Rick Warren to give Inauguration invocation

WTF, Obama.


Rick Warren is an anti-gay, anti-choice bigot. He was pro-Proposition 8, and has promoted the idea that same-sex marriage rights would mean that pastors could be censored for “hate-speech.” He regularly compares abortion to the Holocaust.

Greg at TPM is right: This decision gives Warren a huge platform, implies that he’s a moderate, and suggests that his views represent those of Christian Americans, regardless of political affiliation. Warren has said that the main difference between himself and James Dobson is tone.

This is not the “change” that most of us were hoping for.

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80 comments for “Rick Warren to give Inauguration invocation

  1. Robyn
    December 17, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    Wow. This is like a slap in the face.

  2. Crushed Hopes
    December 17, 2008 at 5:31 pm

    I voted for Obama thinking I was getting a progressive. Now I have a Bush foreign policy team and the president inviting bigots to tell me my marriage is invalid. Why did I spend the last year working for this man? Was it all a lie?

  3. libdevil
    December 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    It also suggests that those views represent those of Obama and the members of the Inauguration Committee. Oh wait, they do. Democratic politicians may be less homophobic than Republican politicians, but if you’re expecting leadership out of a Democrat, I wouldn’t hold your breath. The ‘change’ Obama seems to want to bring is a more competent, less belligerent corporatism and oppression. Sadly enough, that’s a huge step in the right direction, considering where we’ve been the last 8 years. But we’re a long way from a decent, just, sustainable society.

  4. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Oh, shit. This is really disturbing. I was planning on going to the innauguration too… I really, really didn’t vote for the continued influence of the Dominionists.

  5. mark
    December 17, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    I wrote both Rick Warren and Obama transition blog
    As an openly gay donor to Obama campaign the news of Rick Warren giving the invocation at the inaugeral ,is election night deja vu, all over again. Gays and Lesbians were celebrationg with all the rest of America the Obama victory, then at 11pm we get a shiv shoved in our back with prop 8. Rick Warren and the LDS elders were the MAIN SUPPORTERS which attacked LGBT families in CA, making us the ONE minority not covered by the equal protection clause.
    I hope EVERY queer and our friends attending the Inaugeral, TURNS THEIR BACK to Rick Warren, a salute of a single finger wouldn’t hurt …either.
    I am so disappointed the president to Bring America TOGETHER, chooses to tear us apart at his FIRST oppurtunity.

    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE…what’s this WE crud

  6. December 17, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Very. Displeased.

  7. Claire
    December 17, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Deeply unsurprising. Obama just can’t build the coalition he needs while completely shutting these asshats out. All I can hope is that he’s giving out high-profile feathers like this one to assholes so he can save positions that actually drive policy for decent people.

  8. Kristen
    December 17, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    This was not Obama’s decision.

    I think some clarification is in order, since many are considering this to be Obama’s decision.

    From Salon.com


    “This time, though, the decision to get involved with Saddleback was actually not Obama’s. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, run by the House and Senate, put together the program for the swearing-in ceremony. Congress, not Obama, invited Warren…”

  9. December 17, 2008 at 6:21 pm

    I reiterate that I was an Edwards supporter, and I got on board with Obama late, skeptically and conditionally. He is not a real progressive on economic issues, he’s not a real progressive on foreign policy, and he’s not a real progressive on social issues. He’s a centrist Dem, a “better than the alternative” President, and just a politician. That may not be how some people want it to be, but that’s how it is.

  10. December 17, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Kristen, that’s a figleaf. It’s his inauguration. If Rahm tells Congress “get someone else,” they would get someone else.

  11. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 6:23 pm

    Kristen: Thanks for pointing that out. That’s kind of… Um… A crucial part of the story, hey, Jill?

  12. Claire
    December 17, 2008 at 6:38 pm

    8 + 11 = sockpuppetry unmasked?

  13. Karen
    December 17, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    This wasn’t Obama’s decision? Give me a break. Obama was able to persuade Congressional Democrats to support the bailout, but I’m supposed to believe that he has no control over who gives the invocation at his own inauguration?

    Don’t blame Obama, he voted Present!

  14. Kristen
    December 17, 2008 at 6:43 pm


    Maybe, but until I hear info that suggests that Obama picked this guy, I’m not going to SAY that Obama picked this guy.

  15. William
    December 17, 2008 at 6:44 pm

    There’s nothing in the street
    Looks any different to me
    And the slogans are replaced, by-the-bye
    And the parting on the left
    Is now the parting on the right
    And the beards have all grown longer overnight

  16. Kristen
    December 17, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    Claire…excuse me? I’ve been commenting on this board for 2 or 3 years. And half the women born after 1975 were named either Jennifer or Kristen (or some variation thereof.)

