Rick Warren Revisted

I recieved a very thoughtful reply on the issue of Rick Warren providing the invocation for Barack Obama. (You may remember, I addressed this issue awhile ago).


I wanted to share the reply from “Obama IS America!” and then provide some follow up comments.


ok well I am gay and I (politely) disagree with you.  My comment below kind of touches on a lot of issues, but it does explain why I think that it is totally messed up that Obama chose Rick Warren for the inaugural invocation:

If you are a progressive person living in California, Prop 8 winning stings. Its a slap in the freaking face.  I say progressive instead of gay, because progressive people in general, gay or straight understand that Prop 8 affects everybody.  People are born gay.  And those who are not born gay but end up in same gender relationships were born open to being with another human being because of the person that they are at their core, which has nothing at all to do with gender. Also, I used the term ‘progressive’, because there are a lot of forward thinking and open minded straight people out there who realize that if they have a child and their child is gay (which would not be an issue for them, because they are open minded people), then their child would not be able to marry the person that he or she truly loved and wanted to be with.  So Prop 8 affects straight people too.  Oh, and I also want to add that gay people are not colorless.  Its not like there are black, white, indian, chinese, mexican, vietnamese, and gay people.  Gay people are of ALL colors, creeds, cultures, etc.  In a state like CA where 50% of the population is non-White, you have a state where at least half of the gay people are also from ‘minority’ communities. 

Even though this is just an invocation, religion and spirituality are important to a lot of people.   The person who is chosen to bless Obama as he steps into office is important.  If you are a spiritual person, then you put some faith into ritual, because rituals and symbols help you focus your energies on something, and focusing your energies on something can lead to something really powerful.  For a person who is openly bigoted toward gay people to be giving the invocation for Obama is hurtful to all the gay people who worked hard on the Obama campaign by going to canvass in Nevada, joining the campaign, donating money to Obama, and basically giving him their time, money and energy instead of the fight against Prop H8.  People did this, because literally nobody progressive thought that Prop 8 would pass.  It probably wouldn’t have if the No on 8 campaign had done a better job, but the pretty much ran a horribly planned campaign.

Prop 8 passing made it blatantly obvious to a lot of people that there are a lot of people out there who  are really backwards thinking.  Yes, I think it is backward to be ‘against’ gay marriage.  I dont even understand how you can be against gay people.  That makes no sense to me.  How can you be against gay people? that’s like being against babies, or against tall people.  Gay people exist.  They always have, and they always will, no matter how much hate is directed toward them.  Gay people have been around in every society and culture.  Regardless of what some gay hating person out there in the world thinks, I will continue to be who I am, love my partner, live with her, cherish her, build a home and family with her, etc.  If someone out there thinks that is weird, well frankly, I could care less.  Gay haters become problematic, however, when they get to vote on my life.  They don’t know me.  They will never know me.  And because they hate this idea of ‘gay’ they think they can hate me too.  But this to me is a bunch of bullsh***.  So, when Prop 8 passed, people all around the state felt like Wow–the people of California dont’ know me or care about my life whatsoever, except for the fact that they have this idea in their heads about gay being bad, and so they vote against it.  Well we pay taxes, we work hard, we vote, why should our abilities to take part in social norms that are important to us too be less than another person?  I mean, marriage shouldn’t even be regulated by the state, but it is, so why should my being able to be married depend on the vote of some person out there?

Maybe if Prop 8 had never been on the ballot and Obama had chosen Rick Warren, it would have been a different issue.  But the fact is that Prop 8 passed and there are many people that are hurting.  It is just totally insulting.

America is super religious.  Many Americans are Christian, but not all Americans, and this is not an officially Christian country.  Rick Warren is a bigot.  Obviously Obama would never in a million years have picked a Hindu, Jew, Buddhist, or god forbid a Muslim. But, even within the pool of Christians, there are PLENTY of non-bigoted pastors out there.  Where did you get your estimate of 90% that you cited? Did you make that statistic up?  That is not good journalism.  But my point is here that why couldn’t Obama have picked someone less to the Right?  In this big giant diverse country full of all sorts of faiths, I find it difficult to believe that he couldn’t have found someone closer to the center to do the invocation.

So yeah, I think its messed up that Obama chose Rick Warren, and I think it is disrespectful to a lot of people.  Its not a huge deal, and I still look forward to his Presidency with hope and all of that, but I think it is messed up and I think he should be criticized for it.  I don’t understand why we have to keep pandering to the Right.  The future is progression and open-mindedness.  This is inevitable, and it is what our Constitution was founded on.  To think otherwise would be unpatriotic, I think.

