So, what is Obama thinking with his selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration?
We all know that Warren is James Dobson in friendlier clothes. He is anti-abortion, anti-same-sex marriage, and anti-stem-cell research. And more. So why has Obama chosen him?
First of all, let me say that the choice doesn’t please me, one bit, but nor does it surprise me. Obama has been clear: marriage is between “one man and one woman.” (If you’re feeling dim today, and can’t guess my opinion of that, read an earlier post on the subject.)
Lots of LGBTQI people are getting righteously angry about this choice. They’re signing petitions and trying to get meetings and stamping their feet. Fine. Whatever helps you feel better. But I think our time would be better spent in thinking. Really. Think about it. Obama is a politician. He manipulates political machines to get what he needs. He has manipulated the quiltbag population brilliantly. He’s very, very good at what he does. We have to ponder what it is that he’s doing now.
He’s doing the Big Tent thing. He’s walking the talk of his acceptance speech, to be President for all those who didn’t vote for him, as well as for those who did. So now we have to ask ourselves: what can we do, as individuals and as groups, to walk alongside him on the path he’s committed to and not get left in a ditch. (Or wired to a fence, or raped in an alley, or set on fire in our homes.)
No, I don’t have a handy-dandy solution. But I do believe that drumming our heels and shrieking until we turn purple won’t cut it. We have to find a way to avoid entrenching ourselves in an adversarial position. This man is in charge of the world for the next four years at least. We have to think of all the good things he might achieve and find ways to work with him and change things for the better for us, too, as we go along.
Yesterday I read a study about pain: pain inflicted accidentally hurts less than pain which we think is given intentionally. So let’s start seeing this differently. No one is trying to hurt us with this choice. Oh, yes, it does hurt, no doubt about that, but it’s not aimed at us. Let’s think about it. Let’s come up with a way to walk alongside this man, just for a while, just to see if it works.