Sunday, December 21, 2008

Obama's inaugural pick exposes hole in liberal tolerance ethic

(Previously published on Blogcritics)

If you want some real insight into how much gays and liberals respect the concept of tolerance, which they're always preaching about, you need look no further than the latest "controversy" surrounding our President-elect.Gay-rights advocates, the homosexual community and most liberals are in a huff over Mr. Obama's decision to allow California pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his presidential inauguration. Warren is an outspoken advocate not only of pro-life issues but also of traditional marriage.
The Human Rights Campaign wrote a letter to Obama in which they angrily assert that they "feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination." The editor of the gay newspaper The Washington Blade opined, "This tone-deafness to our concerns must not be tolerated. We have just endured eight years of endless assaults on our dignity and equality ... [t]he election was supposed to have ended that era. It appears otherwise."
Three salient points here:
(1) Messiah Man campaigned on a promise to give a hearing to both sides, to conservatives and liberals alike. The move to include Rev. Warren in the inauguration ceremony, whose church Obama visited during the campaign trail to hear Warren speak on faith issues, is a fig-leaf to conservative Christians and is, thusly, a classic Obama tactic.
(2) Mr. Obama and Rev. Warren share many thoughts on social justice. Like the President-elect, pastor Warren has not embraced fiscal conservatism and is an advocate for a government-led war on poverty.
(3) Mr. Obama opposes same-sex marriage, and this fact was public knowledge during his campaign. While his presidency will no doubt be the gay-friendliest of all, Messiah Man will not likely back down on the issue of gay marriage. Unfortunately, for most gay advocates, that is not good enough. (This common knowledge of Obama's stance on gay marriage must surely be the reason why he received less votes from gay voters than did John Kerry in 2004.)
It's understandable—and entirely predictable—that the gay community would react in this way. The gay rights movement, after all, is reeling from the Proposition 8 vote in California which seeks to overturn the legality of gay marriage in that state, and is looking to flex some serious muscle.
Obama's pick of Rev. Warren to deliver the invocation speech was just the fight the gay community was looking for. Liberals, who largely showed restraint over criticism of Mr. Obama's conservative cabinet selections, are now boiling over with disappointed rage at the Warren issue as well.
Mr. Obama asserts that dialogue is what his campaign was about, as well as his upcoming presidency.
"We're not going to agree on every single issue, but what we have to do is be able to create an atmosphere where we can disagree without being disagreeable and then focus on those things that we hold in common as Americans," Obama said in response to the furore over the Rev. Warren debate.
In other words, by selecting the Rev. Warren to be part of his inauguration ceremony, Obama was demonstrating tolerance—true tolerance. But that's not what the gay community and its liberal supporters desire.
In fact, the lesson to be learned from this debacle is not what liberals expected from Obama, but from what Obama expected from his liberal supporters. Mr. Obama wants debate and tolerance; the majority of liberals demand nothing less than total militancy over the issues dear to them.
I feel kind of sorry for the President-elect already. The poor man may only just now realize the hornets' nest he's walking into.

No comments: