Saturday, December 20, 2008

Inclusion: Not always a good thing

Earlier in the week, when I heard of the brouhaha over President-Elect Obama's choice of pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, I thought, "What's all the hubbub, bub?"

My initial reaction was that while the choice of Warren (who is against gay marriage but has been active in the call to end the world AIDS problem--I applaud his efforts in the latter) might anger some activists, it was indicative of Obama's pledge to be inclusive, to discuss issues with his detractors as well as his supporters, and to begin the Great American Dialogue. The GAD is something I made up, but I think it's about time we started realizing that there are all kinds of different people with all kinds of different views, and you can't begin to achieve that sort of understanding without discussion, thus the GAD. Hey, since I'm writing about this, and you're reading about it, on the Interwebs, does that mean it's the eGAD? I like that! Of course, in the interest of inclusion, it really needs to be the Great International Discussion, or the eGID.

But I digress.

So at first I thought that while I don't agree with some of Warren's convictions about homosexuality, he has the right to feel that way, and I can sort of see why Obama picked him (the trying to be inclusive part). I know of other people who agree with him about homosexuality, and I don't hate them. I don't agree with them at all, but I'm not going to hate them because of their erroneous ideas, ha ha. I do realize that not everyone shares my views about various things, and I'm all for tolerance; however, I also have the choice as to whether or not I listen to or read hate-filled and bigoted rhetoric, and I choose not to. If you hate Obama because he's black, or hate gays because of who they love, that goes deep and nothing I can say is going to convince you otherwise--that kind of understanding can only come from life experience, and hopefully life will provide a big ol' sledgehammer to knock you on the head about it so you can get yourself right.

I believe I digressed again.

I was okay with Obama's choice of Warren at first. Then I saw this interview with Anne Curry and Warren. (Indy, I discuss what was said afterwards, so you'll get the idea of his comments.)

I do believe I've changed my mind. I was appalled to hear Warren say that even if it's proven that homosexuality is a genetic trait (and that is exactly what I believe, and I believe it will eventually be proven), he would still think it is wrong and believe it is a choice that can be overcome.

Are you f***ing kidding me?!

DUDE. You are talking about a genetic trait, like hair and eye color, or a myriad of genetic diseases. Are you telling me that if I'm unhappy about my green eyes, I can simply make a choice and hey presto! I've got blue eyes? Or that someone with Sickle Cell disease can make their red blood cells magically whole merely by strength of will? Or perhaps those men with male pattern baldness--a trait passed down through females--can grow a thick, luscious head of hair because they have made the choice to go against their genetic code and not be bald? By the way, you seem to be getting a little thin on top, Rick. I hope you'll get to brainin' on that.

Oh, for Pete's sake. His remarks in that interview were pretty much the stupidest, most vile sort of lame excuse for hatred and exclusion that I've heard recently. To equate overcoming natural and environmental tendencies towards fear, anger or shyness with homosexuality is ridiculous, and comparing the choice of being promiscuous with the genetic coding of homosexuality is just as bad. And I really didn't need to hear that you want to screw every beautiful woman you meet. And hey, if we're really talking about anthropological tendencies, the true impulse would be to screw pretty much every woman you meet, as long as they are capable of bearing children so that you can produce as many offspring as possible. Whatever concept of "beauty" you have is a product of current standards and secondary to your primordial urges to find women who can be breeders.

I'll be watching the inauguration, but I think I might have to miss Warren's invocation.

By the way, Warren, I happen to like my green eyes. If at some point you decide that you don't like green eyes, and that green eyes are wrong, I won't be flexing my braaaaaain powers in order to change them to whatever color you think is "right."


  1. While I don't understand homosexuality, I do believe that it is not something that can be overcome by sheer will. I have a step-son (who I dearly love and respect) who is gay. His mother rejected him when he came out because she said he was a sinner. I guess what I'm trying to say is...Gay's are just people. STOP discriminating against people.
    Hugs, Joyce

  2. What a shame that the Purpose Driven Preacher, who has a goal to blot out poverty, has sullied his name by his latest homophobic rants. eGADs!

  3. Hi Beth,
    GADzooks, Obama seems to have an Achilles Heel when it comes to his choice of religious leaders, doesn't he? Even before the issues surrounding the Reverend Wright popped up, I found the chapter on "Faith" in Obama's book -- the Audacity of Hope" -- a bit disappointing. It lacked credibility, almost like he was trying too hard to appeal to everyone. I guess that's the point -- religion is deeply personal and any one view will never appeal to everyone. As for Warren, I see him as just another religious leader I don't happen to agree with. Maybe the best approach would be to really separate church and state. Why do we need a religious leader presiding over a presidential inauguration, anyway?

  4. Bravo for everything you say! I have so much to add to this discussion, and so little time to do so, that I might post more of my feelings later. But for now, rest assured that every one of my gay friends (and I believe I have an inordinately large number of them) believe -- no, they KNOW -- that there would be no way they could possibly change their genetic tendencies, even though most would like to have done so, in order to avoid the homophobic criticisms of those like Warren.

