Obama’s Rick Warren Mistake

Lefties are ignorant about religion, resulting in political mistakes of no small magnitude.

Like the lefties on the Huffington Post suggesting that we embrace what we have in common with Warren as a way of reaching out to religious conservatives. They cite Warren’s anti-poverty work, and his reverse tithing, as examples of what he has in common with us.

While I am in favor of coalition building– and really, who isn’t on the left?– there is a line, and Warren, a vocal prop 8 supporter? That crosses it.

Progressives have religious leaders too, and though I am an atheist, I have met many of them in my work in the Bay Area. People who sleep on the street for a week once a year to know what it feels like to be one of the homeless they serve every day, for example, lit with a fervor that puts my bleeding heart to shame. And who still support LGBT rights– full civil rights, not some piecemeal second-class bullshit– while they believe in god.

Why not put one of these faithful people forward in the inauguration? Upend the idea that piety falls neatly in line with hate, as it does for Warren? Only 30 percent of Americans are religious conservatives, we tend to forget. Lumping religious together with conservative, and mistaking religious for conservative, is a grave error.

Homophobia is intolerable. It is intolerable in and of itself, and in that it upholds a patriarchal system of gendered inequality that has been used to oppress women since the dawn of time. If progressive aren’t going to take a firm stand on this, then who will?

Invite Warren to an anti-poverty summit, along with the numerous other religious leaders who struggle against injustice every day, sans mega church resources. But to invite a proponent of hate to speak at an event that is supposed to represent a summit of a civil rights movement– that is unfathomable.




Filed under religion

4 responses to “Obama’s Rick Warren Mistake

  1. flyovermiss

    “Homophobia is intolerable.” Thank you for saying it so simply.

    Why doesn’t Obama get that? Whatever the putative source of Warren’s anti-gay venom, be it religion or otherwise, his homophobic views should have no place at Obama’s inauguration. The fact that Obama doesn’t see that makes me think that either Obama can’t recognize homophobia when it’s masked in religion, or that he simply doesn’t find it intolerable. He’s too smart for the former, and I’m afraid he’s just “centrist” enough for the latter.

    It’s an ominous sign for how GLBTQ folks are going to be treated under an Obama administration.

  2. htg03

    I agree, flyovermiss. It looks like Obama doesn’t find homophobia intolerable at all. Perhaps he sees this tolerance of hatred as part of his mission as a centrist. Or maybe he’s just a political punk. Either way, I’m dismayed, though sadly, not surprised.

  3. Actually looks like he owes him a favor. Everyone today is bought in the hayday of politics. Watch out, taxation without representation will force our hand to the streets with tax revolts. Barbara Lee, who is my representative even switched her vote to support the bail out. She represented my district when she stood alone against the war and knows full well that those of us she represents could never afford to pay for the bailout. So who is she representing now?

  4. jke4

    I agree, what Obama seems to find intolerable is that there are some people he can’t seduce into thinking he’s The One. He seems determined to prove that he can get every last person in the nation to like him. (Alienating progressives doesn’t seem to count because he knows that we’ll have to support him when the only alternative is Republicans.) I guess all those Clinton supporters who cited her ability to withstand criticism were right–Obama doesn’t seem ready to tolerate being unpopular, even with the fundamentalist Christians. In that sense, Obama and Warren seem to have a lot in common–they are both charismatic celebrities who succeed by seducing people to project tremendous powers onto them.

    Just to make the whole thing a little worse, it’s worth noting that Warren’s gender politics are in keeping with his views on Prop 8. As Katha Pollitt pointed out in her excellent LA Times op ed, he doesn’t just spout the predictable anti-abortion vitriol, but officially advocates wifely submission. Maybe he can give Michelle Obama some lessons on how to keep herself firmly in the First Mom role–though she seems to be doing fine on her own.

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