I am finding the discussion about Barack Obama's choice of Rev. Rick Warren, Pastor of Saddleback church as his inauguration speaker, rather curious. It is quite the topic on many of the radio talk shows, and people are in a real uproar about it, on both sides of the aisle. While I don't agree with many of the positions of Rev. Warren, I think I understand what Barack Obama is trying to do; to reach across the aisle. Rev. Warren has been accused of "hating gays" and yet he and his wife are huge supporters of treatment of HIV/AIDS in Africa. That is somehow being ignored. He also is very strong on social justice issues, in dealing with poverty, etc. So it makes sense that Obama would choose him, irrespective of the fact that they don't agree on every issue. Who does?
But http://http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-etheridge/the-choice-is-ours-now_b_152947.html by Melissa Etheridge is one that I loved reading. And she raises some great points, in defense of the selection of Rick Warren, and speaks of her own personal experience with him. It's an interesting read, and I applaud Melissa Etheridge for her challenge to the GLBT community, to take a deeper look, and to maybe even join him in his causes to treat HIV/AIDS, and to get to know the people of Rev. Warren's church so they can actually see that GLBT people are not to be feared. You Go GIRL!
But what my hope is, is that everyone will relax and quit assuming what he is about, or what he might say that they won't like, and just let the man speak. I read the Purpose Driven Church, and the Purpose Driven Life. And while I didn't agree with everything he said, in fact had a huge problem with his theological perspective at the beginning of Purpose Driven Life there are lots of good points in it.But his chapter on Worship (I believe Chapter 7) was very profound, talking about worship being more than what we do on Sunday mornings, but how we live out our lives between Sundays. Great stuff!
It was Barack's choice to choose Rick Warren. He could have chosen someone else, but he didn't. It is his inauguration afterall. It is one speech, when it really comes down to it. And I think we are all going to survive. I see Barack's choice as curious, but he hasn't done much yet that hasn't been well thought out. And if he can, through this selection, get the evangelical and conservatives to come a little to the left and the liberals to come a little closer to the right, isn't that a good thing? If we can end the polarization in this country, whether it be religiously or politically, isn't that a good thing? If we can actually have a dialogue, without throwing out insults, and discrediting the others simply because they are on the opposite team, isn't that going to be a good thing for our faith as well as our country? I think so. I hope so. It seems like the progressive thing to do.
I think Barack has taken the high road, on many occasions. He has been talking all through his campaign that he is one who will reach across the aisle, and he has done so, in the selection of many of his cabinet members, and now in his selection of Rev. Rick Warren. I for one, think it is a very good thing.