Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama Defends Choice of Warren for Prayer

Barack Obama has come under fire for selecting Saddleback Church megapreacher Rick Warren to deliver the benediction at the Presidential inauguration. Warren supported Proposition 8, the anti-marriage referendum in California, and, not surprisingly for an evangelistic minister, holds lots of conservative views.

Obama held a press conference where he defended his choice and clarified his views on LGBT issues. Here's CNN:
President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday defended his pick of evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration next month as one of "a wide range of viewpoints that are presented."

"And that's how it should be, because that's what America is about," Obama said responding to a question at a news conference about his and Warren's differences on social issues. "That's part of the magic of this country is that we are diverse and noisy and opinionated."

Liberal groups and gay rights proponents had criticized the president-elect on Wednesday for choosing Warren, who opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

Those socially conservative stances put him at odds with many in Obama's Democratic Party, especially the party's most liberal wing.

"[It's] shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now," Andrew Sullivan wrote on the Atlantic Web site Wednesday. Obama: Choice of Warren reflects diversity of ideas

Not just Sullivan, check out Box Turtle Bulletin, AmericaBlog, Pam's House Blend ... everybody is beating up on Obama for this.
Obama in the news conference also defended his record on equality for gays.

"I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans," he said. "It is something that I have been consistent on, and I intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency."

People for the American Way President Kathryn Kolbert told CNN she is "deeply disappointed" with the choice of Warren and said the powerful platform at the inauguration should instead have been given to someone who has "consistent mainstream American values." ...

"There is no substantive difference between Rick Warren and James Dobson," Kolbert said. "The only difference is tone. His tone is moderate, but his ideas are radical."

Dobson, a social conservative leader, is founder and chairman of Focus on the Family.

Linda Douglass, a spokeswoman for Obama, defended the choice of Warren, saying, "This is going to be the most inclusive, open, accessible inauguration in American history."

Okay, people, here's a challenge for you. For the last eight years, gays have been forced to the outside, their wishes trampled while evangelicals got all the attention. Now, is the idea to do the same thing back to them? Evangelicals make up more than a quarter of the population of the United States -- can Barack Obama lead a country that includes them as legitimate citizens? Or do we offer participation in public life only to those citizens whose ideas are agreeable to us?
"The president-elect certainly disagrees with him on [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender] issues," Douglass said. "But it has always been his goal to find common ground with people with whom you may disagree on some issues."

Douglass also noted that Obama and Warren agree on several issues, including advocating on behalf of the poor, the disadvantaged and people who suffer from HIV/AIDS.

Obama pointed out that Warren had invited him to speak at his Saddleback Church two years ago even though Warren knew that he had views "that were entirely contrary to his."

"We're not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere when we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans."

I think there is one question here, and our side needs to think it through. We need to decide if we intend to support the recent tradition of divisiveness, only now with our side "in" and the other side demoted to second-class citizenship, or if we can encourage Americans to join together with respect that transcends ideological differences. If you're like me, you are not going to agree with a lot of conservatives' beliefs and actions, and we have to decide how to deal with them. I definitely don't want people like Rick Warren put into policy-making positions because they are not qualified, they do not possess facts or critical thinking abilities necessary to run a country -- we've had eight years to learn that lesson -- but do progressives want to cut salt-of-the-earth Christians out of public life entirely? I think we have to un-learn some bad habits, we have to undermine the us-versus-them frame if we want change that lasts.

87 Comments:

Anonymous old-anon said...

"That's part of the magic of this country..."

You know, this Barack Obama is not half bad.

He's right. The anti-gay-marriage movement is a big part of the magic that is America!

"For the last eight years, gays have been forced to the outside, their wishes trampled while evangelicals got all the attention."

Oh, come on. George Bush once talked to a Log Cabin Republican.

December 18, 2008 5:12 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Its a tempest in a tea-pot. This would be something significant if Obama has appointed Warren to some position of authority in the government but a micro second of him on stage isn't going to change anything for the worse. Obama's already appointed a couple of LGBTs to positions within his governement, its clear which way he's going.

December 18, 2008 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andrea- not anon
I can keep hoping that Rick tutns out to be another Ted Haggard or Jim Bakker.

December 18, 2008 9:12 PM  
Blogger Jackpot said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

December 18, 2008 9:13 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Amen.

As a gay man, I can understand the anger over this but I will give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

This is not something new from Obama. Trying to find a consensus is the reason why he was elected as the first black editor of the Harvard Review.

And plus I remember how nasty and cocky the religious right were when Bush was re-elected in 2004. As much as we may not like to, at least extending a hand to the opposition is a good thing to do for now.

December 18, 2008 9:43 PM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"And plus I remember how nasty and cocky the religious right were when Bush was re-elected in 2004."

Really?

Could you give us an example or two?

December 18, 2008 10:21 PM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Jim writes,

Okay, people, here's a challenge for you. For the last eight years, gays have been forced to the outside, their wishes trampled while evangelicals got all the attention. Now, is the idea to do the same thing back to them? Evangelicals make up more than a quarter of the population of the United States -- can Barack Obama lead a country that includes them as legitimate citizens? Or do we offer participation in public life only to those citizens whose ideas are agreeable to us?

Good questions...though I suspect those suffering from BDS (Bush Deranged Syndrome) are not likely to reflect upon such questions. Goodness, the State of Colorado (where I live) just elected an openly gay man (Jared Polis) to the US Congress at the same time they sent Marilyn Musgrave packing. Much like with another formerly oppressed minority that is just now waking up to the fact that one of their own won the Presidency of the United States, the GLBTIQ (did I leave anyone out?) needs to accept the fact that they are now mainstream.

December 18, 2008 10:22 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

I get the idea of welcoming all groups or sides (which Warren himself in his church does not do), but I wish Obama had picked an evangelical who has been less out front in the vangaurd of the hate squads. He was a poor choice of someone to bring to the table to bridge differences.

Priya's right, it's a tempest in a teapot, but will lessen my enjoyment of the inauguration.

December 19, 2008 4:45 AM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"I get the idea of welcoming all groups or sides (which Warren himself in his church does not do)"

This is typical of the kind of misconception that gets whipped up by all the hyperbole of the lunatic fringe.

Anyone is indeed welcome to come to Saddleback Church. Anytime you're out in the O.C., be sure and stop by.

Not only are gays welcome to attend Saddleback, the church is actively involved in AIDS relief efforts.

"I wish Obama had picked an evangelical who has been less out front in the vangaurd of the hate squads"

Since opposing gay marriage encompasses your definition of hate, that's darn near impossible.

Right?

You see, gays have a dream that anyone who has opposed their agenda will someday be shunned from polite society. That's what's going on here. These groups are testing to see if that has been achieved yet.

Gays have set themselves up for some disappointment. That day won't come.

December 19, 2008 6:44 AM  
Blogger Emproph said...

“You see, gays have a dream that anyone who has opposed their agenda will someday be shunned from polite society.”

And don’t forget about our dream to gather signatures to pass a law to guarantee that effect.

December 19, 2008 7:55 AM  
Anonymous the magic that is America said...

That's right!

Anyone is welcome at Saddleback.

Even a fanatical supporter of gay marriage like Obama!

Hey...wait just a cotton-pickin' minute here.

When B Obama went to Saddleback earlier this year, he said he believes the definition of marriage should remain a union between one man and one woman.

That's why Warren let B.O. speak there.

Our homedog, Barack Obama, is against gay marriage.

According to TTF, that would make him a hateful bigot who wants deny gay people their "rights".

Oh, this is a pickle!

Someday Barack is going to be a "lonely despised old man" just like all the other bigots.

And we had such high hopes for him!

December 19, 2008 7:59 AM  
Blogger Emproph said...

"According to TTF"

That's terrible that anything should be according to TTF.

TTF, how do you respond to that charge?

TTF?

Hello?

Hello, TTF?

TTF!

OMG, I think TTF is dead! Somebody call 911!

December 19, 2008 8:22 AM  
Blogger Dana Beyer, M.D. said...

Orin,

Not quite mainstream just yet, but getting there.

Thanks for noticing, and have a Merry Christmas and a very happy New Year!

December 19, 2008 8:30 AM  
Anonymous the magic that is America said...

"I think TTF is dead!"

You might be right.

Someone must have dropped their "vigilance" to let a hateful bigot become President-elect.

Here's what Joe Solomonese has to "say" today:

"It is difficult to comprehend how our president-elect, who has been so spot on in nearly every political move and gesture, could fail to grasp the symbolism of inviting an anti-gay theologian to deliver his inaugural invocation. And the Obama campaign's response to the anger about this decision? Hey, we're also bringing a gay marching band. You know how the gays love a parade.

