Thursday, December 18, 2008

Gay Radicalism Key to Left's Agenda Under Obama

As regular readers know, the next stage of the left's agenda emerged on November 5th, the day after the election when Democrats saw the historic victory of the country's first black president. Obama's win was nevertheless regarded as "bittersweet" for many, as voters in California also passed Proposition 8, which restored marriage traditionalism to the state's constitution.

Since then, we've seen a non-stop campaign of intimidation and show trials against the "bigots" and "homophobes" who exercised their rights by contributing to and voting on the passage of the initiative. We've already seen a lot of grumbling on the left during the Obama transition, of course. Leftists have been boiling with resentment over the "lack of representation" by "progressives" in the cabinet, as we've seen according to story after story in the press. But Barack Obama's selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver an invocation at the inaugural is probably the best indicator of the all-or-nothing battle the left has begun to wage even before the new Democratic regime is installed.

For the second day in a row,
Memeorandum has been flooded with blog posts and essays decrying the Warren pick. Sarah Posner, at the Nation, gets right to the nub of the matter:

Now it has officially gone too far: Democrats, in their zeal to appear friendly to evangelical voters, have chosen celebrity preacher and best-selling author Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration.

There was no doubt that Obama, like every president before him, would pick a Christian minister to perform this sacred duty. But Obama had thousands of clergy to choose from, and the choice of Warren is not only a slap in the face to progressive ministers toiling on the front lines of advocacy and service but a bow to the continuing influence of the religious right in American politics. Warren vocally opposes gay marriage, does not believe in evolution, has compared abortion to the Holocaust and backed the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Warren has done a masterful job at marketing himself as a "new" kind of evangelical with a "broader agenda" than just fighting abortion rights and gay marriage. He dispatches members of his congregation to Africa to perform AIDS relief and has positioned himself as a great crusader for bringing his "purpose-driven" pabulum to the world.

Faith in Public Life, a nonprofit cultivated by the Center for American Progress, was so wowed by Warren that it co-sponsored a presidential forum in August at Warren's Saddleback Church. There, his "broader agenda" included asking Obama whether he believed that life began at conception (which Warren believes, he says, based on the Bible, not science) and to ruminate on the nature of evil. (As for Pastor Rick, he believes the Bible dictates that the US government "punish evildoers," as in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.) ....

Warren protests that he's not a homophobe; it's just that two dudes marrying, in his mind, is indistinguishable from an adult marrying a child, a brother marrying his sister, or polygamy. He thinks his AIDS relief efforts represent an elevated form of Christianity over those non-evangelical do-gooders whom he compares to "Marxists" because they're more interested in good works than salvation. The rejection of the "social justice" gospel in favor of the salvation-focused evangelicalism that has come to dominate the definition of "Christian" lies at the heart of the religious right agenda to marginalize liberalism and harness its political power.

Warren represents the absolute worst of the Democrats' religious outreach, a right-winger masquerading as a do-gooder anointed as the arbiter of what it means to be faithful. Obama's religious outreach was intended, supposedly, to make religious voters more comfortable with him and feel included in the Democratic Party. But that outreach now has come at the expense of other people's comfort and inclusion, at an event meant to mark a turning point away from divisive politics.
Everyone from the lowest of the 9th tier bloggers to the biggest headliners on the web has weighed in on the debate.

And while it's probably too late for gay activists and their radical backers to get Obama to change his mind on Warren, the episode will be used as a stepping stone to an even higher stage of secular radicalism under the coming political order: the total eradication of religion in public life.
Steve Benen sponsors that meme:

This is the wrong fight: The real problem isn't with who will give the invocation, but rather, the fact that there's going to be an invocation in the first place. We had 144 years of presidential inaugurations, dating back to George Washington, in which there was no invocation and no benediction. This shouldn't be a fight over which pastor delivers the prayer; this should be a fight over the official prayer itself.
This is the face of our enemies, folks, that's right ... the enemy of American traditionalism and values of faith and decency. The gay activists and their nihilist proponents are positioning for a battle of the highest stakes, and they'll take no prisoners. Where once this country was considered "one nation under God," now were a people divided between those who may find guidance from above and those who would hand down retribution on people who dare even seek such spiritual solace.