  17. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    Thomas, yes, agreed. Still, I think the link Kristen provides is more than a “figleaf.”

  18. December 17, 2008 at 6:50 pm

    8 + 11 = sockpuppetry unmasked?

    Um yeah, agreeing with Kristen at 16, there are numerous Kristens/Kristins that comments here, and I can verify that they are two different people based on email addresses, IPs, and the fact that they both comment regularly.

    I do feel a little bit better knowing that Obama didn’t directly choose Rick Warren, but I agree with Thomas that if Obama wanted someone else, Obama would have gotten someone else.

  19. December 17, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    As a gay American, this is an affront. Obama can work with conservatives, but to have a hatemonering bigoted homophobe give the Invocation before you take the oath of office, well, all I can say is that it sends a chill up my spine. I voted for Obama, but he just slapped me in the face. He could have found a Christian who isn’t a hateful zealot. I’ll be watching closely to see if Obama does anything positive for gay rights in his administration. If not, he won’t have my vote next time. And I’m sure women’s rights groups will be watching closely as well.

  20. December 17, 2008 at 6:58 pm

    P.S. For all you who think Obama didn’t choose Warren, think again. This is HIS inauguration. There is nobody standing up there who he didn’t choose or approve. So forget the committee.

  21. Anne
    December 17, 2008 at 7:23 pm

    I don’t understand why you are all so shocked. Anyone who stands there and screams about how they are for change even though they have nothing to back it up, is up to something dirty. Did his choice of churches not tip you off? His only problem whith his former church was that they started to make him look bad, so he dropped them. He didn’t have a problem with all the hate preached there until it became a national news story.

  22. shah8
    December 17, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    I was pretty dissappointed when I saw the news. K’s link helped make me feel better about it. Reading it does suggest to me that this was really not Obama’s preference given past history between the two.

  23. tinfoil hattie
    December 17, 2008 at 7:26 pm

    Why did I spend the last year working for this man? Was it all a lie?

    Well, not exactly a lie. I don’t know why you spent the last year working for him. Where did you get the idea Obama is “progressive”?

    This doesn’t imply that Warren is a moderate. Greg at TPM is wrong on that score. It just shows, once again, that Mr. 4-women-and-14-men-in-the-cabinet is a moderate.

  24. shah8
    December 17, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Reading the comments, one suggests that Obama *did* directly pick Warren, so I really don’t know what to think of it until I understand the exact procedure.

  25. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 7:29 pm

    Oh, I didn’t get it at first. Um, no, Kristen and I (with an “i”) are not the same person. Could one of you mods please confirm this please?

  26. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Oops, Cara, sorry about that. You already did. Thanks.

  27. Black Hillary Supporter
    December 17, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Hi Jill, et al-

    Welcome to the club.

    “Get over it.”


  28. December 17, 2008 at 7:41 pm


    I just let the Obama team know what I thought. Won’t make a difference, but helped me feel a bit better.

  29. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 7:49 pm

    Anne: I cannot believe that you just conflated Jeremiah Wright and Rick Warren. For a start, Wright is a prominent pastor in the United Church of Christ (He may have recently retired… Not sure.) This is a liberal mainline denomination that shares a lot of its history with the mainline Presbyterians (Not the fundie PCA ones). It was the first denomination to make a policy of supporting the ordination of LGBTQ pastors (this started in the early 1970s) as well as performing same-sex marriage ceremonies. To suggest that Obama’s church background has anything at all to do with the Dominionist movement from which Warren hails is the height of ignorance. Warren’s ilk are not, in fact, a part of Obama’s church background.

    Now that that’s out of the way. Bruce: I’m queer. I grew up entrenched in both fundie culture (friends and relatives) and the UCC (where one of my parents was a pastor)… I cannot see how Obama can make a stand about this particular issue when it was something that the Senate decided. It would be nice for him to do so, but I am not sure that it would be a very strategic move. It would raise the ire of the Religious Right and fuel their persecution complex before he even becomes president… Barring some kind of early snub, I think they could be more easily subdued. This may sound like some kind of appeasement strategy, and in a way, I suppose maybe it is. However… It is more important to me to see Obama take substantive policy positions on my rights (his opposition to Prop 8, for instance. And his background in the UCC suggests that he may also prove more open to the question of marriage.). In order to accomplish anything, he’s going to have to tread very, very carefully. That’s all. So, while I share your visceral reaction to the announcement, I am not nearly as disappointed as I’ll be if he stays silent if/when Prop 8 comes up again.

