2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

On the Rick Warren Issue: “Obama’s inability or unwillingness to be a moral leader”

The Washington Post’s Richard Cohen offers a poignant explanation in today’s op-ed why his gay sister is unhappy with President-elect Obama’s decision to invite Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation.

Cohen writes:

“She {Cohen’s sister} is -- or was -- a committed Obama supporter. On the weekend before the presidential election, my sister and my mother drove from the Boston area, where they both live, to Obama's New Hampshire headquarters in Manchester. There my mother made 76 phone calls for Obama, which is not bad for someone who is 96, and gives you an idea of the level of commitment to Obama in certain precincts of my family.

“I should say right off that my mother feels less strongly about Warren than my sister does. But I should add immediately that my sister feels very strongly, indeed. She's been in a relationship with another woman, the quite wonderful Nancy, for 19 years, and she resents the fact that Warren has likened same-sex marriage to incest, pederasty and polygamy.

‘“I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage,’ Warren told Beliefnet.com's Steve Waldman. ‘I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.’

‘“Waldman asked, ‘Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?’

‘“Oh, I do,’ said Warren.

‘“There you have the thinking of the man Obama has chosen above all other religious figures to represent him in this most solemn moment. He likens my sister's relationship -- three children, five grandchildren, so loving as to be envied and so conventional as to be boring -- to incest or polygamy.”’

Cohen gets to the heart of the matter here:

“The conventional thing to say is that Obama has a preacher problem -- first the volcanic Jeremiah Wright and now the transparently anti-gay Warren. But the real problem has nothing to do with ministers and everything to do with Obama's inability or unwillingness to be a moral leader. Sooner or later, he just might have to stand for something.”

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