Norm said...

One part of me says that Obama's appointment of Warren is all show. Once Obama is the President the left wing will have a tremendous ally in the White House.

On the other hand, we have heard Obama state that Rev. Wright helped him find Christ in his life. It also would not surprise me that a President Obama might find strength in his religion. This could lead him down a more conservative path.

Therefore, at this moment I think Obama's path and whether or not he walks hand in hand with the Lord is in question. Perhaps this is why the left is squealing right now.

Anonymous said...

Throughout the campaign, we were afraid that Barack Hussein Obama was a far-out whacko leftist who was simply lying about himself to win votes. It seems as though many of our friends on the left believed exactly the same thing.

But now, in this very early, not-even-inaugurated-yet period, it's almost looking like Mr Obama was being (mostly) truthful about himself and his policies. Quite frankly, he reminds me of a post-1994 Bill Clinton at the moment. I think that our friends on the left are also seeing that -- and they aren't happy.

He may not be as bad as we feared. Since he's what we've got, we have to hope that's the case!

AmPowerBlog said...

Actually, Dana, Obama's going to be as bad as we thought, except for on a couple of issues. On abortion, I noted yesterday the pro-choice groups are getting a bonanza, and on spending, well ... it's just going to be out of control, loaded with hundreds of millions in pork, for every possible boondoggle you can imagine. The Blogojovich scandal is the tip of the iceberg on Obama administration corruption, I'll bet. It's in the veins for these folks. Just wait and see...

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JBW said...

Wow, you guys and your Christianity; you really aren't happy unless you're being persecuted (or to put it more accurately, unless you think you're being persecuted).

Obama is doing exactly what he said he was going to do during the election: govern as a pragmatic centrist who wants to bring people together; for some reason this seems to have caught all of you completely by surprise.

So let me see if I've got this right: if he had chosen a lesbian bishop who performed gay marriages and actively campaigned against Prop 8, it would have been proof of his "nihilistic, radical agenda", yet now that he's chosen an evangelical preacher who actively campaigned in favor of Prop 8, it's proof that he's just playing the right for suckers until he's in office and he can institute his "nihilistic, radical agenda".

I heard the same "damned if he does, damned if he doesn't" arguments during the election: he's the worst kind of radical Christian because he sat in Wright's church for 20 years, but he's also a secret Muslim; he's a confirmed radical, leftist, socialist who's going to take all of your money and spend it on abortions and flag burnings, but he also has no record and no accomplishments and we know absolutely nothing about him. It's almost as if most of your arguments against the man are couched in an a biased, unthinking, inflexible dogma: hmm...

Now I'll also admit that the whiners on the left are no better; I understand why homosexuals might be opposed to Warren being given this spot in Obama's inauguration because of his support for Prop 8 but I didn't hear them complaining when Obama promised inclusiveness during the election, and they should have realized that inclusiveness means including people who don't always agree with you.

The truth is that this isn't a very big deal either way and most people are fine with it and with Obama's way of doing things; it's only the real loons on either side of the aisle who are getting bent out of shape about it, admittedly for very different reasons.

Personally, I wouldn't have chosen Warren if it were me but more just because I'm an atheist and I wouldn't want a tax-payer funded prayer to a Christian god during a government event but that's also why I'll almost assuredly never be elected to public office in this country.

Just the same though, I completely understand why Obama made the choice that he did and I still agree with him on enough issues that I can let it slide with a minimum of grief.

You all can question the validity of his faith and make baseless accusations about supposed ties to the Blago scandal until you're blue in the face but doing so doesn't make any of that remotely true, it just makes you look like poor losers after an election in which your uptight values were for the most part rejected by the American public.

Oh and Grace, I totally think I'm cooler and smarter than God; all he's got on me is that he can grow a beard. If I ever run into him I'm going to throw my shoes at him. Boo-yah!

