December 18th, 2008
02:21 PM ET

Obama's Rick Warren pick makes perfectly good sense

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/08/15/warren.qanda/art.warren.cnn.jpg]

Earl Ofari Hutchinson

President elect Barack Obama almost certainly knew that he'd take some heavy flack from gay rights and abortion rights groups for picking mega preacher Rick Warren to give his inaugural invocation. Warren backed the anti gay marriage Prop 8 in California to the hilt and rails against abortion. But Obama picked Warren for shrewd political and apparently heartfelt personal reasons. A tip of that came back in mid-August when he traipsed to Warren's Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California to talk to his evangelical flock.

At the time Warren reportedly had to arm twist some of his more recalcitrant members into accepting Obama's appearance. But accept they did. Or at least they didn't publicly grouse about it. But Obama also did his part to make the sell. He flatly said that he'd do more than any other presumed liberal Democrat had done in recent times to get an ear from evangelicals even if that meant breaking bread with preachers who were hardnosed opponents of gay rights and abortion.


Filed under: Barack Obama • Gay & Lesbian Issues • Raw Politics • Religion
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. Celise H

    Margie T – I'd rather be hated by Christians than "tolerated" by them. I guess you don't realize how offensive "we'll tolerate you, sure" actually is. Get a life beyond tolerating other human beings.

    I still support Obama, but you can't convince me that he had to go so far right to make his point. It's just giving more and more credence to Warren and those like him.

    December 18, 2008 at 5:44 pm |
  2. Blake

    Once upon a time...one group passed laws against another group...the laws were based on "morality"...this was called "Jim Crow"...

    Christian groups had these laws passed...ironicaly Christian groups want to repeat history...

    I lived during this time...here in South Carolina... and MANY still want a return to these laws based on the same "Morality".


    December 18, 2008 at 5:29 pm |
  3. chris

    Jeremiah Wright makes black people in America look very bad with his narrow minded views and I am glad the president-elect seperated himself from this man. As for Obama's pick of preacher Rick Warren to give his inaugural invocation. He should have put more thought into his selection but I listened to his comments regarding the selection and I see what he is hoping to achieve. I feel gay's and lesbians in our country do deserve the same rights as everyone else and that includes the right of marriage. No matter what someone's sexual orientation may be we are all human beings

    December 18, 2008 at 4:53 pm |
  4. David

    Honestly. People act as if picking Rick Warren is selling out the LGBT community in one fell swoop. As if isolationism is the answer. Reaching out and building new coalitions can go a long way toward shifting opinions. If the right trusts Obama more and sees him as including them, that gives him more power to sway them. To expect Obama to exclude them completely because of their feelings about gays and abortion seems a bit simple-minded to me.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  5. Margie T

    Let's get something straight, true christians do not hate gay people, but we don't support the behavior. As a christian who knows and studies the bible.which most of the true haters don't do, we go by God's word which is the bible. Either you believe what it says or not.And no one in this country is ever going to please all the people all the time. So get a life.

    December 18, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  6. Maria from texas

    Pres. elect Omaba madea good choice. I personaly have respect for Mr Warren. He is the most nonjudgemental Christian leader that I' seen and heard. Omaba knows that .

    December 18, 2008 at 3:59 pm |
  7. jim

    It makes better sense than having Jeremiah Wright. Although, I believe Jeremiah Wright will be the his Chaplain when Obama is in office. I wonder what it would be like to attend a prayer breakfast in the White House.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm |
  8. What

    What you don't realize is that if he chose someone more liberal and supportive of gay and abortion rights, the conservatives will have a fit. The general thing is as long as America is polarized the way it is, he will never be able to please anybody. Do you think conservative evangelicals were pleased when he won? I think not, but they dealt with it. In other words, deal with it or figure out a way to unite the country on common ground. As I don't see the later happening, you know what to do.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:11 pm |
  9. Arachnae

    Obama doesn't need to throw a bone to the haters, so why do it?

    December 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm |
  10. max

    Brilliant political move! Obama is a great politician and he continues to show us why.

    December 18, 2008 at 3:03 pm |
  11. adamblast

    Yeah, it makes perfectly good since. If your name is Machievelli. If you care more about votes than about justice or equality. Your observations that this makes good political sense ring more than hollow, they ring wrong. Rick Warren is nothing more or less than another Jerry Falwell or Oral Roberts. Shame on Obama for giving him a podium. As far as gay rights is concernned, the future president has yet to show himself a man of vision, compassion or true American spirit.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:59 pm |
  12. EJ (USA)

    He doesn’t seem to realize that anyone who believes he/she can reason with any religious zealot lives in ‘la-la land’.

    That's what much of the Right said about Obama concerning diplomacy with countries that are not our allies.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm |
  13. Vernon Jones

    Although I supported him financially and actively, that was the past.

    I understand Obama's mistaken political belief that his cowtowing to 30million evangelicals is more important to him that a few high-minded LGBTs who still believe that civil rights is more important that any religion.

    What Obama doesn't seem to realize is that he just lost even more millions who now see him for what he really is: just another weak politician who cannot be trusted on anything he has to say - about anything. He doesn't seem to realize that anyone who believes he/she can reason with any religious zealot lives in 'la-la land'.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:41 pm |
  14. Dave S, Tinley Park, IL

    Sure -it makes perfect sense if you're a narrow-minded gullible idiot.

    December 18, 2008 at 2:40 pm |