Daily Archives: 12/19/2008

The Right on Rev. Rick Warren

(Community Matters) Andrew Sullivan linked to David Brody’s site pointing out that the far-right is not happy either

From Dave:

I just lost a lot of respect for Rick Warren. How can someone who professes to be a Christian, put himself into a situation where other Christians would question him? Rick has done some good work however he just lost my respect.

From Larry:

I was saddened to read that Dr Warren will be praying at the inauguration. I different with him on almost all areas of theology, doctrine and church polity, though he holds himself out as a evangelical. I was devastated by the election. Not that a Democrat was elected, I’m more of a person not a party voter. Not that President Elect is a mixed race. I was devastated by a number of reasons and one grieves me most when I think of Dr Warren praying at the inauguration. As the result of one Supreme Court Decision, over 50 million babies have been murdered to date. The President Elect has in no uncertain terms pledged to continue the pro abortion agenda. How could around 54% of Catholics, 96% of African Americans, many who claim to be professing Bible Christians, @ 100% of Jewish Voters, who apparently have forgotten about the Holocaust and probably 50% or more of all kinds of other professing Bible Christians vote for the President Elect in light of his pro-abortion agenda? How? The same reason Dr Warren is going to pray at the inauguration. There is no real moral outrage in our Nation about Abortion. “Just words, just words,” as the resident Elect said often in his campaign about his opposition. Words, but not real outrage and action.

From Pat:

This is terrible; this man call’s himself a Christian????Barack H. Obama is the most PRO-DEATH president America has ever elected!!!!! He has said that as president he is going to pass the “Freedom of Choice Act” how can our country get any better with this type of MURDER?????? Mr. Warren school be ashamed of himself, protection of the unborn is the MOST IMPERATIVE issue as a Christian!!!!! For without life do we continue to have a society at all??? I think not!!!!!

God Bless & MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

From Mary:

Unless Rick Warren has changed, he is very disappointing in the pro-life cause. Just ask pro-life leaders their opinion. He doesn’t like to deal with it at his church. It just seems funny that he is known as ‘pro-life’ when he largely ignores the subject and teaches others to do the same. I fear God for these ‘men of God’. We have lost 50 million babies, and most won’t say a word. Reminds me of Nazi Germany or our slavery days. Very few spoke out. It was more comfortable to keep quiet.

From Billy:

I was very disappointed when Rick Warren gave his pulpit over to Obama a year or so ago, concerning the AIDS epidemic. Obama is an unapologetic supporter of unrestricted abortion, which has been responsible for more deaths than all the years of AIDS. A little leaven leaveneth the whole loaf, and Mr Warren should realize that the leaven of compromise is the beginning of unending compromise.

Obama’s Picks

(Community Matters) From Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Domenico Montanaro, and Carrie Dann

*** The Full Obama Cabinet: At his last press conference of the year before departing for Hawaii, NBC’s Savannah Guthrie reports, Obama will unveil his final cabinet picks (and maybe others!): Ray LaHood for Transportation secretary, Hilda Solis for Labor, and Ron Kirk for U.S. Trade Representative. As transition expert Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution tells First Read, this is the earliest an incoming president has assembled his entire cabinet since Richard Nixon announced his cabinet picks on Dec. 11, 1968. Also, we’ve learned that Obama has picked Dennis Blair, a former Navy admiral, to be his director of national intelligence. The next question is if — or when — Obama decides to replace the current CIA chief. The Washington Post has a new name for the list, but we should remind folks that Obama isn’t under any Jan. 20 pressure to name him/her. He could keep current chief Hayden in place for as long as he and Hayden want. The CIA director’s term doesn’t expire at end of a president’s term, but instead simply serves at pleasure of president. Hayden would stay if asked…

*** Updated Cabinet Census: Here’s our updated list after the Solis and Kirk picks:

— 8 State Schoolers (Daschle, Vilsack, Chu, Napolitano, Salazar, Gates, Solis, Kirk)

— 7 Ivy Leaguers (Clinton, Duncan, Geithner, Holder, Donovan, Orszag, Jackson)

— 6 Raised in the Midwest (Clinton, Daschle, Vilsack, Gates, Duncan, LaHood) Note: This doesn’t include Chu, who was born in Missouri but grew up in New York

— 5 Women (Clinton, Napolitano, Solis, Rice, Jackson)

— 4 Raised in New York (Holder, Donovan, Geithner, Chu — who grew up on Long Island) Note: This does not include Napolitano who was born in NYC or Clinton who currently lives there.

