Barack Obama | Inauguration | News | Rick Warren

Obama Camp Releases Talking Points on Rick Warren Selection

These are the Obama camp's talking points regarding the selection of Rick Warren to speak at Obama's inauguration, via L.A.-based journalist Karen Ocamb.

Warrenroad.jpg This will be the most open, accessible, and inclusive Inauguration in American history.

road.jpg In keeping with the spirit of unity and common purpose this Inauguration will reflect, the President-elect and Vice President-elect have chosen some of the world's most gifted artists and people with broad appeal to participate in the inaugural ceremonies.

road.jpg Pastor Rick Warren has a long history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. He's devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, the President-elect recently addressed Rick Warren's Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to salute Warren's leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and pledge his support to the effort in the years ahead.

road.jpg The President-elect disagrees with Pastor Warren on issues that affect the LGBT community. They disagree on other issues as well. But what's important is that they agree on many issues vital to the pursuit of social justice, including poverty relief and moving toward a sustainable planet; and they share a commitment to renewing America's promise by expanding opportunity at home and restoring our moral leadership abroad.

road.jpg As he's said again and again, the President-elect is committed to bringing together all sides of the faith discussion in search of common ground. That's the only way we'll be able to unite this country with the resolve and common purpose necessary to solve the challenges we face.

road.jpg The Inauguration will also involve Reverend Joseph Lowery, who will be delivering the official benediction at the Inauguration. Reverend Lowery is a giant of the civil rights movement who boasts a proudly progressive record on LGBT issues. He has been a leader in the struggle for civil rights for all Americans, gay or straight.

road.jpg And for the very first time, there will be a group representing the interests of LGBT Americans participating in the Inaugural Parade.

Emmett Beliveau, the executive director/CEO of the Inaugural Committee, is the point person on this:

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  1. I just emailed him. I'll let you know Andy if I hear anything back from the committee.

    Posted by: Tim | Dec 18, 2008 8:31:41 AM

  2. Hate is still hate.
    Does inclusiveness mean that the KKK, neo-fascist Nazis, etc. have a voice as well?
    Extremely disappointing-

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 18, 2008 8:43:18 AM

  3. My letter to Emmet Beliveau and Barack Obama:

    TO: Emmett Beliveau
    Executive Director/CEO of the Inaugural Committee

    Your talking points mean NOTHING in light of the fact that if Rick Warren were head of the KKK or were as rabid an anti-semite as he is anti-gay, this issue would not even exist, because you WOULD NOT reach out to this person, he would not be a part of the broad coalition because you would recognize him for the hater he is.

    There are no doubt many other choices that could have been made, and you would never have chosen a man who said that blacks or hispanics were pedophiles or worse and who fought to take away their civil rights. HE WOULD NOT BE SHARING THAT STAGE. That should be the test.

    Mr Obama has failed at a time when he should have been bringing the country together.

    Posted by: Carmen | Dec 18, 2008 8:53:47 AM

  4. This is total bullsh*t and the Obama camp knows it (or else they would not have issued this talking points bulletin née damage control).

    I'm all for changing hearts and minds as we'll never move forward as a country if we're constantly at each others throats, but giving the spotlight to one of the ring leaders of this divisiveness isn't going to do it. If the pastor were anti-semitic or a white supremacist he wouldn't be allowed within 100 miles of the fabled Big Tent.

    I love you Barry, but move the bus will you? I'm tired of it being parked on my face.

    I e-mailed Obama and let my thoughts be respectfully known. I urge everyone else to do the same:

    Posted by: ichabod | Dec 18, 2008 8:57:39 AM

  5. The sellout begins.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Dec 18, 2008 9:03:55 AM

  6. Obama has stabbed his gay supporters in the back. I have already contacted the gay organizations I support, such as Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, asking them to cancel participation in the GLBT gala planned for the inauguration.

    Posted by: NickC | Dec 18, 2008 9:07:38 AM

  7. So when does the community begin to change the views of others? Do we always hate the haters or do we come together to unite and educate?

    I'm sicked and tired of the gay community not accepting change and always spitting hate themselves if they simply don't get their way.

    Did it ever occur to you that Obama might actually help Warren see a different light?


    Posted by: JayDub | Dec 18, 2008 9:10:45 AM

  8. JAVDUB - Let's not use THIS EVENT - the inauguration - to change his mind at the expense of the message it sends to gay people. If Rick Warren had equated the relationships of blacks of jews to incest and pedophilia, he WOULD NOT BE ON THAT STAGE.

