First of all, to all of you getting angry over Barack Obama's decision to have anti-gay, anti-abortion minister Rick Warren give his inaugural address: get over it. It doesn't matter. It is the political equivalent of the Deanscream circa 2000.
Second of all, rather than be disappointed in Barack Obama, I'm actually really glad he chose him. Here are my reasons:
1) We are allowed to disagree. Rhetoric of difference has defined us for eight years -- it's time to end it.
2) The man, for all his thoughts on stem cells and gay rights and abortion, has one thing right: evangelicals should focus on more than just social issues like the above mentioned three. Warren has long been an advocate for issues like poverty and climate change and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
3) I truly believe he's a good man who believes in his cause -- after all, he donates back 90% of his salary. This is not a man after the limelight. We've heard about him a couple of times, but, really, he shies away from the light as often as he takes it so that he can do the work he believes is right. That, in the age of televangelism, is admirable. Let's be honest, how many of you really thought much about Rick Warren before this election season? And be honest. I only barely knew his name, and I am informed.
4) Obama is reaching out. He's telling the world, "I welcome all view points, not just those that agree with me." I think that's admirable.
5) As the Washington Post points out, this says just as much about the direction of evangelism in this country as it does about Barack Obama... that a preacher, who is known for being against Obama on just about every single major social issue, is willing and happy to support his inauguration. Rick Warren is saying this: get over it, there are more important issues.
I am a progressive, and I have no problem with Rick Warren. I'm not even going to put you "on notice," as some local bloggers have.
I'm ok with this. Because, in the end, I believe you'll do right for me.
And really, it doesn't matter.