The Rick Warren defense

God, I am a Republican. As soon as Obama won, I have found myself diametrically opposed to the Left. I believe we should stay out of the economics and let the companies that made a ton of money, lose that same amount, even if it means bankruptcy. Everyone started buying Asian and German cars for a reason. You want your capitalism, you get it. You can’t shit on health care reform and shit on welfare because you think it’s socialism and then ask for 7 billion bucks worth of “socialism” because now the crisis affects you. So right now, I’m feeling VERY Republican. Leave these banks and car companies alone. Let them figure it out or go away. But that’s not what this post is about. One, I’m just ranting, Two, one can debate the job loss factor and the uniqueness of our current crisis. Three, one can debate whether what i’m saying is really “Republican.”

love fest -not in the biblical way
love fest -not in the biblical way

My real purpose of being here is Rick Warren. I’m going to get VERY Republican and defend the Rick Warren choice. Yes, he thinks homosexuals are unnatural. Yes, he thinks he’s open to gays because he helps HIV+ people much like Evangelicals have helped third world countries over the centuries: a thinly veiled attempt to convert. However, no, he’s not racist (ie no, Obama would NOT have been kicked out of Warren’s church before being Senator). No, he is not traditional Evangelical fare. He is progressive compared to the old school Evangelicals. Go ahead and check out conservative Christian blogs to see how much he is criticized for not being harsh enough on gays, abortion, heresy, etc.

But let’s not even look at that. Let’s look at what this means if you took out the agendas. Let’s get a more objective view by putting the shoe on the other foot. Let’s say McCain won. He choses Rick Warren. No one bats an eye. It’s fitting. But what if McCain chose Rev Michael Beckwith (of The Secret fame and liberal pastor)? All hell would break some Fundamentalists, literally. But to a liberal, it’d be a great, tear jerker of a day. How cool we’d think McCain was. Crossing party lines. Opening up the dialogue. Showing not only tolerance, but an embrace with diverse ideas.

Okay, back to reality. Obama is our future President. He did not pick Beckwith, who being black and liberal, would be so fitting, one would possibly call it overkill of liberalism. He picked a Republican, conservative pastor. As Warren puts it, “Three years ago I took enormous heat for inviting Barack Obama to my church because some of his views don’t agree. Now he’s invited me.” A conservative threw in an olive branch and Obama did nothing more than return the favor. In the end, it’s what we liberals asked for. That should be something we applaud, not condemn. We can’t say “Obama be really open to all ideas…I mean OUR ideas.” I just heard today someone criticizing the future cabinet because it won’t have more women than Clinton’d cabinet. That’s right, the numbers didn’t grow, so Obama must be hatin’ the girls. What is our goal? To make sure no straight white man exists in our government? I mean, white men aren’t BAD. They’re just like you and me. I think. Anyway, I think you see where I’m going with this. I don’t like Warren (although I did buy one of his books once and admit he’s quite bright and a good writer). But I like that we are going to let him speak. I like that there is a chance we will be pleasantly surprised by what he says. Let’s be real liberals and actually let this man talk. We all may learn something. We may find out we’re not that different. Okay, I don’t believe what I just said either. But the whole point is that I am a democrat because I don’t believe in grabbing a pitchfork and chasing someone through the streets with the rest of the town. So let’s do that. Let’s challenge ourselves and actually enjoy the fact that we are in a place of authority, that we are choosing who speaks and not fighting to be heard. And then let’s not do what was done to us. Let’s listen. Let’s talk. Let’s see what is at the root of their beliefs and show what is at the root of ours. I am of the spiritual belief that religion is like a mountain. We all start from different places at the foot of the mountain. We all climb different terrain. And as we rise to the top, we all become closer and closer until we meet. Digging into one’s ideas and opinions has the same results. Psychologically or sociologically, if we all dig, dig, dig past the issues and agendas and to the roots of motive and inspiration, we often see we’re mirror images of each other. Identical. Rick Warren and Rev Beckwith can be in a room and I bet they’d find they have identical motives. Identical visions. But we won’t know until we put them in the same room. We won’t know until we listen. Our future President just gave us that opportunity. Before even taking office, he has given us the opportunity to grow as political beings and as human beings. The challenge is on us. Not to fight (that is so last term), but to embrace. No enemies. Yes dialogue.

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