17 December 2008


Rick Warren and the Inauguration

Lots of people are in high dudgeon about the Inaugural Committee's choice (with, one presumes, President-Elect Obama's consent) of Rick Warren to deliver the Invocation at the Inauguration.

Get. Over. It.

If you didn't understand what Obama was talking about when he discussed a politics of inclusion, you have no one to blame but yourself. You were told the us-against-them rules were going to change.

Treating people as persona-non-grata because you disagree with their opinion on a matter near and dear to your own heart is not an effective way to change their opinion. Impacting them in ways that leads them to change their point of view is desirable. There are ways to do that beyond holding them up to ridicule, scorn, invective, and dismissal. Engaging them as a human being that you care about, that you care to influence their opinion about, is an approach that yields substantive change both in the short and long terms.

It's better for Warren to be there on the platform and to hear Obama's inclusion of LGBT folk into the national fabric in his inaugural address than it is for him to hear it on a television somewhere. It draws him into the discussion. It makes him complicit in Obama's point of view.

We (LGBT folk) have to engage the church-going population, and not just the liberal church-going population. We have to hear their fears and concerns; we have to address them. Being right just isn't enough: we have to bring those who disagree with us along somehow if we are going to get to the point that they respect our rights from an understanding point of view.

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Thanks for this post! This is the way to win your war and the President Elect knows it.
Wish you could be here for Christmas.
Okay, I understand...even though I think he's kind of playing with fire...but, is Rick Warren not a key figure in the Rethug-manufactured culture war, and an arrogant radical SOB? I hope O knows what the hell he's doing.

I can pretty easily go along with the idea that more might be gained by including Warren in the process for just the reasons you give, but it seems likely to me that including him against a backdrop of vocal disappointment might be better than his inclusion accompanied only by silent acquiescence.

(I guess I could just have said that "good cop/bad cop" is sucky and cynical but sometimes effective.)
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