  30. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 7:55 pm

    Further, on the question on sockpuppets: I don’t even have a blog or aim to cultivate any kind of web persona. Why would I need sock puppets? I have noticed that other Kristin/Kristen’s comment on many of the places where I comment, but I am too lazy to come up with a clever handle. That said… If I *were* the type to cultivate such personalities *cough*heart*cough*, I would certainly be intelligent enough to avoid using variations on the same first name.

    In addition, Kristen with an “e” is a far more diplomatic presence here than me. Maybe I should change my handle to Kristin the Mean One. Anyway… Yeah. Don’t insult our intelligence, Claire.

  31. December 17, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Not happy, but not surprised. Like Thomas, I came to support Obama late, and skeptically. It took a while. I was concerned from the beginning about his relationships with certain fundamentalist leaders, and I’m not at all shocked by this decision.

    That being said, I’m disappointed. Rick Warren is creepy and shady.

  32. norbizness
    December 17, 2008 at 8:32 pm

    Seeing as Senator Feinstein is the chair of this joint congressional inauguration committee, and cut a commercial urging people to vote no on 8, maybe she can explain what the decisionmaking was like for this notable pro-8 bigot.

    P.S. Speaker Pelosi is on the inaugural committee as well.

  33. tql
    December 17, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    I’m shocked. I would hope it would have been Jim Wallis or Brian McLaren… *sigh*

  34. Kristen
    December 17, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    In addition, Kristen with an “e” is a far more diplomatic presence here than me. Maybe I should change my handle to Kristin the Mean One.

    Errr….that would make me Kristen the Nice One? Just wait until issues of polyamory, sex work, children’s rights, trans rights, and (goddess forbid) the impact of our gendered world on *gasp* men.

    Then some people will start calling me an EVIL anti-feminist collaborator!!!@!

  35. Skullhunter
    December 17, 2008 at 8:46 pm

    The religious right needs no outside fuel for their persecution complex.

    Seriously, their entire worldview is informed by only two impulses: fear and anger. Look at the run-up to the election. “Obama loves terrorists!”, “Obama’s the Antichrist!”, “Obama’s a secret stealth Muslim!”, “Obama wasn’t born in the US and he can’t be president!”, “When Obama wins/loses the scary black people are going to riot and take our stuff, so we’d better start buying guns!”. Since that last one didn’t happen, now they’re buying up guns because they’re scared Obama is going to take them away. The answer to this is not more fluffy-bunny reaching-across-the-aisle validation/enabling bullshit.

    People like myself are angry because it’s actions like this that make it appear Obama is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. We’re angry because once again it looks like we’re going to see “compromise” that consists of the Democrats agreeing to not cry for help when the Republicans kick the crap out of them. We’re angry because we were made promises and now it seems we’re going to get a lot of “Well we can’t deliver on that because it wouldn’t be strategic for us to do so.” nonsense. We want to have hope. We want to see change. Appointing some of the architects of the monstrous cock-up currently going on in the Middle East is NOT hope inspiring. Letting Pastor Rick Warren do ANYTHING at the inauguration besides sit in a booth where people can throw shoes at him for a quarter doesn’t look like change.

  36. December 17, 2008 at 8:56 pm

    I’m with #28 Kristin on this, entirely.

    Frankly, it’s the sort of pandering in the guise of aisle-crossing stuff I expected to come from this, and it’s a shitty statement, but as norbizness points out, there are a lot of allegedly progressive people that also had a hand in the decision.

    Not surprised. Just disappointed.

  37. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Skullhunter: I agree with you. Yes, you’re right that the Religious Right doesn’t need actual evidence to fuel the persecution context. And I didn’t say that I wasn’t angry. I am, but I don’t have energy to spare this much moral outrage over a symbolic nod. I’m angry at the Senate for doing this, but I don’t feel that I know enough about Obama’s role in the decision yet. It’s insulting, but it wasn’t Obama’s call, and, well, I’m more worried about things that affect my material existence… A public prayer does not. It’s a symbolic blow to our community, yes, but it will not affect my material well-being, access to rights claims, or freedom from violence. That’s how I see it. Never said anyone had to agree.

    In any case, please note that I am not and have never been one of the people at the helm of the LGBTQ power structure that decides what is to be considered strategic and what is not. And I wasn’t actually making a claim about what is strategic for us as a community to do. My claim was that I suspect an early snub by Obama might not be a strategically wise move for him (Obama) at the beginning of his term, and it might backfire for LGBTQ people if they (the Christian Right) become even more emboldened. And, before I roundly condemn Obama, I’d like to know more about his actual power to change anything.