    Posted by: Carmen | Dec 18, 2008 9:39:02 AM

  9. JAYDUB-

    Rick Warren has likened homosexuality to that of pedophilia. It's deplorable. How does Rick Warren's presence at inauguration begin to change his views of gays and lesbians? If anything, Warren feels as though he has won a victory by being asked to be there.

    And I do believe people can change as you said, however when you're the head of a megachurch like Warren, that change does not happen when it comes to glbt people, unless of course, you're caught having sex with Mike Jones.

    I still have enormous faith in Obama as a president, but this feels like a punch in the gut--sickening. GLBT people had a glimmer of hope on election day and then in CA within a few hours that was destroyed--this feels like that all over again.

    I'm truly disappointed in the Obama camp.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 18, 2008 9:39:30 AM

  10. I emailed Emmett as well as the Obama camp:

    I am writing as a committed Obama supporter and as a gay American to register my extreme concern over the selection of Rick Warren to provide the invocation at the upcoming inauguration. This momentous day in history is not the time to open up the big tent to include those who actively advocate for discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. Rick Warren's views are out of step with the tone and tenor of Barack Obama's campaign and election and should not be part of the first moments of his presidency.

    I am saddened and upset that President-elect Obama has made this choice and I must say that I have lost a little bit of faith in the man I voted for. I can only hope that President-elect Obama will reconsider this misguided decision.


    Posted by: erik | Dec 18, 2008 9:40:49 AM

  11. Jaydub:

    PEOPLE CAN CHANGE, yes. But, look what they did to Richard Cizik last week when he did change his mind. They kicked his ass out.

    Is there a single Evangelical, Catholic, or Mormon leader who has changed his/her mind on the gays in the last 40 years? If so, is that person now anything more than a has-been?

    Posted by: Rick in Ohio | Dec 18, 2008 9:42:14 AM

  12. I must agree with a few here and say this is not a time to boycott - this is a time to be louder, stronger. I have a feeling that in a relatively short time Warren will see the error of his ways. If we pull back now, that certainly eliminates the progress already taking place at the inauguration.

    Posted by: lis | Dec 18, 2008 9:42:21 AM

  13. How sad. JAYDUB, yes, it might be that Obama is trying to have Warren see things in a different light, but this is not the place to do it. This is a historical inauguration, one that is in a way, a victory for the civil rights movement. And so, the message will be that it's ok to hate the LGBT community. Yes, people can change, but that's hardly any comfort for the people who have been killed and beat up because they're gay.

    I wrote to them as well:

    Your choice to select Rick Warren out the many other possible choices is a direct slap in the face for the LGBT community. As far as I know, large LGBT organizations such as HRC have done a large part in supporting your campaign.

    Your administration should understand how important image is and the subtle messages that go out to people through image. This was part of your campaign. By selecting Rick Warren, you are saying to the world that it is ok to discriminate against the LGBT community. You are telling people that it is ok to hate this group, and we will surely see more violence against them.

    This is a sad day. If you do not make amends, you will lose every last bit of my support. Is there a place where we can return 2008 Obama/Biden election campaign items?

    Posted by: Roman | Dec 18, 2008 9:42:41 AM

  14. The choice of an unapologetic bigot is hugely offensive. It is akin to rubbing the salt of hate into the open wound of Prop H8. The ex post facto talking points only make it more odious.

    Yes, someone can change but one has to demonstrate a willingness to do so, or, at a minimum, to be open to even hearing the other side. So-called "Pastor" Warren has done neither.

    Were he a an anti-Semite or a KKK member instead of a demonstrated homophobe, this would not be an issue. He is demonstrably and unrepentantly anti-gay and yet he is rewarded with a public platform at one of our nation's premier events. He does not represent what is good about our country. He is emblematic of entrenched hatred and bigotry that must be acknowledged at the highest levels if it is ever to be overcome.

    Posted by: rudy | Dec 18, 2008 9:42:47 AM

  15. Jaydub, do you seriously think Rick Warren has changed since November?

    This is an outrage. What the hell kind of change am I supposed to accept? Being relegated to second class citizenship by constitutional amendments? To forever suffer employment and housing discrimination because some nut with a Bible he's never read wants it?

    What exactly about "change" am I supposed to accept? I left the Republican party in 2003 because the loony religious right took over the party. Am I supposed to embrace "change" by having the same religious right welcomed into the Democrat party and have my own interests shunted off to the wayside for them to be welcome?

    Look carefully at these people. These are mega-church evangelicals and Baptists/Mormons/Catholics that live in a command structured organization. There are wonderful people that attend these churches, people who I am proud to call my fiends, people who do not believe what their leaders preach. I've known a number of very gay friendly Catholic parishioners and priests, for example. But the top leadership of these churches hate us and are power mad. Wake up. There is no negotiation with these people. This is like inviting Himmler to speak in 1939, hoping to start a dialog with the Nazi party. They WILL NOT change, they will only change US, the Democrat party.

