So Barack Obama selected Rick Warren to give the invocation at his inauguration, and around the righty blogosphere, there is a lot of chuckling over the reaction of gays and liberals* — a furious, incredulous sputtering and livid response.
I find myself strangely not joining in the laughter. I’m reading the volcanic reactions on some of these sites, and I feel a smidgen of sympathy, or maybe a bit of concern. Not worried about these folks, but for these folks. (Okay, there’s a little of the usual, “Oh, this is the pastor you guys find objectionable? But the guy who said the U.S. bombed Hiroshima on December 7, and that the government created the AIDS virus – he’s small potatoes?”)
I don’t agree with John Aravosis very often, but I enjoy our joint appearances on CNN, etc., and I’m kind of shocked to see that picking Warren was enough get him joking (at least, I think he’s joking) about throwing shoes at the president-elect.
Maybe this is a reflection of a disappointing second term for President Bush, but I’m more or less used to politicians disappointing me. The Right pushed hard to reelect the guy in 2004 because they didn’t want an economic liberal, and four years later we’re hearing, “I have abandoned free-market principles in order to save the free-market system.” Henry Paulson was supposed to be the most savvy treasury secretary in ages; now he seems to be making up the plan as he goes along. Two disastrous cycles for the GOP in Congress, and they keep the same leadership in both chambers. John McCain took only a few weeks to start complaining about unfair tactics from the RNC again. Every politician fails to live up to expectations in one form or another — even Reagan gave conservatives only one-and-a-half good Supreme Court justices out of three opportunities.
But reading the comments on these liberal blogs . . . these folks sound like they’re experiencing an unparalleled betrayal . . . over the invocation at the inauguration. Much as we may disagree, I can’t take much pleasure in these folks’ agony, even if it’s self-inflicted by putting their faith in a man who kept insisting that he opposed gay marriage and has demonstrated a striking capacity to throw the politically inconvenient “under the bus.”
Putting faith in politicians is not a formula for fulfillment or a sense of satisfaction in life. You find much more of that outside of the political world.
*UPDATE: Brendan objects with the class and reserve I’ve come to expect from our friends on the other side of the aisle. I can see how someone might interpret the link as labeling him as gay in the sentence above, and I regret any erroroneous insinuation. He also declares that he is a “leftist,” not a “liberal.”