israel. The other died of natural causes during the 1990’s. If I understand Warren correctly we should not have attempted to save these boys but instead have tried to save all European Jews in our three-bedroom apartment. Should we have handed these boys over to the Nazi’s first? Warren’s idiotic statement is not only an insult to my mother but also to the Swede Folke Bernadotte who tried to save the Hungarian Jews. Warren is the lowest of the low. He should not be allowed to come even close to the inauguration stand.
Any Jew that still supports Obama is mentally sick.
Any Gentile who thinks highly of Warren is also mentally sick.

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By xsfx, December 18, 2008 at 11:26 am Link to this comment
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“People just need to stop reacting and trying to find fault with any and everything a person does.  Good Grief Y’all!”

Like that whole Monica Lewinsky thing you Christians didn’t mind at all, right?

As an Athiest, I’m more concerned about government’s need to invoke God in its ceremony. Truly, the separation of church and state is nothing more than lip service. I’m all about gay marriage, if only to disprove religion. If it gets legalized and ratified, I eagerly await the day that fire and brimstone DON’T fall from the sky and destroy the U.S., turning those who look in its direction at the time to pillars of salt.

Cue a “but the Old Testament is just storytime, not to be taken literally!” excuse in 3… 2…

Religion insists on its cake and eats it too, right in front of anyone who will watch.

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By dihey, December 18, 2008 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

Every anti-gay-marriage person willfully chooses to ignore the fact that marriage is primarily a civil contract that begins with a license issued by the State. What God or the Devil for that matter have to do with this is not only beyond my comprehension but, I firmly think, also beyond our Constitution. The issue at hand is whether a State is justified to refuse giving a standard marriage license to gay couples. Where can that justification come from? Not from the Bible or any other religious tract nor from the overheated brain of the Reverend Warren nor from fear.
Imagine that the Congress of the State of California had passed a law which had forced preachers, rabbis and the like to marry gay couples in their churches. The US would have reverberated with their protests, yet some preachers, rabbis etc. think that it is perfectly OK that they force their rubbish on States. You can’t have it both ways!
Mr. Obama give me one constitutionally viable reason why a State may not give a civil marriage license to a gay couple. I bet that you cannot. And please do not give me your hot-air crap of “one man and one woman is the tradition of marriage”. King Salomon would turn in his grave! Marriage in our culture started as “one man and many women”. May I remind you that slavery was once a tradition also? You seem to have forgotten.

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By PatP, December 18, 2008 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Thanks Cyrena and I agree RW is an “AH”. I haven’t lost my mind or anythinig. grin

I was listening to more RW rant on radio today and started thinking about what do we do with the extreme right…

Can’t let ‘em have their way, can kill ‘em, right? SO we have to live with them. I will be so disappointed if the rabid politics of the last 8 years continues and if progressives adopt all the same tactics we’ve been seeing, albeit from the left.

This was our chance to show the right a better way. Again, it should come as no surprise to anyone who listened to Obama’s campaign speeches. We so badly need a President that will cozy up to everyone to the extent that they agree and then, for some things, respectfully differ, say why, and flesh out the specific points of disagreement without the figurative finger pokes to the eye.

Does anyone think that Rick Warren does not know Obama’s stand on gay marriage and what he’s said about it?

All of this is about there being one America again and I am loving it. It becomes much easier to disagree on specific points while agreeing on everything else when the air is not fouled.

And YES! Fundies make me want to puke (have one in my family but I still love him and we don’t send him outside to eat with the dogs at Christmas dinner) but we have to find a way to live in harmony even with them rather than a perpetual state of intentional schadenfreude and exclusion of those we don’t agree with from government.

So the jury is out IMCO and I keep thinking how nice it would be and how much progress could be made on some of the most important things if there was something in our President for everyone to respect or love.

People should get over thinking they’ll have everything their way. Jeez is anybody here married? Even in a group of two there is no nirvana and one must learn how to get along…agree to disagree civilly…love and respect despite imperfections. Ironic as it might seem we’ll get more of what we want that way, despite how good venting feels. Grrrr… LOL! grin

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By Thomas Mc, December 18, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

I agree with Arius, it’s going to be interesting watching Obama’s supporters make excuses for him, just as Bush’s have these all too many years.

Obama covers for things like Warren by saying he wants “dialog”, but that requires more than one side being presented, and I just don’t see that in Obama’s choices.

This is just icing on the cake, his appointments are Republicans and Conservative Democrats, not a liberal in the bunch. Who could actually believe that his will not be a right-wing adminsitration???

