You are herecontent / Rev. Rick Warren's Invocation
Rev. Rick Warren's Invocation
When I first heard that President-elect Obama invited Rev. Warren to give the invocation for the Inauguration, I was saddened. There are so many other pastors to whom he could have turned, Rev. Jim Wallis, Rev. Jesse Jackson, a Catholic bishop, or a Rabbi. Why the pastor who rigged the debate between the two nominees for President? Why the pastor who supported California Prop 8 and verbally beats up on some folks he disagrees with? At least, the pastor giving the benediction, Rev. Joseph Lowrey, is going to get the last word.
Then I saw an article about Rev. Warren which explains some good things about the man. I was much impressed with how he gives 90% of his income to help the poor. Somehow he looks like he is doing very well on the 10% that's left but, still, he has few peers in the generosity department.
I sent the article to my liberal friends and got a response which reflected how I originally felt but quite a bit more angry.
So I tried to figure out why the choice of Rev. Warren might make sense.
The main reason, of course, is what the President-elect said, that Rev. Warren had invited him to speak at Saddleback Church early in his campaign, knowing they disagreed. Sen. Obama reaches out . . . . And he is willing to take the heat from constituents who disagree with him.
My friend said he really shot himself in the foot. Of course, the promises Sen. Obama has made about changing law and policy in ways supportive of the GLBT community are yet to be actualized, but we will be surprised if he does not follow through.
Then I realized that by giving the invocation on Jan, 20, Rev. Warren may not be as effective in furthering the anti-GLBT agenda he has led. Further, even all this negative publicity and controversy puts the subject on the front pages. As they say in the entertainment business, even negative publicity is better than no publicity.
But more moving to me is that Sen. Obama may be forgiving Rev. Warren for the stunts related to the Saddleback debate.
So how will the modern day Billy Graham respond? Will he even look at the forgiveness angle? Will he presume he deserves the attention? Will he actually begin listening to those he has condemned?
Cynics don't like to take a chance on giving an inch to their enemies, certain they will take a mile. Jesus was willing . . . and got crucified. But He changed things.
Who knows? Sen. Obama, a "sermon-soaked pew squatter" for twenty years, may actually be trying to do the Word, and not just be a hearer only.