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Obama’s choice of inauguration preacher is “spiritual violence” against gays

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  1. Jen Marcus 18 Dec 2008, 4:31pm

    I am extremely disappointed by Obama’s choice of Warren to give the invocation. To me this signals NOT CHANGE, but more of the same discriminatory BS in the future from Obama that our community has historicaly been subject to and suffered under since time immemorial! Shame On YOU, Mr. Obama, for being such a hypocrite : Change My BUTT!

  2. This is a difficult one. As a gay Christian, I don’t agree with Rick Warren’s judgemental views and it is unfortunate that Obama’s selecting him has such strong implications for the way people view LGBTs.

    However, I am a personal fan of Rick Warren’s book “The Purpose Driven Life” which, ironically, helped me to finally accept my sexuality as a gift from God. I found the book profoundly moving and spiritually helpful in general as well.

    Isn’t it possible for things to be a bit grey here – Warren is a man of God, but his views on some things, such as gay marriage, are his own interpretations of scripture? He is not perfect nor infallable, and men and women of God have in the past acted or said things which were their cultural views but were taken to be God’s views.

    Like for example the apostle Paul said that women should cover their heads and be quiet in church, and it is better to avoid marriage as it is a distraction from God. The church has now widely allowed that women CAN talk in church and go hatless, and it has in fact embraced marriage wholeheartedly as a gift from God.

    The church has picked and chosen which scriptures it wishes to follow based on current understanding of them. They are holding onto prejudices against gays based on a few weak interpretations of scripture (and in some cases incorrect translations of ancient scripture – “homosexuality” was not a word which existed at the time of writing the scriptures and yet it somehow appears in Bibles. Why?) It is like trying to hold onto and promote Paul’s negative statements about women and marriage because they happen to match their own insecurities about women and marriage.

    Ultimately, there is no black and white in any issue. However, a lot of the campaigns – or at least the representation of the campaigns here – are presented in this manner. A more discerning view of events could bridge the divide between gays and the church instead of creating sensationalist stories which ultimately alienate everybody from the church.

  3. Dominick J. 18 Dec 2008, 5:24pm

    For the person who left the above comment, I’m sorry I have to disagree with you. If Obama choose someone who wrote a book denouncing things done during the Holocost and openly said the Holocost never happened THAT person would Not be a choice everyone including the Jewish population would admire and want to listen to. So even though reading his book helped you get through your gay issues, well my friend there are 100s several 100s of books you could have read to tell you the very same things and written by Pastors, priests and Ministers lay people who not only write about it BUT PREACH IT in the pulpits and in their everyday living unlike this Rev Warren. And those bible parts you picked out is something the RR does everyday when preaching against us, PICK and Choose! We are in the 21 first century and as UCC says “our faith has been around for 2000 years our thinking isn’t!”
    Obama made the wrong choice on this one. He needs to rethink it before it’s too late. Write to him and ask him not to use this man. He could have choosen someone more center Just Like He is! This person is way to far to the right.

  4. Terry Floyd Johnson 18 Dec 2008, 5:50pm

    Obama choice shows that he is a political lion, who hunts those he feels will give him the biggest show.

    He is a show fag!

    He hopes to bring in conservatives, who are a larger percentage of the population than the lowly 2%, which are the LGBT communities.

    He is a royalist in that he sees his view of what is right in marriage, between a man and a woman, is the only way to be, thus denying the rights of others to live under the Constitution. He wants class distinction, as long as he is in the class, which has the favor of not the Constitution, but of the ruling, or at least the majority class.

    Obama is showing he is not a man of the people, but a man of the ruling class, who wants class distinction, and illegal repression of a minority class.

  5. Andrew Quick 18 Dec 2008, 7:04pm

    Only people with no religon should be in a place of power. Maybe someone should advise Obama that his faiths holy book also states slavery is ok.

  6. Hillary would never have done this. Oh you bloody fools who worshipped Obama and smeared Hillary! You got what you asked for!