Obama/Pelosi/Reid are not going to bring “change.”

(My sympathies to any of you who were foolish enough to believe in him.)

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By magicwanz, December 18, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Religion is a disease. If you pontificate, please cover your mouth.

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By Ed Harges, December 18, 2008 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

Isn’t it interesting that as evangelicals decide to spiff up their image by emphasizing liberal causes like environmentalism and fighting poverty, they insist on the dehumanization of gay people as some non-negotiable “core value”.

“Let’s put acrimony behind us! Surely we can all learn to get along and despise gay people in a more humane and responsible manner!”

Why is this so essential their identities as believers? I mean, you’d think Jesus would have at least *mentioned* homosexuality, and how it’s the source of all evil, etc., given that American evangelical “Christians” are so fervently unyielding on this particular subject, as they are on no other.

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By thebeerdoctor, December 18, 2008 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

In pageant politics political theater and symbolism is important, that is why having someone like Rick Warren crawling around at the inaugural is disgusting. What is the message here? Is it: okay white America, this black man will not disturb your phobic delusions, Rev. Warren is here to take you by your frightened hand…
Tell the Obama crowd that this will never do. Leave these money sucking creeps underneath their anointed rocks. Lord knows they do not need more attention.

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By Arius, December 18, 2008 at 8:37 am Link to this comment

I find this hysterical-

I’m an independent liberal. 

I’m a proud atheist.

and I did not, do not support Barack Obama-

I will enjoy laughing the next 4 years as his bots have to continually explain away the hypocrisy of their messiah they can “believe in”.

This is too damned funny. 

He has also decided to delay the ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ policy for the military (one of his promises to repeal it).

Times “man of the year”-  our country has gone insane. completely, uneducated, insane-

Referred to as the “first black president” with ALLLLLL media ignoring the FACT he is no more black than he is white-  His white mother, that heritage, completely ignored in this entire year of his campaigning-

I’m ashamed to live in a country of stupid people.  First the most corrupt presidency in our history with the moron Bush, and now this bullshit-

I’m pretty damned old and have been proud of my country my entire life….. until 2000-  and sadly in 2008, I’ve found nothing still to be proud of, but plenty… plenty to be ashamed of.

maybe some day we’ll get back a real news media, a real press that doesn’t use bias in their reporting and intentionally leave out important details of all political news (and world news).

Maybe if we’re lucky Rick Warren will give one of his lectures on the sins of being gay and sins of abortion during this inauguration.  that would be funny as hell!

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By Tachea, December 18, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I usually agree with Obama but on this issue he’s dead wrong, not only is he upsetting the gay community but he is upsetting democrats as well. In trying to please people on the right he’s losing his people on the left.

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By Little Brother, December 18, 2008 at 7:34 am Link to this comment

Great choice—Warren is, after all, a paragon of moral leadership.

I hope he delivers the invocation wearing only a conspicuously open bathrobe—and shower clogs, of course.  That way he can cure ALL of the little impressionable Amerikan boy-children of the disease of homosexuality by displaying his sanctified manly member to the multitudes.

And maybe get in a plug for issuing California’s notorious Proposition 8 as an Executive Order!

It’s very gratifying that so many childlike Amerikans buy the pitch that Obama is committed to “reaching out” and breaking down barriers.  Funny how so far, he’s been reaching out to one neoliberal neocon or reactionary after the other. 

And yet, somehow he gives the impression that he’s not really reaching very far.  He really seems oddly comfortable lining up with ultra-Establishment hacks.

I guess he’s planning to swing back on the old pendulum in time for his second term, and reach out to all the progressives, populists, and leftish citizens who’ve been eating his dust since he clinched the nomination. 

We’ll be here a-waitin’!  And we’ll Praise the Lord for sending this new Moses back into the desert to lead our recalcitrant souls to the Promised Land!

Can I get an “amen”?

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By M. Taylor, December 18, 2008 at 7:18 am Link to this comment
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If one is a Christian, it should not matter.  If one is an Atheist or does not own up to a religion, it should not matter either.  To go along with the liberals, etc., they are not talking about Christianity here, nor are they thinking about all the other people who do not share a Christian religion.  Get over it people.  No matter personal beliefs, Chritianity should be about love, forgivness, inclusiveness, kindness, etc.  If this is the worst President-Elect Obama can do, the world will not come to an end.  No one is being disrespected because of this, but God is being honoured in the procedure.

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By Eric Gamboa, December 18, 2008 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I feel as if I have been kicked in the gut…

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By Steve, December 18, 2008 at 7:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t understand how anyone can come out and complain about a Christian preacher, called by a Christian President Elect, to say a Christian prayer over said President Elect.

