On Picking One’s Battles

Ever since the news concerning Obama’s decision to have Rick Warren deliver the invocation at his inaugural ceremony, I have hearing nothing but rage and complaint from the LBGT community, and abortion rights activists about how this was a slap in the face to them.

I think these people need to step back and take a breath — and most of all, relax.

Barack Obama didn’t get elected president of the Gays and Lesbians. He got elected to the office of the President of the United States, which includes a whole lot of people you don’t agree with.

For a long time, we’ve been complaining about how wide the political divide has become, where political discussion is usually nothing more than name-calling and games of “gotcha”. In case you hadn’t noticed, Obama campaigned on the promise of being more inclusionary, on trying to bring the different sides closer together, and involving them in the political process.

At the beginning of his term, Obama is trying include everybody. To face our VERY serious problems in the near future, he is going to need the help of everybody. Frankly, the issue of whether Steve and Larry can get married is so far down the list of priorities at the moment.

I know that Rick Warren holds a lot of positions that are diametrically opposed to many progressives, but he does represent a large bloc of people in this county. If you are EVER going to get some progress on what you want, you are going to have to deal with this bloc — otherwise you will be shut down each and every time.

Besides, you expect Obama to be coming out of the gate and giving you everything you want right away. It just isn’t going to happen. Like I said, we have far more pressing things facing this country that will require cooperation from everyone right away.

It doesn’t mean that Obama won’t get to your issues — it will just take time, and a process. You also have to understand that there are still quite a few older people who are rabidly against things like gay marriage. While the number of younger people who tend to me more acceptant is growing, it still isn’t quite enough yet to pull it off. It is close now, but not close enough. Four years, maybe eight years and the numbers will be ready. Bide your time, and pick your battles.

Rick Warren is opening up the ceremony with the Invocation. Really now, does ANYONE remember any of the Invocations of the past? Personally, I think it represents a certain symbolism: a shifting of the old to the new. We’ve gone from a period of Right-wing religious fundamentalism and are heading to a more Liberal side of Christianity. Warren opens the ceremony, the Rev. Joseph Lowery closes the ceremony with the Benediction. Moving from the past to the future. See the symbolism?

It is going to be alright.