Thursday, December 18, 2008

Another Rev. Wrong

(Updated below.)

A Visual Representation of Reaction in Many Parts of the "Progressive" Community to the Announcement that the Rev. Rick Warren, Who Has Compared Same-Sex Marriage to Incest, Pedophilia, and Polygamy, Has Been Selected to Deliver the Invocation at the Presidential Inauguration of Barack Obama:

A Visual Representation of Reaction to That News in Roxie's World:

(Image Credits: Edvard Munch, "The Scream"; random image search on "sleeping dog")

Why so blasé, you ask? Because, my darlings, we. told. you. so.

Pam's House Blend and Shakesville have had analysis and reaction on this issue all day. Pam nicely characterizes Obama's reaction to criticism of the selection as "sucktastically ineffective." Melissa McEwan has a withering critique of the suggestion that both sides of the abortion issue or the same-sex marriage issue are equivalent when in fact they are not.

If you feel the need for a deep, cleansing puke, go read HRC president Joe Solomonese's op-ed in Wa Po, which makes us ill not because of anything he says but because we still haven't forgiven him for those triumphant e-mails the morning after election day, which took credit for Obama's victory without acknowledging the stunning disappointments on all of the ballot issues of importance to the LGBT community in the election.

Anyway, kids, we are so totally unsurprised by this news that we can't muster up any significant outrage or indignation. All we can think to say to anyone who expected Obama to be a strong advocate on LGBT issues is, Told you so, suckers.

Update: Butch PhD takes on the Warren debacle, in thunder. The piece includes a solid interview with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. We think Rache is trying to position herself for next year's Queer of the Year (Grrl Division) in Roxie's World. Work it, girl:


  1. Anonymous9:30 PM EST

    To be a strong advocate for LGBT issues does not mean that everyone in your cabinet gives lip-service to gay equality. I think there are other ways that he has been good to LGBT communities. Queer Poet Elizabeth Alexander, arguable under your definition of queer, is speaking. Rev. Joseph Lowery who has been a friend to LGBT communities is doing the benediction. Within the Christian tradition, the greatest honor is who is chosen to bless the people on the way out, not who calls the spirit of God forth. The benediction is symbolically a stronger role. I just think that there is a clear desire within gay circles to expect too much, with no regard for circumstance. WE ARE NOT THERE YET. The limitations set on some racialized subjects would not allow them to do more than Obama has done. Not to mention, in terms of gay rights and gay equality, Obama has been more vocal and active than any previous president-elect in the past four presidential elections.

    I understand the recent angst over we, gay people, getting the short end of the stick with Prop 8 and others. But, I do not believe that an Obama Administration needs to be overly critiqued because somehow we see him as a marginal group president. He is a president who still lives, breathes, and administrates within a hetero-privileged regime, which still surveillances his black body in ways that impedes the progressive action we desire.

    Our anger is only legit, if we mis-remember the significance of race in the American present. Baby..we are not beyond it... and this, in essence, will hurt the most dare I say White gays (who too often thought of sexuality as separate from race). Maybe if historically white gays had recognizes the central necessity of race-equality to their sexual-equality, we would be where you desire sooner.

    While I wish Obama chose differently, I could only expect a less controversial figure, if Obama did away with his personal relationship to Christianity which supports the very attitude Rick Warren exhibits.

  2. You see, it's not as if Rick Warren was Obama's only choice of minister in the whole god blessed country. He chose THIS one deliberately to throw a bone to the religious right. In the name of unity? With whom?

    I can think of so many others who could have taken this role. The presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, for example, Katherine Jefferts Schori. A scientist (oceanographer), terrific on our planetary crisis, staunch feminist and defender of gay rights. This is the bishop who helped bring on a schism by defending the appointment of an openly gay man as episcopal bishop in New Hampshire.

    I guess Obama must choose what kind of divisiveness he wants here, or where along the spectrum he chooses to divide. Imagine what inspiration might have been gained from an ordained woman, bishop, head of a communion, who really symbolizes inclusiveness under a big tent made of rainbow colors.


  3. Anon -- Due respect, but no one in Roxie's World has ever said we are "beyond race" in this country. Indeed, that was one of the many media-hyped fantasies about Obama's candidacy that we spent much of the election critiquing. If you visit here regularly, you know that we are committed to an intersectional model of analysis and a coalitional politics.

    If Obama was committed to having a white evangelical minister at his inauguration, it would have been easy to find one who did not actively involve himself in the Prop 8 fight. I'm sorry, but choosing Warren is a kick in the gut to a community that was deeply wounded in the recent election. His choice is insensitive, to say the least, and criticism of it is entirely fair. We're just not surprised by the choice around here because it never seemed to us that Obama was strongly committed to gay rights. So far, he hasn't given us any reason to change our minds.

  4. Anonymous3:18 PM EST

    Rox, great Telnaes Commentoon on the Obama election's
    failure to support gay rights, back in November at Women's
    eNews – priceless humor and fits this Rev. Wrong situation
    – ei

  5. Hi, EI -- We've missed you! Thanks for passing along the funny cartoon.

  6. Anonymous6:36 PM EST

    Yes--((yawn)). I'm shocked, shocked to find discrimination going on in this establishment. I hope Rachel Maddow is correct about gay rights supporters getting mad enough and organized enough to make noise and change Obama's policies (if not his mind) on marriage equality and gay rights in general.

    By the way, do you consider Maddow's neckline scandalously low in this clip? (It seems like she's pretty well covered to me. She's got a little tee shirt or camisole under her jacket.)

  7. Anonymous6:39 PM EST

    Well they've updated the commentoon page with something else, though I checked it this morning, but another one is located here (2nd e-card down on gay marriage and "no you can't") hope this version stays in place.

    I watched your Rachel Madow tape and enjoyed it thoroughly, I don't see her enough – God, she's wonderfully bright and beautiful!

    Missed you all too, am knee deep in work. Politics sometimes, like now, though, becomes a first priority! Thanks for your blog and bigtime courage in all things.

    – ei

  8. I did a little research on Joseph Lowery, and it turns out he's not for gay marriage, either. To MSNBC's David Shuster, Lowery said, "Well, I've never said I support gay marriage. I support gay rights and I support civil unions. Like a whole lot of people, I have some difficulty with the term gay marriage. Because deep in my heart, deeply rooted in my heart and mind, marriage is associated with man and woman. So I have a little cultural shock with that. But I certainly support civil unions, and that gay partners ought to have all the rights that any other citizens have in this country" (Dec. 23).

    Mmm. . .I'm sure that Rev. Lowery does not think "separate but equal" is sufficient for racial minorities, so it's sad to see that he thinks that's ok for gay families. He too is only marginally better than Warren--my guess is that Coretta Scott King would not be pleased with his response here.


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