Barack Obama | Gay Marriage | Inauguration | News | Proposition 8 | Religion | Rick Warren

Pastor Rick Warren to Give Invocation at Obama Inauguration

Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California has been chosen to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration, the Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies announced today.

WarrenWarren, who hosted a 'forum' in which Obama and McCain participated during the campaign, was a vocal supporter of Proposition 8.

He sent out this email during the campaign:

"For 5,000 years, EVERY culture and EVERY religion -- not just Christianity -- has defined marriage as a contract between men and women. There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2% of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called 'gay marriage.' Even some gay leaders, like Al Rantel of KABC oppose watering down the definition of marriage...Of course, my longtime opposition is well known. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about. There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue...This will be a close contest, maybe even decided by a few thousand votes. I urge you to VOTE YES on Proposition 8 -- to preserve the biblical definition of marriage. Don't forget to vote!"

Wow. Surely the Committee can find someone better than this bigot to deliver the invocation.

More on the full inaugural program here.


road.jpg People for the American Way "profoundly disappointed"...
road.jpg NGLTF denounces selection.
road.jpg Victory Fund: "Unsettling news..."
road.jpg HRC letter to Obama: "Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans...'
road.jpg Politico: Gay activists 'furious'...
road.jpg Huffington Post: Warren choice causes "first real rift with progressives...
road.jpg HuffPost's Renna: Rick Warren, Really?

Watch a clip of Rick Warren urging his followers to vote for Prop 8, AFTER THE JUMP...

More on Warren:

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  1. And the disappointments keep mounting. Barack has been courting this man aggressively, despite the clear indications that he is no less onerous than other evangelicals. It is a reminder that we still know so little about our president and what he truly believes. I remain cautious and underwhelmed.

    Posted by: chgohunt | Dec 17, 2008 3:27:18 PM

  2. And the disappointments keep mounting. Barack has been courting this man aggressively, despite the clear indications that he is no less onerous than other evangelicals. It is a reminder that we still know so little about our president and what he truly believes. I remain cautious and underwhelmed.

    Posted by: chgohunt | Dec 17, 2008 3:28:41 PM

  3. You shouldn't start a fight with such a big group of people at the first day. Of course, many of them have already fighting him.

    And this guy is really disgusting. (Lies about history of marriage, cites personal interview with God for his view etc.)

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 17, 2008 3:36:53 PM

  4. EVERY(!) culture and EVERY(!) religion..!? Really? My intro to anthropology prof would speak against that - with counter example to boot.

    To solve this marriage boohaha, I propose this: "Marriage" should be deemed as a religious terminology. The religious right, evangelical/ fanatics - they can claim that term - take it, run with it.

    But, all state institutions should change the terminology to civil partnership (separation of church and state!)- so all current instances, where "marriage" is referred in the law, should now be call civil partnership. (e.g. Marriage License to Civil Partnership License; Boxes on form: Husband/Wives to Companion) So however this relationship consists of (hetero/homo) - it's treated equally under the law.

    The point is - call or label the relationship whatever you want in private, among your friends, or shout it out off the mountain top. But legally speaking - no relationship like this would be discriminated. - No more using marriage as some kind of religious banner in the state institution.

    oh yeah - if we still want to protect marriages - ban divorces!

    Posted by: Dan | Dec 17, 2008 3:38:51 PM

  5. There is no conflict here for Obama. Obama is anti-gay marriage and so is Warren.

    Posted by: Mike | Dec 17, 2008 3:39:36 PM

  6. Warren pushes pablum-style Christianity and then follows it up with a shot of good old-fashioned hate. Let's hope all the bluntly honest people Obama wants to surround himself with will have a chat with him about this guy.

    Posted by: Jack M | Dec 17, 2008 3:41:05 PM

  7. Oh boy, I can hear the panties bunching already.

    I have no problem with this. A religious leader is supposed to give the invocation.

    Also, this is America. And all of us, Dem and Rep, homophobic jesusfreak and proud out gay man, are Americans, and we should be able to come together to celebrate our new American President.

    So, there.

    Oh, boy.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Dec 17, 2008 3:41:08 PM

  8. Warren's presence on the inaugural podium is enraging.

    We can only hope that inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander uses her forum to speak for justice and against bigotry.

    Posted by: Karl | Dec 17, 2008 3:42:02 PM

  9. Very disappointing choice....and a warning to those who strive for equal rights in the USA. Why in the world would Obama select a traditional conservative pastor for this symbolic duty? Why not someone more inclusive, accepting and modern? I just can't understand this move and I think it is a grave error. Rise-up!

    Posted by: excy | Dec 17, 2008 3:42:28 PM

  10. I don't know what Obama expects to gain by kissing up to the religious right. They will never accept him and will never work with him on anything positive.

