Obama has responded to the fury from the gay and lesbian community, (not to mention the fury of those who believe women have the right to choose to have an abortion) at the choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the Inauguration. (Via Salon):
Let me start by talking about my own views. I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans. It is something that I have been consistent on and something that I intend to be consistent on during my presidency. What I’ve also said is that it is important for American to come together even though we have disagreements on certain social issues. I would note that a couple of years ago, I was invited by Rick Warren’s church to speak despite his wariness that I held contrary views…. that’s what this campaign was about….We’re not going to agree on very single issue…but what we have to do is be able to create an atmosphere that we can disagree and not be disagreeable….
When Obama went to Rick Warren’s church, it was to speak to the members of Warren’s church, not to speak for them. No endorsement was implied, and in fact it is my understanding that Warren went to great lengths to avoid endorsing either candidate. I have no problem if Obama speaks to Rick Warren, but I do have a problem if Obama chooses Rick Warren to speak for him. Now, it’s true that I might feel differently if Obama needed a lawyer, and picked a right wing super-lawyer to speak for him to a judge. But this is a bit different. In this case, Obama has chosen this person to speak on his behalf, and in a broader sense, on our behalf, to God. Unless Obama is merely a cynical politician, it is impossible to conclude anything but that this is an implied endorsement not merely of the message, whatever it turns out to be, but the messenger.
By the way, not that it matters, but Obama’s ploy won’t work. He will get absolutely nowhere trying to make nice to the right. They are horrible at governing, but they’re great at opposing. It’s what they do best. They enjoy it. Nothing short of nuclear war or an invasion by space aliens is going to get them to cooperate with Obama in any way. He might as well face that fact right now.