Friday, December 19, 2008

Warren Redux

Joe Klein lays it down:
I have no problem with Barack Obama asking Reverend Rick to deliver a prayer at the Inauguration. It will have zero--repeat, zero--impact on the policies of the Obama Administration. And it may do some good, especially if it gives pause to all those people who think that I--and the crypto-Muslim Barack Obama--are going to hell...If it causes those folks to give the new President just the slightest credit for appreciating their worldview, if it causes them to give him the benefit of the doubt on controversial stuff like talking to the Iranians or universal health insurance, then it's worth it. If it causes evangelicals to say, "Well, he's not demonizing us, maybe we shouldn't demonize him," it's worth it. If it makes Rush Limbaugh's toxic blather about our next President seem even the slightest bit ridiculous and over-the-top to his idiot legion of ditto heads, it's worth it.

The thing is, Obama is trying to change the nature of public discourse from the raw blast it has been for the past 20 years to something more civil and tolerable. You sense that every time he opens his mouth. He's all for opening doors. I don't know how many of ultra-conservative evangelicals will walk through the door he is opening by having one of their most popular leaders join the inaugural celebration, but I appreciate his inclusive intent. Even if I think there is an insurmountable roadblock to heaven--I'd guess it's about like the relationship between a camel and the eye of a needle--for those who make blanket judgments about which of us is going to hell.

You can see this is both Obama's record on Gay Rights, and his statements yesterday in regards to the OUTRAGE:
I think it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something I have been consistent on and something I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.
There's never been a President who would even dream of of saying something like that... and I'm supposed to get upset because Obama invited a prominent voice of Christianity to the table? Does Warren equate homosexuality with pedophilia? Yes. Does he think Pro-Choice advocates are the equivalent of Nazis? Yes. But so do a lot of Americans. Americans that voted for Obama at double the percentage Kerry got. Now, their views of homosexuality are, by and large, patently offensive and and their statements are often repugnant... but I've got news for you... we're going to have to peel off the moderates if we want to get anything done before the bigots get old and die. National support for gay marriage is quite weak, and even civil unions barely break 50%:

That's just too big a percentage of the population to keep from the table.