Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A cloud on an otherwise, sunny day.

There has been much buzz of late in the LGBT community regarding Obama's controversial choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at next week's inauguration ceremonies. The old adage that "politics makes strange bedfellows" seems apt but, falls short of assuaging feelings of hurt and betrayal by LGBT folks. Ironically, the only rationale for inviting Warren is to be inclusive yet, conferring this honor on someone who advocates bigotry has achieved the precisely opposite effect. Yes, the President Elect faces many demanding and superhuman emergencies as he assumes the responsibilities of his Office.

The national and international economy is in near ruins. The Middle East is bloodier than ever and it will take skillful diplomacy if not Divine intervention to pull us out of the mess in which we now find ourselves embroiled. Countless human lives have been lost along with trillions (that's with a "T") of dollars in the Iraq war. Alan Greenspan said that we went to war in Iraq for OIL, full stop. All of "W"'s Wilsonian idealism about the Middle East is, and I'm being charitable here, idealism at best. At worst, it represents a cynical smoke and mirror attempt to dupe the American people which has resulted in a bankrupt nation and decades of anti-American sentiments internationally which have placed the world in a recklessly dangerous predicament. Not to mention global warming, rising sea levels and the proliferation of nuclear weapons to regimes holding extremist positions.

The LGBT community is being asked by Obama to take one for the team. As we were asked by former President Clinton to take one for the team. Then, we were asked to sacrifice being able to serve openly in the Armed Forces so that we could obtain National Health Care. In the end, we got neither.

In the light of all of this, whoever delivers the inaugural invocation seems as insignificant as the pattern of the china on the Titanic. Who cares? This line of reasoning could dismiss the whole controversy. However,in times as bleak as these, what we need most from the Obama campaign is for them to deliver on their motto: HOPE.


Adam said...

I totally agree. While I'm upset by it, when you put it in a larger context it seems small.

personally can't remember who gave an invocation at ANY presidential inauguration. It's not the thing history is made of. Maybe none have been as controversial, but in the end, it will hardly be a footnote in Obama's Wikipedia.

Dusty in the San Joaquin said...

A cloud on an otherwise, sunny day is offset by a ray of sunshine (HOPE) coming through the clouds when Obama invited Bishop V. Gene Robinson (openly gay and married) of The Episcopal Church to do the opening worship service the day before the Inauguration ceremonies at the Lincoln Memorial.

Praise be to God there is HOPE !!

Anonymous said...

Have you checked out the new whitehouse.gov site? Click on "civil rights" where there is an impressive list of GLBT goals.



KJ said...

I am weary of the fuss over the politicization of "prayer." If it has become all about human "consumers" regarding what is to be "prayed" to whom, then I think the purpose for which we pray, and I'm not so cocky as to say I fully understand that purpose, is lost.

R. Zeke Fread said...

As a GLBT Rights and Anti Hate Activist for over twenty years and a Catholic all my life. I've heard and seen it all, the good, the bad and the down right ugly. I was one of those voices of strong opposition over the selection of Rev. Warren. He is not the first, nor be the last, to equate gays or same-gender relationships with incest and pedophilia, or refuse to allow GLBT's to worship at his church. Dr. Laura made the same claim, we're more prone to be pedophiles and went as far as declaring us biological errors. My point being, when ones speech inspires hatred of GLBT's or anyone for that matter, they shouldn't be honored for such speech. If Obama really wanted to send a message of inclusiveness. He could have chosen The Rt. Rev. VS.. Gene Robinson to do the Invocation at the Inauguration and Rev Warren do the Invocation at the Pre-Inauguration. Or he could have chosen to make this a truly inclusive historic moment for our country, by having both Rev. Robinson and Rev. Warren to stand by his side at his Inauguration.

What's done is done, all the could of, should of or would of won't change this now. I'll not allow my anger consume me, I will let it go. Instead, I'll pray for the future and change that President Obama has promised for all Americans. And that Obama won't let Washington politics to deter him from keeping the promises he made to GLBT citizens as well. I will cling my faith, that as our country moves forward, God will help his children to leave their personal bias, prejudice and hate behind.

Thank you Father Geoff Farrow, for sharing your insightful thoughts with us, my prayers are with you.

R. Zeke Fread

Anonymous said...

Hi Father. Don't give up hope. With Bush in office so long I about did. But look what we've done & how far we came. We have work to do. Sadly, slowly, the old folks that were the beginnings of the Newman Center in Fresno are dying off as did Fr. Sergio Negro. My mom worked there for 26 years until her retirement & she & Sergio were barnstormers. The light will come just around the corner, I am sure! It can't be another locomotive. I hope you have found a gainful position somewhere that appreciates your talents as a spiritual man. Someplace that fits as St. Paul's did for Sergio (he came a long way from Italy!)