  38. December 17, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Enough is enough.
    I move for a masssive nationwide protests on two days. the Inauguration Day AND MLK day. Call on your locality to join you, Republicans and Democrats alike for a GayRights Protest on MLK day. MLK was about CIVIL RIGHTS. Our time has come. We have to put pressure on the White House, our local “christian” churches, our local politicians, whether gay or straight, to take actiona and speak out. Reaching across the aisle does not mean embracing fascism and bigotry. I brought the gay issue up at a local Arizona Obama Change meeting this weekend, and how the democratic party members of color trashed the gays in California, Arizona, ARkansas, and Florida. A black woman there explained to me that “the bible says it is an abomination.” The other democrats didn’t even flinch. They were all straight. They don’t see how this effects them. They were concerned with education and health care. They don’t see how homophobia destroys the emotional intelligence of our society and destroys their children. They don’t see how homophobia is bad mental health, which leads to bad health of all kinds, including violence. If the democratic party does not finally progress under this administration, one which was carried by a huge body of hopeful gay and pro-choice people, it will truly be an OBAMANATION.
    Say It Loud! I”m GAY and I’m proud!

  39. George H
    December 17, 2008 at 11:00 pm

    I was hoping for Rev. Wright. Honestly.

  40. Skullhunter
    December 17, 2008 at 11:16 pm


    I do apologize if my tone seemed hostile, that was not my intent at all. What I am is frustrated. I was desperately hoping to be wrong this time, that my cynical nature had finally managed to miss a trick somewhere. Unfortunately this in addition to his support for FISA, his quick dumping of Rev. Wright, his decision to keep Robert Gates on board, it all just looks like we’re going to have another four or eight years of a centrist social conservative president who paid lip service to progressive ideals to get elected but will continue to allow the Right to redefine where the Left begins while constructing the framework for the next Patriot Act or the next DADT.

    As far as this being a symbolic nod, no, it doesn’t affect us. It does affect the same kind of people who go into paroxysms of rage when someone burns a red, white and blue piece of nylon fabric. It doesn’t pick our pockets or break our legs but it does send a very clear message to those who agree with Rick Warren, a message that says “You count more than the people who voted me in.”. He’s extending an open hand to people who would be more likely to extend a closed fist to us. Obama can’t be blind to that and we shouldn’t be blind to it either.

  41. December 17, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    @ #s 14, 18, 20 and 24: The Joint Committee’s actual press release states that “The program participants were based on requests from the Presidential-elect and the Vice President-elect.” It therefore seems likely that Obama did in fact pick Warren, and did not merely acquiesce to Warren’s selection.

    The language of the press release is ambiguous, which leaves open the possibility that Biden picked Warren, that Warren was at the bottom of Obama’s list of requested clergy or that the Joint Committee ignored Obama’s requests and selected Warren on its own. Nevertheless, the most straightforward interpretation is that Obama specifically requested – i.e., “picked” – Warren.

    It’s gonna be a cold January.

  42. Jared
    December 17, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Were none of you paying attention when Obama said, over and over again, that he wants to unite the country and put aside partisan politics? Where did you think this was going to happen? In left field?

  43. December 17, 2008 at 11:50 pm

    It boggles my mind that this is even a shock for people. Obama is against gay marriage and has been center left at best. Policy-wise, he and HRC were quite close (which made the vitirol from either camp during the primary season quite the headscratcher for me).

    Obama is no progressive. It’s one thing for a progressive lefty to support him with the idea that you’re keeping the GOP out of the Oval Office for four years (that’s why I voted for him, and I almost never vote with that strategy in mind), but it’s laughable to support him and assume that when he got elected, he’d suddenly come over to our side. There’s no way he’s going to do that.

  44. Kristin
    December 17, 2008 at 11:59 pm

    Skullhunter: No need to apologize. I do my fair share of adopting a hostile tone around here. I didn’t take it personally, and I understand the frustration.

    That said, I’m also with Jared in the sense that… I don’t find this terribly surprising, and I never thought of Obama as some kind of transcendent figure who would actually transform the world. But, seriously, Jared, must you be so smug about it? One need not be surprised by this to feel disappointed by it.

    I’m not suggesting that you did have some kind of utopian hope, Skullhunter. I don’t really know what your perspective has been, but, well… To be honest, I viewed this race all along as a race between an increasingly fascist-leaning far-right party and a center-right one. And by fascist-leaning, I refer to the extreme expansion of the executive branch (unprecedented in any industrialized liberal democracy), disregard for the rule of law, and egregious human rights violations. I think the center-right Democrats provided a real–though certainly a disappointing–alternative to that kind of endless descent into, erm, this country being a shithole forever. And I don’t really think emancipatory change is likely to be found at the hands of the state.