Laura Lee - Grace Explosion said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AmPowerBlog said...

JBW: I think you illustrate the key point of this post. Saying an invocation doesn't violate separation of church and state. It simply affirms that we're a Christian nation.

cracker said...

"it simply affirms we are a Christian nation"?

May I present the following from a Founding Father

"Is uniformity attainable? Millions of innocent men, women, and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth. (Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 363.)

No man complains of his neighbor for ill management of his affairs, for an error in sowing his land, or marrying his daughter, for consuming his substance in taverns ... in all these he has liberty; but if he does not frequent the church, or then conform in ceremonies, there is an immediate uproar. (Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782; from George Seldes, ed., The Great Quotations, Secaucus, New Jersey: Citadel Press, 1983, p. 364.)

Please show me...where We were founded as a Christian Nation.

In other words perhaps "This is in no way is a Christian Nation than it is a Jewish Nation, than an Atheist Nation . But some of us are Christians... in this nation...."

(Unless you believe youre a Nation within a Nation?)

JBW said...

Don: really? I thought the key point of the post was to point out that gays are haters; you spend more time talking about that than anything else.

I neither decried the Warren choice nor did I endorse it; I just said that I wouldn't have chosen the man for my inauguration because of my personal beliefs (contrary to your persistent charges of nihilism on the left: yes, I do indeed have beliefs).

I'm sure there is plenty of fuzzy wiggle room within the doctrine of separation of church and state to justify an invocation at Obama's inauguration and I never implied that it was illegal, just that I wouldn't have chosen to do so were the inauguration mine.

And cracker is right: we are not a Christian nation, we are a nation predominantly of Christians. In fact, we're one of only a handful of nations that specifically state that choosing and following a religion is not required of it's citizens. I find it interesting how much conservative Christians in this country sound very similar to Islamists around the world.

Grace, the first line of your reply to me is all you need to say: you think this. What you believe is made neither true nor relevant by your belief, it just makes you feel better, especially when judging someone else...

Know what? I think that's enough time wasted on you; I found you amusing to mess with when I first came back to this site but you've rapidly grown boring and passe. Your rhetoric is standard Christian boilerplate. You're neither unique nor interesting; I could replace you in these comment sections with any one of millions of crazy Christians just like yourself and they'd all write the exact same thing.

And I think you misspoke earlier, as did I when quoting you: you don't think; you parrot back what you've been trained to say. The Christians I've known and respected thought for themselves and sounded nothing like you.

So sure: save me a seat at Armageddon; I'm going to throw some shoes at the devil too, just for good measure. In fact, I'm going to take a whole boatload of shoes with me across the river Styx and every imaginary creature and person in your little book is gonna get two to the face. Booyah, again!

Anonymous said...

First of all, Obama knows that Warren will say nothing about abortion. It's just too explosive a subject in the context of a national benediction. Second, Obama knows that once it's over, it will look like he has given the political right their last say-so and now, he's still the one with all the power. The Left will get same-sex marriage because Obama will make it appear that the "right wing" has had its day, and the people have chosen to reject it. The Left will get its wish which is to bring every institution of hierarchy in this country to its knees, including, of course, the traditional nation as we knew it. But the stuff won't hit the fan until the polygamist lawsuits arrive in the federal courts, and there's no more authority left to stop polygamist marriage.

Anonymous said...

Should I have said polygamous marriage? ok heh heh, nobody's perfect. Oh yeah, if you want to read a radical Lefty who is telling the truth about what the Left really wants, read this British lesbian named Jo Douzema. She's obscure except in Leftwing circles. She openly admits that "gay marriage" is merely the means by which the Left will collapse the capitalist west by undermining all sources of cultural (including legal) authority. They want to convince as many people as they can that marriage is a "hierarchy of (white male) privilege" which can be brought down by expanding and thus destabilizing the definition. Douzema is part Marxist, part post-modernist, part lunatic lesbian. See for yourself.