— 4 Basketball Players (Duncan, Rice, Holder, Kirk — who also was a cheerleader in college)
— 4 African Americans (Holder, Kirk, Rice, Jackson)

— 3 Hispanics (Salazar, Richardson, Solis)

— 3 Westerners (Salazar, Richardson, Napolitano — who was born in NYC but raised in Albuquerque) Note: Solis is from L.A., but is that really a Westerner?

— 2 Asian Americans (Shinseki, Chu)

— 2 Republicans (Gates, LaHood)

— 2 Sitting Senators (Clinton, Salazar)

— 2 Sitting Governors (Napolitano, Richardson)

— 2 Raised in the South (Kirk, Jackson — who was born in Philadelphia, but adopted a few weeks later and grew up in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward)

Mayor Ron Kirk quite the poker player. Was on a conference call with him yesterday morning and he didn’t share a peep about his appointment. He was even “queuing up” with the rest of us for inauguration tickets

Texas Black Tie & Boots

(Community Matters) hmm, Senator Watson has pointed out that the reception I signed up to co-host for Secretary Pena and the Hispanic Texas delegation during inaugural festivities is 8 miles south of DC. Hmmm, I didn’t pay much attention. It’s at the same hotel as & just before the Texas Black Tie & Boots event. Nevertheless, the logistics are going to be tricky – especially, since we’ve got to get back into town for Arianna Huffington’s shinding.

yeah, we’re going. I’ve realized Steven really wants to attend. He wasn’t able to attend Denver or election night in Chicago so this’ll be great.

Fresh Biscotti

(Community Matters) Every year, a very dear friend makes fresh biscotti for days. He delivered 12 different kinds yesterday. I’m enjoying it this morning. Seriously, nothing like it – Ruins biscotti for me for the rest of the year because never as fresh or delicious. Ciocolato paradico, Toscano, di Prato, Moorish apricot delight, Chocolate chip and walnut, White chocolate cashew, Caramel walnut, Cranberry pistachio, Lemon pistachio, Chocoloate dipped mocha, Pistachio orange and Pistachio sultana. My apologies for not acknowledging who does all this baking, packaging and delivery but many of you know this person and I don’t know who’s been naughty or nice.

Rev. Rick Warren

(Community Matters) President-elect Obama’s selection of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the prayer during his inauguration has many in the gay community nearly apoplectic.

Dear President-elect Obama –

Let me get right to the point. Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans. Our loss in California over the passage of Proposition 8 which stripped loving, committed same-sex couples of their given legal right to marry is the greatest loss our community has faced in 40 years. And by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table.

Rick Warren has not sat on the sidelines in the fight for basic equality and fairness. In fact, Rev. Warren spoke out vocally in support of Prop 8 in California saying, “there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population … This is not a political issue — it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about.” Furthermore, he continues to misrepresent marriage equality as silencing his religious views. This was a lie during the battle over Proposition 8, and it’s a lie today.

Rev. Warren cannot name a single theological issue that he and vehemently, anti-gay theologian James Dobson disagree on. Rev. Warren is not a moderate pastor who is trying to bring all sides together. Instead, Rev. Warren has often played the role of general in the cultural war waged against LGBT Americans, many of whom also share a strong tradition of religion and faith.

We have been moved by your calls to religious leaders to own up to the homophobia and racism that has stood in the way of combating HIV and AIDS in this country. And that you have publicly called on religious leaders to open their hearts to their LGBT family members, neighbors and friends.

But in this case, we feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination. Only when Rev. Warren and others support basic legislative protections for LGBT Americans can we believe their claim that they are not four-square against our rights and dignity. In that light, we urge you to reconsider this announcement.


Joe Solmonese
Human Rights Campaign

Well, sorry, but I disagree with many of my gay colleagues. I especially disagree with the chatter on national gay list serves screaming that we’re being thrown under the bus and that Obama is back tracking on support for our community.

I’ve said in this forum before, the most enthusiastic Obama supporters will be disappointed more often than those who didn’t vote for him – who I expect will have plenty of occasions to be pleasantly surprised. P-e Obama has always said he wants to bring together all of America, that he is open, willing, even enthusiastic to talk with representatives from all parties and perspectives. I have no doubt that P-e Obama remains completely committed to LGBT equality. Wish my community would back off this tantrum which inappropriately frames us as unwilling to talk, to reach out, to bring change in the way America is governed.

