Barack Obama and Pastor Rick Warren. Photo credits: Minn. Public Radio
Barack Obama’s defense of Rick Warren as his choice to give the inaugural invocation reveals the president-elect’s failure to get that other forms of discrimination, including those based on sexual preference, gender, religion, or ethnic background are as destructive as the racial bias that he has most likely experienced firsthand.
The Washington Post reports:
“President-elect Barack Obama yesterday defended his selection of megachurch pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, saying that he disagrees with the minister's opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage but that there should be room for "dialogue" on such difficult social issues.”
Based on his passive stance toward sexism throughout the campaign and his recent refusal to acknowledge the outrageous behavior of his head speechwriter Jon Favreau toward Hillary Clinton, Obama puts sexism and misogyny in the same category as discrimination against the GLBT community – another of those difficult social issues we should be able to disagree about without being disagreeable.
Religion might also be included among the above prickly social issues. Obama’s Christian bona fides were repeatedly questioned in the 2008 campaign; the Obama camp responded as if being a Muslim was something shameful. It’s possible the selection of evangelical Christian Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation is yet another groveling attempt by Obama to satisfy the religious bigots among the electorate. I continue to wonder when Obama will have the courage and the grace to stand up and declare: “I’m a Christian by choice, but I’m proud of my Muslim heritage.”
Considering Obama’s apparent tolerance of other forms of discrimination and bigotry, one has to wonder how willing he would be to “dialogue” about racial discrimination with say, a few members of the Ku Klux Klan.