Yep, I'm Outraged - UPDATED

I hear that Rick Warren is a nice guy in person. He offered refreshments to the Prop 8 protesters. He actively encourages members of his Saddleback Church to work with those suffering from AIDS in a hands-on fashion. I understand he is warm and very personable.

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To Understand Warren, Look To Lincoln

The latest fury over Rick Warren threatens to put a damper on the Inauguration for millions of Americans.   Almost the complete opposite of Rev Lowery, who will deliver the benediction and is a champion for equal justice for every citizen, Rick Warren has gone as far as to say "same-sex marriage is equal to child rape".  For someone who supports ending DODT, repealing DOMA and passing ENDA and equal protection laws; giving a platform to someone who believes homosexuals are condemned to hell is quite confusing.

But maybe, as with many of Obama's decisions, if we look to Lincoln, we can begin to make sense of the intent behind this choice.  We have seen Obama choose the Inaugural them from Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, "A New Birth of Freedom".  We have also seen him assemble his "Team of Rivals", including his former primary opponent as Lincoln did with Seward.   Is it possible that this inclusion of Rick Warren goes beyond a simple desire to be seen as "reaching out"?


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Open thread with optional homework assignment

As Barack Obama assembles his cabinet and key White House advisers, he's choosing a lot more people from the "centrist" or corporate-friendly wing of the Democratic Party than movement progressives. He is leaving George Bush's Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, in place. He has also made some symbolic moves that angered a lot of progressives, in particular selecting Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration.

I understand the political arguments in favor of Obama's strategy, and opinion polls support some of them. When asked whether they approve of Obama or how he is handling the transition (different pollsters ask the question differently), anywhere from 65 percent to 75 percent of Americans are saying they approve.

I've been wondering how much Obama's conciliatory gestures have been helping him with Republicans and conservatives of the wingnut variety. I'm not talking about Jim Leach Republicans, I'm talking about the kind of person who really believed Obama was a "socialist."

For example, one of my friends told me last month that her mother's best friend believes changing the American flag will be "the first order of business" when Obama takes office. I am not kidding.

In the next ten days, many of us will attend holiday parties and family reunions. I don't recommend that you bring up politics at these events if that would make people uncomfortable. However, if you come from a family where politics are often discussed when folks get together, I would like to hear from you.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find out whether your conservative friends and relatives have abandoned some of their more paranoid beliefs about Obama since he was elected. In other words, how well have Obama's conciliatory gestures allayed conservative fears about his intentions? Is he likely to get more of a honeymoon than Bill Clinton did in 1993?

After the holidays, report back in an open thread or with your own diary.

If you are driving to another city for the holidays, read this piece on safe driving tips by The Baculum King, based on his experience as a truck driver and one particularly horrifying accident he witnessed.

Daily Kos user Translator followed up with this diary containing more advice about driving safely in cold weather.

Remember, "research has found driving while talking on a cellphone to be as dangerous as driving drunk."

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So Much For Tolerance, Respect And Inclusion, I Guess

Yesterday Barack Obama responded to the controversy surrounding his choice of Rick Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration:

Obama replied, "let me start by talking about my own views. I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on, and something that I contend -- intend to continue to be consistent on during my presidency.

What I've also said is that it is important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues. And I would note that a couple of years ago, I was invited to Rick Warren's church to speak, despite his awareness that I held views that were entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when it came to issues like abortion. Nevertheless, I had an opportunity to speak. And that dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign's been all about; that we're not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere when we -- where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans.

"So Rick Warren has been invited to speak. Dr. Joseph Lowery, who has deeply contrasting views to Rick Warren on a whole host of issues, is also speaking. During the course of the entire inaugural festivities, there are going to be a wide range of viewpoints that are presented. And that's how it should be, because that's what America's about. That's part of the magic of this country, is that we are diverse and noisy and opinionated. And so, you know, that's the spirit in which, you know, we have put together what I think will be a terrific inauguration. And that's, hopefully, going to be a spirit that carries over into my administration."

While he took the opportunity to make a strong statement of support for the LGBT community, Barack was clearly scolding the left, calling on us to be as inclusive and accepting of those whose views differ from our own as he is being.

Too bad he doesn't hold Rick Warren to the same standard.

John Aravosis finds this little tidbit from the Saddleback Church's website:

Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one's life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church, we hope they do! God's Word has the power to change our lives.

I'm sorry, why is Rick Warren accepted as anything but a hatemonger again?

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Pink triangulation

Pink triangle:

"The pink triangle (German: Rosa Winkel) was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges, used by the Nazis to identify male prisoners in concentration camps who were sent there because of their homosexuality." le

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