Humanists of Colorado Message Board › From Kathryn Kolbert, People For the American Way
From Kathryn Kolbert, People For the American Way:
December 19, 2008
When I heard on Wednesday that Rev. Rick Warren had been selected to deliver the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama, I was deeply disappointed. While Warren has been hailed in the media as "new breed of evangelical" and he does have a strong record on addressing poverty and the global HIV/AIDS crisis, the reality is that he also is a divisive Religious Right demagogue.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee website states that it "will organize an inclusive and accessible inauguration that ... unites the nation around our shared values and ideals." President-elect Obama's soaring campaign speeches included similar calls for Americans to unite around what brings us together rather than what tear us apart, and we deeply appreciate that he wants to heal the divide in our often deeply polarized country. But Rick Warren is a powerful leader who marginalizes and dehumanizes those who disagree with him -- he does nothing to help unite Americans!
In an interview just last week, Warren compared reproductive choice to the Holocaust and compared same-sex marriage to incest and pedophilia, and he called Christians who work to advance social justice gospel "Marxism in Christian clothing." He's also stated that there are five issues that all candidates should be evaluated on -- the top three are reproductive choice, same-sex marriage and stem-cell research.
Is this the sort of inclusion millions of Americans voted for on November 4? We strongly agree with President-elect Obama that everyone should have a seat at the table, but only those who treat others with respect should get a seat of honor. We have high hopes for the change Obama has pledged to bring to Washington, but we also need to let him know when we think he's making a bad move. Please join me in signing an open letter to President-elect Obama to let him know that we are disappointed that he's giving Rev. Warren such a public position of honor in the inauguration, and we hope that we can use this as a teachable moment. It's not that Rick Warren simply disagrees with us -- and President-elect Obama for that matter -- on "issues." His views on basic equality, human rights and core constitutional values cannot be legitimized as reasonable.
Please add your name to the letter today.
All the best,
Kathryn Kolbert, President
P.S. It's been a great year. I've been thrilled to be part of People For the American Way and the exciting, important work we’ve done together. I've counted on you for support, to be the voice of the grassroots, and to spread the word about our important campaigns. You've done so much and you have my gratitude and appreciation for all of it. This will be my last Friday note until the new year, so I wanted to make sure to say THANK YOU for all you do.