Thursday, December 18, 2008
I sit here reading, admittedly mesmerized by Obama's words that he spoke today in defense of his choice (and by the very nature of his defensive comments acknowledged that it was indeed his decision) to invite Rev. Rick Warren to give a prayer at his inauguration, and I begin shaking my head in agreement, murmuring to myself that he's right, we need to start behaving like grown-ups. After all, in just a few days I will be heading to Indiana where I will spend at least five days with my family - half of whom are Republicans.
Here is Barack Obama defending his invitation:
“I think that it is no secret that I am a fierce advocate for equality for gay and lesbian Americans....[but] that dialogue, I think, is part of what my campaign’s been all about; that we’re not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is to be able to create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable.”
But then I jumped back into my initial thought. While reading through the comments, I came across these words: "If he's going to invite the religious bigots, where are the racists? Aren't we supposed to include everyone?"
My initial thoughts on the invitation of Rick Warren to the 44th President's Inauguration were not at all excited or even willing to accept Warren's presence at the event. The inauguration, up to the point of this announcement, had been billed as a celebration of change for all Americans. It was in that hopeful spirit that a friend and I decided to drive to Washington D.C. to witness the historic occasion of the swearing in of the first president of color. I contacted a friend who lives near DuPont Circle and works as an attorney for the Native American Rights Fund and made early arrangements to borrow her sofa and floor space for several days. After checking into air fares, we decided to drive to D.C. - taking two days and enjoying the road trip. But lately I have begun to reconsider the trip. I have missed almost five days of work spread out over the last two weeks, trying to shake a case of bronchitis. The cost of the holidays, the issues that my friend and I are working through, and now the inclusion of a hate-filled pastor to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration, turns my stomach, and just may keep me home in January. I don't want to walk blocks and blocks in cold, windy, winter weather amid millions of other people with a friend who admittedly doesn't like crowds (I am not that crazy about being trapped amidst throngs of people, myself), only to listen to the words of a man who would deny my friend and me basic human rights.
Why wouldn't Barack Obama realize what an insult it would be to a group that, for the most part, eagerly supported him and his campaign? The GLBT community voted in overwhelming numbers for the Obama/Biden ticket. So to select a person who so hatefully denounced a basic right for an entire group of people (California's Prop 8) is a punch in the gut for those of us who worked so hard for Obama's election. So I haven't decided whether I will or won't drive to the nation's capital to witness history in the making, or whether I will stay at home and watch history being made with or without me....
Does anybody out there want two tickets to the American Indian Inaugural Ball? I guess I've made up my mind...