Alex Brandon, AP Photo
Then presidential candidate Barack Obama shakes hands with Pastor Rick Warren during the Saddleback Forum in Lake Forrest, Calif.
Alex Brandon, AP Photo
It's what some see as the first major rift between President-elect Obama and his progressive supporters: his choice of evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inauguration invocation.
Warren supported a California initiative aimed at banning gay marriage and says he disapproves of homosexuality.
For his part, Obama said of his controversial decision: "That dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign's been all about: That 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 — where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans."
Below is a sampling of what some of our regular bloggers' roundtable guests think. (Click the links to read the full posts.)
Corey Richardson of Vexed In The City in a post titled, "Gay People, Please Calm Down":
Rick Warren isn't your enemy because Rick Warren can't do anything to you or for you. He's just another guy who has an opinion that you don't share. Get over it, move on.
Your real enemies are the people who you don't know. Your real enemies are the ones who silently went into the voting booth and voted YES on Prop 8, then returned to work, had a cup of coffee with you and asked you if the jeans they were wearing made their butt look big. Your real enemy isn't the person who would speak his mind against you, your real enemy is the person who would conspire their thoughts to harm you and say nothing of it.
... So instead of throwing your well manicured and gay hands in the air in protest, be cool. You know who Rick Warren is and what he's about and there's nothing you can do to change him or that fact.
And for those who want to get mad at Barack Obama for asking him to deliver the invocation, I got some bad news for you too. A lot of people voted for Obama and a lot of the folks who voted for him aren't down with gay marriage either. That's why Prop 8 passed. It's called democracy. The people vote and sometimes they make choices you don't like (see President George W. Bush 2000/2004). That's what being a minority is about sometimes, not getting your way ... Black folks know the deal, we dealt with that slavery sh*t for a minute.
Jill Tubman of Jack & Jill Politics:
Boo ... hiss ... claws scratching at the air — this was a major misstep IMHO. I salute the instinct to unify the nation symbolically. But this guy is on the wrong side of some basic human rights issues. ... [The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery] is the man who should be giving the invocation, not Warren. It is his courage, values and example that should precede Obama's swearing in, not Warren's. He's most recently known for bravely castigating Bush's policies at Coretta Scott King's funeral two years ago in front of 4 U.S. presidents, including Bush himself. Here's a quote: "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there. But Coretta knew and we know that there are weapons of misdirection right down here. Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor!"
Jasmyne Cannick in a post directed at "white gays."
The man isn't even in office yet and you are all up in arms over the inaugural invitation of evangelical pastor Rick Warren by President-elect Barack Obama just because Warren opposes gay marriage.
Look — America already knows that you are unhappy with the outcome of Prop. 8, but ... you have no one to blame for that but yourself.
Instead of denouncing Obama's choice to invite Warren, you should be hailing it, as it shows a continued effort on Obama's behalf to reach across the aisle in an effort to bring everyone to the table. You know, that thing that you haven't quite learned how to do yet.
If no one ever told you — the world doesn't revolve around gay marriage. If it did, let's face it, Obama wouldn't be the President-elect, now would he?
And Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend:
How's the whole fundie outreach thing going, Team Obama? Look at who's giving you praise for giving Rick Warren the mic at the inaugural — Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the man who paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list. Are you scratching from the fleas yet?
What do you think? Share your thoughts below.