Carefully Crafted on January 14

The Military Comes Out

Remember the uproar over Rick Warren being selected to give the invocation at next week’s swearing in ceremonies? I wonder how those same people feel now.

Personally, I was very conflicted by the whole Warren situation. My family emailed about it … this was my contribution to the discussion:

I don’t agree with Prop 8 and Warren does, so at first I couldn’t understand why out of all the pastors in the country, Obama would choose him. But I also know that Warren‘s church has done a lot of good things in the community to help those in need. I would never belong to his type of church, but I don’t have anything against people who do. I thought Obama should have chosen someone to give the prayer who was more open-minded the challenges facing the gay community. Or at least, not chosen someone who was so clearly against gay rights.

Then I got to thinking. I cannot understand — and have very little patience for — people who vote based on a single issue during an election (e.g., people who cast their vote based on gun rights, or abortion or even homosexual rights). So, I guess I can understand why Obama wouldn’t exclude a potentil pastor based on one position he holds. Overall, Rick Warren seems to have his heart in the right place. I totally disagree with him on one main issue (and probably have minor disagreements on other issues, but that’s besides the point for this argument). It’s an interesting pick and one that has forced people to think about inclusion, religion and where they stand. Sorry for the long, complicated answer — but it’s a complicated question.
Well, what if Obama is more politically shrewd than we give him credit for? Maybe he picked Warren to throw the conservatives a bone … knowing what was yet to come. Namely, backing Bill White for secretary of the navy. (White would be the first openly gay chief of a military branch.) Then, today word leaked that Obama would end the “don’t ask, don’t tell policy.” I cannot understand the logic behind telling a person that they should go to battle for a country that denies them the right to marry the person they love.. It’s about time this archaic, outdated policy be put back in the closet.
I realize that there are many, many pressing issues facing this country right now and that a significant number of people don’t place gay rights near the top of the list. (I think it’s a very important issue that says a lot about who we are as a people, but that’s a totally different discussion). That being said, I’m really looking forward to the next four or eight years of progressive, open-minded, out-of-the-box thinking — on civil rights and all the other issues that Obama will have to confront as leader of the free world.

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