Yes, the Rev. Rick Warren, pastor of the humongous, evangelical Saddleback Church in Orange County, Calif., has a sound message on poverty. And certainly, in the world of politics, there is a view that Barack Obama owes Warren for bringing him before fellow evangelicals, despite fierce opposition during the heat of the presidential campaign.

But here's the other thing about Warren, the author of the bestselling book "The Purpose Driven Life": He was a general in the campaign to pass California's Proposition 8, which dissolved the legal marriage rights of loving, committed same-sex couples.

For that reason, inviting Warren to set the tone at the dawn of this new presidency sends a chilling message to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans. It makes us uncertain about this exciting, young president-elect who has said repeatedly that we are part of his America, too."

Yeah, you know, I'm getting the feeling Obama might have played you guys for suckers.

"We understand that the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a civil rights icon and a dear friend of LGBT Americans, will close the inauguration ceremony. But would any inaugural committee say to Jewish Americans, "We're opening with an anti-Semite but closing the program with a rabbi, so don't worry"?"

Oh yeah, good analogy!

"It is likely that one of two scenarios played out during behind-the-scenes inaugural planning, both of them equally troubling. The first possibility is that it was suggested that Warren is the correct voice to lead the inauguration because his selection would send a message of inclusion to evangelicals. And when someone at the table said, "Gay America will be offended by that choice," the quick answer was, "That's fine, we'll deal with it. We invited the gay marching band.""

At least he was trying to appeal to gay "pride".

That's something!

"The second possibility is that no one at the table had a clue about Warren's anti-gay views and that the Obama team has been stunned by the broad and loud objections to the choice. That's not encouraging, either."

Almost sounds like Obama lacks experience.

Oh, that's right. He does.

"What the Obama team needs to understand is that for many LGBT Americans, this November was bittersweet. We were thrilled with Obama's victory and, in fact, many of us worked the phones, pounded the pavement and wrote checks to make that happen."

Looks like they pulled a fast one on you guys.

"But the next day, we learned that Proposition 8 passed in California, and our hearts sank. It was the biggest loss our community has faced in decades."

Let's hear that one again.

"It was the biggest loss our community has faced in decades."

Thanks, Joe.

"One of the biggest reasons for that hurtful outcome was the Rev. Rick Warren, who publicly endorsed Proposition 8 in late October. He told his parishioners and reporters alike that "any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn't think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships." But civil marriage rights for same-sex couples had nothing whatsoever to do with religion.

More recently, he even compared same-sex marriage to incest, pedophilia and polygamy."

Thanks for pointing that out, Joe.

"He may cloak himself in media-friendly happy talk that plays well on television, but he stands steadfastly against any measure of equality for LGBT Americans."

It's the "cloaking" that really gets Joe's gander.

"President-elect Obama must now, as my mother used to say, put some meat on the bone."

Let's not drop our guard in the war on obesity, Joe.

"We've seen appointment after appointment of talented Americans who come from constituencies that are part of this country and that helped gain his election."

Maybe they're all conspiring against gays.

Did ever think of that?

"Well, we're one of those constituencies who actually worked and voted for Obama,"

Yes, you did.

"unlike Warren and probably most of his 21,000 parishioners. Yet, we're the ones left waiting for some real evidence of inclusion."

That's funny!

"So, are we angry about Rick Warren? You bet we are."

That's funny!

"And including a gay marching band in the inaugural festivities doesn't heal this wound."

That's funny!

"It only serves to make us question the promises that Barack Obama made in his historic quest to be president."

Now you're catching on.

"We pray we weren't misled."

December 19, 2008 8:59 AM  
Blogger Emproph said...

“Yeah, you know, I'm getting the feeling Obama might have played you guys for suckers.”

My yes, how embarrassing. If only we’d voted for a presidential candidate who chose a running mate who didn’t even know their own job description.

December 19, 2008 9:23 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

TTF is not dead, TTF's president was on the Metro and will now express his own opinion on this subject, which may or may not reflect the views of any majority of the membership.

A person can have an opinion one way or the other on a topic such as marriage equality without being a "hateful bigot." It may be that in the long run the concept of marriage is assigned to a particular form of heterosexual monogamy and committed gay couples are given recognition under the law and in society under another title, "civil union" or whatever. This remains to be worked out. As it is, gay couples who love one another and wish to form a lifetime committment may do so informally, but are denied the many benefits that marriage provides, including legal and financial rights as well as the personal impact on a relationship when a couple transitions from "going steady" to "being married."

Our society has a history of discrimination against gay and transgender citizens, and we are overcoming that slowly but surely. Marriage between two people of the same sex obviously does not damage any heterosexual marriage or undermine the traditional institution of marriage in any way, it only has the effect of stabilizing society and building stronger families. The only reason to oppose such marriage, for someone who has thought about it, is prejudice. The denial of certain rights, such as those that accompany a committed lifetime -- married -- relationship is part of the stigmatization of gays, nothing more. There is no rational argument for denying marriage to same-sex couples.

Not everyone who opposes marriage equality is a hateful bigot. Some oppose it on the semantic grounds that the word "marriage" describes something other than same-sex relationships, and approve a civil or legal arrangement where gay couples receive the formal benefits of marriage but call it something different. Some people -- I'm guessing the majority who voted for Proposition 8 in California -- haven't thought the issue through, and act on the basis of their uninformed emotional response. It can be shocking to a straight person to see two men kissing, for instance, or to imagine two men having sex, it is not necessarily a hateful or bigoted reaction, they just can't imagine it, like you can't imagine eating some foods that foreign people consume every day. A clever propagandist with a big budget can exploit that kind of feeling and get people to vote his way.

Barack Obama has a good background in defending gay rights. In the present instance, I personally see him reaching out to build an inclusive presidency, including people whose views he does not agree with, by inviting this minister to give a prayer. The gay community seems unified in their opposition to including Rick Warren in the inaugural ceremonies. I -- personally again, this is only my opinion -- think the gay community should have fought harder when the question was up for a vote, when it really mattered, and they don't have much of a point when a preacher is asked to say a prayer at a public ceremony. Proposition 8 was a direct question about depriving gay people of certain rights, and they sat back and let the Mormon church and the Christian right beat them. That was the time to fight. This is trivial. Rick Warren is not being asked to write policies or even give advice on LGBT issues, he's going to say a prayer, he will ask God to bless this presidency. Obama has a good team of experts advising him on policy and a good history of decisions that support inclusion and respect for all people, including gays, including evangelicals. It's going to be hard for us to drop our guard and accept people who are different from us, but we will have to, it will be up to us to show that we are bigger than the divisive regime we have endured for the past eight years.

Everybody at TTF might disagree with me, I'm just speaking for myself.

JimK

December 19, 2008 9:36 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Orin said "the GLBTIQ (did I leave anyone out?) needs to accept the fact that they are now mainstream.".

LGBT are not mainstream in the U.S. Canada yes, but the U.S. no. If LGBT were mainstream in the U.S. they'd have the right to marry the person of their choosing, they'd be allowed to serve openly in the military, and they'd be included in hate crimes and anti-discrimination laws like other groups are.

December 19, 2008 10:52 AM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Anonymous,

I just caught your question. Sorry for the delay.

You asked for examples of the religious right behaved after Bush was re-elected in 2004.

Here is one - shortly after the election, he received a letter from Bob Jones University which said:

"You owe the liberals nothing. They despise you because they despise your Christ. Honor the Lord, and He will honor you."

I cringe to think that we would take that same mindset regarding Obama's election. One good thing about this is that Mr. Warren continues to dig a hole by not letting the situation rest but giving interviews in which he infers tht lgbts are immature. The nation can see why we get angry over the religious right rhetoric and neither he nor the religious right can claim that they are being persecuted for their beliefs. Obama has given them rope to hang themselves.

I just hope lgbts don't get dragged along that same rope.

December 19, 2008 12:11 PM  
Blogger BlackTsunami said...

Let me clarify - Warren calling homosexuality an impulse much like anger or fear.

We are talking about going waaay out of the "it's just my religious beliefs" territory with that one.

So does that make it biological?

December 19, 2008 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Jim

As much as the Post and other media have said it, my opinion about Rick Warren are not based on his support for Proposition 8. As you said, someone can be an opponent of marriage and not a hateful bigot; our own Orin is an example of such a person.

Rick Warren is different. He blames the AIDS epidemic on gay men, he opposes all rights of lgbt people (including ENDA, ending DADT, hate crimes, adoption, all of it), and he likens lgbt relationships to child rape (his own words). He is not simply an evangelical opposing marriage. He is among the worst of the worst.
I feel like we've been thrown under the bus, and the bus has been backed up over us for another go.

