Saturday, December 20, 2008

Rick Warren to invoke divine blessings upon Barack Obama

The office of President of the United States of America is a divine bestowal. The Reverend Billy Graham has traditionally officiated at presidential coronations as the godfather-pope of the nation, but he is now too old and frail. And so President-Elect Barack Obama has selected Rick Warren to pour fire and brimstone deliver the invocation when he takes the Oath of Office on January 20th. It is one of those rare moments in American political life when church and state fuse. The event is likely to be attended by over a million people, and watched by over a billion worldwide. Pastor Rick Warren will have a pulpit which will reach beyond that of the Pope, and world will hang on every word.

The choice of Rick Warren is surprising for a number of reasons.

He is a ‘pro-life’ Evangelical and said that Evangelicals could not support a presidential candidate who was a ‘Holocaust denier’ - by which he meant, ‘pro-choice’. He is also a supporter of California’s ‘Proposition 8’, a successful ballot measure that denies same-sex couples the right to marry. He said, "There are about 2 per cent of Americans are homosexual, gay, lesbian people. We should not let 2 per cent of the population...change a definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years. This is not a political issue — it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about."

He has compared gay marriage to incest, polygamy, and paedophilia, and stated that gay marriage rights would lead to hate speech prosecutions of Christians who oppose gay marriage and view homosexuality as sin.

Such ‘homophobic hate speech’ is unsurprisingly offensive to advocates of Lesbian and Gay rights and ‘progressives’ who are finding the President-Elect not quite as inclusive as the Senator.

They naturally wanted a gay vicar – the Right Reverend Gene Robinson? – to make the invocation.

And yet Rick Warren has sold more than a million books and leads one of the largest churches in the world - Saddleback in Lake Forest, California. He does not just preach about abortion and gay rights, but has sought to broaden the focus of the Evangelical agenda to include issues like the reduction of global poverty, human rights abuses, global warming and the AIDS epidemic.

Barack Obama himself is not a supporter of same-sex marriage, but is in favour of full equal rights for lesbian and gay couples through civil unions. In August, during the Presidential campaign, Senator Obama and Senator McCain made a joint appearance before 2800 Evangelicals at Mr Warren's mega-church in California. Asked about marriage, Senator Obama replied: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it's also a sacred union. God's in the mix."

And so God is in the mix of this man’s presidency, just as he prayed in Jerusalem.

His philosophy is ‘to disagree without being disagreeable’, and, if he achieves it, this will be a positively revolutionary approach to politics. He is of the opinion that civic and religious leaders should focus on what they have in common as Americans, rather than carp and criticise at every turn, invariably in the name of Jesus, or ‘the unborn’ or ‘the poor’.

The choice of Rick Warren may be capitulation, or it may be a post-partisan expression of Barack Obama’s heart to unity, regeneration and transformation. He is manifestly so post-partisan that he is willing to embrace and promote someone who loathes him and did not vote for him. This is truly forgiving, and a most Christian expression of inclusion.

Politics makes strange bedfellows.


Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

20 December 2008 at 17:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rick Warren is very much into the one world religion. Obama obviously thinks it fits in with him and his policies.

20 December 2008 at 23:19  
Anonymous Terry said...

Dutch Sheets has the best view on Obama - not God's will.

21 December 2008 at 00:23  
Blogger Homophobic Horse said...

Oh that must have touched a nerve with Cranmer.

Operation Cyclone.

I'm serious folks, Obama is the just a cave shadow.

21 December 2008 at 00:31  
Blogger The last cause said...

As an American, I can applaud the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation, as a Christian I view Obama's background in the Trinity United Church as his views on Christ, and Faith in general.

For President Elect Obama, they are merely tools to gain power, no more, no less, things to be used in the balance of the mechanics of the acquisition of power.

What shall be interesting over the next four years is to see which members of the Clergy in the US decide to embrace Obama's clearly leftist plans, and which ones risk alienating the media to stay true to their consciences....

21 December 2008 at 06:37  
Blogger Cranmer said...

Mr Homophobic Horse,

It touched no nerve at all. His Grace simply saw no need for your gratuitous foul language. Were it not for that, your post would have stood.

21 December 2008 at 09:41  
Blogger Bryan said...

Well, as Your Grace should know; the Beast must have a Prophet...

1 January 2009 at 16:39  

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