6 thoughts on “PEBO Fails to Please All of the People All of the Time

  1. I agree with your thoughtful sentiments about the importance of PEBO’s attempts to cross the aisle and extend any number of olive branches in order to engage in progressive debate, Myesha. My concern is our president, no matter who he or she is, showing any tolerance for intolerance, whether it be racism, homophobia, or any other forms of exclusivity and ignorance. I, as a gay American, may be “naysaying” this choice. But I have much to lose from keeping quiet.

    1. Jen,

      I appreciate your reply. There is so much more work that needs to be done to combat the rampant homophobia that resides in society and especially in churches.

  2. As one of your “LGBT brothers,” I appreciate your thoughtfulness and assure you that I’m not antagonized – neither by your writing nor by Obama’s inauguration planning. Warren wouldn’t have been MY first choice, but I trust the president-elect. It appears to me that Obama is setting himself up to be a strong leader with a diverse inner circle. I hope he won’t let the conservatives drive the decisions after having been elected on a liberal platform – but I don’t think that he will fall into this trap at all. Instead, I anticipate that he will use the counsel of these individuals from across the political spectrum to implement his goals in a way, and on a schedule, that is least alienating to the people who disagree with him.

    I’d love to see America swing to the far left overnight, but I know that the pendulum would swing back to the right with equal force. If Obama can lead us toward a sustained enlightenment, I’m willing to wait. And I’m definitely willing to give him a couple of years to make his deeds match his campaign promises. I read the selection of Warren for the inauguration, and the nomination of some conservatives for the cabinet, as a strategy to move America in this direction with the intention of gradually changing minds rather than overruling constituencies.

    That said, I don’t think HRC is wrong to express outrage about Warren. It is important for national organizations to ensure that their focus issues are not neglected, and that the voters they represent are not taken for granted. Anything less would be an abrogation of HRC’s responsibility to its donors and its supporters.

  3. There’s a lot of uncertainty right now about what Obama’s active positions are going to be once he assumes office, and also a lot of activist energy that was needed six weeks ago but doesn’t know where to go now.

    The most constructive LGBT activism I’ve heard about recently is Project Postcard, asking people (straight, gay, whomever) to send Obama a postcard reminding him of his campaign promise to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. I like this project because it’s fundamentally positive: it isn’t saying “We’re angry” or “We don’t trust you,” it’s saying “Please remember your supporters and keep this on your to-do list.”

  4. I see your point about Warren’s presence at the inauguration as indicative of Obama being true to his promise to unify the country. And though I see the merit in that, I have to say that I find myself still skittish over the choice of Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration.

    For one, I think we have to be very careful not to allow issues of justice to fall by the wayside in the name of “unity.” Yes, Joe Lowery will be there to give the benediction. But placing two radically different versions of Christianity together in this way suggests that they are both equally credible. And I, for one, think it a travesty to suggest on any level that Warren’s so-called “divinely inspired” sexist and homophobic religious beliefs are legitimate. At some point, we have to draw a line in the sand. For far too long, progressive ministers and the like have allowed right wingers to have a monopoly on God-talk and defining the conversation on morality and values. I thought Obama would lead in the push to give someone else the mic.

    Secondly, let’s be real here: when Warren invited Obama to the global AIDS summit in 2006, that wasn’t a non-partisan gesture. That was a way to position himself as the “new” leader of the conservative religious right. And by all indications, it worked.
    Moreover, I think it important to note that the global aids summit, faith forums, etc. and the inauguration are two different contexts. And the difference in context matters. One is a place where there is a free exchange of ideas and complexities are hashed out; the other is filled to the hilt with symbolism and represents the tone of an administration. I have a sneaking suspicion that though Warren has had Obama at his church for summits and forums (each time along with John McCain), he would never ask Obama or anyone else of his ilk to come and give the opening prayer at Saddleback Church. Different context. Different message.

    Finally, I think the “you can’t please everyone” adage is, in this case, a cop out. I’m not asking Obama to please everyone. I’m asking him not to insult the very folk who pounded many-a pavement to get him elected (I being one). He could have chosen from a whole list of progressive evangelicals…yet, he chose someone who is unapologetic in his anti-woman, anti-gay beliefs. Nope. Sorry. That’s not the change I believe in.

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