Barack Obama | Hawaii | Inauguration | News | Rick Warren

As Obama Bakes, Rick Warren Controversy Simmers


Above, the shirtless Obama shot that's been making the rounds all day from his vacation in Hawaii. The Washington Post calls it "Pec-tacular".

And the Rick Warren controversy continues to simmer.

Lesbian Rep. Tammy Baldwin was named an honorary inauguration co-chair this afternoon. Is this just a bone being thrown to the gays as the Warren flap grows? Honorary co-chairs don't do anything. They're simply honorary.

The OC Register reports that Warren is to be the keynote speaker at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service at the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church on the day before the Inauguration. How's that for some civil rights irony?

Americablog reports that anti-gay language which said "someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted as a member at Saddleback" has been removed from the church's website:


Aravosis asks: "So does Rick Warren now welcome gays, all gays, as members of his church? Or is he simply embarrassed of his views - embarrassed of God's views, per Warren's own admission? And if Warren is embarrassed of God's views, then what is he doing as a public spokesman on religion? And whose idea was it to remove the anti-gay language? Warren's, or Obama's?"

In the Huffington Post over the weekend, Hilary Rosen looks beyond Rick Warren.

And Barney Frank, who said again on Sunday that it was a mistake for Obama to invite Warren, is suffering from "post-partisan" depression.


Said Frank to 'Late Edition' on CNN Sunday: "Mr. Warren compared same-sex couples to incest. I found that deeply offensive and unfair. If he was inviting the Rev. Warren to participate in a forum and to make a speech, that would be a good thing. But being singled out to give the prayer at the inauguration is a high honor. It has traditionally given as a mark of great respect. And, yes, I think it was wrong to single him out for this mark of respect."

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  1. Barney Frank is probably right about Obama over-estimating his ability to bridge the divide that's happened in the US... but boy do I hope Frank is wrong about Obama not being able to. After Bush, the last thing we need is another 4-8 years of complete and utter division in our country. I'll have to at least give it to Obama for trying - even if I don't agree with his choice of using Warren as a starting point.

    As for that Obama photo: It's nice, but has he stopped smoking yet? Smoker's are not hot by default :(

    Posted by: damien | Dec 22, 2008 7:22:31 PM

  2. Just about every facet of the Rick Warren controversy is repulsive.

    Warrens anti-gay rhetoric is repulsive, Warren's invitation to give the inaugural invocation is repulsive, Obama's mealy mouthed explanation of why he made the invitation was repulsive, the removal of the blatantly anti-gay language on the church's website is repulsive.

    This is supposed to represent change or a new era of post partisanship? No, in fact, this is one of the most repulsive and NEEDLESS culture war dumbshows in recent memory.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Dec 22, 2008 7:30:45 PM

  3. Come on and move on. This is not a big deal unless you make it one and it looks like drama is something that will plague the gay community. Do you know that this will not help in any way getting people to start standing for gay rights on the state and federal level. This will continue the alienation of those we desire to win over.

    Barak has said he is for civil unions and that is what we should be going for. And I know we will have many more supporters including the Clintons on our side. With that we will then see the state and federal branches change and begin supporting this.

    Isn't this what we truly want full recognition of our relationships? Does the word marriage really make a difference? Isn't there enough problems in that institution that we don't want to join in this continual dysfunction?

    Posted by: Jeff | Dec 22, 2008 7:34:57 PM

  4. i look forward to seeing the representatives from the Klu Klux Klan at the inaugural... surely barack remembered to invite them to show that he's open to other opinions and 'diversity.. right ?

    Posted by: elpolacko | Dec 22, 2008 7:37:30 PM

  5. All I see is an asshole who took our votes and then chose one of the nation's most vocal homophobes to speak at his inauguration. So what if Obama isn't a fattie, maybe one day soon gay men will be able to stop thinking with their dicks and become a little more politically active in the face of this current wave of oppression.

    Posted by: Owen | Dec 22, 2008 7:40:01 PM


    Posted by: JeffInLA | Dec 22, 2008 7:42:32 PM

  7. I'm certainly in the absolute minority, but I support BO and I support his decision to have Rick Warren speak at the Inauguration. You need a church leader for the invocation during the proceedings. Christian Pastors by default will not openly support a gay lifestyle (some, like Ted Haggart, just exercise one) and this guy is no different. Warren sold 30 million books and is arguably the most recognized active Christian pastor in the country right now. As a gay Christian ( I know, an oxymoron) I have had too many fruitless conversations w/ Christians about their inability to accept everyone just as Jesus did. We're not gonna change their minds. I told my pastor we'll settle it when he sees me in Heaven.

    Posted by: homochristian | Dec 22, 2008 7:44:12 PM

  8. Why are religious figures included at all in the inauguration? They should all be excluded. Separate church and state.

    Posted by: Mark in NYC | Dec 22, 2008 7:51:19 PM

  9. "You need a church leader for the invocation...", well there are plenty that accept and bless gays, so why weren't any of those chosen? Any number of Episcopal bishops, or even dont-ask-dont-tell Catholic bishops would have been better than RW. How about some Methodist ministers, or Presbyterians, or Lutheran bishops? Peter Gomes, the official chaplain at Harvard, who's an American Baptist (and African American too) and would have been a fabulous choice.
    It's the celebrity of the thing even more than his brand of Christianity that gives me pause about Rick Warren.
    Oh well, there's still Joseph Lowry, giving the benediction, a progressive Methodist minister and civil rights leader. At least he likes us homos; 1 outta 2 ain't bad.