    I watched this disaster from the inside on the Republican side, and I don't want to see it again on the Democrat side. Stand firm, and these nuts will be consigned to the dust bin of history and BOTH parties will be the better for it.

    Posted by: Craig | Dec 18, 2008 9:45:41 AM

  16. Yes, people can change over time, and conceptually I support the idea of a variety of opinions and Obama's interest in building bridges.


    The damage inflicted by Warren and his followers is much too recent and much too real for his voice to be representative of any sort of inclusion and reconciliation. We are only six weeks past the election. The wounds are still very much open. An invocation by Warren feels like having him do a victory lap on Obama's track, which is what makes the whole thing so sickening.

    Posted by: Gianpiero | Dec 18, 2008 9:47:04 AM

  17. And what's up with the talking points? Totally LAME in its way of trying to defend Rick Warren ... sort of like saying, yes, he's a perverted serial killer, but he loves bunnies. How insulting...

    Posted by: Roman | Dec 18, 2008 9:48:28 AM

  18. @jaydub
    are you on CRACK? i am no kid, i am 65, and religious zealots do NOT change.

    there are some (feeble) but humane arguments than can be honestly made against same sex marriage. to equate it with bestiality, incest or pedaphilia are not among them. once that line is crossed, cooperation or consensus become out of the question

    Posted by: jack | Dec 18, 2008 9:49:29 AM

  19. As pointed out in the other thread on this by others....many of those screaching now never voted for Obama to begin with and are log cabinites seeing an opportunity for stirring up shit.

    BUT, there is no doubt what so ever of my support for Obama from back during the New Hampshire primary days. Hell, I was one of the lone pro Obama posters here at towleroad for quite a while.

    With that said, I am disappointed in warren being part of the inauguration. It sucks! I have defended obama many times about many different things, but this I can not defend. It is disappointing.

    BUT, this is a whole hell of a lot better than mccain/palin winning. It sucks but it is a hell of a lot less suckier (is that a word) than what could have been.

    Anyway; if I had my way there wouldn't be any preachers, priests, rabbis, mullahs, monks, shammans of fairytales involved with the inaguration at all.

    He would not swear the oath of office on any myth book. He would swear the oath "I promise to uphold and defend the constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic....." with his hand on either a copy of the constitution or the actual one in a glass case. Especially after 8 yrs of bushco shitting on the constitution "it's just a god damn piece of paper..." real Bush quote there

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Dec 18, 2008 9:50:44 AM

  20. Did it ever occur to you that Obama might actually help Warren see a different light?

    You have to be fucking kidding me, right? What are you, 5 years old? That's not how the world works, my friend. Warren, like many evangelicals, has ridden anti-gay hate -- yes, hate, let's call it for what it is -- to enormous financial success. He will stop when, and only when, it ceases to be lucrative. And Obama's placing him in such a supremely visible position is like cash in his pocket.

    "Help Warren see a different light." Please.

    Posted by: Glenn | Dec 18, 2008 9:53:25 AM

  21. Um, that first line was supposed to be italicized. I guess tags don't work here.

    Posted by: glenn | Dec 18, 2008 9:54:32 AM

  22. @craig

    if you have really left the republican party, i think its about time you stopped referring to the democrats as the DEMOCRAT party. the proper term, away from fox news and cns, is DEMOCRATIC party (small d).

    Posted by: jack | Dec 18, 2008 9:55:19 AM

  23. Just another Pat "I love gays" Boone:

    "… Most people, you know… I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes, no church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of “A Purpose-Driven Life” helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships. So they can’t accuse me of homophobia. I just don’t believe in the re-definition of marriage."

    - Rick Warren, Homobigot

    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Dec 18, 2008 10:03:40 AM

  24. The evangelicals waited 20 years to address the issue of HIV infection in Africa. Meanwhile 20 million people died and more became infected.

    They insist on controlling the educational message and in essence the program. They deserve minimal credit for their recent role, given their longstanding believe that people with HIV "got what they deserved."

    Posted by: Cycledoc | Dec 18, 2008 10:24:55 AM

  25. All these talking points prove is that Obama is just like every other Pol.

    I'd expect this kind of behavior from the Clintons, but not him.

    From the looks of things, we are in for eight years of pandering and let down.

    I don't suppose I can have all the money I raised and donated returned to me? At least with McCain, I would have know what I was getting.

    Posted by: ChasMader | Dec 18, 2008 10:52:45 AM

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