Friday, December 19, 2008

Your... Bible is a. Lie...

The title of this post is brought to you in ShatnerVision (tm).

There are many things to be said about Obama's choice of Rick Warren to provoke, er, invoke, er, deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Sarah Posner says some of them in the Nation:
There was no doubt that Obama, like every president before him, would pick a Christian minister to perform this sacred duty. But Obama had thousands of clergy to choose from, and the choice of Warren is not only a slap in the face to progressive ministers toiling on the front lines of advocacy and service but a bow to the continuing influence of the religious right in American politics. Warren vocally opposes gay marriage, does not believe in evolution, has compared abortion to the Holocaust and backed the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

And. The hits. Just keep on! Coming!

J-Mom (aka J-Mom, PhD aka Dr. J-Mom aka Prof. J-Mom) had this excellent hypothesis: since Obama is enjoined from saying too much about the Blagojevich scandal (hey-oh! did I spell that right on my first try?) and people keep trying to hang it around O's neck somehow, despite much proof of anything substantive to hang, he used his political savvy and determined that starting a tempest in a teapot was a wise way to go. Something to distract people from a circumstance beyond his control about which he can do little, by giving them something else to get outraged at. Now, to be sure, I am among the camp that thinks his choice of Warren is substantively bad and an affront to gays and those who support equal rights for humans of all flavors regardless of what other consenting adult they wish to marry, but strategically, it is a tempest in a teapot. That is, it sends a signal that is worrying, but if it really were a "wag the dog" type move, it would be in the knowledge that while this may cause discomfort, he can win back those he loses on the Left through actual substantive action later on. Which is absolutely true -- this is affronting, but if he follows with actively promoting gay rights when his administration actually starts, well, all wouldn't be forgiven, but enough would be that this would be a wise wager on his part.

I don't know that J-Mom, Phd is correct, but I don't know that she's wrong, either. It's a fascinating hypothesis, and one practically unresolvable barring a personal admission from P-E B. H. O.


Daktari said...

Oooooh goody. Something I can sink my teeth into.

Read some funny responses to Warren's selection. Feminists and gays are having an absolute coronary. Curiously, I'm not feeling the outrage. HOWEVER. I am feeling this in that head-tilting sense of when you see something grossly out of place in a movie, like that car driving across the mountain in the background of the opening sequence of Shane. It's clearly a WTF??!!!!! moment.

Why this response? Because I think Obama is an intellectual and 99.9999% of intellectuals I know reject Christianity with greater or lesser vigor. I mean, really, is it just me? But how does one integrate a depth of understanding of how the world works with a big, invisible Daddy in the sky? I don't think Obama believes. Therefore, I just don't care as much about this as I apparently should.

I believe Obama's Christianity is a ruse to pacify the masses. It's something that you do to promote your career, like learning to play golf or hanging out at the Elk's club with the boys. Therefore, what does it matter if he picks some right-wing evangelical or that young TV dude that talks like he's hosting a children's show? Having someone...anyone at all...give an invocation is a large festering chunk of hypocrisy for the non-believer. Now, I've not spent a lot of time in church at all, and certainly not in a church that preached the threat of an eternal slow burn or one that chose to preach the fire from the pulpit. But, we (in the collective--certainly not we in the immediate) demand that politicians believe and given no choice of expressing one's true beliefs (or in my case and I think Obama's case of expressing one's LACK of belief), I think that I'd choose to take my fire up front rather than defer it...simply for the entertainment and possibly social change value.

At least Wright's church was giving the voice of outrage to legitimate oppression (e.g., racism), whereas Warren's message seems to be designed to advocate oppression for others. Which is more Christian? WTF cares? They are both ridiculous shams.

That said. My feeling is that Warren was selected as a counter-weight to the Rev. Wright debacle. His selection sends a message. But to whom? Is Obama trying to pacify evangelicals? "See? I'm being inclusive. And I've selected your "progressive" preacher to help you move away from the Liberty University version of poppycock toward the discount book bin at WalMart version of the future."

I think selecting Rt. Rev. Gene Robinson would have been the much bolder pick, but no doubt, someone would think he was the Wright Reverend Robinson and a whole new controversy would have erupted. Ha! Which brings up an important point Do you think that if the Rev. Wright controversy had not erupted as such an explosive campaign issue that Obama would have picked Warren? I don't.

I'm finding it hard to get outraged about who he selected. I'd much rather see a candidate stand up and say "I don't believe and therefore won't be having anyone lead a prayer before my swearing in." When America is willing to accept that non-believers are competent, possess morality, and are fully capable of making the right decisions without the threat of eternal damnation, then I will give a flying fig who they ask to "say a few words" on belief at an inauguration.

Daktari said...

Seen this?


Mary said...

M-Mom thinks that he's pandering to the right on this one, but secretly, deep down, he loves gay people.

You know what I think? Obama is against gay marriage. You know, actually against it. Black culture is pretty homophobic, and I doubt that Obama is much of an exception.

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