    I would have voted for McKinney if I felt I could spare a vote for the candidate who I really supported. I voted for Obama because I believe that a shift away from the fascist-leaning policies that the Republicans instantiated–even a limited shift–would be worthwhile. I still believe this, and maybe that’s why I don’t feel terribly shaken by this… I didn’t have particularly high expectations. And you’re right that symbolic gestures are not unimportant. I don’t think that they are. I just have other things to be more worried about, I guess… Like, say, the support for FISA and the proposed delay on repealing the middle class tax cuts. Those feel more urgent to me.

    In any case, I guess this means I’ll be able to save money on travel and avoid DC traffic in January. If I want to hear from Warren, I can always find that copy of The Purpose Driven Life that my mom gave me several years ago… I never did read it, and I guess it must be somewhere in storage? It’s too bad, though. I lived in the DC area during the 2004 innauguration, and I’d been looking forward to watching the city celebrate this time around.

  45. Kristin
    December 18, 2008 at 12:03 am

    correction to my comment still in mod queue: I meant to refer to repealing the upper–not middle–class tax cuts.

  46. Mireille
    December 18, 2008 at 12:51 am

    Another one who isn’t surprised here… If Obama were sincere about supporting LGBT rights, he would have learned after the McClurkin incident. There is no reason to pander anymore, so it’s hard to take it as anything other than an act taken in all sincerity. McClurkin, FISA, the bailout… We elected a grade A triangulator. And as can be seen from the howling of the republicans already, to think that there is any way to bridge that partisan divide is absolute foolishness. You could bring up policies St. Ronnie himself proposed, but if it was a Dem who said it, they would burn down the capitol before they allowed it to pass. It is time to treat the radical right as the insignificant loonies they are. Disregard them and when they obstruct, lay it on them and don’t bend over to let them get away with it. Then, in 2 years, we may get that filibuster-proof majority. It’s time to show the punditocracy that the myth that we are a center-right country is just that, a myth.

  47. Michelle
    December 18, 2008 at 1:29 am

    Obama does want to be a uniter. I support him trying to bring social conservatives (wrong though they may be) into the fold and not alienating them. Sure, Warren is an asshole and a half, but Obama said earlier, when he did the whole “clinging to guns and religion” gaffe, liberals alienate social conservatives because we don’t meet each other half way or try to understand each other. So I think this is a step in that direction.
    And who knows? Maybe it’s some secret ploy to make social conservatives comfortable around the social liberals. Some deep conversations happen, and then suddenly they wake up one day and realize gay people are legit.
    It could happen.

  48. Wittgenstein's Mistress
    December 18, 2008 at 5:31 am

    Not surprised.

    I voted for McKinney because I believe in what she stands for, what her platform stated, and who she is. I did not vote for Obama because of those same reasons. He is not a progressive, does not represent “change,” and overall, I get a very bad feeling when I look around at all the fervent, fevered Obama supporters (some, not all) blindly throwing their support behind him because he has a “D” beside his name. Remember “compassionate” conservativism? Remember where that got us?

    As a bisexual woman, this is indeed a slap in the face, but not one that I didn’t in some ways know was coming. I could not have predicted this incident or the others verbatim but Obama has repeatedly stated that he does not support gay marriage and has continually pandered to the right under the guise of being a “uniter.” Women’s suffragists were not exactly interested in pandering to social conservatives when they fought for their right to vote and the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s did not make the gains they did by watering down their message and inviting the KKK to speak alongside MLK. They did not compromise their integrity by compromising their beliefs to save face and earn votes (and dollars…) and they sure as hell did not support conditional/truncated rights because the “majority” of the country were bigoted and turned against them. We have a word for people who do this. It is called sell-out.

    Obviously, Obama is not a GLBT person himself and so the analogy only goes so far. However, he ran on the premise that he would be bringing unprecedented change with his administration and he was brought to power by the very people he is now rejecting.

    Also, the response “Obama didn’t pick him; the committee did” doesn’t hold water and is a pathetic attempt at rationalizing away a disgusting display of bigotry on his very first day in office. As has already been stated, the decisions made were based on recommendations by the President and VP-elect and were not pulled out of thin air and released to the public without first having gone by Obama/Biden for approval. If Obama had wanted someone else, he would have had someone else. Period.

