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Md. Ministers Comment on Warren Choice

Bishop Harry Jackson of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville had President Elect-Barack Obama on his mind this weekend in the wake of Obama's selection of a popular evangelical author Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation.

Warren's selection has outraged many liberal groups and gay rights activists because of his support for a ban on same-sex marriage in California.

In between preaching at his 10 am service and taking a limousine down to the District for an interview on Fox News on the issue, Jackson talked with the Post's Hamil R. Harris about why he was excited about Obama's choice of Warren.

"I think Barack Obama's selection of Rick Warren represents Barack Obama reaching out to both sides of the religious community," said Jackson. "What I like about his reaching out is even though the evangelical community characterized him in some ways as the anti-Christ and all kind of things, he is going to try to find common ground."

"The issue really is about the racial problems in America," said Jackson, who often shares the stage with national evangelical leaders. "What many white evangelicals don't realize is that many blacks feel like there is a lot of racism and schism that were based in race and that had faith ramifications."

"I have been involved a lot in the religious right that is often white-led and I found that there are many African Americans who are Bible based, Bible-believing who have as much in common with the white church as they do with their black neighbors," Jackson said. "African Americans are smart enough to understand that there is difference between political party and faith."

On the same topic, the Rev. B. Louis Carlton, pastor of the Shiloh Baptist Church in Landover, said, "Whether it is Rick Warren on anybody else, I feel like if people have a relationship with the Lord, he will hear their prayers. I have no biased opinion about this preacher or that preacher, I believe the president is anointed by the Lord and I believe that God is leading this president and I trust him."

On Saturday, the Rev. Joel Peebles, Assistant Pastor of Jericho City of Praise, said the fact that Obama chose Warren, who is white, instead of an African American pastor to deliver the opening prayer for the inauguration "is totally irrelevant."

"When President Obama was in Chicago ,one of the things I continued to hear about was about him working with people with AIDs, enabling the homeless to find shelter and positing them for jobs," Peebles said. "Those are things that connect me to him."

Peebles, whose 19,000-member Maryland congregation, is one of the largest in the country, said he looks forward to working with the new president. "If we can help 20 people with HIV maybe with his administration we can help a thousand people, if we can feed hundreds of people, with his administration, we might can feed thousands."

-- Hamil R. Harris

By Anne Bartlett  |  December 22, 2008; 9:42 AM ET
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can you freakin please correct this article which is overwhelmingly inaccurate.

It is not because of his opposition to gay marriage...

I am one o9f those who is offended...90% of the people care less about what he did in california...

it is not about religion...

it is about a man who preaches and pushes for the country and laws ... the same statements about women, jews and the gay community that were used against minorities in the past

aggressively and actively he infers like they did in the 50's and 60's about inter racial relationships...that they are unnatural...on par with pedophilia and bestiality.

the same arguments that were used against the president Elect's mother.

Please remove or correct what you are saying is is overwhelmingly inaccurate.

Obama owes the gay community, women and jews (and all those populations that fought his own bigotry battles overwhelmingly to get him there) nothing but honesty and character...

what they do not deserve is this level of hypocrisy.

would he have said we need to include "all sides" if the issue was inter racial marriage or the very existence of those who fall in love with someone of a different race? as social conservatives used these same arguments to deem them illegal when his mother had to walk home in neighborhoods that may have strongly believed that the relationship she had with another adult she loved was illegal?

millions of good Americans do not deserve hypocrisy...

and as far as it...just being a prayer...

it is an honor and a platform perhaps the highest federally recognized platform for a religious what may be the most watched event in the history of the world. for a man who does not just preach...he tries to change the law by using those arguments...

Posted by: klondike2 | December 22, 2008 10:55 AM | Report abuse

can you imagine John Mccain asking rev Wright to give the prayer?

everyone would be offended.

It is a disservice to the country to give this honor of overseeing the morality and spiritual legitimacy to an event that is owned by ALL Americans.

Not to someone who actively hurts a few on either side.

Posted by: klondike2 | December 22, 2008 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Barack Obama has shown the people of this country that he is a man of high intellect, driven to succeed, and one who does not make decisions lightly. So, based on what we know about Obama, I think it's safe to say that he knew exactly what he was doing with his selection of Rick Warren. And since we know Obama is smart, and someone who does not act without first thinking things through, it is now 100% safe to accept that Obama is a bigot. 100% safe to accept Obama is anti-gay. There's no other way to view this. So gay people take note. Obama is not your friend and never will be. Obama's selection of Warren may make the evangelicals and other people of extreme religious viewpoints happy, the same 33% who still approve of George W. Bush. The close to 70% of us who put Obama in office with our money and our votes, we were just given the finger. And Obama doesn't care. He's made his decision (a bad one) and he's going to stick with it. He's not even in office yet, and he's already acting like George W. Bush with his heels dug in. Barack Obama = the black George W. Bush. God help this country.

Posted by: Russell4America | December 22, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

This story is less than a tempest in a teapot yet it has remained on the front page of most news services for a week. It commands all of the drama of Oprah complaining about the size of the eggs she was served for breakfast. When there is so much in the world to report on, why waste valuable space on such a non-story?

Posted by: mike85 | December 22, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Apparently is has escaped no one that Rick Warren is just another of the power mongers that has draped himself in religion.
But President Obama is all about power and it will take very little effort to 'work' Warren.
Actually, those churches that are objecting to Warren participating have overlooked that their tax-exempt status is now in the hands of one of their previous targets(or is he the anti-Christ?!!). Better to cozy up than have to get real work.