An important and thoughtful response from a gay colleague in one of the list serves.

. . . . Along the same lines, however, I think you should consider whether it’s unfair of you to simply dismiss out of hand Obama’s stated motive (i.e., unity) here. Talk about being over the top. You argue this is about “human dignity”? Based on what? Based on your characterization of Rick Warren as “equating” gays with pedophilia that is almost as sloppy and mean-spirited as Warren himself was.
Here’s the Warren quote: “I’m not opposed to that [gay marriage or civil unions] as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.”

On its face, Warren is making a classic “slippery slope” argument. If you allow “x,” which itself may seem OK, you will be also be allowing “y” and “z” etc., which we all agree are unwanted or horrific. The whole point behind the parade of horribles in a slippery slope argument is that “y” and “z” (polygamy and incest) are NOT the same, but much worse, than “x” (gay marriage and civil unions).

It is similarly unfair and illogical for Leah and others to argue from disagreement with Warren over marriage that he therefore wasn’t a “unifying” choice. Unity is not about bringing together only those in this country who agree on everything. It’s about bringing the country together through focus on common ground (in the service, by the way, of the most pro-gay president in history).
If you doubt the value of focusing on common ground, then just consider Warren himself. In the SAME interview, Warren says he has “no problem” with gay couples being recognized with D.P. benefits, domestic partnerships and civil unions. Because so many of us are distracted by Warren’s marriage argument, which of course I agree was ridiculous, we are missing that this enormously influential mega-pastor is actually supportive (or at least unopposed) to recognizing our relationships in very significant ways. (Warren’s position on DPs and civil unions also disproves your claim that he “equates” gay relationships with polygamy or incest, since he obviously would not support these forms of legal recognition for those types of relationships.)
So because we ignore pleas of “unity” and common ground, we pillory this conservative religious leader as a “homophobe,” when in fact his views on legal recognition for gay couples is very close to Obama himself (and Hillary). The only real policy difference among them is Prop 8, which Warren backed. But let’s remember that just four short years ago, the gay rights movement heaped praise on the presidential campaign of John Kerry, who backed a similar effort to amend the Massachusetts constitution, back when that was the ONLY state where gay couples could marry.

What a wasted opportunity, what a waste of activist energy, and what a disturbing display of intolerance by a movement that claims tolerance as one of its core principles.
my note this morning to even more heated calls for protest:

I disagree.

I support Pres-elect Obama’s ambition of broadening the conversation to include those with whom we don’t always agree. This is part of the change he promised.

If Warren agrees with domestic partner benefits, then we should focus on that as initial common ground and try to build from there.

Our community is coming across as radical, polarized and unreasonable. We are losing face as a result of our public response to this.

Holidays are here

(Community Matters) Super holiday party tonight at Jody Scheske’s big, beautiful Balcones abode. Rats, forgot to take any pictures. Would have caught a lot of eye candy.

Hadn’t seen so many old friends in a very long time. Tons attending including Lew Aldridge, James Arth, Greg Barbutti, Scott Landry, Tim Young, John Hogg & David Garza, Scott Ballew, Gail Papermaster, Heath Riddles, Graydon Parrish, Kirk Rice, Michael Mitchell, Robert Torian, Robert Pitman, Clay Smith, David Smith, Frank Genco, Stephen Mosher, Andy Miller, Brian Stephens, Stephen Rice, Mark Erwin and tons of others. Lots of good buzz about Michael’s play.

hmm, were Robert & Clay together? if not, we’ve been meaning to set up Clay and MM. Robert Pitman needs to be the next US Attorney, this region. Heath & Graydon all lovey dovey. They’re joining us for new years with Gary & Richard. Tim Young and Scott Ballew headed to San Miguel for the holidays. Tim just returned from Thailand, was there during the protest. I hadn’t seen Scotty in ages. Bad Scott, bad boy – he missed MM’s play and has no excuse. Great conversation with Greg Barbutti, who I love & adore and haven’t seen in ages. Andy & Brian – devoted Austin stewards, Andy at LAF, Brian at Habitat, and raising a percocious 1.5 year old. Bet they are great dads. David Smith launched next year’s Hill Country Ride for AIDS

And what a treat, catered by a dear friend I haven’t seen in a couple of months, Chef Andrew.

Steven returned home tonight. Of course after a full day of flying, he was beat so directly to bed. At least we had dinner together.