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Tilting at Windmills

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December 18, 2008

THE OTHER SIDE ISN'T HAPPY EITHER.... One need not look too hard to find someone on the left who's upset about Rick Warren delivering the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration. But as it happens, liberals aren't the only one who are upset by the news.

In an interesting twist, plenty of conservatives are mad, not at Obama for inviting Warren, but at Warren for accepting the invitation.

David Brody, a correspondent for TV preacher Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, reported today that he's been "flooded with emails and most of them absolutely rip Pastor Warren for doing this."

Brody doesn't seem to share their concerns -- he asks, "Why can't a pro-life pastor pray for a pro-choice candidate?" -- but he republished a variety of the angry emails. This one stood out:

"Unless Rick Warren has changed, he is very disappointing in the pro-life cause. Just ask pro-life leaders their opinion. He doesn't like to deal with it at his church. It just seems funny that he is known as 'pro-life' when he largely ignores the subject and teaches others to do the same. I fear God for these 'men of God'. We have lost 50 million babies, and most won't say a word. Reminds me of Nazi Germany or our slavery days. Very few spoke out. It was more comfortable to keep quiet."

Here's another:

"I have had about all I can stand of Rick Warren's double standards. WHOSE side is he really on anyway? I'm beginning to think all he cares about are his questionable political connections. When I saw your article announcing his participation in "that one's" so called inauguration ceremony it absolutely sickened me. It isn't enough Obama is so full of himself that he "thinks" he's God. - Apparently now Rick Warren believes he is too. This is a complete mockery of all things sacred."

We can now expect the inevitable onslaught of reports indicating that "extremists on both sides" have expressed concerns about Warren's role at the inauguration.

Steve Benen 1:25 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (41)

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Comments

Great. Now all those owners of their very own weaponized "Jesus The Avenger Action Figure" get to reveal themselves for the amusement of sentient beings everywhere.

How nice.

Posted by: Curmudgeon on December 18, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

Onward Christian Soldiers!

These people would disgrace any demographic and/or organization, but it's especially troubling that they use the Bible to do it.

Posted by: Jay on December 18, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe this Rick Warren isn't such a bad fella after all...or maybe I just don't care.
BTW--Bush's rule allowing medical providers to refuse treatment on religious or moral grounds is now official. I think I do care about that.

Posted by: Allan Snyder on December 18, 2008 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Was is Keats of Yeats who proffered - "the center will never hold"- when referring to political discourse. Witnessing the choices of our honorable President-elect, I believe Mr. Obama is actively testing the observation. So far, we are seeing the extremities coming to the bear.

Will we see people of good conscience and center-middle political leanings show support for Mr. Obama's challenge to agree to disagree, but not become disagreeable? Or will these good Americans stay at home while the ideologues among us beat up on President-elect Obama?

Soon time will tell if the Roves and their ilk no matter the end of the spectrum they reside - far left or far right - will linger and continue poisoning our bodypolitik, or if Americans of common decency will invite these hooligans to leave and never come back! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on December 18, 2008 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

I've never been one to buy the "see, both sides hate us so we must be right!" logic. It's more an indication that Obama asking Warren to give the invocation at his inaugural is a dumb move politically as those on either side aren't responding positively to it and the rest really don't care. If this is how Obama thinks he can mix politics and religion, he's wrong.

Posted by: David W. on December 18, 2008 at 1:44 PM | PERMALINK

It is an invocation at a governmental ceremonial event, which means the majority of people in the audience either won't care who gives it, or won't pay much attention to it.

What will really matter is the actual swearing in and the first address to the nation as President. This has been a whole lot of nonsense over nothing.

I think far more important is Bush's adoption of the 'conscience' rule. People should be ranting and railing about that.

Posted by: sdh on December 18, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

"Jesus The Avenger Action Figure"

You mean the Jesus Christ Action Figure with Walk-on-Water Action!

Go ahead! Throw the first stone!

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on December 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

I suspect Barack considers the thunder stolen, but I'm still one pissed-off liberal.

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on December 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

does this mean we get a break from obama/bagoshit stories...

Posted by: kevin k on December 18, 2008 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK

Obama and Warren (by offer & acceptance) are saying "you are not the enemy."

Obviously, many people disagree.

Posted by: BuzzMon on December 18, 2008 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

"THE OTHER SIDE ISN'T HAPPY EITHER"

Is "the other side" ever happy about anything? They feed off of bitterness and rancor and survive on anger and victimzation. they are a supremely negative and corrosive influence. They're not happy? I've got news for you, they will never be happy and they don't want anyone else to be happy.

Posted by: Saint Zak on December 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Bush's rule allowing medical providers to refuse treatment on religious or moral grounds is now official. Allan Snyder

Can you imagine how the right will scream if a nurse or doctor lets a newborn die, because it was severly disformed or premature, and then uses this rule as their legal defense?

Posted by: Danp on December 18, 2008 at 1:52 PM | PERMALINK

"This is a complete mockery of all things sacred."

