Obama and Gay Rights
Unless you live under a rock, you’ll know by now that Barack Obama invited the very influential minister Rick Warren to give the benediction at the upcoming inaugural. My first reaction was one of mild disbelief followed by “why the hell not”. I didn’t see Rick Warren as particularly divisive in the main. Sure, he’s made lots of noise about gay people being this that and the other thing, but whatever – he has the right to his opinion and it doesn’t preclude Obama from liking the guy. Respect of others’ views is important to me, and seeing that Obama picked someone that sort of, kind of, disagrees with his views on gay people made me think more of both of them.
Then I thought about it a little.
Rick Warren is a pretty amazing guy with a good story. He’s not my kind of guy, mind you (religious zealotry not being my thing), but he seems like he wants the world to be a better place. Warren has a HUGE following all over the world due to his writing and his major big-ass church. In short, he’s exactly the type of person that Obama would be attracted to.
So what Obama doesn’t agree with him on one issue, that’s not the point. Obama agrees with him on most things. They are both christian guys. They both like basketball. They both seem to want a better world (in their own image, I’m sure). They are both extremely powerful. These are key points for Obama. I kinda like that, actually.
Then I thought about it a little more.
Surely the left are just being their normal reactionary hyperbolic selves and blowing this out of proportion. Surely Warren isn’t that bad. But then I read this post by Hodgman. These words are of particular interest to me:
THOSE OF US, however, who foolishly refused to take Obama at his word when he told us he didn’t support gay marriage OVER AND OVER AGAIN must now take him at his deed. He really, really doesn’t want gays to get married. SRSLY.
BUT AFTER MCCLURKIN and now Warren, it is hard not to conclude that Barack Obama is somewhat tone deaf when it comes to gay issues. And at this point, if he is interested in convincing us otherwise (and I’m not presuming he is), it will take more than a few words or a second pastor or some other symbolic gesture. It will take deeds.
Hodgman’s silly headline writing style aside, he has quite the point. Obama doesn’t really want gays to marry. Ever. Really. The difference between “Civil Union” and “Marriage” is actually important to him. Really. A Harvard educated man with a long history of progressive views deigns to enter a debate over SEMANTICS? Wow.
Oh. If you didn’t notice, he’s black too. This means he should understand “separate but equal” more than most. C’mon Barack. Endorsement of this silliness is just sad. I’m not angry at all at his openness and willingness to “cross the line”, but I think in some fundamental way he really isn’t crossing any line here. And he’s letting us know in no subtle way that he’s not going to deal with one of the larger social injustices of our time. Sad. Truly sad.
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