  7. With the election of Barak Obama I was hoping for less religious mumbo-jumbo from the White House, you know, separation of the church and state, but apparently no change in this.

  8. Mary Flying Eagle Ray 18 Dec 2008, 11:33pm

    I hang my head in shame, the president elect, whom I had placed so much
    hope , dispite his flowery words has proven, myself, my lesbian sisters
    and gay brothers are not worthy of heartfelt spiritual presentation,
    consideration.This spiritual slap in the face, can be likened to
    a different president elect bringing in a preacher who is an out spoken
    member of the klu klux klan.This may be harsh, but reflects my
    hurt feelings, when first I heard of this case of state once again
    courting church.
    This preacher(?)never met a camera he didn’t like, and rick warren
    you are a bigot. Obama I ask of you, be an example of Positive
    Change for all America. Invite a Lesbian or Gay preacher to offer up
    prayers at your big event, based on a platform of one for all, all
    for one, Americans United/Equal. (Change/Freedom?)
    Mary Flying Eagle Ray

    at your much

  9. TheRadicalRealist 19 Dec 2008, 12:37am

    obama’s already lost my vote in 2012.

    Filthy bastard.

  10. john wilfred sharp 19 Dec 2008, 2:01am

    all religious are bad for gay health

  11. Obama is revealing himself to be one serious nincompoop where it comes to discerning wise spiritual company for a future President to keep.

    The whole Jeremiah Wright – Trinity United – Louis Farakhan – Nation of Islam debacle should have rung a few more alarm bells than it did…

    I’m not suggesting Obama is an islamist sympathizer, a racist, anti-semite or queerbasher himself, but he keeps some seriously tasteless company a little TOO close!

    Let’s hope his political & economic decisions are better than his religious ones…

  12. In Australia, it was the Bush-Howard show espousing like politics. And now it’s the Obama-Rudd spin-doctoring.

  13. What exactly is “spiritual violence”? That, as the man said, is hot ice and wondrous strange snow!

    President-elect Obama’s religious views are entirely his own affair. And while I would personally prefer that the cleric presiding at his administration had less of a whiff of evangelical snake-oil about him (what’s wrong with a nice Episcopalian?), I’m not about to fling up my hands in despair just yet. Let’s not forget that Obama mentioned gay Americans in his victory speech on election night – an empty gesture, perhaps, but certainly a better indicator of his political priorities than his rather eccentric choice of a Christian self-help guru to act the pantomime dame for his inauguration. I have no doubt that Obama will disappoint us in the future, and perhaps in the near future. But I for one intend to wait at least until he is president before deciding – as some here already have – that he is a hypocrite, a nincompoop, and a filthy bastard.

  14. this is his first real decision, though he’s trailed others, and he’s blown it. By choosing a man with such views he sets the scene for his presidency, though hopefully he will not resile from abandonning “don’t ask, don’t tell” and carry forward civil unions.

    Let’s hope that this is a one-off aberation, a pay back of some political debt. And let’s hope he keeps the preachers out of the oval office

  15. I agree with rjb and apYrs, choosing the right preacher for the inauguration is a minefield of dodgy political views. I’m not sure how much Obama himself had to do with this appointment, and I don’t deny that it backfired bigtime, but in the full context of what he stands for I see it as more of a blip than a trend. Disappointing, yes, but I don’t see Obama himself as a homophobe. I think he needs to pay closer attention to the company he keeps, that’s all.

  16. I agree with Flapjack’s measured response above. You see, Obama’s difficulty is that he is going to have to tread a very fine line. America is such a diverse place, that he has to include all the “Americas”, because otherwise he will find it difficult to govern – such is the state of American politics. This is why he prefers the Civil Partnership option in preference to Gay Marriage. Gay marriage would alienate him from large swathes of this electorate, while civil unions would, in the very least, meet his objective of providing protection and equality under the law to gay couples, and I’m sure he understands this.

    Obama is a political player, and a very clever one at that. By appealing to two – opposing – constituencies, he knows that he will be able to operate in what is, effectively a divided country.