December 19, 2008 12:39 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Orin said "the GLBTIQ (did I leave anyone out?) needs to accept the fact that they are now mainstream.".

That's an interesting change in your attitude. Not to long ago you were ranting that gays only wanted the right to marry so they'd be accepted and that even if they got that right they'd never be accepted. What changed your mind?

December 19, 2008 12:44 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

I agree with Jim's response.

The key factor, in my mind, regarding Rick Warren is not simply his support of Prop 8, but the rationale he gave, in response to a reporter's question, in October, after he announced his support: That same sex relationships are akin to polygamy, incest, and pedophilia. This is precisely the opposite of what Barack Obama has made very clear: That same sex couples should have the same government-sanctioned rights and responsibilities as heterosexual couples. It may be one thing to be hung up on the M word; it is quite another to denigrate the humanity of gay people. This is the fundamental difference between Rick Warren and Barack Obama.

Rick Warren has generally tried to avoid talking about sexual orientation, but when circumstances essentially force him to do so, his responses display either ignorance or cowardice (witness what happened to National Association of Evangelicals spokesman Richard Cizik when he came out in favor of civil unions -- he was immediately forced out).

I have no idea whether Rev. Warren is sincere or opportunistic on this matter. But bigotry with a human face is still bigotry.

I see the logic of the Obama team's wanting to reach out. It may well be that they were not aware of Warren's October responses.

But Obama is now stuck with Warren. His statement yesterday about being a "fierce advocate" for gay rights was both consistent with his long-stated positions and useful in the current climate. I suspect the blowback on Warren will stiffen the spine of the Obama camp on LGBT issues. I don't think Obama is like Bill Clinton, whose progressive positions could easily be scattered, to use Napoleon's phrase, by a "whiff of grapeshot."

Moreover, the more these issues are discussed in depth, the more people will see the humanity in respecting gay people and what ought to be their marriages. See this Jon Stewart interview with Mike Huckabee. http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=213349&title=mike-huckabee-pt.-2

December 19, 2008 12:46 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 19, 2008 12:52 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Robert said "As [Jim] said, someone can be an opponent of marriage and not a hateful bigot; our own Orin is an example of such a person."

I disagree. Anyone who opposes full equality for gays is a hateful bigot. That includes Orin and Obama. Its a matter of degree. Obama's a bit of a hateful bigot, Orin is a more so, and Rick Warren and bad anonymous are extreme examples. We just don't say it like it is about the lesser hateful bigots out of fear of offending them and making it less likely that they'll continue to grow. The choice of obama is the choice of the much lesser of two evils, that is why I support him.

December 19, 2008 12:53 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

There is no doubt that in the future when LGBTs have achieved full equality people will look back on Obama and his opposition to full marriage rights and feel it taints his image a bit. Just like Charles Darwin is admired but that is tempered by some of the somewhat racist statements he made reflecting a culture that at the time which was even more racist.

December 19, 2008 1:01 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

Well, we are all speculating, but I think it far more likely that Obama will be looked upon the same way Lincoln was looked upon.

Lincoln got a lot of heat from abolitionists for not being aggressive enough, but (at least from my reading of A Team of Rivals) Lincoln gauged public sentiment and moved it along in ways that were extremely effective, and were likely the most successful, given the waters he had to navigate.

December 19, 2008 3:02 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I can't see that. What's Obama going to do that will be the equivalent of ending slavery? Unless he has a change of heart and is instrumental in getting gays full equality in the military, anti-discrimination and hate crimes laws as well as equal marriage rights I doubt anyone will be thinking of him as an equivalent to Lincoln. In fact, even if he did all those things I don't think it would be considered an equivalent advance to ending slavery.

December 19, 2008 3:22 PM  
Anonymous MARYANNE A. ARNOW said...

How about this one...

Having been legally, "normally" married to my wife, best friend, and soulmate, for more than 12 years now, and having now legally changed my gender status from male to female in the home state of my residence, i am now subject to various forms of discrimination and deprivement of the very same rights, comforts, and protections that i had full access to before that point in my life.

Yet, i am exactly THE SAME human being - same heart and mind - that i was when we married, regardless of gender.

I am a girl, period. And This is the woman i love with every single ounce of my life and love, and want to spend the rest of my days with.

Now, i must be forced to accept discrimination by my own health insurance company, and accept "domestic partner" status, and be legally forced to accept being part of a disgusting lie that i am not married to my spouse, when in fact, i still very much am.

Yes - technically speaking we have become a "same-sex" couple, but i am the very same HUMAN BEING that married her, and still loves her with all of my heart.

I am still committed to the same vows we swore to one another more than a decade ago, and so is she.

We are best lifelong friends and soulmates. But now, just because of some supposedly warranted and superior and more supposedly ethical theological and/or sociologic basis of beliefs, it is therefore Ok to now deprive me of the same civil rights that my marriage has afforderd me/us up until this point ?

If i go all the way back to change my birth certificate to reflect the change in my gender, my marriage can actually be considered legally nullified ?

This is criminally insane. Sick. Viciously cruel and insensitive, and i cannot for the life of me equate this kind of inhumane discriminatory beliefs, which are still entirely pervasive at every level of business and Government.

This, as being supposedly based somehow in the tenets of unconditional love, acceptance, and loving fairness for ALL of humanity,,, that many theological systems of thought and "higher" "moral", "ethical", spiritual social examples are supposedly based upon.

Just like last year when those vehemently opposed to my equal civil rights as a transgender woman were opposed by those that purport to have a higher ethical and moral view based primarily on religious beliefs, yet there was clear evidence that they often lied, distorted, falsified clinical fact and falsified signatures in every way possible, and in general were completely disingenuous to the public at large about the actual discriminations issues themselves.

And THIS is a higher "moral and "ethical" ground basis of social behaviors ? absolutley horrifying that anyone behaving in such a manner can claim moral superority and ethical correctness above anyone else at all.

These kinds of utter and completely inhumane hypocrisies must be questioned to the highest level of human dialogue in all of modern society possible today.

Thoughtfully,


Maryanne

December 19, 2008 4:03 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Maryanne relationships such as yours highlight the absurdity of laws that discriminate on the basis of sex.

December 19, 2008 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Priya

Many people are bigots. We all have to look into our own hearts. Yet, to my mind, many people who hold what I consider prejudiced opinions are not hateful.

Nor are most people hateful all of the time.

If I thought every child who held a stereotypical, or prejudiced, or bigoted opinion about lgbt people was hateful, there is not way I could do my job.

That said, Rick Warren was not the right choice for Obama. I still feel those bus tires. He has a lot to make up to us.

December 19, 2008 5:11 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

I think its a matter of degree Robert. As in a slap and murder are both violence and by the same token there are hateful bigots and hateful bigots. From one respect the two aren't remotely comparable, and from another they are the same thing.

December 19, 2008 5:19 PM  
Anonymous Wise's Cheese Waffles said...

Maybe we should make DADT standard policy for all employers.

That would make for a healthier society!

December 19, 2008 5:58 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

No, it would have the opposite effect. The stress of hiding one's nature makes people less effective and less healthy:

http://ukgaynews.org.uk/Archive/08/Jul/0302.htm

December 19, 2008 6:30 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Less religion makes for a healthier society:

Yet in sexual abuse (including incest) we find that the greater toward fundamentalism the family worships, the greater the likelihood of a child being raped, sexually abused or incest-ed by their father/step-father. To the point that it is just slightly greater than twice as likely.
The people least likely to conduct these heinous sexually deviant crimes are non-relgious/atheist.
The source is "Sexual Abuse in Christian Homes and Churches", by Carolyn Holderread Heggen [Herald Press, Scotdale, PA, 1993] which in turn cites the following:
Brown and Bohn, 1989
Finkelhor, 1986
Fortune, 1983
Goldstein et al, 1973
Van Leeuwen, 1990
the relevant passage:
A disturbing fact continues to surface in sex abuse research. The first best predictor of abuse is alcohol or drug addiction in the father. But the second best predictor is conservative religiosity, accompanied by parental belief in traditional male-female roles. This means that if you want to know which children are most likely to be sexually abused by their father, the second most significant clue is whether or not the parents belong to a conservative religious group with traditional role beliefs and rigid sexual attitudes. [emphasis in original]

December 19, 2008 6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it when Priya starts with the "multiple posts by a disturned individual" routine.

December 19, 2008 7:28 PM  
Anonymous Maryanne A. Arnow said...

dear anon,

Please provide irrefutable proof that you have in fact personally witnessed Priya doing what you just accused her of, such as a video camera, or IP address verification.

Otherwise, contribute something of educational or other interesting value to the coversation and it's actual topic. If not, you are just as much of a liar and a hypocrite for making such assertions.

