Many of you have heard that President elect Obama has invited Rick Warren, pastor of the conservative Saddleback Church of California, to pray at the inauguration. Now, I do not agree with Pastor Warren on much, I suspect. We approach our faith from very different places. And I completely disagree with him on his support for Proposition 8 in California.
I think it is unfortunate when Christ’s message of radical and inclusive love is co-opted to support narrow minded and bigoted legislation and policies.
But, let me be one of the few (or perhaps only) progressive Christian to speak out in favor of Obama’s selection of Warren as a participant in the inauguration.
I have been very unhappy the past 8 years in our political world. At no point have I felt that my views were heard, respected, or in any way important to the president or his appointees. Under Bush, (and Clinton before him, quite frankly), all we have heard from Washington are voices proclaiming the party line. We have turned our political arena into a “winner takes all” place. You can win an election with 50% of the vote, and once you are in office, the other 50% of the population has lost their voice for the next four years.
So, while I don’t agree with much that Rick Warren has to say, I do applaud President elect Obama’s decision to give him voice. We all, conservative and liberal alike, need to get back into the habit of listening to other voices. We need to drop the “winner takes all” attitude and realize that we only win when we respect and hear each other.
I also recognize that it might be easier for me to make this claim than it might be for any of my GLBT friends. I recognize that there are many people who are hurt because Rev Warren’s voice is speaking against them.
I hope the President elect will also invite more progressive Christian voices to join in his inauguration as well.
But we all have to hope that by modeling government that allows voices to be heard, we can live into hope.