NPR logo When Faith And Politics Clash ... Big Time


When Faith And Politics Clash ... Big Time

It didn't occur to me until now, really, that most of this program today touched on the intersection of faith and politics.

First, the controversy over the selection of Rev. Rick Warren to offer the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration has touched off an intense debate online and over the airwaves — and I bet in some living rooms — about whether this was the right thing to do. Some gay activists are outraged; others are outraged that the gay activists are outraged.

Our discussion this morning had an element of this intensity with Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., a high-profile supporter of so-called traditional values; Harry Knox, of the Human Rights Campaign, a leading civil rights organization for gays and Bishop Yvette Flunder, a prominent minister in the San Francisco area who preaches what she calls "radical inclusivity."

I bet we'll come back to this discussion.

And then we had what I thought was a very touching conversation with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) about his trip to Mecca, where he made the Hajj. It is a spiritual journey that observant Muslims are required to make at least once in their lifetimes, if they are physically capable and can afford it. Rep. Ellison has preferred not to dwell on the fact that he is the first Muslim elected to Congress, but he was kind enough to talk to us about his journey.

Also, on the Web page for that conversation, you can learn more about the Hajj, including how one prepares and what it's all about.

And, the Barbershop guys were at again today on the shoe heard around the world, whether SNL's take on NY Gov. David Paterson was funny or not (Paterson says, not). They also talk more on President-elect Barack Obama's cabinet picks.

Have a great weekend.

... What am I doing here? I have to finish my Christmas shopping ...