Republican dependency on wierdo groups has shoved more than enough religion into politics and it's comical for these hate filled churches now having to pretend that the give a flip about the environment so they won't have the IRS at the door.

But if there's any man on the planet that can pull off the re-civilizing of the US, it's Obama.

If nothing else, it'll be real fun to watch. Falwell would be turning in his grave if his fat ass was smaller.

Posted by: bgreen2224 | December 22, 2008 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Why don't you interview Maryland's gay community and ask their opinion. After all, I doubt if Warren has ever been accused of being racist. Or has he ? Is that why you interviewed the black, religious community?

Let's be relevant here. Include the gay community in this discussion since the issue with Mr. Warren in his comparison of homosexuality to beastiality, pedophillia and polygamy.

That's the issue, wouldn't you think.

Posted by: Ree8 | December 22, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

We need to get back to the founding fathers' principle of Separations of Church and State.

Warren would like to inflict his religious views on womens rights, civil rights and supports crazy things like assassinating the figurehead President of Iran. Reverend Wright did much less, but non-authoritarian right wingers are heal to a different standard.

You cannot tolerate intolerance. It is the erosion of the basic principles of a multi-cultural society as founded by Washington and Jeffereson. People who escaped Europe in the face of religious intolerance.

Posted by: Togeika | December 22, 2008 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Yo, everybody, I don't like the man's theology either BUT it's representative of about 20 million people who listen to Rush Limbaugh, beyond my comprehension and not many of them live in Oregon but o well ... that's 20 million people who are included by this choice. Obama ran on inclusivity, remember? That means even including the most intolerant righteous smug spiritually egocentric of all. SO invite Rev. and let him do it. He's already getting a bath in humility which I am sure he preaches every week.

Posted by: GaiasChild | December 22, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Warren's selection has outraged [...] because of his support for a ban on same-sex marriage in California."

The widespread opposition is about more than Warren's campaign against marriage equality for same-sex couples. Mr. Warren does not allow openly gay men and women to worship at his church. Mr. Warren preaches that gays and lesbians are like pedophiles, and that pro-choice women are like Nazis. (To compensate, he pretends that he has gay friends.) Warren's fanaticism is in direct contradiction to Obama's "unity" message (not to mention common sense.)

"Tolerance" does not, and should not be confused with moral relativism and uncritical acceptance of intolerance and wanton ignorance.

Posted by: eoldham1 | December 22, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe no one should give the inngural prayer. After all, separation of church and state.

If there is supposed to be separation, then why all this religious stuff at the innaguration?

Posted by: MUPPET | December 22, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

you demonrats elected your deal with it and let him and his new preacher have the pulpit....pssst there is no more aspect of living in American...the Freedom to pack your bags and hope a boat to another country.

Posted by: JWx2 | December 22, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

dayum..i was thinking like carpet bagger hillary...its 'one more aspect...hop a boat and leave the country'

Posted by: JWx2 | December 22, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

We don't need anyone to give a provocation at the swearing in. There will be enough provoking and swearing as it is.

Warren is a charlatan and a quack, a poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage on inequity and perversion. His "book" reflects no theological wisdom and could have been written by anyone with a PC, a bible and a week off. I'd like to see his tax return, assuming it's accurate.

BTW, Obama will never get my guns away from me.

Posted by: AbolhassanBaniSadr | December 22, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

May be Obama selecting Warren will make Warren think about his stance on refusing to allow gay people into his church. May be it will help him understand that gays are humans too. If he suddenly falls ill and about to die, and the only doctor or nurse around is a gay person, he will need that gay person's help to bring him back from the brink of death. May be he will realize that, and help others like him to understand that it is the humane, civil, and caring attitude that matters more.

Posted by: Dave27 | December 22, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Given that 70+% of African-Americans in California supported Prop 8, you can be 100% assured that Barack Obama will never support "homosexual marriage".

How many of you are starting to realize that he will never lift the "Don't ask, don't tell" policy in favor of homosexuals openly serving in the military?

If anything, the older military ban that was superseded by "Don't ask, don't tell" will be reinstated.

Posted by: NeverLeft | December 22, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

As Jesus said to the adulterous woman, "Go and sin no more," all sinners are welcome within traditional churches such as Rev. Warren's parish, but they must expect to be called to repent and not to have their sins celebrated as Christian behaviors.

No man can accept what God Himself has called an abomination.

Posted by: NeverLeft | December 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

If Barack Obama were truthful about "Americans coming together on certain social issues" then when during the inauguration is David Duke speaking?

Posted by: madest | December 22, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine why anyone in his right mind would WANT to be in Rick Warren's "church," gay or straight.

Any phony baloney snake oil salesman with a tambourine can start a (tax exempt) "church."

Posted by: AbolhassanBaniSadr | December 22, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” (Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, 1776)

Warren's views re. gays are counter to one of the core founding principles of this country (see above quote)& hence un-American.

Warren is also a bigot.

Honoring the bigot contaminates the one bestowing the honor.

Posted by: zeroiwas | December 22, 2008 9:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama is just trying to grab evengelical voters. Rick Warren is not a man anyone should reach out to. He teaches hate and intolerance and should not be given the honor of delivering the invocation. Obama has tarnished forever his message of hope and change by elevating this man to a level of legitimacy that he would never have had otherwise.

Posted by: cdp326 | December 22, 2008 9:37 PM | Report abuse

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