Time Magazine: Obama Inaugural Pick Rick Warren is Anti-Gay

by Kilian Melloy
Monday Dec 22, 2008

The GLBT community and liberals have joined in their condemnation of President-Elect Barack Obama's selection of mega-church pastor Rick Warren to deliver the Inaugural Invocation. Now Time Magazine has joined the chorus.

In a Dec. 18 editorial posted at John Cloud cited Warren's comments to the media that he is not, in his own estimation, a "homophobic guy," citing his friendly relations with gay acquaintances and his having had dinner with gays, as well as the efforts of his church to care for individuals with AIDS.

The editorial also quoted Warren as saying that, "homosexuality is not the worst sin."

More recently, Warren has repeated those arguments in the face of criticism leveled at Obama for the pick.

Commented Cloud, "So gays get to eat-sometimes even with Rick Warren!

"Then they get to die of AIDS," continued Cloud, "possibly under the care of Rick Warren's congregants."

Added Cloud, "And when they go to hell, they won't be quite as far down in Satan's pit as other evildoers."

Cloud denounced Warren's evident belief that homosexuals can be "cured," writing, "He didn't explain how, but I suspect he thinks praying really hard would do it, as if most of us who grew up gay and evangelical hadn't tried that every night as teenagers."

Continued Cloud, "Homosexuality, Pastor Warren explained in the virtually content-free language of the dogmatist, is 'not the natural way.'"

Cloud recollected that Warren, speaking with an interviewer, had compared marriage equality with incest and pedophiles, and wrote, "I wish the reporter had asked the next logical follow-up: If gays are like child-sex offenders, shouldn't we incarcerate them?"

Added Cloud, "Gays and lesbians are angry that Barack Obama has honored Warren, but they shouldn't be surprised.

"Obama has proved himself repeatedly to be a very tolerant, very rational-sounding sort of bigot. He is far too careful and measured a man to say anything about body parts fitting together or marriage being reserved for the nonpedophilic, but all the same, he opposes equality for gay people when it comes to the basic recognition of their relationships."

Cloud compared Obama to Richard Russell, Jr., "the longtime Senator from Georgia who--as historian Robert Caro has noted--cultivated a reputation as a thoughtful, tolerant politician even as he defended inequality and segregation for decades."

Wrote Cloud, "Obama gave a wonderfully Russellian defense of Warren on Thursday at a press conference. Americans, he said, need to 'come together' even when they disagree on social issues."

Added Cloud, "Russell would often use the same tactic to deflect criticism of his civil rights record. It was a distraction, Russell said, from the important business of the day uniting all Americans."

Cloud's editorial went on, "Obama also said today that he is a 'fierce advocate for equality' for gays, which is--given his opposition to equal marriage rights--simply a lie.

"It recalls the time Russell said, 'I'm as interested in the Negro people of my state as anyone in the Senate. I love them.'"

Addressing the popular speculation that Obama's repeated claim not to believe in marriage equality is ideological smoke concealing a more equitable disposition toward gay and lesbian families, Cloud noted, "People seemed to feel that once he had won, he would find a way--in his contemplative style--to help convince Americans that gay people really do deserve basic equality.

"Instead, he has found a way to insult gay people deeply."

Noting that the GLBT community had contributed heavily to Obama's presidential campaign, Cloud went on to write that, "Obama will now have to do something nice for the gays."

The example of "something nice," Cloud went on to cite is the advocacy from military leaders and Democratic lawmakers of openly gay William White for the post of Secretary of the Navy.

Wrote Cloud of such an appointment for White, "That would be cool. But I'm not getting my hopes up."

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Assistant Arts Editor. He also reviews theater for WBUR. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.


  • , 2008-12-22 12:06:39

    I support President Obama’s choice to select a pastor that represents so many Americans with regard to spiritual beliefs. There is probably not one person who represents all of them, but the bottom line is that our country was represented in its infancy by those who believed in God and its traditional values. I too believe that marriage in a Christian sense is really more accurate about Matrimony(Catholic). This sacred sacrament can never be compromised by civil law. I love my gay son and I have spent money, time, and love to help him in his life and I have tolerated his friends. Yes, tolerated, as I do not agree with the pop gay mentality that is just as righteous in their belief as I am in mine. I am for getting along and not trying to help the pop gay person by selling out on my belief that I believe is better for me, them, and my country. I do not impose it on them, but I do have one vote just as they do and I will exercise it accordingly. Amen JCS

  • , 2008-12-22 13:52:25

    The liberals are showing how truly moderate they are. Obama has made the radical choice of Rick Warren, whose opinions are completely different from his own. Obama made the first move and offered an olive branch of peace.By picking Warren, Obama has made good on his foreign policy promises to talk to anyone with no conditions. He has started that policy right here in the US with fellow Americans.The importance of this radical view of opening a dialogue with one’s "enemies" is completely lost on shortsighted people who see others as the bigots yet ignore their own intolerance.

  • Rico, 2008-12-22 21:39:05

    Superb analysis 13:52. Here is all of America celebrating the fact that we have turned a magnificent corner in our history having at long last elevated a black American to the highest office in the land and the only people in America who can’t get behind it are the queers. The whole nation including the right is celebrating this awesome moment, deeply understanding what a monumental moment in our history this is, except the fairies who are pouting, screeching, speaking hatred and being disivise. Don’t imagine the rest of America does not notice what a bunch of spoiled bitches the GLBT community is being and don’t imagine that is doing the "cause" any damned good. The obsessive self-absorption of the radical homosexualists knows no shame, no bounds, no decency.

  • , 2008-12-22 23:51:38

    As a gay man, I strongly resent being called a spoiled bitch simply because I am angry at not having a place at the table. If the LGBT community seems a bit "uppity," it’s because we have seen that the only way to safeguard our liberties is to fight for them. Ask African Americans and women if they would be where they are today if they had simply accepted the crumbs that were handed to them for decades.You want us to play nice? Start treating us with some respect.The gloves are off.

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