Monday, December 22, 2008

I'm not gay, but I won't be drinking his water or eating his goddam donuts

I don't like Rick Warren any more than most of us do. I need some of his viewpoints like I need another itchy asshole, and I wish Obama had chosen someone more along the lines of Rev. Lowery who will get the Last Word at the inauguration, but frankly, he's just going to give one little speech that probably won't be remembered ten minutes after it's over by anyone except people who already fall for his shit. He's not going to be influencing policy like the christofascist whackjobs have been for at least the last eight years, maybe more like thirty.

Here's a coupla opinions from some gays in the know.

Hilary Rosen:

The gay community was hit harshly with realities over the last few weeks as a cabinet and senior White House staff was chosen in a Democratic administration that did not include a gay or lesbian appointee* and Pastor Rick Warren was chosen to give the Invocation on Inauguration Day.

(*This takes nothing away from open lesbian Nancy Sutly, new chief of the White House Council on Environmental Quality but that post is outside the power center of the White House and very issue specific.)

There's also the new SecNav, but I digress.

So despite my view that Inauguration day is a celebration that shouldn't be marred by the messy process of political compromise, I accept that for President-elect Obama, Inauguration Day is his first day of governing. He made a choice I disagree with and I won't soon forget the smugness of Warren's response. But, Barack Obama will own this inauguration, not Rick Warren. And I still believe in Barack Obama.

I still believe that he will lead our country to greater prosperity; health care for all; an energy policy that promotes a clean environment and a new economy. And I still believe that President Obama will work to enact public policy for to improve the lives of LGBT Americans. There will be missteps and compromises along the way. And those that simply don't understand what it means to be different in this world will have far more influence than I'd like in the debate. But the messy process of governing will also bring about progress in an Obama administration that will propel equality significantly forward.

Bob Ostertag:

It's just plain sad what the gay and lesbian movement has come to. November 4 was so extraordinary, so magical. The whole world seemed to come together. Except for gays and lesbians in California. We were supposed to feel crushed over Proposition 8. And now the whole scenario is gearing up to repeat itself on January 20: the whole world will celebrate the inauguration of the first black American president and the end of the George Bush insanity - the whole world except gays and lesbians who will be protesting Rick Warren's presence at the inaugural.

How is it that queers became the odd ones out at such a momentous turning point in history? By pushing an agenda of stupid issues like gay marriage.

[...] We have now come to the point that many unthinkingly equate opposition to gay marriage with homophobia.

Rick Warren is now the flash point, the one all our political allies, even Barack Obama, are supposed to denounce because he doesn't pass gay marriage the litmus test.

[...] The quote that got all the attention was when Warren said gay marriage would be on a par with marriage for incest, pedophilia and polygamy. And yes, I think that's off-base. Not up there are the scale of the whole God-sent-his-only-Son-to-die-on-a-cross bit, but weird nonetheless. But let's look the rest of the interview, the parts that didn't get as much attention as that one line:

Q: Which do you think is a greater threat to the American family - divorce or gay marriage? A: [laughs] That's a no brainer. Divorce. There's no doubt about it.

Q: So why do we hear so much more - especially from religious conservatives - about gay marriage than about divorce?

A: Oh we always love to talk about other sins more than ours. Why do we hear more about drug use than about being overweight? [Note: Warren is quite overweight.]

Yeah, he's a chubby little devil all right, but I'm the last one who'd bring that up, tending toward the chunky as I do. I must admit to enjoying tales of wingnut hillbilly heroin use, though. Heh.

Just a reminder to all those gays and lesbians who never look beyond their cultural ghetto: we've got some serious problems going on in the world today that need to be addressed now. Global warming in particular can't wait. For thirty years Evangelical Christians have been the anchor that has pulled this country to the right, giving us first Reaganism and then Bushism. Wars in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. And a decade of world-threatening climate change denialism.

At a minimum, 80 million Americans identify as evangelicals, and up to double that depending on how you define evangelical. They are the largest single religious group in the country, and the fastest growing. They are not going away. Somehow, some way, queers are going to have to share this country with all these people.

I am delighted that there is a new generation of evangelicals that thinks the biggest issue isn't homosexuality but global climate change, AIDS, and poverty. And who "don't believe we should have unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles." I am so ready to make common cause with them. I couldn't care less about what they think of gay marriage.

Those quotes are the opinions of others and not necessarily mine. I'm just throwin' 'em out there for you. Plenty more at each post. There are no doubt many, many others. Personally, I believe in not sweatin' the small shit, and in the overall scheme of things Obama and us are going to be up against, this is small shit. Just my ever-so-humble opinion.

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