Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rick Warren and Obama

This is something I'm still processing myself. Rick Warren was asked by Obama to give the invocation at the inauguration. A few things are puzzling to me about this. First of all, I really did get the impression from Rick Warren that he was disturbed by Obama after the Saddleback forum. I don't know if this is Obama's way of trying to erase that embarrassing ordeal or if he genuinely likes Warren - I'm kind of skeptical about that. Secondly, I don't know that I agree that Rick Warren is accepted in mainstream evangelical circles as a representative, so to speak. I know plenty of evangelical churches who are anti-Purpose-Driven-anything!! Thirdly, I think the gay activists really do have a bone to pick here. Obama could have chosen from MANY well-known, highly respected "evangelical" Christian leaders who are not in the dead center of a very controversial Proposition 8. He is either really brazen and definitely making a statement to the gay community OR he doesn't really have connections within the evangelical Christian community. I'm kind of surprised he didn't go with Bill Hybels on this one.... personally, I would have chosen Mark Batterson, Erwin McManus or Jeremy DelRio (had to throw that one in... would be a good connection for obama! ;-)). In any respect, the controversy is expected, the motive is debatable!

Incidentally, I'm going to predict that Obama is as intrigued as I am with Saddleback's PEACE plan.... that's the one thing that would win me over to Rick Warren!

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

I think it's an inherently difficult task in our culture to choose a minister to speak at a political event. We have so many divides among religious groups, and equally broad disagreements among politicians.

We also have the notion that all of these lines are brick walls that firmly and forevermore divide us. At least, that is how we function...we all stay within our 'own' lines and are wary of those in different circles: Republicans vs. Dems; Liberals and Evangelicals.

Unfortunately, no matter who Obama chose, there would be grumblings and speculation from some group...especially b/c a minister speaks (and in this case, directly to the nation/world) as a representative of God. So there's that age-old dichotomy of the 'King' (whoever has political power) and God going on.

Power and compassion are a tough mix. (Unless one is a certain carpenter from Nazareth! ;-) But we are challenged with the task nonetheless.

Personally, I like this quote from Gandhi:
Those who say religion has nothing to do with politics do not know what religion is.

The inauguration will come and go. Then, it's back to the task: focusing on what we all agree on--serving the poor, the motherless, the sick...that which is universal among us. Love.