Food for thought to all those that continually engage in distracting and derailing and unecessarily critical comments. it only makes you seem much less intelligent and civil, instead of really making any valid point of opposition.

Thank you,

Most Respectfully,

Maryanne

December 19, 2008 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Please provide irrefutable proof that you have in fact personally witnessed Priya doing what you just accused her of, such as a video camera, or IP address verification."

"Priya" is a screen name here with multiple postings, often several consecutive ones. I don't understand what proof you're seeking. Anyone can see them above.

As for whether they represent the rambling of a disturbed individual, it's a matter of opinion but all that's needed for anyone to form their own opinion is to read the post.

Go ahead and do it yourself.

December 19, 2008 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Food for thought to all those that continually engage in distracting and derailing and unecessarily critical comments. it only makes you seem much less intelligent and civil, instead of really making any valid point of opposition."

Maryanne, I am often the provocateur who sustains conversation here.

Yesterday, for example, I mentioned the Rick Warren issue, an off-topic issue.

Today, a whole post on it.

Those ahead of their time are often unfairly attacked.

December 19, 2008 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Maryanne Arnow said...

Dear Anon,

Extremely intelligent and well written responses.

All things still being debatable until personal witness by any or all of us, has occurred and been verified, of course... :)

And a personal comment that will track back to the original topic:

As far as you're very last comment, i must agree, as i have been attacked, and viciously - my whole life, for being nothing more than

A: myself

and B: completely different than many, if not most cultural and societal "norms" as long as i have been alive and old enough to be consciously aware of it.

I did not consciously "choose" either of those things in the sense that many commonly refer that are opposed or critcal -

(stick with me here)...

Especially in such things as what is often called a "lifestyle choice", (an often negatively veiled connotation of such things being a "casual" choice) as it being:

A: reason for my transsexuality,

or

B: anothers' being gay, for example.

Yet both are subjected to forms of social cruelty and viciousness couched in some sort of socio-cultural or socio-theological basis with a regularity that continually breaks my heart, and still completely baffles my mind to no end of sensible logic of real humanity and compassion that i can think of...

This cannot logically equate itself without cancelling itself out.

This, by the very nature and grueling reality of many discriminatory or hateful logic and behaviors -

This is, the exact opposite it seems, of anything resembling unconditional love and truly loving acceptance of fellow human beings.

This is displayed in any number of social cultures and relgions as well as other forms of thinking - even scientific and philosophic as well in some cases.

I am that i am. So are we all.

Can you say likewise ?

Most sincerely,
Thanks,


Maryanne

December 20, 2008 2:12 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Those ahead of their time are often unfairly attacked.

I agree, Obama has been and continues to be unfairly attacked for wanting to find the middle by bringing both sides together.

The blogosphere erupted on Dec. 17th when Obama announced his selection of Warren to give the invocation. Don't forget, Warren accepted Obama's invitation.

As Salon put it For more than two years, cozying up to Rick Warren has been one of Barack Obama's favorite ways of showing evangelical Christians that he might not be so scary, after all -- and for just as long, palling around with Obama every once in a while has been Warren's way of trying to show more secular-minded people that he's not so bad, either.

Obama also selected Reverend Joseph Lowery, dean of the civil rights movement,to give the benediction.

The AP reports "He gets a lot with these choices," said David Domke, author of "The God Strategy: How Religion Became a Political Weapon in America."

"Here's a guy who wants to run a progressive administration getting a substantial lift in his wings from the nation's most popular evangelical," Domke said. "But he balances that with Joseph Lowery, who speaks to the more liberal, social justice and African-American heritage."


I think we can expect a lot of listening to both sides from our new President-elect, Barack Obama, who reassured all of us this week that he remains as he always has been "fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans."

December 20, 2008 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I agree, Obama has been and continues to be unfairly attacked for wanting to find the middle by bringing both sides together."

Can you give us an example of anyone other than lunatic fringe gay advocates doing that?

I'm actually delighted with Warren being at the Inaugural and all the centrist appointments to Obama's cabinet.

So far, so good.

"The blogosphere erupted on Dec. 17th when Obama announced his selection of Warren to give the invocation. Don't forget, Warren accepted Obama's invitation."

So what?

"Barack Obama, who reassured all of us this week that he remains as he always has been "fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans.""

I love so much the fact that you guys are still falling for the old politicians' trick.

Come 2012, nothing will have changed but he'll still have you guys working for his election and he'll be saying stuff like, "let me finish building the dream".

LOL

December 20, 2008 9:56 AM  
Anonymous OUTRAGED said...

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - The sponsors of Proposition 8 asked the California Supreme Court on Friday to nullify the marriages of the estimated 18,000 same-sex couples who exchanged vows before voters approved the ballot initiative that outlawed gay unions.

The Yes on 8 campaign filed a brief arguing that because the new law holds that only marriages between a man and a woman are recognized or valid in California, the state can no longer recognize the existing same-sex unions. The document reveals for the first time that opponents of same-sex marriage will fight in court to undo those unions that already exist.

"Proposition 8's brevity is matched by its clarity. There are no conditional clauses, exceptions, exemptions or exclusions," reads the brief co-written by Kenneth Starr, dean of Pepperdine University's law school and the former independent counsel who investigated President Bill Clinton.

The campaign submitted the document in response to three lawsuits seeking to invalidate Proposition 8, the constitutional amendment adopted last month that overruled the court's decision in May that had legalized gay marriage in the nation's most populous state.

Both Attorney General Jerry Brown, whose office is scheduled to submit its own brief to the court Friday, and gay rights groups maintain that the gay marriage ban may not be applied retroactively.

The Supreme Court could hear arguments in the litigation as soon as March. The measure's backers announced Friday that Starr, a former federal judge and U.S. solicitor general, had signed on as their lead counsel and would argue the cases.

Proposition 8's supporters assert that the Supreme Court lacks the authority or historical precedent to throw out the amendment.

"For this court to rule otherwise would be to tear asunder a lavish body of jurisprudence," the court papers state. "That body of decisional law commands judges - as servants of the people - to bow to the will of those whom they serve - even if the substantive result of what people have wrought in constitution-amending is deemed unenlightened."

The cases are Strauss v. Horton, S168047; City and County of San Francisco v. Horton, S168078; and Tyler v. State of California, S168066.

December 20, 2008 10:04 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Can you give us an example of anyone other than lunatic fringe gay advocates doing that?

Sure, no problem. The Blackle is my friend. Try The National Republican Trust PAC"

Oh, how about another, GrassFire.org They want folks to join the resistance!

Oh and how about World Daily Net where they are selling a book with details of the plans to derail the "Obama Express."

Oh oops, and then there's Anon's favorite, Citizen's Link where they continue to attack Obama.

December 20, 2008 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"The blogosphere erupted on Dec. 17th when Obama announced his selection of Warren to give the invocation. Don't forget, Warren accepted Obama's invitation."

So what?


So your comment about Warren on December 18, 2008 9:47 AM was not "ahead" of anyone's time, it was after the fact. Nice attempted spin though!

I love so much the fact that you guys are still falling for the old politicians' trick.

You're talking about "old politicians" like Bush and Cheney. Obama is a breath of fresh air. Get with the program or get left behind.

December 20, 2008 11:40 AM  
Blogger Orin Ryssman said...

Priya Lynn writes,

Robert said "As [Jim] said, someone can be an opponent of marriage and not a hateful bigot; our own Orin is an example of such a person."

I disagree. Anyone who opposes full equality for gays is a hateful bigot. That includes Orin and Obama.

LOL!!! How come I am not surprised?

Its a matter of degree. Obama's a bit of a hateful bigot, Orin is a more so, and Rick Warren and bad anonymous are extreme examples.

"A bit of a hateful bigot"..."is a more so"...and "extreme examples" (like Rick Warren et al).

Wow, that is full throated example of what we all have to look forward to with a fully implemented GLBTIQ agenda. I hope cooler heads (like Robert, Jim and others) have a tempering influence on such a rash opinion.

Still, it is becoming ever more clear that homosexuals and their fellow travelers are not simply after "marriage equality" but want the powers of the State to be used to reshape the social, political and legal landscape of the US (having to a large extent already accomplished this in Western Europe). And once they accomplish this it will be time to "turn and burn" all those that opposed such a radical agenda.

We just don't say it like it is about the lesser hateful bigots out of fear of offending them and making it less likely that they'll continue to grow.

You are half wrong/right on this...frankly I could care less that folks like you will not like me. Sorry, I will not lose sleep over such a prospect(this is where you are wrong). Still, most are abysmally ignorant of the end game of gay activists and their partisan supporter. I am fairly certain if a majority of Americans understood this end game they would withdraw their support on a public level (this is where you are correct).