Rick Warren is against same sex marriage.  Guess what, folks, it’s in the Bible.  Most Christian preachers, probably 95% agree with Warren’s view.  It’s just he way it is.

You can’t call a bulldog to a steak and ask him to eat the salad instead.

You can’t expect a complete religion to rewrite it’s Holy books to accomodate your lifestyle.

And as far as everybody screaming about separation of church and state.  I will say this one last time…the concept is not mentioned in the US Constitution, has never been there and the idea that there should be complete separation is completely and 100% unconstitutional.

The phrase came from a letter from Thomas Jefferson to a group of Baptists.  In the letter he was speaking about the Government never trying to run the Church yet that is what the gay community apparently wants.

This whole argument is a lie and I’m sick of it.  Religious people have the same rights to influence government as Atheists.  It’s called a free society.  Get over it.

And besides, shouldn’t we spend more time trying to help out hungry, tired and homeless people than spending hours screaming about injustice over what will be likely less than a 1 minute prayer?

What is wrong with this Country?

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By michele, December 18, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
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I have been an ardent Obama supporter and most recently, a defender. he has come close to alienating me several times but never crossed over.
Now he’s lost me.
Entertaining points of view as an intellectual exercise is one thing. That I am actually in favor of and make a practice of in my own life.
But putting someone whose heart is filled with disdain for others whom he deems “less than” and professes “purpose” and christianity in the front and center place at this historic day of celebrating the shedding of old ways, is a giant step backwards.
So much for taking that day off to watch or going!

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By JT, December 18, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment
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I am reading and listening to all this drivel about how Obama is a “sell-out” and liar. The man hasn’t even taken the oath and even that is being debated. I think that all the “ultra-liberals” should just shut up and wait. It seems to me that they’re more concerned with “Sticking it to the mainstream” than growing a social conscience. Obama’s message isnt, “Hey, I’m a the first Black President, lets just turn everything on its ear and to hell with thos backward ass conservatives”. I believe he said, lets do what right for the country as a whole.

Did you honestly think that Gay rights were going to be advanced over night? It took 150 years for this country to evolve before Obama could become president.

Hello wake up!

As far as I know, the supreme courts position on abortion and gay marriage is more along with the position of states right. So if you live in a state the bans abortion or prohibits gay marriage. MOVE!!! And please dont insult us with, Why should I move? Hello its called democracy, majority vote rules, if your neighbors dont like your life style, and the majority has voted against you marrying your “life partner” then that’s it. Try again next year. But dont bitch because the system works. The biggest problem with America today is all this special interest. Heterosexual marriage is a concept that is thousands of years old, its the accepted norm. Its been promoted by ALL the worlds major religions. And in each, the practice of homosexuality is banned, not tolerated, not ignored, but BANNED. In some its punishable by death.

Something that Homosexuals should note is that heterosexual domestic partners arent recognized any more than you are. They have no rights when it comes to collecting insurance unless the insured specifically makes then the beneficiary. State probate doesnt recognize your girlfriend or boyfriend as the executor with out a properly executed will. Unlike the circumstance where if youre married then its an automatic process.

Homosexual marriage is a “brand new” concept by comparison. You cant expect the average concervatively or even moderate american to like you flaunting (and I say this conservatively, have you ever heard of a Heterosexual pride parade) something he or she hasnt quite become comfortable with. And quite frankly I’ve seen alot of homosexual couples…not the most stable bunch. And for those of you that just took that indignant suck of air…its the truth, and you know it. Most of the time you change partners as often or more often than you change underwear. Hell, its even an inside joke among gays and lesbians, dont think so, watch an episode of Will and Grace. So that being the case, we’re going to add a whole new demographic filing for divorce in 2 to 3 years after belaboring the public with your rants about wanting to be married in the first place. The only people who benefit from any of this are the lawyers.

I think that at this most dangerous of economic times that you should be more worried about where youre going to get that money to spend on your same sex parnter for christmas than complaining about something that you’ve been doing for years and not being publicly recognized for it.

