vendredi, décembre 19, 2008

Two cheers for Rick Warren

Let me start by stating the obvious.

I have gay friends, but I'm not gay.

I have African-American friends, but I'm not African-American (d'oh).

And while I've spent a lot of time working among conservative Christians and would probably classify myself as moderate evangelical, I'm a mixed bag on various social issues.

But I'm thinking that lashing out in anger is probably not a great way of getting folks to embrace your cause.

Many gay women and men are angry about Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration. Wanna bet their sense of betrayal will soon be matched by that of conservative Christians who feel that Warren is betraying them by praying for Obama?

Check out this interview by Beliefnet's Steven Waldman with Warren in which he discusses his position on civil unions.

Yes, he backpedals, but read his words carefully. I suspect that what happened is he got heat from the conservatives, and decided to obscure the issue with some rhetoric. Warren's no fool.

And he's helped move the evangelical community forward substantially on environmental issues like global warming, on helping the poor, and those who live with AIDS.

Update -- I did read a comment by Amy Sullivan of Time, that Warren is, well...boring. There are some pretty cool, probably more intelligent evangelical pastors and authors, like Brian McLaren (we love you, Brian), that Obama could have asked -- but he chose Warren.

At any rate, Warren's giving an invocation, not taking up the job as Senate chaplain.

In all of this it's easy to forget that our President-elect himself isn't a fan of gay marriage. He's never come out and supported it. He seems bent on governing from the center -- is that a surprise?

I know that where I see nuance, some see simple bigotry. But caricaturing someone's beliefs doesn't bring them, or their supporters to your side faster. In fact, it probably pushes them further away, and risks disturbing some who are tolerant, but on the fence.

1 commentaire:

Allen a dit…

It's also worth noting that many of the same people upset about Obama's choice of Rick Warren thought it was unfair to criticize him about Jeremiah Wright.