Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rick Warren
Not that anyone's waiting for it, but I haven't weighed in yet on the controversy surrounding Obama's selection of Rick Warren to give an invocation at the inauguration. The simple reason is that I'm just not too worked up about it. I see the point the detractors make, and I see the point Obama makes in response. I find both to be kind of compelling and kind of irrelevant.

Everyone here knows I'm pro-gay-rights, and pro-gay-marriage, and I don't have lots of patience for the contrary view. It's worth noting that Obama himself claims to be against gay marriage, yet I still found a way to vote for him and support him strongly. So having Warren be one of 2 pastors chosen for the inauguration really doesn't bother me that much, at least not for his views on homosexuality. It's just a prayer, and the guy is no Pat Robertson, hate-wise. Choosing Robertson would have bothered me to no end. As I said at my other blog, if we must pray at inaugurations, I'm more concerned with what Warren says when he gets a chance to pray at a big, public, national event for all Americans.

You know what bugs me most about this? I think that for a pastor to pursue the kind of national notoriety and celebrity that Warren has achieved is unseemly, and demeaning to religion, given that it wasn't gained leading the fight for some just cause. The contrast between the careers of Rick Warren and Joseph Lowery (who's giving the benediction) is striking. It is the fact of his fame that unnerves me. That it obviously doesn't bother the President-elect is the part that I find unsettling about the selection. Either pick someone of personal significance, or someone whose overall career of public service in ministry is worth attention and support. Warren is neither.

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