    Posted by: sam | Dec 17, 2008 3:43:53 PM

  11. Millions of so-called "religious leaders" in this country and they choose this asshole? Did GOD tell him that 2% of the population is gay or did he conclude that with his own fragile mind? Wake the fuck up Obama and your transition team.

    Posted by: SFshawn | Dec 17, 2008 3:45:23 PM

  12. Dan, I think the state must win this war against religious idiots. Marriage should be a state issue and weddings should be performed by magistrates.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 17, 2008 3:45:24 PM

  13. Religion has no place in politics. Why even have some crackpot preacher at the inauguration anyway? Obama is going to be much less of a disappointment than Bush, but disappointing nonetheless if this is the way he wants to start his career in the White House. His presence isn't going to change much for us gays, and that's the honest truth.

    Posted by: Michael | Dec 17, 2008 3:45:45 PM

  14. I'll be preaching to the converted, BUT this asshat has some facts wrong

    - During the height of the Roman Empire gay marriage between men was allowed and it was during the long drawn out fall of Rome that it was specifically outlawed in the law by xtian emperors Constantius II and Constans.

    - legally binding pederast (older male with younger male)relationships were legal in ancient Greece and Japan till the xtian myth and its missionaries popped onto the scene

    - Homosexual marriage was practiced in ancient Egypt when it was a glorious power and is even depicted on the walls of burial tombs

    - etc etc etc

    History shows that most cultures pre xtian invasion accepted some sort of legally binding gay nuptial arrangement, and generally during their greatest achievements.

    Their falls generally coincide with the xtians showing up and turning against gays. Is there a correlation between the rise of homophobia = the fall of civilization?

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | Dec 17, 2008 3:47:26 PM

  15. I came for the "hate" reference and left satisfied. Good to see our peeps keeping it real.

    Posted by: Rik | Dec 17, 2008 3:48:04 PM

  16. I don't give a rats ass who gives the invocation, I just want the current Fuck-head, moron in Chief to leave, and take his minions with him!

    Posted by: Rad | Dec 17, 2008 3:52:51 PM

  17. Scroll down further on the page folks...

    The benediction will be given by Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery.

    He's definitely one of the good guys.

    See you in DC on January 20!

    Posted by: Mike_in_Lancaster | Dec 17, 2008 3:57:45 PM

  18. I just fired off a letter to Dianne Feinstein, who has the honor of introducing this poor excuse of a spiritual leader on Obama's big day. Maybe she can have a word with the Inaugural Planning Committee. This just stinks!

    Posted by: Josh | Dec 17, 2008 3:59:16 PM

  19. Why is anyone surprised at this? Obama himself is vocally against gay marriage. He has said this time and again.

    Get ready to be thrown under the bus, folks. Don't say you weren't warned.

    Posted by: Roscoe | Dec 17, 2008 3:59:49 PM

  20. This is a low blow by Obama. Courting this OC church cocksucker at the center of this CA culture war against gay civil rights.

    Yes we can?

    suck my dick !

    Posted by: Martha | Dec 17, 2008 4:00:18 PM

  21. Why is anyone shocked? Progressives knew all along that Obama was not their candidate of choice and he is certainly not a friend to progressive ideals, including equality for all. He will be no champion for gay rights whatsoever. Allowing this bigoted man to give the innvocation is a slap in the face to anyone who appreciates church/state separation and other tenets forward thinking people hold dear. It is profoundly disappointing.

    Posted by: Nick | Dec 17, 2008 4:00:43 PM

  22. Can someone publish some email addresses about who to contact to voice my disgust with the choice.
    Idiotic choice - they could have picked an inclusive clergy member and it wouldn't have been a big deal either way - the right would have expected that and not caused a fuss.
    Now even if every gay stands up against it they can't disinvite this guy without causing a huge stink. Dumb dumb tranistion team person who called this shot!
    Horrible way for Obama to start his first day. So much for any hope of change I can believe in.
    Email addresses anyone? Thanks!

    Posted by: Dan | Dec 17, 2008 4:03:48 PM

  23. "There is no conflict here for Obama. Obama is anti-gay marriage and so is Warren."

    Well, except Obama didn't support Prop 8 and Warren did, so it's not quite that simple. There's no reason to believe that Obama shares Warren's views on everything. Obama has made it a point not to surround himself with people who only think the way he does. That said, Warren is a poor and uncreative choice, one Obama deserves criticism for. Warren also looks way too much like the late and despicable Jerry Falwell for comfort. I'd have preferred Rev. Wright!

    Posted by: Ernie | Dec 17, 2008 4:04:25 PM

  24. Bummer! At least Bill Clinton waited until AFTER the inauguration to throw his gay supporters under the bus.

    Posted by: Alex Parrish | Dec 17, 2008 4:06:09 PM

  25. WTF?

    Very, very disappointing. Obama is really starting to piss me off and he isn't even President yet. How can he put this hateful bastard on the podium with him?

    Posted by: realitythink | Dec 17, 2008 4:06:36 PM

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