And my last comment is that I find it totally ridiculous that mainstream society can accept War, death and destruction as a part of life.  We say that it has always been around and always been a part of society.  It is necessary, etc. (see John McCain’s speeches).  But gay people have always been present in society, and in EVERY society, even if they have soemtiems or often existed at the fringes.  But what is being gay? All that it is is love.  It is one person loving another person, and being attracted to someone of the same gender.  Why?  Well, because they prefer the way their own gender looks, thinks, feels.  I think that the reasons a person enjoys same gender relationships is comparable to why someone would enjoy being in a relationship with someone of the same culture, race, religion, etc.  You have certain ways of thinking and experiencing things in common.  In a same gender relationship, you get to be around your same energy – I like being around women, I like the feminine energy/vibe/whatever you call it.  I prefer it to masculine energy.  Not saying masculine is bad, I just personally prefer feminine. 

So that’s it.  Thanks for reading this comment.


This is the kind of eloquent statement that should have been used to argue the Prop 8 point in the first place. The core point, as I see it, is the fundamental issue of treating people fairly and humanely regardless of disposition. I too am a believer that people are born gay and have already laid that challenge out in a previous post. https://stopannoyingme.wordpress.com/2008/10/18/could-you-be-gay-for-a-day/

As to the 90% number I used…yes, completely fabricated. If you read other work of mine, you will see I can be occasionally lazy in my research. I justify that by the fact that this is just a blog and no one in their right mind should come here looking for the “truth”. However, it has turned in to a decent place to find disparate opinions. For me, that is the most enjoyable part.

One last thing on Prop 8, or any other piece of legislation out there. When the masses are counted on to make a choice, their decision needs to be respected. It doesn’t mean it was correct but, for that moment in time, it should stand. That is democracy at its finest. The burden is now on the “progressive” community to educate people. Is it fair that they have this burden in the first place? Of course not. But, as we have seen throughout history, this is how we move forward.

As to Barry’s choice of Rick Warren, he was clearly in a no win situation. I am confident that whomever he selected would have agitated someone. Only Billy Graham might have risen above that kind of reproach but he represents the past, not the future. Warren, and this might be the scary part for you, actually does tend to resemble the “middle” of America today. I would say he is second only to Joel Osteen in that respect.

Let me stray a little from your comments. Obama has already shown he is willing to compromise on major issues. I am most disturbed by his backing off of the end of the war in Iraq. As I watched the debut of the USS George H W Bush this morning, I was so proud to see the young men and women in the Navy representing this country. They are at a very exciting moment in their lives and I remember feeling the same way when I was newly enlisted. I truly hope that Obama does not take their allegiance for granted and protects them as fiercely as humanly possible. They deserve that. War is not a game, it is not a sport, it is not “clean”, and rarely can it be described a “victory”. Barry has shown a tendency to pander a bit and this makes me very nervous. Each week I read the names of those that died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Whether it is 2 names or 50 on the list, I am equally saddened. I take no solace that less people are getting killed. If even one person is killed, it is a massive tragedy. I only wish that the outpouring of grief shown for the passing of Jett Travolta was equally shown to each and every one of our service men and women.

Sorry for the rant but I guess the point is we all have skin in the game on a variety of subjects. Like you, I hope that Obama can answer the bell. As always, time will tell.  


15 Responses to Rick Warren Revisted

  1. Ok, so i’m supposed to be doing work today, but am of course procrastinating a little bit. Thanks for posting my comment and giving recognition to it, and I agree with the thoughts in your response. My short response is that I hate war. Hate war. HATE WAR. Hate that we are senselessly killing each other, when we could be creating and thinking and spending our time, money, energies and efforts on figuring out how we are going to continue to live on this planet without destroying ourselves and the earth. But, I pray for all the men and women that are out there now, by sending them all my love and protection. And I thank them for their work. One of my closest friends is out tehre now, and his birthday was just a few days ago. It is so wild to me that we are still at war…War against Iraq, War in Afghanistan, Israel-Palestine war, War on Terror (generally speaking), and the War on Drugs (which is an absolute failure and total waste of money, especially since we are cutting money from mental health and drug rehab programs here in the US).

    Sigh…..I hope the world is peaceful in 20 years. I am working hard so that it will be….

    I really like your blog. I like how you think. And you are really funny. So, thank you for your work. 🙂

  2. very well written I guess. Great post.
    Subscribing to your RSS aswell..


    • tannerleah says:

      Welcome Obama – Thank you. One caveat…generally people read a single post and agree with it. Then they read other posts and decide I am a lunatic, or hateful, or satanic, or whatever. Keep your expectations low and I will be less likely to disappoint.