And here I thought we always create our gods in our own image.

Posted by: Diogenes on December 18, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

Obama and Warren (by offer & acceptance) are saying "you are not the enemy."

He's not and never has been *Obama's* enemy. They both like to kick gays, they just dispute a little on how to do it.

Posted by: tavella on December 18, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

Although not a fan of Warren, or of this choice, you have just made my day. In retrospect Obama's invitation to Warren is proving to be politically brilliant move. It looks like the hard right will take the que, and drive a wedge between themselves, and the center right. This is just what we need to have happen to create and maintain a center left coalition.

Posted by: bigTom on December 18, 2008 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Obama and Warren (by offer & acceptance) are saying "you are not the enemy." Obviously, many people disagree.

Just goes to show that ideologues on both sides of the spectrum need to have an enemy to motivate them to action.

Mere public service, conducted without rancor and motivated by a desire to make America a better country for everyone, is no longer its own reward.

Instead, we gotta hate those with whom we disagree. And liberals are every bit as capable of bringing the hate as conservatives. We just like to pretend we're not.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on December 18, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

I would like to quote a Best Selling author, regarding
1. Who and What is God, and
2. What does God want, and why?

Answers:
1. God is life, and everything in life;
2. God wants nothing because God has, and is, everything that God could possibly want.
And, question #3:
3. Then, what is God's purpose, what is God's function?
Answer: God can be used. That is the point of having a God.

You may want to substitute Nature or nature, for God. Nature, natural laws, science can be used. That is the point of studying nature. Most of us no longer worship nature; we study it and learn to harness it for our benefit. Sometimes we make bad choices and build bombs and weapons. Sometimes we make good choices and find cures and treatments for illness and pain. The nature of Nature does not change for us; we change based on what we learn from nature.

So, what we are seeing played out in this Obama thing is the learning about ourselves and our nature. What beliefs are driving you and your decisions? Do they benefit you and your community? the larger community? Do your beliefs make you a better person?

Take some time to examine how your opinions may be perceived by others, and how your opinions advance or retard the progress of the larger community. I don't mean to preach, but sometimes I just have to speak my mind.

I am committed to Oneness through Justice and Transformation
peace,
st john

Posted by: st john on December 18, 2008 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

They feed off of bitterness and rancor and survive on anger and victimzation. they are a supremely negative and corrosive influence.

And so, apparently, do you.

They're not happy? I've got news for you, they will never be happy and they don't want anyone else to be happy.
Posted by: Saint Zak

And neither do you. You're a perfect example of what I meant in my previous comment.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on December 18, 2008 at 2:04 PM | PERMALINK

Conservatives mad that Warren accepted the invitation! See, it's a mistake to try and appease conservatives. Instead of looking "statesmanlike" and all that schlock, Obama now looks more and more weak, a pussy boy who just tries so hard to please the enemy and just gets egg on his face. How many of you are starting to get hackled by all this rubbish?

Posted by: Neil B ☺ on December 18, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Hey now, Mark Foley didnt care if the boy was democratic or republican.

Posted by: Jet on December 18, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

Is it just me, or is the AstroTurf growing in here?

Just wonderin'.

Posted by: David W. on December 18, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

In retrospect Obama's invitation to Warren is proving to be politically brilliant move. -bigTom

I hate to sound like a broken record, but legitimizing Christian leaders who have as recently as last week justified the assassination of foreign leaders in the Middle East is not a 'brilliant move.' Not if one wants to sit a table with Muslim leaders and make progress in the near future.

Posted by: doubtful on December 18, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone -- on either side of the aisle -- who gets worked up about the invocation at the inauguration needs to get a life.

Posted by: Brian on December 18, 2008 at 2:10 PM | PERMALINK

I've never been one to buy the "see, both sides hate us so we must be right!" logic. It's more an indication that Obama asking Warren to give the invocation at his inaugural is a dumb move politically as those on either side aren't responding positively to it and the rest really don't care.
Posted by: David W.

Count me in the "I really don't care" group, as are probably most Americans who have something better to do than to obsess over who's giving the invocation.

It is, however, now the gift that keeps giving for centrists. Like James Carville and Mary Matalin tying the knot. So much hate and discontent to express!

Posted by: sjrsm on December 18, 2008 at 2:12 PM | PERMALINK

There are plenty of evangelists Obama could have selected to show common ground - Joel Osteen, for instance, would have sent the message that fundamentalist doesn't have to mean hate and divide. Christianity is more than hating gays and opposing abortion.

On the flip side, the beautiful thing about this is, everyone knows about Obama's willingness to attend the church of the wack-o Rev. Wright. By bringing in the wack-0 religious right, he's kind of saying, I don't need to share the views of the people I hear preach. I just prefer those people be earnest in their beliefs and open to living together.

Posted by: Memekiller on December 18, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

Hey sjrsm, *I* care when I'm being disrespected, and Warren's elevation to SUPERPREACHER by Obama is just that.

