Thursday, December 18, 2008

Barack Obama Selects Crazy God-Dude To Speak at Inauguration

As one of them homos who is single-handedly destroying the fabric of American society by existing, I have been encouraged by little news tidbits here and there in this magical new Obama era where all our dreams will come true. Such as the news that "Barack Obama's Presidential Inaugural Committee has chosen the Lesbian and Gay Band Association, with members from across the country, to march in the inaugural parade." Or the buzz that William White, an openly gay man, is being considered for the Navy Secretary position.

Like I said, this is encouraging. This, however, is not-
Musical luminaries Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman will be among the performers at Barack Obama's presidential inauguration, organizers said Wednesday...

...After welcoming remarks by [Sen.] Feinstein, and a religious invocation by evangelical Pastor Rick Warren, Franklin will perform...

Yo-Yo Ma?!! Fuck you, Obama!!! Oh no, wait, that's not what I'm supposed to be mad at.

For those who don't know who Rick Warren is, he is the asshole who has appointed himself the religious leader of America... and the nation's political establishment seems willing to oblige. Both Barack Obama and John McCain went down to his Saddleback Church (wow, that's gay) in CA this summer to pander to religious voters discuss key issues with the pastor (he does care deeply about issues like climate change and AIDS, etc). Warren's defenders are proud to note that compared to folks like James Dobson or Fred Phelps or Pat Robertson, he is quite open-minded. And that's certainly true... if you ignore what a disturbingly low bar that is.

Mother Jones runs down the case against Pastor Saddleback: "He strongly supported Proposition 8. He considers stem cells 'non-negotiable.' He compares abortion to the Holocaust. He has admitted the difference between between him and James Dobson is primarily 'a matter of tone.' In a move that would make George Orwell proud, he just gave George W. Bush an 'International Medal of P.E.A.C.E.'" It's that first part that is pissing off the gay community (and just those in general who... ya know, don't fucking hate gay people), but boy that last one is doozy as well.

Barack Obama defended the decision in a press conference (where he was announcing his regulation team), stating we can "disagree [with Warren] without being disagreeable." Umm... okay? Look, there's no doubt that many of Obama's picks-- whether it's this or appointing conservatives to key positions (like his new Transportation Secretary)-- are meant to keep his potential critics at bay, in this case the religious right (left?). Still, it's upsetting and there's no also no doubt that his answer here is a bit of a dodge.

Liberals/progressives/Democrats/whatever will certainly have many disagreements with President Obama over the next few years, and-- unlike the conservatives who defended/worshipped George W. Bush until the 11th hour-- we should be honest and vocal about these disagreements. That doesn't mean that we should expect our pet causes to be the President's #1 priority (that's just ridiculous), but holding his feet to the fire is the best thing we can do to keep him from becoming the type of politician he ran against.

[Related reading... Dan Savage blasts the 'I have gay friends!' dodge that homophobes use.]

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