The choice of obama is the choice of the much lesser of two evils, that is why I support him.

Please...good grief, unlike Boy Clinton, Obama does believe in homosexual liberationist agenda, which is but one element of furthering a Culture of Death. That is, Obama truly does believe in something, which distinguishes him from Clinton, who really only believes in himself.

December 20, 2008 1:31 PM  
Anonymous grantdale said...

Orin,

Why don't you actually become A Gay(c) before you talk on our behalf? You talk such utter rubbish at times.

Your mind-bendingly ignorant opinion is one thing, but pretending to state what 'we' want is another matter.. How the hell would you know?

Instead, ask us, and learn. Dare you.

December 20, 2008 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Orin said
And once they accomplish this it will be time to "turn and burn" all those that opposed such a radical agenda.

No Orin, it's religious radicals who seek to turn and burn. For example, Martin Luther either wanted to "turn" Jews into Christians or "burn" them.

Anon said
I'm actually delighted with Warren being at the Inaugural and all the centrist appointments to Obama's cabinet.

That statement clearly demonstrates that Obama is uniting us already.

December 20, 2008 3:34 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Orin babbled some of his hateful bigotry and ignored the main question:

You said "the GLBTIQ (did I leave anyone out?) needs to accept the fact that they are now mainstream.".

That's an interesting change in your attitude. Not to long ago you were ranting that gays only wanted the right to marry so they'd be accepted and that even if they got that right they'd never be accepted. Now you're saying gays are mainstream, that they have been accepted - what changed your (narrow) mind?

December 20, 2008 4:11 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

Orin: “Wow, that is full throated example of what we all have to look forward to with a fully implemented GLBTIQ agenda. I hope cooler heads (like Robert, Jim and others) have a tempering influence on such a rash opinion.”

GLBTIQ agenda...

From the GLAAD Offensive Terminology to Avoid page:

Offensive: "gay agenda" or "homosexual agenda"
Preferred: "lesbian and gay civil rights movement" or "lesbian and gay movement"


[Emproph: Or in this case, the GLBTIQ civil rights movement.]

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people are as diverse in our political beliefs as other communities. Our commitment to equal rights is one we share with civil rights advocates who are not necessarily LGBT. "Lesbian and gay civil rights movement" accurately describes the historical efforts, by gay and straight people alike, to achieve understanding and equal treatment for LGBT people. Notions of a "homosexual agenda" are rhetorical inventions of anti-gay extremists seeking to create a climate of fear by portraying the pursuit of civil rights for LGBT people as sinister.
---
Orin: “Still, it is becoming ever more clear that homosexuals and their fellow travelers are not simply after "marriage equality" but want the powers of the State to be used to reshape the social, political and legal landscape of the US (having to a large extent already accomplished this in Western Europe). And once they accomplish this it will be time to "turn and burn" all those that opposed such a radical agenda.”

No, Orin, that’s what you would do:

Still, it is becoming ever more clear that anti-gay Christians and their fellow travelers are not simply after preventing "marriage equality" but want the powers of the State to be used to reshape the social, political and legal landscape of the US (having to a large extent already accomplished this in Africa). And once they accomplish this it will be time to "turn and burn" all those that opposed such a radical agenda.
__
Also see dominionism, AKA “I’m saved no matter what, therefore my actions, or lack of them, no longer have consequences.”

December 20, 2008 11:28 PM  
Blogger Emproph said...

Jim, I wasn’t directing the “TTF is dead” thing toward you, if that‘s what you thought. Not that I’m beyond being flippant like that, but I was attempting to make fun of Anon’s use of the acronym in referring to TTF members and supporters as some kind of monolithic whole that’s devoid of any disagreement or striations of opinion - which this thread so adequately illustrates.

I never got around to addressing my disagreement with you, despite having attempted several different approaches, all of which ended up on the cutting room floor.

My feeling on the matter is that this was unnecessarily offensive. I consider the basis of Warren's anti-gay beliefs to be no different than that of white supremacists. They both take on the ideology of supremacism based on sheer belief. The fact that he and those like him use the Bible and religion to justify their positions is just an attempt to distance themselves from taking personal responsibility for those beliefs.

Which as far as I’m concerned, is even worse than just coming out and saying that you’re superior to someone, just because you think so.

He’s stated that he thinks we’re on par with child molesters. We put child molesters in prison, and/or execute them. When it comes to gay people, Rick Warren sees no moral difference between consent and rape, which is moral relativism, which is objectively immoral, at least in human terms, because it makes no distinction between the innocent and the guilty.

However, in this case example, the immorality of moral relativism is being defined and promoted as objective morality. That objective morality (again, at least in human terms) being the Golden Rule.

So as far as I see it, for Obama to reach out to those whose “morality” is whatever they decide it to be, is to give credence to it. This is why I find this unacceptable.

If you (or anyone) want to make the argument that such moves will help to guarantee more support for progressive measures (increased freedom for ALL) in the long run, so be it, then it’s a necessary political evil. Other than that, I only see a downside to approving of such a move.

Specifically because it leads in the direction of complacency, which, if the last eight years have taught us anything, is a road we can never afford to go down again.

Karl Popper elucidates the point that “Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.”

To the extent that Warren and Dobson, et al, define GLBT people, and their relationships as the equivalent of child molestation etc., they define themselves and their religion as being arbitrarily-intolerant - the antithesis of everything that America stands for.

There is good reason to be intolerant of that position, especially when it is promulgated as a "religious" belief that should be protected by the government, because in essence, it is an anti-American belief. Which makes it all the more unacceptable that Obama has chosen to give platform to it at the very inception of this political juncture.

December 20, 2008 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Which makes it all the more unacceptable that Obama has chosen to give platform to it at the very inception of this political juncture."

Obama said in plain English that he didn't agree with the homosexual position on redefining marriage and now they're shocked that he invites someone with the same belief to his inauguration.

Truth is, Obama didn't fool you. You fooled yourselves, thinking he was speaking to you in some special code when actually he was just speaking truth. He doesn't believe homosexuality should be redefined to cater to the gay agenda.

Here's another truth: gays don't want to be married. They want to destroy marriage.

Marriage is a religious institution. Heteros wouldn't do it except for religious reasons. Homosexuals want to do it in order to defeat the religious connection to heterosexuality. If religion weren't present, homosexuals would never have started this.

December 21, 2008 12:24 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Orin, have you become more radical?

December 21, 2008 4:34 AM  
Blogger Emproph said...

“Obama said in plain English that he didn't agree with the homosexual position on redefining marriage and now they're shocked that he invites someone with the same belief to his inauguration.”

Obama didn’t openly define his entire identity and religious beliefs by the amount of ways he can insult gay people.

“Marriage is a religious institution. Heteros wouldn't do it except for religious reasons.”

So you’re saying that all atheists are not “heteros?”

What exactly do you base such an assertion on?

December 21, 2008 4:49 AM  
Blogger JimK said...

Emproph, it was a good question, even if you didn't intend it. I am taking your comment very seriously, this is a hard topic and I want to make sure we handle this opportunity correctly.

Now the shoe is on the other foot, and we have to really think about how we're going to deal with this kind of situation. First of all, people are saying things like "He’s stated that he thinks we’re on par with child molesters." But he didn't, he talked about kinds of relationships that he would not call "marriage," and marrying a child was one of his examples -- it's a borderline insult at worst, I'd say. There are plenty of places where children are put into arranged marriages, the guy's a jerk but we don't win any points by making him sound worse than he is.

Progressives and LGBT folk have been on the outside for the last eight years, ok, now we move into power, what are we going to do? The mandate really is to bring the country back together again, divisiveness works against us. Ordinary straight Americans are not haters, but when they are forced to choose between something that seems simple and obvious to them and something that seems weird and strange, their choice is easy. In their hearts, they don't hate gay people, for instance, but when the Republicans drove the wedge in there, when they made people choose, they chose the familiar thing over tolerance. Now it's our turn, and we should handle it differently. I really don't have anything against a guy who believes in Jesus and hard work, who loves his wife, or tries to, and tries to raise the kids to do the right thing, and if he doesn't understand what this "homosexual" business is about I understand that, he just doesn't know. The situation calls for education, which requires the ability to speak to each other, which is why Obama's inclusion of Warren is a smart thing. There has never been a president with as favorable an attitude about LGBT issues, and you cannot let yourself get adamant about this one little point, when in fact this is going to be a very good administration for our side. We won, we're going to get everything we want, and now he's looking a step further and thinking how to bring the country back together again, and this is his way of reaching out to the other side.

