Sunday, December 28, 2008

Frank Rich is Upset at Obama’s Pick of Warren

It’s an honor to be chosen to deliver the invocation at a president’s inauguration. And this morning in his New York Times Op/Ed column, Frank Rich sees in Obama’s choice of The Reverend Rick Warren, a foreshadowing that Obama may have his own inclination to spend earned capital (as in, George W. Bush’s famous declaration that he had earned capital in his campaign and he intended to spend it). Rich is not sanguine about this omen and he is not sanguine about the Rev. Warren. Well, first, Frank, Barack Obama is going to hit some false notes since he is a mortal like the rest of us, so chill out, for God’s sake. It’s early in the game. And it’s true, The Rev. Warren is surely a lightning rod for everyone in the gay community who is looking to be offended. The man has been offensive to gays to a fare-thee-well. But second, I cannot think of a single person in the God-business that I personally would want to be God’s stand-in at Obama’s inauguration. All ordained persons are suspect. Maybe the Dalai Lama. The thing is, all God-biz guys have an agenda. And they are all going to be offensive if you just take the time to look under the hood. Any person who has decided to make a career out of explaining God to the rest of us is a bigot. Rich quotes gay Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson who said: “I’m all for Rick Warren being at the table but we’re talking about putting someone up front and center at what will be the most-watched inauguration in history, and asking his blessing on the nation. And the God that he’s praying to is not the God that I know.” Okay, now I’m offended. I would like to point out to all God-biz persons that the God we all pray to is One Unchanging Unknowable All-Knowing God. It’s the men and women of the cloth who have differing issues, agendas and talking points. And if Bishop Robinson thinks he knows God, he’s delusional as well as bigoted. But, that said, I also think that anyone standing before the world, and being watched by the world who asks that God bless this nation and the world is doing a good deed. And the moment that Reverend Warren invokes God’s blessing, we all should offer our own prayer and say AMEN!


Barry Schwartz said...

Is Mr. Rich not aware that Melissa Etheridge has already calmed down and actually approached Rick Warren to have a chat, at an event where they both were featured? Etheridge had nervously called Randi Rhodes on-air for advice and Randi told her to disrupt Warren's speech. Fortunately Ms. Etheridge took Barack Obama's implicit advice, instead.

Frank Rich probably hasn't figured out (and maybe never will) that it is he who is tone deaf. I would be very, very careful before accusing Barack Obama, of all people, of tone-deafness. How in the world did a young, beige-skinned man who had served less than four years in the Senate get elected President over Hillary Clinton, if he were prone to tone-deafness?

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demit said...

I suppose Rick Warren will expect to dine out on his inaugural celebrity for years, but six months from now who is going to remember, really, who performed the invocation? It's a moment. There's a raft of trouble barreling down on us all, gay and straight alike, and daily life & survival will soon crowd out whatever symbolism there was in who said what prayer where back in January.