Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama's Spiritual Choice Causes Major Progressive Rift

Ladies and Gents, here's the first major rip in the Progressive fabric of hope and feel good ga-ga, which President-Elect Obama has so far woven: on Wednesday, the transition team and Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced that Rick Warren, pastor of the almighTAY powerful Saddleback Church, will give the invocation on January 20th.

Although the selection may not have been incredibly surprising---Obama and Warren are reportedly close; Obama praised the Megachurch leader in his second book "The Audacity of Hope"---this Progressive and humble contributing writer is mega-church-pissed. Warren is deeply entrenched in the religious right, and his position on social issues like gay rights, stem cell research, and women's rights are all out of the mainstream and are very much opposed to the progressive agenda on which Obama ran. As expected, the announcement of his selection yesterday set off a round of criticism by gay rights groups angered by Warren's support for California’s ban on same-sex marriages.

The choice of Warren is presumably an olive branch to conservative Christian evangelicals, which at first thought might make sense when looking toward re-election in 2012, but on closer inspection it's somewhat of a lost cause as the conservative Christian movement is highly unlikely to vote for Obama, no matter the state of the country in four years.

Or, perhaps, as another esteemed contributor to this site suggested privately: this is Obama's way of shoving the middle finger up the evangelical posterior, basically saying it doesn't much matter who makes him put his hand on the Good Book--as the Good Book ain't gonna be much help to those half-mil (and growing) unemployed waiting in line for their monthly check.

The nice thing about the ceremonies on January 20, however, is that in a departure from past inaugurations, which usually feature mundane, suicide-inducing operatic soloists, Aretha Franklin will perform. To that I tip my nonexistent fedora and give an un-affiliated and non-denominational AMEN MOTHA-SISTAH!


Jasper Palmer said...

If its an olive branch to the Christian Right, it is a mistake. All they will do with that branch is beat him with it. Actually, smite him with it is probably a better choice of words in this instance

anna said...

I am still too angry about this to form any rational comment. And I'm already getting heaps of grief from my more radical friends for campaigning/having any faith in Obama. Seriously. I'm pissed.

sleepyjer said...

This is a good example of what many pundits were talking about right after Obama got elected- that there is going to be some disenchantment from his more liberal supporters.

We knew this was going to happen. Obama said he was going to be reaching across the aisle and he is. We also know that when a politician reaches across the aisle, they will piss off thier supporters. Remember how the right jumped all over Bush when he supported the Kennedy/McCain immigration bill,which was supported mostly by Dems?

Let us be grateful that it is only a gesture and not legislation of any kind, though we can almost be assured that comprimise in legislation will happen in the future in order to garner support for his largely progressive agenda.

We on the left also need to keep in mind how absolutely outraged we have been that Bush only gave lip service to bipartisanship and stuck to his Conservative agenda 99% of the time. We don't need another idealogue in the White House.

Now that we are doubting his Messiah status, let's not put him on the cross. We need to just wait and see.