Posted by: David W. on December 18, 2008 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

THE OTHER SIDE ISN'T HAPPY EITHER.... -- Steve Benen

And their toothache is supposed to make the boil on my bum better? Exactly how? It doesn't make me happier that someone else is unhappy too; I don't happen to belong to the "misery loves company" school of philosophy.

What doubtful said (@14:09. As usual.

Posted by: exlibra on December 18, 2008 at 2:31 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, this is a historic moment. The left and the right fully agree on something. Apparently the possibility of two people who don't agree on everything deciding to respect each other and work together anyway is disturbing to both the right and the left.

I admit my knee-jerk reaction was to be appalled by the choice of Rick Warren, at least in light of his Prop 8 silliness. But it makes me wonder if Obama hopes that the mutual respect and honor between two such disparate figures might really make a difference on the ground. There are plenty of purists on both sides who won't see it that way, but what if Rick Warren works with Obama in the future? What if, by working with him on the issues they agree on, he comes to see Obama's point on other issues as well? Doesn't the sight of these two very different leaders being able to like each other cast the zealots in a whole new light - not with their detractors, but with their followers?

I'm reminded of when Salon interviewed Dr. Neil Warren, the founder of eHarmony, about why his dating site doesn't match gay couples. They convinced him the interview would be respectful, and it was and he participated. Lo and behold, the article revealed that he was starting to struggle with that idea. Maybe that hasn't changed, but the chance of Rick Warren seeing things differently seems worth fighting for -- and giving something for.

Posted by: Wally on December 18, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

Dear Jesus, please protect me from your followers.

Posted by: Geeeeez on December 18, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe it was a brilliant move. After reading all this hyperbole, I need to remind myself that strong left doesn't look much more attractive than strong right. We're supposed to be the tolerant ones. I don't agree with Rick Warren's schtuff, but the speech will end before the important decisions are made.

Posted by: beans on December 18, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Is "the other side" ever happy about anything? They feed off of bitterness and rancor and survive on anger and victimzation. they are a supremely negative and corrosive influence. They're not happy? I've got news for you, they will never be happy and they don't want anyone else to be happy.

Posted by: Saint Zak on December 18, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Wow, talk about projecting one's faults onto others. Or as Jesus, the real One, said ""Why do you see the speck in your brother's eye but fail to notice the beam in your own eye?" Luke 6:41.

If that statement describes or applies to anyone it applies to liberals since Bush v. Gore was handed down. LOL

Posted by: Chicounsel on December 18, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, the fact that a bunch of atheists and agnotics care what a charlatan witchdoctor has to say is amazing. Benen, no friend of organized religion, should be arguing thusly: why the hell do we need a invokation or benidiction in the first place? Stupid waste of time performed by stupid wastes of space.

Posted by: Wrecktum on December 18, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

"Plenty of conservatives are mad?"

Really?

Good--they should be, because they lost the election. Let's hope that Obama's administration gives them plenty of reasons to be angry. (And, ideally, plenty of reasons for progressives to be happy!)

Posted by: cognitive dissident on December 18, 2008 at 3:28 PM | PERMALINK

Kevo, it's Yeats "the centre cannot hold" in "The Second Coming."

Posted by: Jay C. Smith on December 18, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

obama should invite the bigots of all stripes, not just the anti-gay ones, all the pro assassination right wing stooges, all the anti science/evolution is a lie morons, and all the abortion is equal to the holocaust lack of perspective douchebags to share the stage with him, especially now when the world is watching his every move. just as long as they arent disagreeable when they disagree over these minor points and it shouldnt be a big deal at all.

obama acts like these issues are the same as arguing over who is the greatest running back of all time - jim brown or walter payton.

Posted by: ron on December 18, 2008 at 3:41 PM | PERMALINK

funny that when the right was screaming about his own reverend, obama dumped him. when the side that actually supports him and which he supposedly shares beliefs with starts yelling, they get dismissed. tut, tut. lets agree to disagree and share in what it means to be an american! rightwing bigots should have a place at the table too!

Posted by: ron on December 18, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

I think there's a degree of truth to this. Just like Billy Graham, Rick Warren is pandering to, not speaking truth to, those in power.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 18, 2008 at 4:02 PM | PERMALINK

Speaking of "truth to power," why not...

Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on December 18, 2008 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

Criticised for praying 'for Obama?' That is realy "Christian."

Posted by: nellieh on December 18, 2008 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

FREE On-Demand TV Shows, Movies, Music(over 6 million digital quality tracks), Unlimited Games, Money, and FREE College Educations (Stanford, Oxford, Notre Dame and more) @ InternetSurfShack.com

Posted by: G on December 18, 2008 at 10:48 PM | PERMALINK

Well obviously, Obama wants Warren nearby. As soon as he's sworn in, and he whips out the turban and Koran and proclaims America a Muslim nation, he's gonna want someone handy to behead. Snuh!

Posted by: Kreniigh on December 19, 2008 at 11:34 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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