Michael Crawford

CNN's debate on Pastor Rick Warren pick for Obama Inauguration

Filed By Michael Crawford | December 22, 2008 7:00 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: Anderson Cooper, Hilary Rosen, Rick Warren, Rick Warren and Barack Obama

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Hilary Rosen lays out clearly why the picking of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Obama Inauguration is so disappointing.

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Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 23, 2008 1:20 AM

Thank you for putting this up. Rosen did a wonderful job, as did Zimmerman -- and Anderson Cooper actually managed to moderate the discussion well. It's well worth the time to watch it. The issue is that it is not about policy, it's that Warren has behaved despicably and no more deserves the pulpit that day than would any other lying, dehumanizing hatemonger who gives moral authority to the violence we disproportionately suffer.

More and more I'm of a mind that Obama is just being a tasteless jerk, willing to trash what should be a shining moment in the sun that ought to have been remembered for all time as a highpoint in our nation's history, just to make a short-term and petty point (that could so easily have been made in myriad other ways) that he is not at our beck and call. Such a pity that his class act veneer is so thin and so quickly starting to peel away.

Obama's choice was ill-conceived, that's for sure. And I love Rosen's point that if Warren didn't allow black people in to his church (or mexicans, asians or anyone else), we wouldn't even be having this discussion.
But we have to remember that we're NOT Obama's main concern. Obama has global warming, health care, the economy, 2 wars and a failing education system to worry about and gays not being able to use the word "marriage" (he supports full legal rights & equality--Warren says he does, too, believe it or not-- & I believe he would grant us that if we'd drop the M word, but that's a whole other discussion) is not at the top of his agenda--and i'm not even sure the M word should be at the top of our agenda, although I go back and forth on that.
Let the man take office. Let's see what he does in his first 100 days... first year. This is NOT the time to turn our back on him. Despite how a lot of us feel, I don't think he's turned his back on us. He made a built a bridge that landed on the wrong shore. We have to let him know that we're angry. But after 8 years of Bush, I have to have hope that Obama's a man of his word.
Here's the other thing we have to consider-- Gay marriage = a diminished Christian vote. And like it or not, Christians are a vast majority in America and Evangelicals are strong, organized and persuasive. We have a long, hard battle ahead of us. And it's not won or lost on who gives Obama's invocation.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 23, 2008 1:41 PM


1) He's dealing with federal law that has a nonredundancy requirement that makes civil marriage the only "full legal rights & equality" equivalent of civil marriage -- any other form of civil union MUST be interpreted by the federal courts to encompass different things that CANNOT, by common law, BE THE SAME THING WITH A DIFFERENT NAME. So stop with the "drop the M-word" pipe dream already. Ain't possible and doesn't work in practice, either -- just ask the folks in CT and NJ. The fight for real equal access to the real deal cannot be avoided. People will have to take sides and make moral choices. There is no easy out -- and, in the long run, when we finally win, we'll all be better for it.

2) Historically, our country has been pushing back the functionality of transition, first by reducing its length and moving Inauguration Day up into January and, lately, by acknowledging that the transition period is really the beginning of a presidency instead of its antecedent in many ways that matter. For instance, we no longer wait until the new president is sworn in to begin the daily national security briefing process the way we used to. That now begins the first morning following the election. Obama's actions NOW -- not starting in January, not 100 days after that or a year after that (virtually the entire period of presidential ability to make meaningful change, according to most astute analysts of presidential policymaking) -- are what matter, what telegraph his intent for how he plans to conduct his presidency. According to you, we are to sit on our hands, patiently waiting for what? By the time you want us to act, the gig's up, dude.

3) You can "hope Obama's a man of his word" or you can look at the reality that there's a widening chasm between what he says and what he does where we're concerned. In other words, wake up and smell the farm, boy. Those aren't roses wafting your way!

Well, what's the point of participating on this blog if you don't learn something by doing it. Thanks for writing such a clear response. Like I said I was on the fence about it & I still am until I learn more, but I learned a little more today.
I wrote to Obama telling him it was a slap in the face. I'll be at the inauguration and I'll make my dissent known in some way when Warren takes the stage, but let's not forget that he also chose Lowery to do the benediction, a gay rights supporter. So we're not gonna like everyone that Obama gets involved with. Let's let him know we're happy with something he does just as quickly as we let him know we're not happy with something he does.