December 17th, 2008
08:20 PM ET

Controversial Pastor at Obama Inauguration

Andrew Sullivan

Rick Warren will give the invocation at Obama's inauguration. Warren is a man who believes my marriage removes his freedom of speech...Shrewd politics, but if anyone is under any illusion that Obama is interested in advancing gay equality, they should probably sober up now.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Gay & Lesbian Issues
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. Tammy L. Hanks, Ph.D.

    Shame on you, Mr. Obama! I thought you were different. I was wrong. Imagine my excitment as a lesbian when you were elected. Finally, a president who understood what it is like to be treated as "less than" because of a "trait" that you cannot change. You were born biracial. I was born gay. Neither is wrong or less than, but we have paid for other people's prejudices our whole lives. Now you join the ranks of those who discriminate by inviting Rick Warren to speak. I am sickened by your lack of sensitivity. This man has raised millionsof dollars for a campaign of hate and has influenced thousands of people to continue to deepen divides in America–and you are reaching out to him. Imagine if you will, a gay president inviting David Duke to speak. How would that make you feel? Included? Embraced? I doubt it. You would probably feel horribly betrayed, as does every LGBTQ person in America right now. This is not change I can believe in. You received my support and my money, my vote and my hopes in this last election. You will get none of these in four years. You do not offer change, merely a different shade of status quo. Shame on you.

    December 18, 2008 at 10:31 am |
  2. Renee Clark

    I'm delighted that Obama has invited Rick Warren to speak at the inauguration! CNN Political Analyst Hilary Rosen does not understand the mainstream American religious center. Yes, I consider Christians the Center of America, not a far right backwards minority. When did the group of people and their beliefs that America was founded on become an extremist right group? Maybe only when activist liberals, who do not represent the majority of Americans, name them so over the airwaves of television and the internet. Christians all over America still use the Bible for guidance. I believe we should love all people, but the gay lifestyle is not to be promoted according to the Bible Christians read and believe in. Rick Warren only supports the Christian view. He is loved and respected by most Americans. I believe President elect Obama realizes this by his choice of Pastor Warren.

    December 18, 2008 at 10:13 am |
  3. PB

    I do not understand. This is the United States of America. Rick Warren is an American and as per our constitution there is freedom of speech. Each person on the blog is stating their opinion which our constitution affords us to do. I might not agree with it and you might not agree with what I am saying but at least we have the freedom to say it. It seems like the gay people on the blog want only gay people to attend the inauguration and not anyone else who does not agree with their lifestyle. I have nothing against anyone doing what ever they feel as long as it does not hurt anyone. I understand that Gay people might be offended by what Mr Warren stated however, that is why we live in such a great country. If you do not like what Rick Warren says why would you care? Brush your shoulders off and keep it moving. THIS IS THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Let's get it UNITED!!!!!

    December 18, 2008 at 10:03 am |
  4. Lisa

    Is this country getting away from Christianity? I thought that is what this country is based upon. What is wrong with morality? Seems like we have moved away from this and gone in totally the opposite direction which is extremely disturbing to me.

    Amen, Anthony.

    December 18, 2008 at 9:27 am |
  5. Marlana

    In an effort to discredit God's word on homosexuality, Hilary referred to the Bible supporting slavery. It is true that the Bible does not specifically condemn the practice of slavery. It gives instructions on how slaves should be treated (Deuteronomy 15:12-15; Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1), but does not outlaw the practice altogether. Many see this as the Bible condoning all forms of slavery. What Hilary and many others fail to understand is that slavery in Biblical times was very different from the slavery has been practiced in the past few centuries. In Biblical times, people were not enslaved because of their nationality or the color of their skin. People actually sold themselves as slaves when they could not pay their debts or provide for their family. In New Testament times, sometimes doctors, lawyers, and even politicians were slaves of someone else. Some people actually chose to be slaves so as to have all their needs provided for by their master.

    The Bible definitely does condemn race-based slavery. The plagues God poured out on Egypt demonstrate how God feels about racial slavery (Exodus 7-11). The slavery the Bible allowed for in no way resembles the racial slavery that plagued our world in the past few centuries. Another thing to remember is that the purpose of the Bible is to point the way to salvation, not to reform society.

    December 18, 2008 at 12:05 am |
  6. William Ortiz

    Homosexuals are as intolerant if not more so of religion Rick Warren is a pastor and bound by to the word of God. Therefor if he is asked about homosexuality and the bible he is not going to give the politically correct answers the gays and there supporters want to hear. Good for him. We have to be tolerant of their behavior. Which if it was as natural as gays claim would produce offspring.

    December 18, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  7. aynes54

    Wow, Obama is swinging wAAAAAAYYYYY right with Rick Warren. Good choice!!! Warren is a fantastic man of God and this is great that millions will hear him on inauguration day.

    December 18, 2008 at 12:04 am |
  8. judy

    Hillary Rosen and Mr Zimmerman...Thank you!!

    December 18, 2008 at 12:03 am |
  9. Sasha Canadian

    Re Democracy - in democracies we can all have an opinion. If I were selecting, my choice would be a speaker who is inclusive. But then, perhaps "inclusive" has limitations in the U.S.A.

    December 18, 2008 at 12:02 am |
  10. JERRY

    It amazed me how intolerant the left is of any views except their own. Disagree with them? Why, you must live in a cave, are part of the past, you don't love all people, and on and on. I tend to believe that homosexuality is something you are born with. Does it make you a lesser human being? Only if you chose to be, as with all of us. Don't rub my nose in it and I don't have a problem with it. Gay marriage? Not for me. Civil Union? I think so.

    As far as Warren speaking, it's Obama's business, not ours. It's his day. If Warren doesn't go into controversial issues, and I'm sure he won't, so what? Keep your issues to yourself, and I'm sure he will. Same for the pro gay dude. Shut up. If it was parasite Jesse Jackass, you would all cheer.

    December 18, 2008 at 12:01 am |
  11. Dolores Palacio

    Inauguration Day is the day when everyone, whether they worked hard during the campaign or dreamt of this day, can rejoice and celebrate. Rick Warren's comments about gays and gay marriage are still hurtful and elevating him to this platform, on this day feels like a rejection of so many people who should be joyfully sharing in this wonderful moment.
    There will be plenty of days to include people of all viewpoints - but Inauguration Day - not the one!

    December 17, 2008 at 11:57 pm |
  12. Veronika Kauffmann

    This is the first stinging disappointment. I was excited to be flying to DC for the inauguration. Now I just feel sick. Equal rights doesn't mean balancing clergy at the ceremony.

    December 17, 2008 at 11:56 pm |
  13. mike from mn

    why is this a issue? with everything going on in this country youd think the constant whining would stop.shut-up and get some help,or keep your sexual preference to yourself.

    December 17, 2008 at 11:55 pm |
  14. Francis

    If the President-elect if sincere of uniting the country, it will not be done by just appointing a republican or a conservative. This pick of Rick Warren is like you've pick a segragation leader. If he really want to unite the country regarding LGBT issues, I suggest he sits down with them and educate them about the issues (like when he was a community organizer).

    December 17, 2008 at 11:53 pm |
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