It may be hard now, in the post-election, pre-inauguration time when Barack Obama has made his victory, but isn’t actually responsible for government, to remember the serious flaws in Obama’s campaign. You may not be in the mood to try to remember these things, feeling that it’s better to concentrate on hope for change. If you do take a minute, however, to think back to the way that Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was conducted, some rather uncomfortable issues will come back to mind.
You might remember Obama’s use of preacher Donnie McClurkin, who combined religion and hatred of gays to build his base. You might remember how non-religious Americans were treated as second-class citizens at the Democrats’ presidential convention this summer. You might remember that Barack Obama campaigned against same-sex marriage. You also might remember how Obama submitted to the religious test of a faith-based interrogation by Christian preacher Rick Warren, during which which Obama declared that believes himself to be an instrument of God’s will.
Whenever these incidents came up, Obama’s supporters told those of us who care about equal rights not to worry. It’s just the election, they said. Well, the election’s come and gone, and Obama doesn’t have to pander for votes any more, but Obama is still up to the same old garbage he pulled during the campaign.
That’s the reason so many liberals like me are upset at Barack Obama choosing Rick Warren, of all people, to give a religious invocation at his Inauguration. It’s just one more confirmation that the worst aspects of the Obama campaign were not just political triangulation – they were a reflection of serious flaws in Obama’s personality, flaws that we’re going to have to deal with for as long as Obama is President. Barack Obama seems to have a real blind spot when it comes to discrimination against non-heterosexuals and non-Christians.
Rick Warren is the guy who announced that he wouldn’t ever vote for an atheist for President because an atheist wouldn’t have the capabilities necessary for the office. Rick Warren was a big supporter of Prop 8, a law which took equal rights away from same sex couples in California.
Now, Barack Obama is affirming these actions by selecting Rick Warren in particular, out of 300 million Americans, to introduce his Inauguration with a church and state blending Christian prayer. Obama says his choice of Warren isn’t about supporting Warren’s positions, but that’s bull. Obama didn’t speak out against Prop 8 during the campaign. Obama opposed same-sex marriage and embraced anti-gay bigots. Obama embraced Bush’s faith-based initiatives, and failed to stand up for non-religious Americans at the Democratic convention. All through the campaign, Obama pushed to mix religion and politics. Barack Obama has been a consistent supporter of the same arrogant and offensive agenda that makes Rick Warren unpalatable to Americans who believe in constitutional rights and equality.
This action lets me know that Barack Obama will never speak up for my rights as a non-Christian American. Barack Obama is not my President. He’s President of the United States, and I’m a citizen of the United States, so he certainly is President of my nation, but Obama is not a President representing me, or working in my interests. People like me are not part of Obama’s vision of America. Neither are the GLBT citizens of our nation.
Barack Obama defends his choice of Rick Warren by saying that he wants to have a diverse Inauguration Ceremony. Diverse? Is that why he’s following Christian Rick Warren’s Christian invocation with a closing religious benediction by another Christian preacher, Reverend Joseph Lowery? If the Inauguration is diverse, where are the non-Christians in the ceremony? Where are the atheists? Where are the gays and lesbians? Hm. They’re not in the ceremony.
For Barack Obama, diversity means making special room for bigots, while excluding the people that the bigots discriminate against. Barack Obama’s idea of diversity is not diversity at all.