    Over at Feministing, we’re all having a field day and some of the comments are much more articulate/to the point than mine:

    On pandering to the Right:
    “[This is] what groups who lack power have always been told, especially by groups who act like they don’t have any power (i.e. Democrats): you need to be accommodating, make concessions, and compromise your principles because no one cares about those principles or your issues. So instead of trying to teach people about those principles and issues, we’re supposed to put them on the back burner and be satisfied with whatever comes out of that “collaboration.”

    On calling a spade a spade:
    “I am incredibly disappointed by the rationalizations people are using to preserve Obama’s halo. Even if Obama did not himself give Warren’s name, he had to approve it and if he wanted to remove him, he would be gone. As for bipartisanship, after the wailing that has already come up from Republicans over the auto bailout and some of Obama’s cabinet already, do you think they will actually cooperate? The republicans have been and will remain obstructionist oligarchs that will bite any hand extended to them. And if bipartisanship requires allowing bigots a pulpit, what about the Aryan Nation? That might bring some new recruits in…”

    “This choice is clearly a symbol, and it certainly is not a symbol of bipartisanship. Since when is reacting to a disappointing and down right disgusting choice of action mean you throw out support for the President-elect or ‘dream too big.’

    Politicians will never be perfect and it is the CIVIC DUTY of every American to hold them accountable for their actions and decisions (which we don’t seem to be very good a these past 8 years) and ESPECIALLY the case for disenfranchised groups.

    I am sorry but there is no compromising with my rights or the rights of any other individual. Pandering to the religious right is not change and I will never sit by and nod and smile when someone I’d like to like spits in the face of my values.”

    On comparing oppressions:
    “And then the pundits will have the weight of Obama’s (intentional or not) approval. Bigotry is bigotry and if you don’t oppose all forms, you are a collaborator. A feminist that is racist is not progressive. A LGBT who is misogynist is not a progressive. And LGBs who discounted Trans calls for an inclusive ENDA are not progressives. Your oppression is my oppression…”


    I think there will be a lot of people coming to cold realizations in the coming weeks and months about what and who Obama really is. I just hope that more people would be honest about his strengths and weaknesses instead of treating him like some sort of demi-god. The last thing the leader of the most powerful nation in the world needs is people continuing to kiss his ass and tell him it smells like roses.

  49. December 18, 2008 at 6:52 am

    thank you, Michelle, for injecting some thoughtfulness and context into this discussion. does anyone else understand the concept — and importance — of building political capital? token gestures such as this can help build momentum to go ahead with bigger, more important things (such as REAL civil unions *for everyone*, universal health care, etc), and at least make the ensuing debate a bit more civil, topical and politically productive. i can guarantee you that enacting a progressive agenda without bringing past, present and future opponents to the table somehow is not only more difficult, it’s blatantly unethical. for a mirror image of that idea, look no further than the past eight years…Bush said he was a uniter. Obama is a uniter, which is exactly what we need to enact lasting, incremental progressive change that won’t be wholly undone when the pendulum swings the other way again.

    So yes, hold Obama’s feet to the fire and keep the progressive pressure on, but for God’s sake, please think strategically about it — and have a little faith that Obama is thinking strategically about it, too.

  50. December 18, 2008 at 6:57 am

    *and Jared (#44)

  51. AGM
    December 18, 2008 at 8:22 am

    Well wake up and smell the coffee!!

    What have the Dems EVER done for the gay community?

    Gay marriage? Has anyone even filed a bill to OK gay marriage?
    – For that matter has anyone even filed a bill to extend the benefits of Federal employees to their “domestic partners”? (Palin did in Alaska.)
    For 2 years the Ds have been in the majority in both the House & Senate. Why not?

    An AIDS Czar? NO, Clinton didn’t appoint one. Bush did.

    OK to be gay in the military? NO “don’t ask don’t tell” has resulted in more gay people being cashiered from the armed services that ever before.

    Solution: STOP slavishly voting for anything with a “D” after its name. They use your votes to get elected and then they take you for granted and ignore you.

  52. Kristin
    December 18, 2008 at 9:05 am

    AGM: You smug shit. This here:

    “Solution: STOP slavishly voting for anything with a “D” after its name. They use your votes to get elected and then they take you for granted and ignore you.”

    Well, I’ve gotta say… Not to mince words or anything, I’m inclined to vote for the party that’s less inclined to send me off to the internment camps. For strategic reasons, y’see. Palin’s direct links to the Dominionist movement are a little more frightening to me than an inaugural prayer.