  17. George Broadhead, Secretary Pink Triangle Trust 19 Dec 2008, 9:53am

    Not suprisingly, Obama has revealed that his Christian faith is much more important to him than any support he may have indicated for lgbt rights.

    Roll on the time when there is an atheist president of the US – or am I living in cloud-cuckoo-land?

  18. George Broadhead, Secretary Pink Triangle Trust 19 Dec 2008, 10:16am

    Not surprisingly Obama has demonstrated that he attaches much more importance to his Christian faith than lgbt rights.

    Roll on the time when the US will have an atheist president – or am I living in cloud-cuckoo-land?

  19. If you want to see how ridiculous and dangerous Rick Warren’s views are, indeed, read ‘purpose driven life’, which ahs sold over 30 million copies in the states.

    as you would expect, its premise is there is no hope, no purpose, no morality without God. Standard stuff, admittedly, along with creationist quotes repeated several times throughout (‘god designed the planet’s environment just so we could live in it’ and so on).

    This though, page 25, is alarming: ‘First Noah had never see rain because before the flood, God irrigated the Earth from the ground up’. Seriously -how old is the Earth Mr Warren???

    Obama himself, believes evolution happened. He is committed to building an america where scientific enquiry is taken seriously. He said so himself in Audacity of Hope. Endorsing a preacher who discourages rational thought and scientific discovery is highly irresponsible. And by the way, what about Warren’s advice for dealing with reasoned argument….:

    ‘Don’t argue with the devil he’s much better than you are, having had thousands of years of practice’. (i.e. You don’t like my interpretation? don’t listen! that’s the devil talking. an age-old religious wild card for disarming any reasonable criticism.)

    ‘Surrendered people obey god’s word, even if it doesn’t make sense’ (p.80)

    This discourages developing the kind of informed citizenship that Obama recognises, America so badly needs. People like Warren are the poison in the well.

    I strongly urge LGBT Americans to join forces with scientists in showing their disgust at the choice of such a ridiculous man as inaugural pastor.

  20. this religious nonsense is worrying but let’s not forget folks, no matter how much you dislike Tony Blair for the Iraq war etc, his government introduced the most liberal pro-gay legislation that the UK has ever seen, and put us up there among probably the top 5 countries in the world as far as lesbian gay rights are respected. He himself described the passage of the civil partnership legislation as “one of his jump for joy moments” in power, and yet he is a committed Christian who has recently converted to Catholicism. I know nothing about Rick Warren, but i doubt he’s any more homophobic than the Pope, who’s Tony Blair’s ultimate spiritual guide, and yet say what you like about the Blairs, they aren’t homophobic. Cherie Blair who’s always been a committed catholic, defended gay employment rights at the European Court of Human Rights against her husbands government before Labour introduced laws here. i still have hope for Obama.

  21. Even for a fundamentalist, Rick Warren chooses to use words in an indiscriminate and needlessly destructive and inflammatory fashion.

    It’s quite possible – even for an Evangelical – to articulate their opposition to calling gay unions “marriage”, without likening same-sex loving relationships to the crimes of incest or paedophilia…

    That’s Obama’s spiritual discernment for you!

  22. Here’s the professional dissimulator Rick Warren comparing loving, same-sex partnerships to the crimes of incest and paedophilia…

    Even evangelicals don’t NEED to use such destructive, inflammatory rhetoric to make the point that they don’t agreee with calling gay unions “marriage”.

    Hatefulness is a CHOICE.

  23. From the UK
    Dont mess with the american lgbt group – they are the most powerfull and outspoken in the world
    What ever they do – I respect their fignts over the past years and their very hard work on all issues – Good luck brothers

  24. Correct me if I am wrong, but I was given to understand that this man’s opinions about Civil Partnerships/Unions are not dissimilar from that of Obama himself, i.e. that he supports equality for GLBT people, and that Civil Parnerships (as opposed to Gay Marriage) is a mechanism for achieving this. Whilst I don’t have any time for this preacher, I think Islam poses a much bigger threat.

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