Another contender for Outrage Of The Week is Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. For a sample of this, check out Andrew Sullivan — who was about as infatuated wtih Obama as anyone during the campaign, but now seems to look at his darling in the cold light of day and finds all the faults and ugliness that booze, desire and dark lights of the night before had apparently obscured. But Sully is far from the only one upset at this choice. Most self-styled progressives and gay activists are up in arms.
Why? Warren is no liberal. He was instrumental in organizing church support for Prop. 8, for instance. He has said that he could not vote for an atheist for any significant political office.* He is outspoken in his opposition to abortion rights. He hosted the “forum on faith” in which Obama and McCain paid obesiance to social conservatives. And as the head pastor of one of California’s largest evangelical mega-churches, Warren has a large platform upon which to expound his socially conservative views.
Well, count my voice as among those being raised in a great sigh of disregard. It is no surprise at all. Obama has never tried to hide his Christian faith and there is every indication that it is genuine and deeply-felt. As for the signal that this indicates that Obama is opposed to gay rights or same-sex marriage, well, the first fear is ill-founded (he has a homosexual woman in his cabinet, after all) and the second is well-documented (he never made a secret of his opposition to gay marriage in the campaign). In other words, his selection of Warren to deliver an invocation at his inauguration tells us absolutely nothing new about himself or how he will govern.
What, did you pepole want Jeremiah Wright to deliver the inaugural invocation?
* Some atheists are asking why there is an inaugural invocation in the first place, which is a good question, but there is one and at least until an atheist is elected President there probably will always be one. The inauguration is all about ceremony anyway; this is just another ceremony and one that the Supreme Court would interpret as part of the “civic deism” that we are supposed to tolerate notwithstanding the First Amendment.