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By PL'Oh, December 18, 2008 at 6:40 am Link to this comment
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Pat, you are so right on.  People who have taken to blogging have displayed extremism to the max and they do a lot of yelling. Truth be told, the majority of Americans are neither so conservative nor so liberal, but somewhere in the middle on their beliefs and viewes.  I’m a Word believing Christian, but I don’t believe in the words of mere men.  I look to God.  Having said that, I don’t believe in gay marriage. It’s against God.  God will have to apololgize to us for Sodom and Gomorah if it was His will. God’s love is His creation. Gay’s can create. That action is anti-God; just like some other actions of men. So you see I love God and that’s where I am.  But, I want to say thatI do not have a hatred for Gays, nor do I believe they should be discriminated against in any way. Just because PE Obama selects Mr. Warren doesn’t mean it’s something else going on.  People just need to stop reacting and trying to find fault with any and everything a person does.  Good Grief Y’all!  Chill, relax it’s America; be glad about it.

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By greenriverkate, December 18, 2008 at 6:32 am Link to this comment

Obama is walking into a hurricane of forces like we have never seen. He sure as hell won’t make everyone happy, especially those just waiting to point a finger at him. As a white, 63yr old, straight woman, I am not happy with his choice for religion but it doesn’t matter because no matter whomever he chose would make someone mad or become a statement. People are lined up to point a finger and call fraud. He isn’t even in office and has already worked his tail off for this country without pay. Give him a break. I vote both sides but I am pro civil rights for gays, I am pro choice as a catholic, I am anti organized religion as narrow minded judgemental idiots try to tell everyone else they are wrong. If he had gotten just a Supreme Court Judge to do this act, someone would call it a plot.

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By Mike, December 18, 2008 at 6:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amazing how intolerant America has become. When the republicans were in, you either believed in the war and the necessity of patriot act or you were simply unamerican. Here we have the liberal left deciding on what religious views are appropriate despite the fact that this pastor is well known and author of one of the best selling books of all times. The GLBT community needs to get a clue and understand that we all do not subscribe to your definition of marriage and it is OK for ALL of us to share the table on inauguration day.

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By Dag Andersson, December 18, 2008 at 6:07 am Link to this comment

Many progressives are deluding themselves by claiming that it doesnt matter who Obama chose for different positions inside his administration-It’s his policy they will follow.

  I don’t think so. They will be the Instruments he needs to implement the Policy, and so far too many of the Tools he has selected are simply not suited for the task.

  Gates prolonging his position in Mess-O’Potomac, The zionist Emanuel as Cief of Staff -and now this gaybasher at inauguration ?

“Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

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By mad_world, December 18, 2008 at 5:58 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regarding the photo…

1) Is Sick Warren really in front of an ocean or is that a back drop from Sears when you get your kids photo taken.

2) He looks gay as can be.

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By socks, December 18, 2008 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

This hat tip to the religious right might be a head-fake of sorts, a clever ploy to sucker more favor from more right (as in political persuasion) thinking parts of the population.

It is, in fact, yet one more slap in the face to liberals who are gay or are gay friendly. And for a respect hungry to continue to endure these slaps Obama must be fairly confident that they have nowhere else to go, with their considerable political activity. And also immune to how a minority needs respect on symbolic occasions.

Note, that vote on FISA was not a symbol, it was a real vote for an anti-Constitutional legislation.

For all his populist speaches during the election cycle, Obama’s love of the Constitution still remains one of those mysteries we will continue to question, untill that day he comes from behind the curtain and actually says what he intends to do.

So far he is a master of the none committal.

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By socks, December 18, 2008 at 5:51 am Link to this comment

This hat tip to the religious right might be a head-fake of sorts, a clever ploy to sucker more favor from more right (as in political persuasion) thinking parts of the population.

It is, in fact, yet one more slap in the face to liberals who are gay or are gay friendly. And for a respect hungry to continue to endure these slaps Obama must be fairly confident that they have nowhere else to go, with their considerable political activity. And also immune to how a minority needs respect on symbolic occasions.

Note, that vote on FISA was not a symbol, it was a real vote for an anti-Constitutional legislation.

For all his populist speaches during the election cycle, Obama’s love of the Constitution still remains one of those mysteries we will continue to question, untill that day he comes from behind the curtain and actually says what he intends to do.

So far he is a master of the none committal.

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By dihey, December 18, 2008 at 5:42 am Link to this comment

From Rev. Wright to Rev. Warren, what does this tell me? It tells me that Mr. Obama uses reverends to advance his political purposes. Wright was useful to enhance his standing in the militant black community of Chicago. When that threatened his campaign for the presidency he threw him under the bus.
Yes, Cyrena, Warren is, among others, an asshole (his pronouncements on gays are infinitely more vile than anything Wright has said about America) but that is not the point of the exercise. The reason why Warren will appear at the inauguration is once again political and not religious. This classic American bigot will stand there to reassure the huge multitudes of American bigots present and on TV that President Obama will continue to oppose “gay marriage” and will not change the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of the military. He does not have to literally tell that to the bigoted multitudes because the bigoted multitudes understand him anyway. If Warren later gets too ornery Obama will throw him under the bus too and search for yet another politically useful reverend. What you have to understand about Obama is that he is a superb but totally amoral political animal.

