Obama's John Hagee
It's hard to see who's more perplexed: Progressives and liberals or Barack Obama tapping Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation. And the President-Elect's befuddlement at our outrage only compounds our own befuddlement.
Obama keeps falling back on his "diversity" argument, saying on CBS last week, "That dialogue is part of what my campaign has been about."
The "dialogue" on which Obama insists is an intolerance of gay marriage and gay rights in general that is so rooted in cowardice that Warren himself falls back on the risible response, "I have many gay friends. I've eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church." Yes, Warren tied gays with AIDS within the same breath. You know, because gays and AIDS are still synonymous.
(As a personal aside: During research on HIV and AIDS while writing American Zen, I discovered from several sources that since 2002, 19.9% of people who contract HIV are heterosexuals, which is the fastest-growing demographic.)
There isn't a single major issue on which Warren and widely acknowledged whack job James Dobson differ. He once told a Jewish woman that she was going to Hell just because she was Jewish. And, of course, his support of California's Proposition H8 is all too well-known.
But the shoehorning of Warren into the inauguration, sort of like dropping a gift-wrapped turd into a crystal punchbowl, is part and parcel to an incoming administration that has given zero Cabinet appointments to gay people. This insistence on admitting intolerance as a legitimate opposing viewpoint and keeping qualified gays and lesbians out of the Obama Cabinet makes a mockery of the Change We Deserve and Diversity platform on which Obama ran.