I was on google chat when I read the Obama inauguration schedule of events, so my reaction (in a private conversation) is recorded for all posterity:
I have to give it to Obama for his inauguration
sounds like it’s going to be quite the event
Rick Warren, Yo-Yo Ma, Aretha Franlkin, Itzkhak Perlman, and others will make it the hottest ticket in Washinton.
Of course, not everyone is so happy:
Not to mention the progressive movement as a whole. The thing is, there’s no shortage of progressive Christian pastors, ministers and priests who opposed Proposition 8 and are no less Christian than Rick Warren. Sure Warren may be better known, may have sold a whole lot of books and brings with him the added bonus of sending a dog whistle signal to Christian conservatives that he’s their president too, but what about sending a signal to the LGBT community and broader progressive community who, ya know, actually supported him and worked our ass off for him? Reinforcing the false notion that the only real Christians are conservative Christians is NOT change I can believe in at all.
Rick Warren? Are you kidding me?
Why in the name of, well … God, would Obama choose someone whose outspoken beliefs are substantively no different from the James Dobson’s of the world? There’s a thriving progressive religious community in every faith, and many believe the religious left is ascendant.
And the always classy Eschaton:
Wanker of the Day
And America Blog:
But Jesus. This is rather uncharacteristic of Obama, making some grand gesture from his gut, and not checking it with his brain, or the brains around him. Unless, of course, his brain trust thought this was a brilliant strategic move. I can easily imagine them thinking, what better than to make a nod to the religious right and the religious left, by having Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery, at his inauguration?
Why stop there? If you really want to show that you’re not the typical Democrat, that you’re breaking the mold and willing to embrace the other extreme of religion and politics, regardless of how much it ticks off your base, why not invite a racist and an anti-Semite too? Just imagine the thrill – one of America’s lead civil rights activists, alongside the first black president of the United States, surrounded by men who think of them as little more than slaves. Talk about change!
But Barack Obama would never invite a high profile racist or anti-Semite to stand next to him during his swearing in, regardless of the bigot’s cachÃ©. Obama did, however, invite a raging homophobe – and it’s the second time now that he’s done so – and we’re supposed to suck it up and say “oh it’s okay.” Well it’s not okay. It’s yet another example of how when the bigot is anti-gay, somehow he’s not as offensive, not as non grata, as the bigot who bashes blacks or bashes Jews. None should be acceptable, but one always is
Of course, there is more to do in Washington than watch the inauguration: you can always get mugged or raped: factosr which won’t change until we get serious about fighting crime in the cities.