Rick Warren is an insulting choice
Preacher Rick Warren's views are simply too extreme for Obama's supporters.
By Katha Pollitt
December 22, 2008
To understand how angry and disappointed many Democrats are that Barack Obama has invited evangelical preacher Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inaugural, imagine if a President-elect John McCain had offered this unique honor to the Rev. Al Sharpton -- or the Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. I know, it's hard to picture: John McCain would never do that in a million years. Republicans respect their base even when, as in McCain's case, it doesn't really return the favor.
Only Democrats, it seems, reward their most loyal supporters -- feminists, gays, liberals, opponents of the war, members of the reality-based community -- by elbowing them aside to embrace their opponents instead.
Most Americans who've heard of Warren know him as the teddy-bearish, Hawaiian-shirted head of the Saddleback megachurch in Orange County and the author of "The Purpose Driven Life." Perhaps they also know he's the rare right-wing Christian pastor who sometimes talks about poverty and global warming and HIV. His concern for those issues has given him a reputation as a moderate and has made him the darling of Democratic Party think tanks, ever hoping to break the Republican lock on the white evangelical vote.
But on the signal issues of the religious right he is, as he himself has said, as orthodox as James Dobson.
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