  5. ... as I listen to 'ring of fire' ...

    I missed this. This is the second time I have come across a journal mentioning his comments, and I have to say, that I completely disagree with his stance on homosexuality being a 'controllable impulse'. I hope that I am empathic in my disagreeing with the good pastor (and I do think he is a good pastor ... in times past, I have suscribed to his web page)because I have seen with my own two eyes that it is something that could be genetic.

    As to equating homosexuality as another behaviour trait that needs to be controlled, the question of faith and spirituality can be put to the same test and fail. He draws on the universal condemnation of homosexuality by religion ... I have often used the divison of faith as one of the issues with it ... if there is one God, how come we can't come on a agree on how to serve and worship?

    That is a digression, believe you me, and a conversations I have vowed only to have in a 'boots on the ground' environment. Needless to say, I think that he is wrong on this issue. As to whether or not he should give the invocation, eh, why not?

    Oh ... I like what Phil Jackson said regarding faith ... I'd have to go rummage to find it, but it fits what you say about it being a personal thing.

    That is what I allude to when I mention something is being decided at a 'higher pay grade'.

  6. Whoa.... I just wrote something like this a short time ago with the same, exact title.

    You're in my head, Beth! Get out of my brains! Out! OUT!

    Oh yeah, I dislike that bloated, Falwell-wannabe Rick Warren bigot so much, I'd probably throat punch his grandmother and sodomize his family pet.

  7. What a whack job! I love the bit about people who are predisposed to be "shy", or "fearful", they struggle against it, and gays should struggle against their predisposition the same way. So does that mean that shy people are scaredy cats shouldn't be able to marry? Then he goes into this long diatribe about his gay "friends" (really, Rick? You have gay friends? Really? I'll bet they covet your dinner invitations!) who think it's okay to have multiple partners. WHOA, nellie! We just changed the subject from homosexuality to promiscuity, and you're speaking about them like they are the same thing! That's why i hate organized religion- because it exhalts arrogant, ignorant people like him, and others follow him like lemmings into a cesspool of hate. I'm not a hater, Rick, but if I ever became one, I start with you!

  8. If there is one thing I've always firmly believed you can't help who your heart falls in love with, be it the oppisite or same sex. Perhaps there are some who choose that lifestyle. Does it really matter to anyone else as long as they are not abusive, have a loving relationship and treat each other with respect.

    Sigh..The whole religion controls my thought pattern concept is quite daunting. It tells me, there is a question of whether they can use their God given (God comes up because they're claiming to do everything else in his name) brain. God gave you a brain to be able to function and have the ability to choose.

    I'm sure they will debate, only if it's God's will. I have to say on humanities behalf, I have a brain. I'll make my own choices I don't need a diety to make me feel guilty for doing so. I find it amazing they need one to blame for whatever they do and don't do in this life. An easy out in my opinion.


  9. P.s. Thanks for the explanation on the video and not having to suffer through the hogwash of this mans rhetoric. (Hugs)Indy

  10. I confess that after watching the Reverend's performance on that interview that I don't understand why Obama selected Warren. Surely there is another conservative voice out there who actually has better oratorical skills. I was fascinated with his inability to fully articulate his position. I've heard folks express deeply felt anti-gay marriage religious convictions that were much more clearly stated. I didn't buy their argument, but at least it was coherently made.

    BTW, love eGID or eGAD and did I mention that I agree that Warren's remarks "in that interview were pretty much the stupidest, most vile sort of lame excuse for hatred and exclusion that I've heard recently."

  11. I was very surprised to see Obama select Warran for his inaugration (sp), given Warren is in the same camp as alot of other conservative christian leaders. I'm not surprised one bit regarding his stance on this issue. I'm thinking that perhaps he is trying to show he is inclusive, but I don't know. I'll have to just wait and see what he does.

  12. Forget Warren and all things mediocre, have a sweet Saturnalia and warm Winter Solstice with Ken.

  13. Beth:

    Love is Love! We can't control who we love or question someones happiness. I don't swing that way, but some of my gay friends have been together far longer than some of my straight friends? I'm refering to his comments on Divorce, and I caught his beautiful comment?

    Once again a great read, and I hope all is well. In response to your poll below, you are a zany and wonderful person. A person who brings happiness and a unique friendship to those you touch by your truthful words. Whoever it might be, should be truthful with you and reveal thier true name. I will admit to you that I consider you one of my greatest friends in this life, and wish to covey my thanks to you. You were my first friend on the internet, and you know what they say! You never forget your first! Ha Ha


  14. so, does Obama feel the same way toward homosexuality as this Warren chump? Gee, i sure hope not. XO

  15. Wow, I have to say I was floored listening to this guy. You've said it all, I don't need to add any additional comments on that. I do know I'll be ignoring him in the future ~ I don't need to listen to that nonsense.

    By the way...I like my green eyes too so let's hope we don't have to tax our powers to make them blue. ;)


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