Yesterday and today’s news headlines have been making me laugh:
December 17, 2008, 7:27 pm
By Sarah Wheaton
The Rev. Rick Warren, a conservative evangelical pastor, has been tapped to deliver the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration – and gay rights advocates are not happy about it.
Hmm, where have we seen this before? Oh yes, that’s right:
By NEDRA PICKLER
The Associated Press
Wednesday, November 29, 2006; 11:14 AM
WASHINGTON — Famed pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren Wednesday defended his invitation to Democratic Sen. Barack Obama to speak at his church from objections by other evangelicals to the senator’s support of abortion rights.
Obama is one of nearly 60 speakers scheduled to address the second annual Global Summit on AIDS and the Church beginning Thursday at Warren’s Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif.
So two years ago we have pro-lifers “outraged” over Obama’s invitation to an AIDS summit, and now we have gay rights advocates “outraged” over Warren’s invitation to an inaugural event.
Personally I bet the media exaggerated both of these people, as I know some pretty rational people in the pro-life camp and the gay rights camp that aren’t freaking out over this. But regardless of the amount of people who took offense to one invitation or the other, I think that those who did have missed the point about what Barack Obama is really about. Consider the following from his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope:
But for those of us who believe that government has a role to play in promoting opportunity and prosperity for all Americans, a polarized electorate isn’t good enough. Eking out a bare Democratic majority isn’t good enough. What’s needed is a broad majority of Americans – Democrats, Republicans, and independents of goodwill – who are reengaged in the project of national renewal, and who see their own self-interest as inextricably linked to the interests of others. (40)
Our country needs to move forward. I don’t care what you think about gay rights, abortion rights, any of it: we need your voice. We need everyone to work together on making actual progress instead of this self-destructive fight to silence people who disagree with us on this issue or that issue. Democracies function best when everyone puts their word in. And I honestly don’t give a crap if the guy working with me to stop AIDS is pro-choice or anti-gay. If we continue to shut ourselves off from each other, we will make no progress on anything.