Speaking of the Democratic Party's big tent
, president-to-be Barack Obama has chosen California megachurch preacher and anti-gray crusader Rick Warren
to deliver the ecclesiastical portion of his inauguration ceremony.
It's a very cool choice in a lot ways. Lefties can be as dogmatic and rigid as anyone on the right, and this says to the faithful, "Hey, I'm actually serious about that big tent thing." It also provides early warning that he won't spend the next four years dancing around their land mines.
Plus, by elevating Warren's stature, he's helping to place the preacher atop the evangelical movement, tactically pushing aside bigger kooks who could cause him problems down the road. Though Warren may have worked against gay freedom in California, he's the rare evangelical who preaches just as strong against poverty and pollution. (Jesus, as you may recall, was rather big on that whole poverty thing.)
But one of the best prospects of Obama's election was that evangelicals would once again be flying coach. The Conspicuous Christianity of the Bush years did little more than provide an endless loop of sanctimony. Sure, they were really good banning gay stuff, blocking stem cell research, and diagnosing ladies in comas from the Senate floor. (Thank you Senator Frist for that bit of sketch comedy.) But these same preachers were complicit in allowing their parishioners to be screwed on jobs, health care, education, the environment, and pretty much everything else at the center of real family values.
What would Jesus say? He would say "Smarten up, you %$#@*&% morons."
So it will be a little weird watching Warren bless Obama's presidency. When it comes to these guys, a blessing looks a whole lot similar to a curse.