This is hard, man, this is turn-the-other-cheek, love-your-enemy big time. I feel like you do, why would Obama invite an asshole like that to the inauguration, but I see why he did it and I hope it works. We won't in the long run win by yelling at the other side across a chasm, Americans have to see one another as one people to accomplish this healing. And our side will have to start it. There have been puritans in America for a long time, and a wise leader is going to have to figure out how to rule in a way that satisfies them, too, whether he agrees with them or not. We hope this new guy can do it without letting them determine his policies, and I think he can. But the country he leads includes them as well as us, and he at least is acknowledging that.

Also, remember, Emproph, part of what I do here is try to start discussion. You've been reading my stuff long enough to know how I feel. It is easy to take sides on this, for instance AmericaBlog has, it seems to me, simply swirled down the toilet of tunnel vision on this subject, they are looking for any little slip of the tongue to prove Rick Warren is a horrible person. And "the toilet of tunnel vision" is, I agree, a ridiculous metaphor. But we have to stop thinking like it's still the Bush years. We were in a fight and we won, we knocked the other guy out, now it's time to give him a hand and help him to his feet.

JimK

December 21, 2008 9:48 AM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Jim said "First of all, people are saying things like "He’s stated that he thinks we’re on par with child molesters." But he didn't, he talked about kinds of relationships that he would not call "marriage," and marrying a child was one of his examples -- it's a borderline insult at worst, I'd say.".

Actually he did say that he thinks gays are on a par with child molesters:

In a BeliefNet interview Warren absolutely confirmed that that he was drawing a direct comparison:


http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/12/oh-i-do-the-com.html#more

This cartoon kind of sums it up. "Why Obama just doesn't get it...". It shows a gay man with a bump on his head seeing stars, Warren holding a baseball bat that's labeld "Prop 8" and Obama standing between the two of them saying "Come on be a sport! So you disagree on certain social issues, we can still all come together, can't we?":


http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/12/cartoon-abusi-1.html

December 21, 2008 12:24 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Once again Orin is hiding from debating the implications of the positions he's taken.

He said "the GLBTIQ (did I leave anyone out?) needs to accept the fact that they are now mainstream.".

Not to long ago Orin was ranting that gays only wanted the right to marry so they'd be accepted and that even if they got that right they'd never be accepted. Now he's saying gays are mainstream, that they have been accepted. Its clear Orin's statements about reality change 180 degrees depending on whatever is most convenient to him at the time to achieve his goal of denigrating LGBTs.

December 21, 2008 12:31 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Don't make me defend this jerk, okay, but let's not overdo it.

Here's what he said: The issue to me, I'm not opposed to that as much as I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage. Then they asked him if he considered those things equivalent to gays getting married, and he said, Oh, I do.

He is not saying that being gay is equivalent to child molesting, he has a definition of marriage that dones not include some things, including marriage of children, incest, and polygamy. It's not well said, but it is not the same as comparing gay people to child molesters or whatever. He is simply stating the party line, this is what evangelicals believe, who can be surprised? They have an idea of marriage, he's just saying what it is.

He's completely wrong about the "5,000 year definition of marriage," all of these things have been common through history, there is incest in the Bible as well as children marrying and polygamy. Incestual marriage has never been common but it happens, and the other things -- arranged marriages and polygamy -- are more traditional than our heterosexual monogamy.

You don't have to agree with me about letting this guy give a prayer at the inauguration, but I do think we need to be careful not to keep the Red/Blue wall up. Our side clearly won this election, Obama is going to support LGBT rights in a way we have never seen in history, to me it seems kind of dumb to knock him for letting a regular Bible-thumping preacher say a prayer.

The uncomfortable fact is that our side didn't fight hard enough where it mattered, when the right to marry was literally put up to a vote. It's embarrassing, yes, but that was where the decision was made. A majority of Californians voted against same-sex marriage, which is terrible, but those are American citizens. Proposition 8 mattered, and our side didn't fight to win, and we lost. Now we're mad because the winners will be included in public life, sorry, that doesn't add up for me.

JimK

December 21, 2008 12:46 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

The show throwing incident has inspired a fun new game:


http://www.sockandawe.com/

It has Bush behind a podium and allows you to throw shoes at him. So far Bush has been hit by a shoe over 46 million times. Proper etiquette requires that as you throw a shoe you yell out "This is a farewell kiss you dog!".

December 21, 2008 12:56 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Jim said "He is not saying that being gay is equivalent to child molesting, he has a definition of marriage that dones not include some things, including marriage of children, incest, and polygamy. ".

Listen to the link Jim. Warren refers to incestuous, pedophelic and polygamous marriages. The interviewer asks "Do you think those are the equivalent of gays getting married?" and Warren replies "Oh I do.".

The comparison doesn't get much more direct than that.

December 21, 2008 1:02 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Not getting into a pissing contest with you, Priya Lynn. Interpret it as you wish.

JimK

December 21, 2008 1:04 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

oops, I missed the part where you quoted from the link, I see you did listen to it. In any event, saying pedophilic, polygamous, and incestous marriages are the equivalent of gays getting married couldn't be a more direct equivocation of the two. If Warren had said interracial marriage was the equivalent of a pedophilic marriage there's no way anyone would have supported him giving the invocation prayer.

December 21, 2008 1:11 PM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

Priya, no one ever said that inter-racial marriage was an oxymoron. Unless definitions are changed, homosexual marriage is. And most realize that.

Furthermore, although the opposition to inter-racial marriage was ignorant, even then, no one opposed blacks getting married. They just thought they should marry each other.

Conversely, people don't think gays should marry each other but should marry straights. It's the exact opposite situation.

You analogy breaks down completely. No one opposes inter-orientation marriage.

What most people in America, in 36 states, have confirmed is that they want the definition of marriage to remain the same. General opinion polls don't mean much either. Polls last summer showed Proposition 8 would fail. Once the discussion begins and people think about the implications, gay "marriage" loses support.

Here's Obama's buddy this morning at church:

"LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 21) - Under fire for opposing gay marriage, influential evangelical pastor Rick Warren said Saturday that he loves Muslims, people of other religions, Republicans and Democrats, and he also loves "gays and straights."

The 54-year-old pastor and founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California told the crowd of 500 that it's unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything all the time.

"You don't have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand," said Warren.

Warren also defended President-elect Barack Obama's invitation that he give the invocation at the Jan. 20 inauguration in the keynote speech he delivered at the Muslim Public Affairs Council's annual convention in Long Beach.

Obama's choice of Warren earlier this week sparked outcry from gay rights and other liberal groups, who said choosing such an outspoken opponent of gay marriage was tantamount to endorsing bigotry.

"Three years ago I took enormous heat for inviting Barack Obama to my church because some of his views don't agree (with mine)," he said. "Now he's invited me."

Warren said he prays for the same things for Obama that he prays for himself: integrity, humility and generosity.

Obama defended his choice on Thursday, saying that he has also invited Joseph Lowery, a Methodist minister and civil rights leader who supports same-sex marriage and gay rights, to deliver the benediction.

"During the course of the entire inaugural festivities, there are going to be a wide range of viewpoints that are presented. And that's how it should be, because that's what America's about. That's part of the magic of this country ... we are diverse and noisy and opinionated," Obama said.

Toward the end of his speech on Saturday, Warren also talked about singer Melissa Etheridge, who performed earlier in the evening.

Warren said the two had a "wonderful conversation" and that he is a huge fan who has all her albums.

The openly lesbian gay rights activist even agreed to sign her Christmas album for him, he said.

Warren gained a prominent role in the presidential election in August when he hosted the Civil Forum on the Presidency, a two-hour televised show in which he interviewed Obama and his Republican opponent John McCain for an hour each on faith and moral issues.

Warren has won kudos from some liberal quarters by focusing less on traditional conservative issues such as abortion and gay rights, and instead calling on evangelical leaders to devote more attention to eradicating poverty, fighting AIDS in Africa, expanding educational opportunity for the marginalized, and global warming.

But the preacher ignited the ire of many liberals when he publicly supported California's Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to ban gay marriage.

Although Warren has said that he has nothing personally against gays, he has condemned same-sex marriage.

"I have many gay friends. I've eaten dinner in gay homes. No church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church," he said in a recent interview with BeliefNet.

But later in the interview, he compared the "redefinition of marriage" to include gay marriage to legitimizing incest, child abuse, and polygamy.

Warren founded Saddleback Church in 1980 in Lake Forest, about 65 miles southeast of Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous Christian books, including "The Purpose Driven Church" and "The Purpose Driven Life," which has sold more than 20 million copies."

