Thursday, January 8, 2009

Obama's inauguration: tolerating intolerance - 01/08/09

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to my sister who wanted to know why everyone was making a big deal about the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at President Elect Obama’s inauguration.

A lot of moderates and conservatives think that this is much ado about nothing and that we on the left are overreacting.

First, let me answer this question with a question. How would the fundamentalist Christian right have felt if one of the first things George W. Bush did as President Elect was to pander to the Pro-Choice community? They’d be pissed as hell.

This is how we feel about Obama’s association with Warren.

During any election, candidates have to move toward the center and most of us on the left, while we find this distasteful, realize that it is something we have to put up with.

So, we didn’t complain when Obama chose to attend a candidate forum at Warren’s saddleback church. We’ve come to expect some kind of pandering.

But here’s the thing. Obama won.

The midterms are 22 months away.

Now, the time between election cycles seem to be getting shorter and shorter, but our newly elected President does have a few months at the very least when he doesn’t have to worry about making nice and just do the right thing.

Even McCain, when he wasn’t trying to cozy up to the far right had the courage to call these people what they are: agents of intolerance.

Let’s get one thing straight. I support, love and voted for Barack Obama.

But I did not vote for him so that he could make inroads, show his bipartisan spirit or make nice with the fundamentalist Christian right. I voted for Obama so that he could stop them.

It’s not too late to rescind the invitation, Mr. President Elect.

Please, on behalf of all of us who voted for you because we wanted a change, because we wanted to take a step forward in abolishing intolerance, do not let Rick Warren be your choice of who ought to lead our nation in prayer.

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