    Posted by: clint | Dec 22, 2008 7:56:23 PM

  10. You get really big pecs like that from throwing gays under the bus.

    Posted by: ggreen | Dec 22, 2008 8:59:32 PM

  11. sadly obama is nothing more than he was when he ran and for anyone to expect any different did not pay attention well enough when he ran.

    you reap what you sow my friends.

    Posted by: tofer david | Dec 22, 2008 9:36:59 PM

  12. I like his man boobies. But Barney's boobies will so out-hang Obhra's. And yes, I am the 1st to coin the phrase "Obhra." I know. Brilliant.

    Posted by: Man Tits | Dec 22, 2008 10:02:26 PM

  13. Ugh -- if Coretta Scott King were alive, I think she would take some exception to having Warren play such a prominent role at her husband's church.

    From the article above: "Even though it appears he's offended the liberals in his statement, Christians have to hold on to their belief system without being offensive. The controversy is countered by Warren's offer to participate in the MLK event. It shows the seeds Rick Warren has sewn towards reconciliation to bring people together. It's hard to do that in a divided nation." Pray tell, how exactly does Warren showing up a AME church suddenly absolve him of his wretched statements regarding homosexuals? Arrrgh!

    Posted by: Foochy | Dec 22, 2008 10:26:44 PM

  14. It's time to let this Rick stuff to go. Everyone knows we hate and do not agree with him, but theres plenty of pro-gay people included in the inauguration too. Probably plenty more than Rick and people who think like him. We don't see the Jewish community getting angry because Rick is a Christian and he's allowed to speak.

    Posted by: KFLO | Dec 22, 2008 10:41:06 PM

  15. Why is anyone surprised? Obama is a main-stream politician. He throws bones to everyone.

    Posted by: JMD | Dec 22, 2008 11:17:12 PM

  16. Is anyone planning a protest at Ebenezer in Atlanta? I am certain divinity students from the area will be up for it. Let's get one organized!

    Posted by: Vance West | Dec 22, 2008 11:39:44 PM

  17. Miss O looks more like a gym queen than an athlete...wonder why she spends so much time on her pecs??

    Posted by: snarky | Dec 22, 2008 11:55:31 PM

  18. "Rick Warren Raises Thousands of Dollars for LGBT Equality at Obama's Inauguration"

    That is what's up! I've started a Rick-A-Thon.

    The purpose of the Rick-A-Thon is to turn Rick Warren’s anti-equality stance into positive change for LGBT people. Every second that Warren stands at the podium, he will be raising money to advance LGBT civil rights. We will be holding signs around D.C. tallying how much money Warren is raising for LGBT equality. After the ceremonies we will have signs saying, "Thank you Rick Warren for raising X amount of money for LGBT equality"

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 23, 2008 12:34:04 AM

  19. Yo, Tofer,

    What's your buddy Larry "I-blew-my-coke-buddy-Barack-in-the-back-of-a-limo" Sinclair reaping these days?

    I heard he got sprung from da pokey. Is Lar living with you? You are his bestest bud, after all.

    Posted by: 24play | Dec 23, 2008 12:37:15 AM

  20. I think John Hodgman says it best:

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 23, 2008 12:37:43 AM

  21. He is doing the gay community a favor. We don't want to fill his pulpits or participate in a hateful, pathetic community of religious individuals.

    The truth lies in Buddhism. All the answers of the world lie in Buddhism. The way to happiness is found in the teachings of Buddha. All homosexuals should be Buddhists. I am. Plus, it gives you another excuse to participate in yoga. :)

    Posted by: Enlightened | Dec 23, 2008 1:18:10 AM

  22. Why is he wearing dork shorts? He should be wearing Speedos. He seems like the typical liberal American male who is afraid of wearing Speedos at the beach in case it's thought of as "gay".

    Posted by: david | Dec 23, 2008 1:33:14 AM

  23. Obama only believes in gay rights during an election campaign. I told you months ago that he was a phony, but many of you laughed at me. I expect an apology from many of you.

    As for the liberal straight Democratic male in general, don't expect much from him in terms of agitating for gay rights. Their dedication to gay rights usually extends as far as their next orgasm vis a vis "hot lesbians". They generally think that male-male kissing is repulsive, and often say so behind our backs.

    Posted by: jason | Dec 23, 2008 1:39:56 AM

  24. Jason, I was an early advocate of the President-elect. I'm as angry as you are, even though we still differ. But this is not the time to be divisive, on the contrary we have to present a united front, that is the only way we will prevail. BTW we do nothing commenting here, we need to mobilize and react to the issue at hand.

    Posted by: Rafael | Dec 23, 2008 2:13:48 AM

  25. He is going to be the President of the United States,At least he can talk with these idiots, we spent the last eight years bitching and moaning about our lousy president, who didn't even try to understand others points of view, a government closed to large sections of our society. There are bigger problems to solve.
    Peace on Earth, Goodwill towards Men

    Posted by: dan boeye | Dec 23, 2008 8:41:36 AM

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