December 21, 2008 1:38 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Many people are under the false impression that LGBTS are offended merely by Rick Warren's support for Prop 8. That's not true, it is primarily due to his equating gayness and pedophillia as well as several other anti-gay actions he's taken including:

1.)Lying about proposition 8, saying that if it didn't pass pastor's rights to free speech would be denied.


2)He has an explicit policy that bans gays from membership in his church:

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/12/he-excludes-us.html


3) He supports an "ex-gay" program:

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/12/change-rick-war.html

4)He equates being gay to promiscuity and says that even if its proven gayness is inborn gays should live unfullfilled lives of sexual frustration because that's "maturity" and that's "character":


http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2008/12/video-delayed-g.html

December 21, 2008 1:49 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "Conversely, people don't think gays should marry each other but should marry straights.".

Few people think that and those that do are evil. Only a sick person would wish a gay person to enter into a false marriage which is almost always doomed to fail and result in heartbreak and damaged wives and children. Less than 1/2 of Americans think gay relationships are wrong compared to about 80% a couple of decades ago. Its clear which way American society is going.

About 1/3 of Americans support marriage for gays about 1/3 support civil unions for gays and only 1/3 oppose any kind of union for gays and of those only a handful of nutballs think its a good idea to encourage sham loveless marriages and the ruined lives that usually result.

December 21, 2008 1:58 PM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"1.)Lying about proposition 8, saying that if it didn't pass pastor's rights to free speech would be denied."

Oh, please. That has nothing to do with your problem.


"2)He has an explicit policy that bans gays from membership in his church"

Only practicing gays. All biblical churches have that ban.

Gays are welcome to attend and worship at Saddleback but if they openly engage in homosexual practices, they can't become a member until they repent.

"3) He supports an "ex-gay" program"

Again, all biblical churches would support programs that encourage those who repent of sin to overcome their desire to return to it.

No one's forcing you to join their church. Why do you think you have some veto power over their beliefs?

"4)He equates being gay to promiscuity and says that even if its proven gayness is inborn gays should live unfullfilled lives of sexual frustration because that's "maturity" and that's "character""

Again, every biblical church says the second part. You're probably missing the context of the first, given ythe second.

As we've seen often before, you don't understand the concept of context very well.

December 21, 2008 2:04 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

From Box Turtle Bulletin


http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/12/19/7549#comments

In an interview Ann Curry asks Rick Warren, “What if homosexuality is biological?”


Rick Warren: If it’s biological, I’d be glad to know. We all have biological predispositions. Some people struggle with anger, and some people say, “I don’t struggle with anger, but I sure struggle with fear.” And some people say, “Well, I don’t struggle with this, I struggle with being shy.”

Ann Curry: You’re saying if it’s part of your biology it’s your job to struggle against it if in fact, it’s the wrong thing.

Rick Warren said "Here’s what I’m saying. I’ve had many gay friends tell me, “Well Rick, why shouldn’t I have multiple sexual partners? It’s the natural thing to do.”".

One doesn't need need to know Rick Warren or his “friends” to know that this is a flat-out lie.

Rick Warren goes on "Well, just because it seems natural, doesn’t mean its best for you or society. I’m naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see. But it doesn’t mean that it’s the right thing to do. And why should I rein in my natural impulses. And you say well I have natural impulses toward the same sex, I shouldn’t have to rein them in. Well I disagree. I think that’s part of maturity. I think it’s part of delayed gratification. I think it’s part of character."

Actually, Rick Warren is only reining in his promiscuous urges, not his heterosexual ones. At least I presume so, since he’s married. What he says here is that being gay is indistinguishable from being promiscuous. But what about non-promiscuous gay people? Unlike the standard he set for himself, he expects them to be completely celibate.

Since Warren isn’t celibate, why is he mature and monogamous gay people aren’t? Why don’t his “many gay friends” — and yes, he brings those phantom friends back into the conversation again — delay gratification and demonstrate character, even if they’re not promiscuous?

December 21, 2008 2:12 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "Oh, please. That has nothing to do with your problem.".


Don't be absurd. LGBTS are deeply upset that one would claim to be moral and then lie about Prop 8 in order to pass it by claiming failing to pass it would end pastors free speech rights.

Bad anonymous said "Only practicing gays. All biblical churches have that ban.".

False. Many biblical churchs accept gays. That some do not does not make this action right.

Bad anonymous said "Again, all biblical churches would support programs that encourage those who repent of sin to overcome their desire to return to it.".

False. Many biblical churchs wouldn't dream of supporting harmful "exgay" programs. That some do does not make this right.

Bad anonymous said "Again, every biblical church says the second part.".

False. Many biblical churchs refuse to wrongly condemn gays for having a monogamous gay relationship.

Bad anonymous said "No one's forcing you to join their church. Why do you think you have some veto power over their beliefs?"

I never said I think I should have veto power over anyone's beliefs. You're welcome to believe whatever you want but when you attempt to use the force of law to force your beliefs about equal marriage on others you've gone too far. Any church that denies membership to those who harm no one is an evil church. If you don't believe in gay marrige or gay relationships no one's going to force you to have one, but don't presume you have the right to pressure anyone else into refraining.

December 21, 2008 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

We should all remember that Warren is not the only religious person Obama invited to play a role in his inauguration. Daily Kos reminds us Obama also invited Reverend Joseph Lowery, who was the keynote speaker at UNCG’s 21st annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration on Wednesday, January 17, 2007. Here's a report on a portion of his speech that day.

The Reverend went on to speak on respect for all people and how that played in to Civil and Human Rights as a whole. He said that if you are one who says, “I believe in human rights for all people, except for…” then you really don’t believe in human rights or equality. To believe in equality and human rights is to believe in it for all people. If you don’t, then you are, according to the Reverend, creating an oxymoron and certainly not standing up for equality. He said no matter what race, color, religion, creed, sex, gender OR sexual orientation… we are all deserving of human rights, civil rights and equality. The Reverend said he “sometimes wonders about people who are so homophobic.” Quoting Hamlet, he said, “Me thinks you doth protest too much.” The audience responded with laughter and applause. He continued, “If a person is a secure in their sexuality, they have no time to waste on sneaking around to see what you are doing.”

Both Warren and Lowery will play important parts in this historic inaugation. IMHO Obama's selection of both of them shows that a new day has arrived in Washington. No longer will the party that's out of power be ignored and maligned. Both sides' views will be heard and evaluated because Obama wants to make the best decisions, those that are fully informed.

Obama is to be inaugurated to be President of the United States of America, not just the blue states. He is wise to invite both of these men so that both sides of our hyper-polarized country feel included. The failure of Bush to bring both sides to the table has brought us to greater polarization, and even he seems to realize it. In an interview with ABC news on Dececmber 1, 2008, Bush lamented "I think one of the big disappointments of the presidency has been the fact that the tone in Washington got worse, not better. " In order to solve all of our problems, including the attainment of equal civil rights for all Americans, will only be possible if we all work together instead of against each other.

In stunning contrast to Bush's my way or the highway philosophy, Obama is starting off on the right foot, calling for both friend and foe to start him off on his Presidency. As President he will ask friend and foe to inform him so he can make the best decisions possible in his efforts to lead us all as he continues to be a "fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans." I praise Obama for his foresight over Bush's regretful hindsight.

December 21, 2008 2:34 PM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"You're welcome to believe whatever you want but when you attempt to use the force of law to force your beliefs about equal marriage on others you've gone too far."

But Saddleback supports ex-gay programs. It isn't saying the government should force anyone to be in one. Still you complain. You think they should be black-balled from participation in public life because of their beliefs.

Marriage is a religious concept. There is no rationale for redefining it.

You're the one asking for new laws. You want the government to change the definition of marriage. And your goal is that any speech or belief contradictory to the gay agenda be banned.

"Any church that denies membership to those who harm no one is an evil church."

So if the Catholic Church denies membership to an atheist, they're evil?

Of course not. To belong to a church means you share its beliefs.

Once again, your vitriolic and bitter logic collapses.

Go to the local community college and take a logic course. They'll take even you.

December 21, 2008 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marriage is a religious concept.

Marriage is a legal contract between 2 people who have reached the age of consent that gives them both certain rights and responsibilities.

December 21, 2008 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Mantu said...

Seems relevant ... Saudi court rejects divorce plea from EIGHT-year-old girl married to 58-year-old man.

Mantu

December 21, 2008 10:57 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Thanks Mantu, for pointing out to old and decrepid Anon that religious marriage isn't always a blessing. In America, marriage contracts entered into by two consenting adults who've reached the age of consent are vastly preferable to what passes for "marriage" in other countries.

