Rick Warren at the Inauguration: Why? By Joan Opyr President-Elect Obama and Rick Warren The Jews are a nervous people. Nineteen centuries of Christian love have taken a toll. -- Benjamin Disraeli Here are the facts: Barack Obama has chosen Rick Warren, the pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch in Lake Forest, California, to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Rick Warren is rich, influential, a bestselling author and a popular television personality. He's also very, very anti-gay. Warren has compared legalizing gay marriage to allowing incest and pedophilia. He played a prominent role in the passage of Proposition 8, the voter initiative overturning same-sex marriage in California and writing that discrimination into the state's constitution. Rick Warren is one of the many prominent religious figures responsible for putting my own California marriage in jeopardy. That it should be Barack Obama, the man so many LGBT people supported so enthusiastically for President, who has chosen Warren to set the spiritual tone for the incoming administration feels like a slap in the face. Or worse. It feels like the beginning of betrayal. But here it is, folks: he's a politician after all. And weren't we stupid to think otherwise? Or is this something else? Obama has said many times that we should be able to agree without being disagreeable. That would be fine, but once a minister has said that gay marriage is akin to pedophilia, he's been something worse than disagreeable. He's been hate-mongering. Is that something a President wants to reward with an invitation to pray Warren continued on page 28 2 | January 2009 | Q View Northwest - Spokane Edition | www.qviewnorthwest.com