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By Libarchist, December 18, 2008 at 5:08 am Link to this comment

Obama scammed Progressives and is rubbing it in.


It’s not like no one knew he (Obama) was part of a—fundamentalist Christian cult group. I seen right through the cult leaders message, that is why I did not vote for McCain or Obama.

And the irony of it it all is they hate liberal/progressives so much; because they think all liberal whites are Jews, that they enjoy rubbing it in.

But the joke is on them; because—basically they are hating a shadow;  genuine “liberalism”  has been dead from around the time JFK was shot.

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By expat in germany, December 18, 2008 at 4:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This may be worse than “disappointing.” As someone who has been watching the deterioration of the separation of “church and state” for some time now, I think this reflects very poorly on the president-elect and doesn’t bode well for those of us who are truly fed up with the intrusion of organized superstition (religion) into our private lives. That out of all the fine minds, inspiring leaders, and great speakers, Obama chose this man is, frankly, depressing. I’m going to get some chocolate now.

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By cyrena, December 18, 2008 at 3:42 am Link to this comment

Pat Pattillo,

You’re absolutely correct of course:

•  “...We’ve seen enough of hair trigger opposition to each and every thing simply because a position came from the other side. It’s almost as if politics has gotten so disagreeable that you can get your opponent to change their position by agreeing with them…”

Sad but so true. I was just thinking the very same thing, since this seems to be a new sort of phenomena. I’m still observing it.

In a word, it’s been CRAZY, for 8 straight years, with each year becoming more Orwellian than the one before, even as more people come out of their comas to face the nightmares of the reality.  This gradual build-up to what has become in many cases an extended (actually never-ending) political hypersensitivity in terms of ANYTHING to do with an Obama Administration, when these same people would never have even thought to question or even comment upon something like “The Inaugural Invocation Giver”.

Who the hell even CARES who it is except religiosios on the right?

Why do they even NEED an Inaugural Invocation Giver?

If I’m ever elected president, we just aren’t gonna have that part of the ceremony. I’m a minimalist.

I do think Rick Warren is an asshole though.

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By azythos, December 17, 2008 at 10:33 pm Link to this comment

Genuine or pretended, Mr. Obama’s religious idiocy does not give him the right to violate the Establishment Clause no later than at his inauguration. He can have all invocations, exorcisms etc. by Warren or better by Torquemada himself, but in private. He should take his oath of office on the Constitution of the US, not on some religious rant with no official value.

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By Jon, December 17, 2008 at 10:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This represents another Obama sellout to the right.

If I recall, maybe I’m wrong, Obama accepted millions in donations from Progressives…and has now turned his back on them.  I guess their money wasn’t ‘right enough,’ but he never issued refunds.

Obama scammed Progressives and is rubbing it in.

His ethics are therefore already known.  Hello more right wing politics in the White House.

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By dihey, December 17, 2008 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

I’m glad that I am an atheist because to me it does not matter which preacher invokes which God on January 20,2009. That Obama is close to this social troglodyte does not surprise me either. To hell with gays and women who had abortions seems to be his mantra. This man is trying to poison the youth that voted for Obama. He is a medieval monk which is exactly what all Obama-adepts deserve during his prayer on January 20, 2009. I pity them that they have to listen to the vile words of this unholy man who is in the business of selling tainted morality.

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By Pat Pattillo, December 17, 2008 at 9:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I do not agree with Rick Warren on much but many Americans do. Why does it come as a surprise that Obama would extend a hand and accept support (if Warren’s presence comes with a bit of sleflessness and is not complete and total self-aggrandizement) from someone he might not agree with 100%?

My God, I don’t agree with my wife 100%.

Why should this be a surprise? It is consistent with Obama’s entire campaign and that eloquent statement that he will always listen ESPECIALLY when he disagrees.

Don’t mistake stength for weakness. If Obama is going to be the President of all Americans then expect this kind of thing.

If you want to suspect deviousness then look for a silverr lining if you strongly oppose Warrens positions—the religious right might be more more agreeable. We’ve seen enough of hair trigger opposition to each and every thing simply because a position came from the other side. It’s almost as if politics has gotten so disagreeable that you can get your opponent to change their position by agreeing with them.

After all this is a symbolic thing. Let’s wait for the meat and potatoes of policy before growing disenchanted.

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