December 23, 2008

Okay, can everybody just shut the fuck up about Rick Warren?

The fact that the anti-gay, anti-choice, pro-Proposition 8 pastor is speaking at Obama’s inauguration is not a sign that Obama is willing to throw the gay community to the lions. It is not a flip-flop. It is not a promise broken before Obama even takes office.

It is further evidence that our president-elect is a brilliant tactician.

Take a look at Obama’s policy proposals. While he’s fairly centrist on foreign policy, on domestic and economic issues he is almost brazenly liberal.

Obama is a progressive in moderate’s clothing.

He has learned–or he knows by instinct–the apparently unbeatable tactic of the Usurper-in-Chief: say you’re doing something your opponents find palatable, and then ignore them and do whatever you want to do.

Is there anything–anything at all–that Obama could do between now and his inauguration that would both make the Christian right happier and be more meaningless in practical terms? Because if there is I can’t think of it.

Of course I could be wrong, and we could all be headed for the boxcars. But Obama’s record is too consistently liberal and his political machinations too sophisticated for me to believe that.

I think we’re headed for a very, very good eight years.

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11 Responses to Okay, can everybody just shut the fuck up about Rick Warren

  1. FortWorthGuy says:

    Check out Richard Cohen’s editorial in today’s (12.23.08) Washington Post.

  2. Alan says:

    Finally someone else gets it too!

  3. Dunkee Hotay says:

    So, by your thinking, the fact that Obama did something bad is a sign that he is about to do a lot of good?

    If there’s a kernel of logic in here, I can’t find it. If we want to treat the gay rights movement as the same as the civil rights one, this is the equivalent of having someone in favor of miscegenation statutes speaking at the inauguration. It’s a slap in the face, plain and simple.

  4. God, I hope you’re right. I’m going to bookmark this and read it over and over.

  5. Aidan says:

    Amen, Brother Joel.

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. (I know this because I tried.)

    This is not a slap in the face of the gay community. It just isn’t. If it is, then so was the entire campaign. He went to Saddleback. He spoke openly and honestly there about his views. And Rick Warren, unlike many on the right, listened. He may not have agreed, but he listened respectfully. Frankly, I don’t give a flying fuck who prays at the inauguration. Couldn’t possibly care less. But when Rick Warren does, I will listen respectfully. Jeez.

  6. Daniel Alex Finkelstein says:

    I’m sick and tired of people being sick and tired of people objecting to Rick Warren’s thingamajig at the inauguration. And you violated Godwin’s law with the boxcar remark. Really, now: just for that, I may eat your chocolate. But I won’t.

  7. Len says:

    Sorry, gotta disagree. I’m hoping nobody shuts the fuck up. The more noise the better. If history has shown us anything, it has shown us that people do not get their civil rights by shutting the fuck up. They get them by making noise. Lots and lots of noise. So, please, folks… do not shut up about obese bigot Rick Warren or any other mistake Obama makes. Tell him about his mistakes, loudly and clearly. And by all means, keep making noise! Lots and lots of noise.

    Oh, and Happy Holidays.

  8. David says:

    Only time will tell. I’ve seen smart and literate arguments on both sides of this issue and honestly I have no idea who understands it better. Quite frankly the only person who can say for sure is Obama himself. And we will have at least four years to watch the answer unfold.

  9. Houston says:

    I started to make a very long-winded comment, but decided that it was too long to be polite, so I went back to my blog and ranted and raved. It’s the more polite way to go about it, don’t you think?


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  11. adam875 says:

    I was totally with you on this until I heard Dan Savage put it this way in his podcast:
    “…Today Barack Obama said that we all have to get agreeable, we all have to agree to disagree and we all have to try to get along, but y’know there ain’t no white supremacists giving an invocation at the inauguration, nobody who authored one of those Barack Obama is a super-secret Muslim terrorist emails is giving an invocation. The only people, it seems, in America today who are expected to join hands with and agree to disagree with and make nice with and just try to get along with the people who hate us are fags. And dykes. No anti-semite would be invited to participate, no racist would be invited to participate, no fire-breathing — Bill Maher hasn’t been invited to participate, no fire-breathing atheist or religion-basher would be invited to participate in the inauguration. But gay-bashers are welcome.”

    It’s not that I expect Obama to come out and say “gay marriage – yay!” and I totally accept why the gay rights movement is where it is right now and how it will take time to get to where I’d like us to be. But I do think Obama’s team could’ve found someone Warren-esque who hasn’t been quite so outspoken against gays, to both reach out and not slap us in the face. And I think Dan does a great job of articulating the double-standard that we’re just expected to take.

    But hey, I’m still excited, and I’m still going to DC for it. And while I’m there I intend to make plenty nice!


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