December 18, 2008


Not that you knew I was gone. Not really "gone" but rather sick. Monday night, I felt fine, and then woke up with a slight sore throat and congested head. Slept most of Tuesday and then felt truly awful all day Wednesday. So congested that I could hardly breathe. This morning, I feel a little better. Still a bit woozy, prone to sneezing fits, and not back completely, but certainly better than yesterday. Had coffee this morning for the first time since Monday, and might even leave the house.


Catching up on the news after a few days in the fog, a few items caught my eye. First, Tony's post on Rick Warren and torture. This strikes me as the quintessential conservative evangelical approach. Warren says that he opposes torture, but never said anything to Bush about it, because it never came up, and he doesn't address "policy issues" with the Presidents. Torture, after all, is just another "policy issue," not a moral issue. Warren did discuss abortion with Obama, but couldn't be bothered to say to the President, "hey, do you know that torture is immoral?" I hate to be a broken record, but this is exactly how most conservative evangelicals seem to have approached torture with this president. It is not impressive, and in fact, is quite disconcerting for those claiming to care about moral values.


Oh, and it turns out that Obama tapped this same Warren to lead the Inauguration prayer. I know that many liberals and progressives are profoundly disappointed with this. I am too. Warren strikes me as a very dishonest person who is more interested in being the heir to Dobson and Robertson than actually representing the gospel. But I will say that I have a certain respect for Obama continuing to reach out to people who endorsed McCain.

But Warren's ignorance and intolerance is rather shocking. Evidently, he thinks that those Christians who care about social justice are actually marxists. He also believes that gay people, even his gay friends, have relationships that are just like child rape, incest or polygamy.

I hope Obama knows what he is doing.


Meanwhile still-President Bush seems to be heading out as clueless as he came in. His response to a question about al Qaeda coming into Iraq only after the invasion was "so what?" As Sully notes, a perfect summation of his "entire, cosseted, spoiled, rich-kid attitude."

Meanwhile, Cheney admits to, and defends authorizing torture, and I believe in the same interview essentially admitted that even if the intel had shown that Saddam had no wmd, we still would have gone to war. What does it matter that they lied to us about getting into the war? What does it matter that they really didn't care if we went into war as an informed public?


I think that is all I can muster this morning.


Gary said...
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Bootleg Blogger said...

The Rick Warren selection is a total blind side for me. His comments regarding torture, assassination, gender issues, as well as plenty of other issues makes this a great disappointment. THis is a total "WHAT ARE YOU THINKING!!!!" moment. There have been so many progressive Christian leaders working for years in what appeared to be efforts in line with Obama's philosophy and stated policy goals that it's really a slap in the face to these kinds of Christians, and people of other faiths, for that matter. I'm reluctant to write this off. Why should Obama be given a pass on this? The more I think about this the more it bothers me. Some of the new administration selections don't really spell "change" much to me. I sure hope Obama's goals and policies lead there, but I'm a little worried with what I'm seeing.

Streak said...

I go back and forth on this, I really do. On one hand, it is just as you say. On the other hand, it is a largely symbolic gesture of unity on Obama's part. He didn't appoint Warrent to some prominent post overseeing reproductive rights, for example. He leads the prayer at the inauguration.

At this point, I have to say this is a battle not worth fighting (at least for me). Hell, Obama could appoint Warren to Sec of Interior and his cabinet would still be 100 million times better than Bush's.

Bootleg Blogger said...

I think my hopes are foolishly elevated. I think it's a total mistake and a poor precedent. It's one thing to have a diversity of representation, but to invite this guy is just baffling to me. I guess "change" doesn't include pandering to the power brokers. BB

Bootleg Blogger said...

BTW, all of a sudden the recent comments are showing January's. Weird.- BB

Monk-in-Training said...

I am trying to understand this as a personal decision. Rev. Warren will not be making any policy decisions in the Administration, and Pres. Elect Obama has no current Pastor.

I do not care to give this man a national pulpit, but one thing gives me solace, is that the right wing types are furious with Rev. Warren for contaminating himself with Obama. That at least is good.

Streak said...

Publius has an interesting take on it here

Tony said...

As I noted at my blog, he is just being asked to pray an invocation. An invocation prayer is meant to be short and to the point; it isn't an opportunity for Warren to elucidate any agenda. It is simply "invoking" the presence of God, or a simple request for God to be present during the assembly.

If Warren is smart he will keep the prayer that way. If this is indeed good will on Obama's part, and I'm hoping it is for I have read a lot of premature assessments, then any chances of evangelicals having a voice in Obama's presidency could be nil. Warren has a chance to prove something here, imo.

I know I am (mis?)placing a lot of faith in Warren not to screw this up. And besides, Joseph Lowery is praying the benediction.