HULU – HU NU?
MADOFF-WHY NOT IN RIKERS ISLAND?
Huh? He admits to a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that, among other things, is forcing charities to close their doors and leave poor children bereft . . . and he’s confined to his home at night and the greater New York area by day? I don’t mean to be a hard-ass, but he should be held in Rikers Island while the legal process unfolds. Bail: $50 billion. Seriously.
David Frankel: ‘If Barack Obama wants to be inclusive and listen to the views of those who support discrimination against homosexuals, he can invite them to the Oval Office for meetings or he can hold conferences on the subject. He did not have to provide such an immensely public platform for those with these intolerant views. I am surprised frankly by your reaction.’
☞ I don’t think the subject of his Invocation will be marriage. My guess is that it will be more along the lines of ‘the opportunity we all have to find common ground and move ahead in common purpose for a better world – there is more that unites us than divides us.’ I can live with that.
And I can imagine the President’s calling the pastor from time to time for his support on issues where they can agree . . . even including, perhaps, the hate crimes, ENDA, and military service legislation I’d like to see signed into law at last (and soon).
Warren: After reading your blog about Rick Warren, I was persuaded by your reasoning, and concluded that the selection was acceptable. But after then reading HRC President Joe Solmonese in the Washington Post, I have changed my mind. How can it be OK to select for the inaugural invocation – with all the symbolism which that appointment carries – a pastor whose church openly states that gays and lesbians can attend a service, but are not eligible to join as members, and who likens gays to pedophiles in his speeches? ‘We strongly agree with President-elect Obama that everyone should have a seat at the table, but only those who respect others should have a seat of honor,’ reads P-FAW’s petition. I can’t think of a better or more succinct way to put it.’
☞ That is a good way to put it. And Joe’s op-ed is excellent, too. Even so, I think Obama strengthened his Presidency by making this choice, and thereby improved his ability to do all the things we hope he succeeds at doing.
Just my opinion, worth what you pay for it.
Rosalie Griffin: ‘Amen, brother. I’d much rather have a Warren saying the prayer and an Obama making the policy than the other way around. PS – My 38-year marriage has occasionally been threatened, but never by gay people who love each other.’
☞ Yes. If we can’t have both, let’s give them the invocation and us the legislation. (I’d like both, but success may require compromise.)
Peg: ‘It’s a lot easier to change people’s minds if they think that YOU don’t hate THEM – and are at least listening to them a bit. I’m on YOUR side for gay rights and gay marriage. Let’s hope that more of the super-left side comes to appreciate that including Rick Warren this way is ultimately in their best interest and not against it.’
Ralph: ‘Anyone concerned with GLBT rights, who doubts Obama will be an improvement, should read this week’s news that the U.S., alone among Western nations, refuses to sign a UN declaration calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality.’
Stephen Gilbert (Straight, Lapsed Jewish American): ‘I disagree with your implicit view that some are making too much of a story about Rick Warren giving the invocation at the inauguration. If the new president chose a holocaust denier or a Klansman to have a place of honor at the inauguration, I think the reaction would be universal. If the gay rights movement is in fact a civil rights movement (which I think it is), then I think Mr. Warren’s opposition to it should make him watch on television. I don’t condemn Obama for making this choice, but think it is a mistake. At some point we have to have the courage to say that bigots are bad and stop celebrating the ‘courage’ it takes to invite them to pubic events.’
☞ The thing is, 99% of the folks in California will tell you the Holocaust was real and unspeakably evil; 99% will tell you the Ku Klux Klan is evil incarnate; but about half will tell you they voted for Prop 8. And that’s California – in Florida (which is not exactly Mississippi), 62% voted for discrimination. I, of course, firmly support marriage equality and just as firmly believe pastor Warren gets it totally wrong – Jesus, I think, is rolling his eyes at the way his message of love is being misinterpreted. But I think we are some years from being able to equate an opponent of marriage equality with a Holocaust denier or a Klansman. And it may also be worth pointing out that Warren’s opposition to marriage equality is not the only thing that defines him. His followers know him for several things that even the most progressive among us would agree are good.
So I guess I’m saying that likening him to a Holocaust denier or a Klansman, to make your case, is not unlike his likening gays to pedophiles to make his case. I don’t think you literally meant Warren is as evil as a Klansman; and I don’t think Warren literally meant being gay is like being a pedophile.
It is a sign of how far we’ve come that this controversy could be one of the major stories of the weekend, across all TV news networks, being treated with the seriousness and respect that an issue of equal rights deserves.
I apologize, but I see the glass as half full.