Sunday, December 21, 2008

Will Obama Ditch Rick Warren? Here's an Action Item That Might Generate Results

I have to hand it to my good friend George Demas. He doesn't play games when he believes in something. For example, he was a major supporter of Ron Paul, and while I thought the Texas representative was amusing and curious, with no hope whatsoever of becoming the Repuglican nominee or actually being elected president, George donated money and worked for the cause. He's no Repuglican, my George, but he is a man of tremendous convictions and I do respect him mightily for that.

Now George is taking action against President-Elect Obama's selection of Pastor Rick Warren for offering the invocation at the January 20 inaugural. While Warren is being portrayed in the media as a more "moderate" evangelical, the truth is that his anti-gay, anti-gay-marrage stance is just another form of ultra-right-wing hatred. I'm as shocked as anyone that Obama is aligning himself with the forces of hatred and so George is taking part in a letter-writing campaign being sent directly to the Obama team.

With George's permission, I am below reprinting the email address of the LGBT point person for the Obama team and the text of George's letter. He tells me that you can use this as a template if you like. Who will join me in this crusade?

And by the way, everyone should also read this terrific piece in the Washington Post totally lambasting Obama's choice of Warren.

I mean, this is another case in which getting up and DOING something is essential, is it not?
And thank you, George, for kindly letting me put the word out.

Here goes:

From: George Demas
Date: December 20, 2008 1:27:12 AM EST
Subject: Rick Warren

Dear Mr. Mehta:

I wish to express my deep concern as a straight, Independent voter about the participation of Rick Warren in the Inaugural ceremonies. The Obama team's stance that somehow the choice of Mr. Warren reflects a "big tent" approach is ludicrous, given that there is no way to categorize his hideous bigotry toward gays and lesbians as a rational point-of-view amongst peers. It is hate jingoism, pure and simple. Also, this is the latest in a long string of Democratic party betrayals of gays--starting with Clinton's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. We were told "change has come" by President-elect Obama, and I find it so sad that the very first moments of Mr. Obama's Presidency will be sending a message to the world that it hasn't. And as a Christian, I find it insulting that luddites like Rick Warren are considered to have a monopoly on God, or that somehow in order to please Christians it is necessary to wheel in a megachurch bigot.

Mr. Warren has equated homosexuality with marrying your dog, and in doing so, strips the humanity from that type of love and those that practice it. One need only a quick glance at history to see the horrors caused by fractionalizing the humanity of our fellow man: three fifths of a human being in the American slave, the hierarchical humanity in the caste system in India, the non-humanity of the Jew at Auchwitz, the non-humanity of the fetus (abortion is where I agree with Mr. Warren.) The moment people start appraising just how human someone else is, murder follows close behind. Warren's "views" on gays and lesbians are truly toxic and antithetical to the American idea that, "all men are created equal." Perhaps Rick Warren could preside over the inauguration of a leader somewhere else, but given our form of government and principles on which it was founded, his presence at the Presidential Inauguration makes no sense.

George Demas
New York City

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