Robert Stein 1924-2014

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rick Warren's Blessing and Obama's

The furor over the minister selected to deliver the invocation at the Inaugural is a measure of how the traditional separation of church and state for more than two centuries has broken down in American life over the past eight years.

In decades of acting out his informal role as the "President's pastor," Billy Graham affirmed the values of Christianity without applying them to political issues and without suggesting a state-sponsored religion at the expense of those with other beliefs or none. No President would have welcomed him to the White House if he had.

Now we have Obama defending his choice of Rick Warren on the grounds that the best-selling minister is tolerant of the President-Elect's political views:

"I would note that a couple of years ago, I was invited to Rick Warren's church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion...

"And that dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign's been all about: That we're not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere...where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans."

Barack Obama did not go to Warren's church to discuss politics, but Warren's invitation to offer a blessing at the Inaugural, by his activism on political issues, inevitably is seen as tolerance for if not approval of that commingling of church and state.

The new president has promised Change from what George W. Bush brought to the White House. This, sad to say, looks like more of the same.

4 comments:

BlueRose said...

I disagree with you that Obama is justifying Warren's inclusion on
"the grounds that the best-selling minister is tolerant of the President-Elect's political views". What President-Elect Obama seems to be saying (to me at least) is that just because people don't agree on everything doesn't mean you should exclude them - especially when you agree on other important issues.

To exclude Rev. Warren because he disgagrees on some issues seems to me a bad precendent and contrary to what President-Elect Obama stood for in the campaign. You need to work with people you disagree with. We can't continue to have a country where because you disagree with someone, albeit on a big issue, you refuse to include them. Excluding Rev. Wright is no different from a Republican excluding pro-choice ministers.

This country needs to start working together, and you can't do that when you exclude people you disagree with. President-Elect Obama is going to be President of ALL Americans, not just those who agree with him 100%.

BlueRose said...

I disagree with you that Obama is justifying Warren's inclusion on
"the grounds that the best-selling minister is tolerant of the President-Elect's political views". What President-Elect Obama seems to be saying (to me at least) is that just because people don't agree on everything doesn't mean you should exclude them - especially when you agree on other important issues.

To exclude Rev. Warren because he disgagrees on some issues seems to me a bad precendent and contrary to what President-Elect Obama stood for in the campaign. You need to work with people you disagree with. We can't continue to have a country where because you disagree with someone, albeit on a big issue, you refuse to include them. Excluding Rev. Wright is no different from a Republican excluding pro-choice ministers.

This country needs to start working together, and you can't do that when you exclude people you disagree with. President-Elect Obama is going to be President of ALL Americans, not just those who agree with him 100%.

Ben Spatafora said...

Change is important, but compromise is essential.

Anonymous said...

To exclude Rev. Warren because he disgagrees on some issues seems to me a bad precendent and contrary to what President-Elect Obama stood for in the campaign.
Right, so what slot does the grand dragon of the KKK have at the inauguration ceremony, then?