Friday, December 19, 2008

Obama gets it. Other Liberals don't.

The newest skirmish in the "culture war" flared up after President-elect Obama's team announced that evangelical mega-church pastor and best selling author, Rick Warren, would offer a prayer at the inauguration.

The controversy surrounds Mr. Warren's public opposition to gay marriage and his support of a constitutional ban on that practice in California:
[H]is role has angered gay rights campaigners, particularly since Warren supported California's controversial Proposition 8, which voters approved in November and defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman - effectively banning gay marriage even though it has previously been legal in the state.

The president of the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solmonese, wrote to Obama saying: "By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans have a place at your table."
This isn't the only group to have criticized Mr. Obama's selection of Mr. Warren. The story is all over the news and, according to those stories, lots of left wing groups have expressed displeasure on this matter.

Of course none of the critics have bothered to talk about Rick Warren's work on AIDS. Here's just one of many articles on his ministry to AIDS-afflicted people.

In my view, President-elect Obama got it right in his response:

Obama responded to the furore at his press conference saying: "It is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans...It's important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues."
Liberal activists: just because your candidate for President won does not mean you are only the folks welcome to the table. For years, those of you on the left have bemoaned that the United States is not an inclusive place, that people are excluded from the rights and benefits of this country on the basis of race, nationality, religion and sexual preference (and that has been true in many ways.)

No doubt, you miss the irony of calling for the exclusion from President-elect Obama's inauguration of a person who has a different worldview from yours. Those that have cried the loudest about being excluded would love nothing more than to exclude so-called evangelicals from participation in the celebration of Mr. Obama's election for no other reason than they disagree with evangelicals.

You really don't want inclusion. You don't want a nation in which all can participate. You want everyone in this country to say, "Hey, whatever you want to do, however you want to live, that's fine by me."

Expecting -- demanding -- others not to agree with you, and then trying to prvent them from participating in certain events when they do not, is textbook intolerance. Spare me your speeches about tolerance because you don't practice. In fact, you don't even believe in it.

I'm not the a big fan of President-elect Obama. He says all the right things, though, on issues like this. We are all Americans. Somehow, someway, we have to find unity. When there cannot be unity of opinion or belief, at least we can agree to live and let live.

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