20 January 2009

Anytime You're Ready (Part One)

Rick Warren

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you already know I don't care much for Gay media. All too often, it's profane, stereotypical, frivolous, ageist, classist, misogynist, racially insensitive and altogether irrelevant to the Gay Rights struggle. Too much of what you find in it undermines the struggle! A case in point is the letter/editorial I'm about to share with you. It was printed in the January 2009 edition of CAMP, a monthly publication aimed at LGBT residents of Kansas City. The unenlightened sentiments expressed here by someone signing himself "C. Hunter" are typical of what I've seen in scores of op-eds since December. They’re profoundly embarrassing, and that's the kindest thing I can say about them!

I have been reading Gay blogs, and cannot figure out why everyone has gone ballistic over Barack Obama's invite to the Rev. Rick Warren to give the invocation at the January 20 inauguration. It's a sop thrown to the RW (Right Wing) crowd. Clear and simple. It is totally symbolic.

Yes, but symbolic of what? Had this dude tried to answer that question, he might've begun to understand why people were so upset!

Anyone who thinks Warren is going to influence the Obama administration's policy on queer (sic) issues is feeble-minded. The Right Wing crowd easily mistakes symbolism for reality.

Judging by how this writer and others implicitly trust President Obama to do right by Gay Americans (a trust based on little more than campaign speeches at this point in time), not to mention the shame-based terminology they use to identify LGBT folk, "the Right Wing crowd" sure ain't the only group out there with feeble minds!

Obama is making points with Warren very inexpensively. For Heaven's sake, it's not like Obama appointed him Secretary of Health and Human Services or National Security Adviser!

Oh, no. President Obama just presented Warren to the entire population of the United States as a legitimate Christian leader! He showcased a charlatan preacher who embellishes Scripture so his Right Wing talking points sound more potent! It was an offensive act on more than one level, and it was done at the expense of more than one community. I’d almost rather he had appointed Rick Warren National Security Adviser!

Warren is an ass. He is egotistical, about as far from a humble Christian as one can get!

Never mind his ego and lack of humility. Just say he's about as far from a Christian as you can get! That in itself was reason enough to protest his presence at the inaugural podium.

Yes, he is homophobic, but so is about 60% of the Straight American population . . . the Rev. Jeremiah Wright would have elicited howls of anger from the Gay community, too.

No, he wouldn't have! Jeremiah Wright didn't publicly link Lesbian and Gay relationships with child rape and incest. Jeremiah Wright didn't spearhead the campaign to pass Proposition 8. Any “howls of anger” triggered by an invitation to Rev. Wright would've resulted from his public statements about race, not sexual orientation. For that reason, such an invitation wasn't even in the realm of possibility! President Obama may ignore controversial anti-Gay statements, but a racial controversy? Never! That strikes much too close to home. By the way, a 60% estimate of anti-Gay sentiment in the American populace is much too conservative! Gay as well as Straight people should be included in that figure!

I'm not sure why an invocation of the deity is needed anyway, but it is a requirement of rites of American civil religion.

Say what? "American civil religion?" Since when has religious belief been a requirement of our civil society? Did I miss something in the Constitution? Here's where the dude started scaring me.

And no, I have not lost my mind.

Who was he trying to convince . . . the editors or himself?

I am just trying to keep this in perspective.


I wish the queer (sic) community would not get so upset over gestures that don't mean much.

Gestures like legitimizing preachers who equate Lesbians and Gay men with child rapists? Oh, quite right . . . reasonable people shrug off insignificant stuff like that all the time! Lord deliver me! Have you noticed how often Gay people who take these kinds of wacky positions refer to themselves and their community as "queer"? The likelihood is so strong, you can safely bet money on it!  I’ve said this before: There is a direct link between our desire to rehabilitate cruel insults and our willingness to accommodate bigotry!

Yes, I wish Obama had invited someone less homophobic.

Less? So it's not the presence of heterosexism that's the problem, but the degree of heterosexism? A little bit of hatred is fine? How much is acceptable? 20%? 10%? 5%? With this kind of dumbassery, we'll be back to pre-Stonewall conditions in no time flat!

I personally cannot stand Warren and his ilk. I guess I will not be joining Warren's church.

He guesses? Oh, the agony of conflicted love/hate relationships! He can't stand Bible bigots, yet the prospect of joining their churches holds a strange fascination for him! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), he never had a choice in this instance. Last I heard, Rick Warren's Saddleback church didn't allow openly Gay people to become members!

. . . I understand why Obama did it. It's a politically prudent decision in the big picture.

Gosh, yes . . . the Rick Warren invitation had Fundamentalists purring like docile pussycats (not)! It sure made all the Jews, Muslims and Buddhists feel included (not)! And just wait 'til you see how Congress rolls over and plays dead for the Obama administration! Be sure to hold your breath while you wait for that to happen, sugar.

(It's) like Jefferson saying in his first inaugural address: "We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists." We are all Americans.

Rick Warren, Joseph Lowery and Barack Obama don’t act like we're all Americans! When they pontificate on legal marriage, it's clear that they think of Lesbians and Gay men as something less than American citizens. By the way, we are not all Republicans . . . not by a long shot!

Warren has every right to express his opinion.

Au contraire! Demonizing a segment of humanity and working actively to eliminate their Constitutional protections didn't constitute expressing an opinion the last time I checked! Why would any self-respecting Gay person defend such behavior? Never mind . . . I answered my own question.

He has the right to speak his opinion and act politically on it.

Adolph Hitler, another charismatic preacher of sorts, acted politically on a similar "opinion" he held about certain German citizens. He did so much to the regret of those folks: Jews, Gypsies, intellectuals, dissidents and Gay people that his political movement gassed, starved and burned to death! Do you think that comparison is unfair? Tell Rick Warren, then, because he made it first! The Reverend has been known to liken his followers to fanatical Hitler Youth!  Apparently, the idea pleases him!

“Anytime You’re Ready” continues with Part Two.

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