Saturday, December 20, 2008

Inaugural Prayer by Rick Warren

Barack Obama has selected Pastor Rick Warren, author of "The Purpose Driven Life," to provide the inaugural invocation, or prayer to invoke God's presence among the proceedings. He could have made worse choices, and few are better served to Barack's purpose of being a president to all the people.

It is worth noting that few of Pastor Warren's Saddleback Church probably voted for Barack Obama. When the "Civil Forum" was held there, hosted by Pastor Warren and featuring separate conversations with Obama and John McCain, the crowd was seen as more in favor of McCain. This is Orange County, California, after all.

While Pastor Warren is known for being against gay marriage and in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade he is also known for being a preacher that speaks to the issues of protecting the environment, eliminating poverty, and a couple of other issues that most evangelical preachers don't give much attention to. This is Orange County, California, after all.

I have heard that the GLBT community would prefer that Pastor Warren not be chosen for this honor. I can understand why, but I don't join them in that effort. This country is not yet ready for gay marriage and to have some preacher up there that is out of the closet on the issue would be a divisive move. Barack Obama is not about divisiveness.

As I've said elsewhere, I am in favor of gay marriage, thinking it fair to give them the opportunity to commit to each other in the same manner as any other couple. It nauseates me when I hear, as Mike Huckabee does relentlessly, that the next thing after gay marriage is plural marriage, animal marriage, childhood marriage, and if possible, anything worse he could think of.

That all said, gay marriages will likely not be performed in the church I am a member of. Our congregation isn't ready for that and I don't want to slap some of them, especially the older folk, with this. I think time will turn the tide.

The plain truth is that in California, seen as one of the most liberal states in the union, gay marriage was voted down by a significant plurality. That is what democracy is all about. The country isn't ready for gay marriage yet, I guess. Jerry Brown is trying to overturn the vote, and I've got no issue with that, wish him luck in fact, but don't know that he'll get it done.

I do think gay rights will come to include marriage sometime in the near future. The youth of America are much more accepting of gay folk as they see more of them. The parallel of an African American president finally being elected after fifty years or so of growing acceptance and understanding by those that aren't African American, is pretty clear.

Gays have really only been mainstreaming for twenty, maybe thirty years, and in much of the country less than that. It takes time to turn public opinion and that opinion will turn. But I digress.

Obama's selection of Rick Warren is Obama trying to reach all people. Rick is highly respected in the evangelical community if not quite a Frank Dobson. Rick is also pretty well respected in the progressive Christian crowd because so many read and put to practice the principles of his book.

Progressive Christians can read a book by a less progressive writer and get what they want from it, while overlooking that which they disagree with. It's digging out the gold and tossing the dross. Conservative Christians aren't as likely to be able to overlook the minutia of theology, finding it necessary to ignore the totality rather than take in some of the bad along with the good. For this reason, Rick Warren is a wise selection for the invocation, all who are tuned in will fairly accept what he says.

But the question may be - how many conservative evangelical Christians will be watching the inauguration?

Anyone know a true conservative that is a happy camper with the Obama presidency?

I think we're all holding our breath to see how Obama actually handles the issues he's been dealt. So far, so good. A quick start is certainly in the works. I'm excited by the possibilities that are ahead as much as I am fearful of the economy and still ticked off by the Wall Street grab done behind closed doors.

Regardless of your perception of Pastor Rick Warren, I ask that right now you close the door to your room, take a private moment, and pray to God yourself for Obama to take his understanding and turn it into His wisdom, that the cabinet might work together towards successful ends, that God might bless this world with a sense of peace, and all those soldiers be safe wherever they are and keep us safe by means seen as acceptable by all but our enemies.

May the peace of our Lord with with us all!

9 Comments:

Blogger Jackpot said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12/21/2008 12:01 AM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Two more things:

I removed the comment from "Jackpot" as it was an ad with a link.

And Rick Warren is about is bad as Mike Huckabee after all. I guess I don't pay enough attention to the news but that's the charm of this site, isn't it ... ;>)

I'll still give Barack a slide on having Pastor Warren do the invocation, but I won't be visiting Saddleback anytime soon.

12/22/2008 8:15 AM  
Blogger kelly said...

As my name indicates, I've been feeling like an anomaly here in Georgia. Just elated to see fellow Christian Democrats. I appreciate you, Christian blogger, and the others' comments as well! Just found the website today, and this is the first time I have ever blogged in my life! I was feeling alone as one of my Christian sojourners attacked me again recently suggesting that my Democratic views are just repressed childhood issues and only truly saved people could be Republicans.

12/26/2008 7:39 AM  
Blogger AnomalisticKelly said...

Okay...my screen name was supposed to say "AnomalisticKelly" and it only said Kelly...therefore my previous blog did not make much sense when I began..."As my name indicates..." I do feel like an anomaly. (or should I say until today??!!) I find comfort in the scriptures that attest to the fact that Jesus may have felt that way at times; His message was radical and obviously remains so today. Thank you, again, Christian Blogger, for your thoughts and your attention to current events. May God Bless.

12/26/2008 8:14 AM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

Thanks for your kind words, Kelly, and welcome. Christians come in all colors, shapes, nationalities, and political persuasions.

I would recommend to things to you:

www.sojo.net

and

"God's Politics" by Jim Wallace.

May you have His peace with you always!

12/26/2008 9:04 AM  
Blogger AnomalisticKelly said...

Thanks. I've picked up "God's Politics" a couple of times at Barnes and Noble thinking that it looked like a good read. My husband bought me a kindle for Christmas because I love to read, so I appreciate the tip....thanks for the website, too.

12/26/2008 6:59 PM  
Blogger George & Carol's Grand Adventure said...

My heart is broken by this choice. As a Christian and a Democrat who lives in the South, I have had to endure the slings and arrows of those who say that we can not be 'Christians' and a Democrat... This has been a painful experience over the past 8 years or so and the preaching of Priests pushed me to leave the religion I was born into and practiced all of my life... Then to give a place of honor to someone who agrees with them... I believein reaching across the aisle - talking to all - but THE place of honor for a person of Faith - this is a slap in the face to all of us who had to endure and be hurt by so called Christians like him who promote intolerance and prejudice... How would Obama fel if the choice had been someone who opposed Integration? He would have been deeply offended and or hurt... What was he thinking? Have dialogue - I believe in that - but honor someone who had to stand up for him when it was difficult...

1/08/2009 7:00 AM  
Blogger Christian Democrat said...

A very interesting perspective and comment. Much appreciated.

My hope is that the writer has left their church but not their faith. Churches can be lousy places but a life without faith can be very cold indeed.

1/08/2009 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Ally said...

Congratulations on your progressive Christian blog, it is very refreshing to see that I'm not the only one who believes in the Lord and, *gasp*, liberal politics.

As much as I disagree with Pastor Warren's views, I have to admit that he is not the most conservative preacher that I've ever seen. After all, he and I agree on /a few/ things. I think Obama is simply trying to represent all of America, and yes, that includes the conservative bigots.

On the other hand, I was very happy to read on 365gay.com that the gay bishop of the Episcopal church, Mr. Gene Robinson, will be performing the inauguration prayer. How's that for open-minded, huh? :)

1/14/2009 7:37 AM  

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