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Shedding Some Light on Rick Warren

Posted by amy On December - 19 - 2008

In the spirit of tomorrow’s national vigils (Light Up the Night for Equal Rights), I thought it would be a great idea to shed some light on the Rick Warren debate. Many people have added some great comments. I’ve highlighted a few here… what are your thoughts?

Kenny says:

December 19th, 2008 at 11:23 am

Now that the damage is done, I am inclined not to be in favor of pressuring Obama to remove Rick Warren from the event. I think this was horrible judgment on Obama’s part, but I don’t want to see that compounded with wish-washy people pleasing on his part (we all remember Bill Clinton’s need to please, don’t we?). I would rather see this turned into an opportunity to get lots and lots of visibility for the damage that Rick Warren’s brand of spiritual violence does to gay people. What if everyone at the inauguration who decried homophobia were to wave a black flag over their head during Rick Warren’s invocation? It would be silent, it wouldn’t be rude, and it would be highly visible in pictures that will endure for all time. Black is a color of mourning, to remember victims who have been injured or killed. Furthermore, a lot of the enduring photos from this event will be in black and white. And everyone has a black shirt or piece of cloth that they could easily bring the the inaugural ceremony.

What’s the old cliche about the Chinese symbol for “crisis” being the symbol for “danger” + the symbol for “opportunity”? There is of course danger in using this historic moment in a political manner. However, that’s a decision that Obama made, not us, and I think there is no choice but to respond.

Allan says:

December 19th, 2008 at 3:03 pm

I have posted a diary to DailyKos calling for everyone attending the inaugural to hold aloft the rainbow flag when Warren speaks. It’s a simple, visual gesture that will be seen from the dais and most importantly, by the TV cameras. If you’re like me and not attending, but know people who are, gay or straight, ask them to do the same. I’m buying a bunch of flags to send to DC with my straight allies so they can hold them and also give some away to others at the inagurual. Here’s a link to my DKos diary:

mcc says:

December 18th, 2008 at 4:26 pm

If President Elect Barack Obama DOES NOT revoke his invitation to Rick Warren, then I see only one solution for the President Elect: find an openly gay leader and ask that they make the closing speech.


I think you should be aware that the benediction, the closing prayer that balances Warren’s, is already being given by Joseph E. Lowery, who is a civil rights leader and a gay rights advocate.

Lowery is on record both saying that you cannot be an advocate of civil rights without being an advocate of gay rights:

“Here he told the story of an African-American, Washington, DC-based pastor… who led his congregation down a path of division and mis-guidance, preaching and pushing for an amendment against same-sex marriage… The Reverend went on to speak on respect for all people and how that played in to Civil and Human Rights as a whole. He said that if you are one who says, “I believe in human rights for all people, except for…” then you really don’t believe in human rights or equality. ”

And on record as an advocate of same sex marriage:

“When you talk about the law discriminating, the law granting a privilege here, and a right here and denying it there, that’s a civil rights issue. And I can’t take that away from anybody.”

This does not justify or excuse the inclusion of Warren in my opinion, I just wanted to note that your specific suggestion of a remedy should maybe be amended.

Gary Allmon says:
December 18th, 2008 at 5:12 pm

I urge everyone to go to and make a comment or vote for the idea to dis-invite Rick Warren from the inauguration. The southern hate mongering preachers were not invited to presidential inaugurations in the 50’s 60’s and 70’s. Why should an anti-gay hate spewer be invited to this inauguration.

paul says:

December 19th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Actually, Obama HAS included a number of gays in his cabinet. AZ Governor Napolitano and her long time partner will be moving to DC, and that is a far better display of inclusiveness than a ten minute blessing at his inauguration. On another note, I believe that we should all HANG OUT SHOES ON JANUARY 19th, MLK day, as a good riddance gesture to the outgoing nightmare George Bush. Hang your shoes on the back ofyour car, on your door at home and the office, on your flagpole, or anywhere else you can think of.

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