Back to the topic at hand, Obama's choice or religious leaders invited to speak at his Inaguration. Here's some news:

Warren Defends Role at Obama Ceremony

LONG BEACH, Calif. (Dec. 21) - Under fire for opposing gay marriage, influential evangelical pastor Rick Warren said Saturday that he loves Muslims, people of other religions, Republicans and Democrats, and he also loves “gays and straights.”

The 54-year-old pastor and founder of Saddleback Church in Southern California told the crowd of 500 that it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to agree on everything all the time. “You don’t have to see eye to eye to walk hand in hand,” said Warren.

Warren also defended President-elect Barack Obama’s invitation that he give the invocation at the Jan. 20 inauguration in the keynote speech he delivered at the Muslim Public Affairs Council’s annual convention in Long Beach.

Obama’s choice of Warren earlier this week sparked outcry from gay rights and other liberal groups, who said choosing such an outspoken opponent of gay marriage was tantamount to endorsing bigotry.

“Three years ago I took enormous heat for inviting Barack Obama to my church because some of his views don’t agree (with mine),” he said. “Now he’s invited me.”

Warren said he prays for the same things for Obama that he prays for himself: integrity, humility and generosity.

Obama defended his choice on Thursday, saying that he has also invited Joseph Lowery, a Methodist minister and civil rights leader who supports same-sex marriage and gay rights, to deliver the benediction.

“During the course of the entire inaugural festivities, there are going to be a wide range of viewpoints that are presented. And that’s how it should be, because that’s what America’s about. That’s part of the magic of this country ... we are diverse and noisy and opinionated,” Obama said....


Unlike his predecessor who too often refused to hear both sides of the issues, Obama will listen to all sides in order to make the wisest decisions a leader can make, fully informed ones. Thank goodness Obama intends to be President of all of us.

December 22, 2008 10:11 AM  
Anonymous old-anon said...

"Here's some news:"

Have you heard the old Rolling Stones song, Yesterday's Papers?

"Who wants them?" sings Mick Jagger, immediately answering, "nobody in the world!"

I posted the exact same story as Beatrice at 1:38pm yesterday afternoon.

Also of interest, btw, is Barney Frank's comments on yesterday morning's news shows. See my comment on the most current posting for some quotes.

Barney's spittin' mad at Barack!

"Unlike his predecessor who too often refused to hear both sides of the issues, Obama will listen to all sides in order to make the wisest decisions a leader can make, fully informed ones."

Yes, Obama deserves some credit for commitment to free debate but the contrast is not with his predecessor but the Democratic Party who for years would not, for example, let a pro-life speaker address their convention while the Republicans always had at least a couple of pro-choice speakers.

Can you imagine what would have happened if Bush had invited Lowery to speak at his inaugural?

That's right- nothing!

There would be no uproar trying to suppress speech from conservatives like we see now from our most flaming liberals.

Obama may bring change but it will be to his narrow-minded party.

December 22, 2008 10:52 AM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

Pr-ya Lynn write:

Listen to the link Jim. Warren refers to incestuous, pedophelic and polygamous marriages. The interviewer asks "Do you think those are the equivalent of gays getting married?" and Warren replies "Oh I do."

*********************

To me, both the text and the actual video, support Jim's assessment. Warren is being backed into a corner on an issue he generally tries to avoid. So he off-handedly has to agree with the implications of his broader statement -- that his support for Prop 8 was based on the proposition that not every possible marriage arrangement should be permitted.

I am glad Prya Lynn brought the Ann Curry interview into the mix. It would have been nice if she had asked a follow-up question when Warren spoke about his promiscuous gay friend. Here is what she should have asked:

"Why didn't you counsel him to be monogamous, as you would, presumably, counsel a straight friend who spoke about being promiscuous?"

And here is what Warren presumably would have answered:

"Because gay people are inherently more promiscuous."

And here is what the follow-up would then be:

"Why do you conclude that? If straight people were denied the rights and responsibilities of marriage, wouldn't they be more likely to be more promiscuous than they already are? And does the institution of marriage and the social pressures (and advantages) of marriage diminish promiscuity? Which gets back to the first question, why did you not counsel your gay friend to find joy in honest monogamy (since a sham opposite sex marriage would be hurtful to the woman he would have to marry)?"

I'd love to hear Pastor Warren's answer to that question.

December 22, 2008 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Robert said...

Anonymous thinks people care what he says.

December 22, 2008 11:51 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Sorry about the repetition Anon, but I obviously don't obsessively read every word of this blog like you do. There are lots of comments every day and with Christmas approaching, my life is rather busy these days preparing for our grown children and their families to return.

How does your boss like your consuming obsession with sexual orientation?

December 22, 2008 1:52 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Bad anonymous said "You think they should be black-balled from participation in public life because of their beliefs.".

I never said any such thing. You think their bigoted preaching should be free from any criticism - that's just not on.

Bad anonymous said "Marriage is a religious concept. There is no rationale for redefining it. ".

Nonsense. Marriages took place long before the first religions deveoped, it is a secular concept first. Marriage has been redefined throughout history, from one where a man could have as many wives as he could afford, from one where it was an arrangement about property rights and a woman had no say as she was a posession of her husband, into an arrangement based on romantic love of two equals. There is no rational reason to deny marriage to gay couples.

Bad anonymous said "And your goal is that any speech or belief contradictory to the gay agenda be banned.".

False. The gay agenda is to have rights equal to everyone else. You're welcome to whatever speech or belief you want, but you're not welcome to try and force people to adhere to your beliefs.

Bad anonymous said "So if the Catholic Church denies membership to an atheist, they're evil?".

Yes. No atheist organization would deny membership to a Christianist just because the believe in fairy tales.

December 22, 2008 2:01 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

David Fishback said "To me, both the text and the actual video, support Jim's assessment. Warren is being backed into a corner on an issue he generally tries to avoid. So he off-handedly has to agree with the implications of his broader statement -- that his support for Prop 8 was based on the proposition that not every possible marriage arrangement should be permitted."

But "not every possible marriage arrangement should be permitted" is not what he said. What he said was that pedophelic and gay marriages are equivalent. You and Jim are attempting to read into his words something he did not say, and ignore what he did say - gayness is equivalent to pedophelia. That's the sort of bigotry that comes out of bad anonymous. If Warren had said interracial marriage is the same as pedophelic marriage there's no way you'd be making excuses for him

December 22, 2008 2:06 PM  
Blogger David S. Fishback said...

Priya Lynn,

I'm not making excuses for Warren. His statement was ignorant and bigoted.

But if we are to make progress in educating those who need educating, we need to be as fair as we can be about the differences between people like James Dobson (who goes out of his way to base his career on homophobia) and Rick Warren (who clearly would rather ignore the issue, but, when pressed, falls back on ignorant views).

As someone who was involved in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s and who is also a PFLAG dad who for years has been on the barricades on issues of equal and fair treatment of GLBT people, I cannot accept your statement that I would view matters differently if someone like Warren had made ignorant statements about interracial marriage in the 1960s, when such a level of ignorance was widespread and, thus, the parallel would be relevant.

But setting aside that point, I suspect we will have to agree to disagree on the general topic of most appropriate degree of outrage re the Warren selection.

December 22, 2008 2:19 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

David, I don't think Rick Warren "would rather ignore the issue" - he was an outspoken proponent of Prop 8, to the point of lying about it to facilitate its passage.

December 22, 2008 2:59 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

Rick Warren said himself that the only difference between he and Dobson was that he has a different tone.

December 22, 2008 3:00 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

"So why is most of the press under the impression that Rick Warren, a Southern Baptist, is so different from, say, Focus on the Family president James Dobson? "It's a matter of tone," says an amused Mr. Warren, who seems unable to name any particular theological issues on which he and Mr. Dobson disagree."

http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/warren-vs-dobson-difference-tone

December 22, 2008 3:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5 out of the last 6 are by Priya.

That's commitment to lunacy!

December 22, 2008 3:14 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

December 22, 2008 6:23 PM  
Blogger Priya Lynn said...

In a sign that he's embarrassed by his anti-gay bigotry Rick Warren has removed the anti-gay lanquage from his web site - he no longer says gays are not welcome at his church:


http://www.americablog.com/2008/12/rick-warren-pulls-anti-gay-language.html

The bigots are slowly learning that a future is comming where anti-gay bigotry will be no more acceptable than racism.

December 22, 2008 7:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"he no longer says gays are not welcome at his church"

It never said that. Anyone is maintain themself in an orderly manner is welcome to worship at Saddleback.

Prior to this 7 of 8 posts were ny Priya.

Did you hear that Warren is up for the Templeton Award?

Warren has also been invited to Ottawa to meet with Canadian leaders.

December 22, 2008 11:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gays are welcome to attend Saddleback Church, but not to become members.

December 23, 2008 2:43 PM  

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