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Obama Defends Picking Warren for Invocation

Barack Obama fought back against criticism of his selection of pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church to deliver the invocation at this inaugural. Warren has come under criticism from gay rights advocates for his opposition to same sex marriage.

"It is important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues," Obama said. He emphasized that Joseph Lowery, a founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, will give the benediction and has "deeply contrasting views to Warren on a whole host of issues."

Read more in the Post

Meantime, Warren has issued a statement on the controversy:

I commend President-elect Obama for his courage to willingly take enormous heat from his base by inviting someone like me, with whom he doesn't agree on every issue, to offer the Invocation at his historic Inaugural ceremony.
Hopefully individuals passionately expressing opinions from the left and the right will recognize that both of us have shown a commitment to model civility in America.
The Bible admonishes us to pray for our leaders. I am honored by this opportunity to pray God's blessing on the office of the President and its current and future inhabitant, asking the Lord to provide wisdom to America's leaders during this critical time in our nation's history. .

By David A Nakamura  |  December 19, 2008; 8:05 AM ET  | Category:  Swearing-in Ceremony
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Obama is appeasing those who want gays to be second class citizens.

Obama is advocating "separate but equal" for gays.

how fitting that an man who claims to be black sides with the 70% of African Americans who view Civil Rights as their , and only their, "right"

Posted by: newagent99 | December 19, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse

and lets not forget Warrens "the govt should control women's bodies"

It seems mr. Obama agrees...

Posted by: newagent99 | December 19, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Excuse me, Warren, but when did it become part of "civility" to equate gay people with child rapists, as you repeatedly did during the Prop. 8 campaign. Your a slimey, two-faced bigot in capable of civil discourse.

Posted by: uh_huhh | December 19, 2008 9:37 AM | Report abuse

I have mixed feelings about Warren.

I do not agree that gays and lesbians should be allowed to marry. Marriage is between a woman and a man.

However, I am pro-choice and believe that a woman has fundamental control over her body.

Posted by: Maryann261 | December 19, 2008 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Again, for the too-many'th day in a row....Obama is the new President for ALL Americans, not just the people who voted for him. He's going to have to throw some bones and anyone not acnowledging this fact is politically infantile. Warren is a slimeball but he and the Obama administration will part ways after a BRIEF prayer. You won't see them together again. Get over it, stop writing about this tribble.

Posted by: trident420 | December 19, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Rick Warren is a bigot. He equates homosexuality with incest and pedophilia. But I have news for Rick: homosexuality is as much a part of my DNA as heterosexuality is a part of his DNA. So get over it. Incest and pedophilia are behavioral choices. Being gay is not about behavior, it's about who and what a person is. I was born gay. Pedophiles, on the other hand, engage in that kind of behavior because of a disorder based on learning or experience; they weren't born to be pedophiles.

Obama should not condone bigotry in the interest of "reaching out." Honoring an anti-gay minister with a prominent role at the inauguration is no different from honoring a minister who is anti-Semitic (John Hagee) or racist (Jeremiah Wright). It's appalling.

Posted by: fugitivenyc | December 19, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Joe Solmonese's column was right on. Obama made a huge mistake and not just by offending the GLBT community.

He called into question what he considers the right way to be inclusive. Giving a platform to a bigot is one way to be inclusive. Another may be to appoint one to the Supreme Court. Where does the need to be inclusive stop.

It will be interesting to see and I hope those that chose to support Obama will not live to regret it.

Posted by: peterdc | December 19, 2008 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama is doing his job as the 'leader' that I think he is. I say right on!!

Posted by: Victoria5 | December 21, 2008 4:01 AM | Report abuse

I am not against Warren giving the invocation at the inaugural just because he is against gay marriage. I truly believe gays and lesbians marrying one another is unnatural. I do not support gay marriage. I think it is morally wrong.

However, as a woman I am appalled that Obama chose Warren because he is against abortion. How would Warren like it if women tried to take away men's rights to control their own bodies?

Obama is a fraud. He is going to play all sides.

Posted by: Maryann261 | December 22, 2008 1:03 AM | Report abuse

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