    Also, could the “Why are all you dumb fucks so surprised???” meme PLEASE STOP NOW? Jesus fuck… We get to be disappointed by decisions that insult our communities, and this doesn’t mean that we were so naive that we envisioned the onset of some kind of new utopia. And until a truly emancipatory candidate has a viable shot at the White House in this country, I’ll continue to go for the party that’s less likely to send me to the camps. And, seriously, fuck you people who keep coming around to say, “I told you so.”

    (Re: references to internment camps. See R.J. Rushdoony, the “intellectual father” of today’s Christian Right.)

  53. Davi
    December 18, 2008 at 9:18 am

    Come on, People!! Get over it!!

    Obama is going to make his own decisions and he will not please everyone all the time. In four years time, look back and see how this decision did or did not represent his policies.

  54. December 18, 2008 at 9:26 am

    …and thus ends my belief in and support for Obama! What a betrayal.

  55. The Rodentman
    December 18, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Rick Warren is a quack and a charlatan who seeks only to “prophet” by foisting his “weirdo cult religion” on a gullible public.

    I read “A Purpose Driven Life” and it’s a shabby sham. Anyone with a PC, a Bible and a week off could have written the same drivel.

    Talk about fleecing the flock. I’d love to get my hands on his tax return.

  56. December 18, 2008 at 11:01 am

    As much as I dislike the man giving the invocation and his views, I’m actually encouraged that Obama might get some stuff done. By, y’know co-operating with people. Of all the things I’ve heard the right say about Obama, I’ve not heard them call him stupid or politically inept.

    The republican echo chamber is already gearing itself up for a fight at the start of the next session, hoping to stall him and make him appear powerless. These types of moves are designed to earn him the fractions of support he needs to move critical legislation. It’s the same reasons he’s not staffed his cabinet with only left leaning advisers, he needs someone to help him design the message so it’ll pass.

    I’ll take a prayer from someone who hates me in return for repealing DOMA. Sounds like a fair trade to me. GLBT rights issues are going to need to go to the Supreme Court anyway, the dems are really far too frighted of the boogyman to actually push any meaningful stuff through on this front, and Obama never promised anything other.

  57. Kristin
    December 18, 2008 at 11:41 am

    Ed from Bettendorf: What about the members of the legislative branch who directly made the decision? You will need to end your support for these too, if applicable–and do the homework of finding out who in your districts may be responsible.

  58. Kristin
    December 18, 2008 at 11:42 am


    “I’ll take a prayer from someone who hates me in return for repealing DOMA. Sounds like a fair trade to me. GLBT rights issues are going to need to go to the Supreme Court anyway, the dems are really far too frighted of the boogyman to actually push any meaningful stuff through on this front, and Obama never promised anything other.”

    Yes, THIS.

  59. CBrachyrhynchos
    December 18, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Well, all of this talk about the need to appease anti-gay groups really makes me angry. Because at the end if the day, someone is not going to get what they want. Either we get a policy that lets LGBT people serve with honor in the armed forces, or we get a policy that discriminates against them. Either we get a an inclusive ENDA, or we get a law that permits some form of workplace discrimination. Either same-sex couples are given legal rights and benefits, wholesale or a la carte, or discrimination is enshrined in law.

    Ultimately the moral debate comes to this. Either you believe that LGBTs are full legal persons with the right and privilege to participate in some of the basic institutions of our culture: family, employment, government, parenthood, and education, or you believe that LGBTs are less than full legal persons. The ability to compromise around this schism is limited.

    And I’ve said this dozens of times over the last few years. While politicians may feel the need to play the “politics of the possible” and compromise, we don’t have to pretend to be happy about it when our personhood is compromised.

  60. Nancy
    December 18, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    I’m just browsing the web for liberal reactions to Warren and Obama because I think it is fascinating to observe the hypocrisy of the left. Don’t you realize that to about 90% of the country you seem as much a part of the lunatic fringe as David Duke and Dennis Cucinich?

  61. December 18, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    He might as well of just invited James Dobson himself, ;\

  62. Kristin with an "i"
    December 18, 2008 at 1:56 pm

    CBrach: I responded to you in the above post ’cause what I wrote seemed more relevant there.

  63. Kristin with an "i"
    December 18, 2008 at 1:58 pm

    “He might as well of just invited James Dobson himself, ;\”

    You mean “they”–as in, the congressional committee that made the decision? Anyone know who they are??? I’d like to know.

  64. Wittgenstein's Mistress
    December 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    CBrachyrhyncho: thank you.

    It would be nice to have the thumbs up or something similar like they have on Feministing and other places for comments like yours.

    I’m still surprised that people on the left are trying to justify this. You cannot compromise on human integrity and you cannot be all things to all people. Obama will either realize this soon or will end up pissing everyone off by doing a half-assed job of everything he tries. Not everyone will like you or agree with what you do but you have to stand up for certain things regardless of the consequences because it’s the right thing to do. I think there’s a word for that… Oh yes, : integrity…remember that?