  3. art vandelay says:

    I enjoyed hearing her perspective. I too believe people are born gay.
    I don’t think this will be the first blow Mr. Wonderful delivers to the people that voted for him. He’s already going more towards the middle on a lot of things..hell I may even end up liking him. I’m more concerned with his CIA pick than the pastor. TL excellent point on the Jett Travolta thing.

    • tannerleah says:

      I have been biting my tongue on the Travolta thing all week. I cannot imagine a more horrible experience than losing a child. But I am also sick to death of the casual way we accept children dying on a daily basis without even the slightest bit of interest. However, when the child of a celebrity dies it is somehow more devastating. Certainly that is true for Mr. and Mrs. Travolta and I am sincerely sorry for their loss. But for all of the celebrity stalkers that try to personalize such an event… knock it off. It is creepy and just plain disgusting.

  4. Hello again.

    I read more than one of your posts before saying that i like your blog and think you are funny. I am researcher/explorer in general. What kind of researcher would i be if I didnt do my research before commenting? Also, you are being modest, and I think modesty is often overrated. Plenty of people like your work. 🙂

    Also, just a note for those people out there who have decided to subscribe to my feed/rss/google reader/whatever you subscribe to: blog posting for me is going slow these days. I have a major deadline coming up and am scheduled to take the LSAT in a few weeks…uughh…hence the procrastinating and leaving passionate comments on this blog. haha.

  5. Oh, and please look out for an upcoming post that is in the works (and has been since I saw the movie) on why Slumdog Millionaire is a crappy movie.

    ok. I’m done with the shameless plugs.

  6. Doug says:

    Just because the majority makes a decision does not make it right. Thankfully we have the supreme court to suppress the rule of the masses. As far as Obama being willing to compromise, I find it very refreshing. At least he’s willing to reconsider his ideas in light of new information. Unlike the current idiot in office who likes to “stay the course” no matter what. Based on today’s news Gitmo should close shortly and Obama appeased the gay population by adding Gene Robinson.

    I’m SO looking forward to January 20th!

    • tannerleah says:

      Doug – I can see where you are coming from since Dubya never listened to anyone. My point is that Obama cannot please everyone…nor should he try. Just like the prayer thing. Now we have a gay and a woman. I haven’t checked, but I am pretty sure we will also get a prayer from a one legged preacher and one from a pastor that lisps. If he tries to appease everyone, it seems to me he will be less likely to make the hard choices.

      But you are correct…I think most people can’t wait until the 20th.

  7. Doug says:

    I wish the media would also stop trying to imply that Jett’s death was somehow related to the Travolta’s belief in Scientology. If it was a case of them denying him medical care due to their beliefs then there would be a legitimate issue. However, there is no evidence that they withheld or denied proper medical treatment due to their beliefs.

    • tannerleah says:

      Doug – To be fair, they bring a lot of this on themselves with their cloak and dagger mentality. Hell, even Louis Farrakhan opened his church. A little transparency would help their cause.

  8. elizabeth3hersh says:

    Au contraire!! Say it’s not true Obama IS America! Slumdog Millionaire was an awesome movie!! Having spent countless hours with tech support in India, I have a newfound appreciation for our Indian compatriots. Let me preface my comments with a short story. I purchased two new Lenovo (IBM) computers that came with tech support from the good ol’ U.S. of A. This tech support takes place in Atlanta, GA (TL will be able to instantly read between the lines). I wanted to tear my hair out from the ineptitude of said “tech support”. I ended up paying Microsoft for their paid tech support in India and it was money well spent. My problems ended up taking several weeks to resolve and I got to know several of the technicians, one of whom was aptly named “Pleasant”. Because they took control of my computer they were able to see my screen savers (all cosmology/physics related) and it became a topic of conversation as it happened that all the techs were able to converse intelligently on these subjects and were even, dare I say, far more knowledgeable than I. I happen to enjoy talking with people smarter than me and I most assuredly would not be having those conversations with Georgians. There is a new India today and Slumdog did a terrific job contrasting between the slums of India and the India that is emerging to become a superpower. I found the mental journal it took you on entertaining and riveting. What was there not to love?

  9. I will explain the dislike of Slumdog. I have all my thoughts lined up, I just haven’t been able to write them down cohesively yet. but it is coming!!! in the meantime, here is an interesting opinion piece I found on this whole rick warren issue in the NY Times (I didn’t go searching for this, i found it in a blog from the National Council of Lesbian Rights):

    Here is the post on their blog: http://nclrights.wordpress.com/2008/12/27/youre-likeable-enough-gay-people/

    Here is the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/28/opinion/28rich.html?_r=3&th=&adxnnl=1&emc=th&adxnnlx=1231996395-2fKawKhrstcjLC7IJJh9tQ

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