  65. CBrachyrhynchos
    December 18, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    You mean “they”–as in, the congressional committee that made the decision? Anyone know who they are??? I’d like to know.

    The congressional committee extended invitations requested by the Obama transition team. Obama made the decision. Obama takes ownership for the decision, and Obama defends the decision.

  66. AGM
    December 18, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Kristin: so .. really, what HAVE the Dems actually done for the gay community?

    And don’t give me any paranoid nonsense about “internment camps” because the only time anyone in the U.S. actually went to one it was the Japanese-Americans, put there by FDR (Dem) during WWII.

  67. duh
    December 18, 2008 at 9:07 pm

    I voted for Obama, but, I don’t recall him coming out with the statement, “I am pro-choice” ever. Did he? If so, then yeah, be shocked, if not
    then don’t
    cause he did say he was against gay marriage

  68. duh
    December 18, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Hillary is more actively for choice and has done more for the gay community…but, yewah, she wasn’t nominated now was she?

  69. December 18, 2008 at 9:15 pm

    AGM: So, what has any other party in the US actually done for the gay community?

    Show your work.

  70. Stlthy
    December 18, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Nancy @65,

    So, you know Dennis Kucinich (that’s with a ‘K’) is a member of the ‘lunatic fringe’, but you don’t know how to spell his name? And comparable to David Duke? You’ll have to excuse my not taking you seriously. (Yeah, I have a crush on Kucinich. Deal with it.)

    Anyway, I actually *am* a little surprised about the Rick Warren thing. I’ve always seen Obama as lying somewhere between centre-right and right wing, but I definitely, definitely didn’t peg him as someone who’d be willing to give the fundies a platform. Compromising with the ultra-right gives them legitimacy, when they should be ridiculed and treated like the Dominionist fascist nutcases they are. Aside from anything else, they despise Obama and aren’t going to give an inch on anything, regardless of what he does to try to placate them. It’s a losing battle.

    Leading a prayer is preferable to setting official policy, but marginalisation would be preferable.

    I really hate it when anti-choicers compare abortion to the Holocaust. It’s a facile, idiotic comparison.

  71. RT
    December 19, 2008 at 1:37 pm

    When Clinton started don’t ask don’t tell I winced. Not the right fight not the right time, Defense of Marriage Act — took the wind out of the right’s sails – clever. Gay marriage, keep it to civil unions, don’t stir the pot too much. Never expected much support from Obama on gay rights either but, again, take one for the team. I’m used to putting off LBGT rights for the greater political good. Inviting Rick Warren to perform the invocation. Utterly unforgiveable. No one has a right to trade on my human dignity for political gain. As for the inaguration, do more than turn your back. Wash DC metro parking is 4$ all day. After we park our cars and fill up all the lots lets ride the train all day and fill up all the cars. Its perfectly legal and it will make a huge political and news capturing point.

  72. Andrew
    December 19, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    Warren should be eliminated at the inauguration ceremony! All of the attention to religion is destroying the world peace and will harm Obama’s presidency. We voted for change. CHANGE THE PREACHER!!!

  73. December 21, 2008 at 4:13 pm

    If I could go to the innauguration, I would turn my back to that bigot-religiously-narrowminded bustard. I don’t care about being quoted on my statement. I am very sad that people’s ignorance and lack of education is preventing people who love each other to get legally married.

  74. Pingback: Well, well, well.
  75. RET
    January 10, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    Why did you guys work for the “MAN WHO KEPT WOMEN OUT OF THE WHITEHOUSE”?
    Didn’t you notice when they disenfranchised Texas, Michigan, and Florida. Obama made Bank at Saddleback, and now he is returning the favor. LGBT’s, Feminists, anyone who can’t help Obama financially has no voice with them. This like the flipping off, and the brushing off and the sweetie shit is just an excuse to solidify his base – white men and black people- both homophobic and misogynistic. He just needed to get us to write Rick Warren’s name over and over again, get some more old alzheimered, disgruntled old Judge Judy watchers to switch over to his confidence operation, I mean megachurch. Especially you Kristen i or e, who cares, tacky name anyway. XIAN ycch. Obamanation. You don’t want to be told “I told you so” – I don’t want to watch the death throes of my country. Where do you get off working for some freak who conspired to steal my vote? They said I was worth half a vote, and ya’ll couldn’t tell he was a whore. Can you say STUPID!!! You could have voted for McKinney, like all the real progressives did.

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