Friday, December 19, 2008

Rick Warren, inaugural prayer

It's been all over the news since yesterday that President-elect Obama has chosen Rick Warren to participate in the Inauguration by giving a prayer. The news has brought attention to the fact that human rights activists of the glbt community is upset. (from here on I will use glbt as the abbreviation for gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender) I want to share a friend's story, and I hope that it can bring some understanding of why they feel like he is an unwelcome choice.

Jeff Lutes is the executive director of Soulforce, and he and his partner, Gary, are the fathers of 3 adopted children. I have met them as a family, and was impressed with such well-behaved kids and their loving dads. Here is what he shared about meeting Rick Warren last summer.

Although I can understand that Obama wants to "reach out" to the faith community, since Warren is well-respected by and well-connected within that community. He's a leader, an author that has sold millions of his books, and he has been featured on the cover of Time magazine as someone who gives of his time and his wealth to support others.

But Warren also has disregarded gay people of Christian faith, and he has stated that he does not believe in civil unions or gay marriage. He used words like "immaturity," and said homosexuals should practice, "delayed gratification." He said that even if it should be found that people are born gay, that they should not express that part of themselves.

What really irks me is that we are not talking about folks who want to party all-night-long, like the song says, but we are talking about people of faith, those who believe in forming loving families of faith in Christ!

So can we do what Jeff Lutes suggests? Can we pray together for a day when all are accepted? When all have their relationships recognized? Let us all hope for a time when churches and their leaders stop spreading lies about gay families, so that the gay men and women who want to build families are supported in our churches and protected by our laws.


Rob said...

Great post, and well said.

Lumping all gays into one catergory, would be like lumping all straight people in one catergory. Sure there are those who go to bars and are just looking for sex, but there are also those of us who are just looking for that one person to spend our life with.

Carol said...

Rob - that's exactly right, and I'm glad you pointed this out. When Ray came out, 4 years ago, I had the misconception that there was only one "gay lifestyle," and it was bars, drugs, booze and sex. It was a stunner for me when I began to think, "that isn't true." It was like a revelation to realize I'd been lied to - in CHURCH.

James said...

Personally, I don't care too much if Rick Warren gives a prayer. There are many conservatives who dislike him as well because he isn't hard enough on abortion, I guess.

It is frustrating and painful to hear these talking heads misrepresent you, your friends and other people you care about, however. It does make one angry, but at the same time, you can't fight ignorance with anger. You just have to educate.

Sure there are messy gays out there, and they need to be helped. But I can't tell you how many friends in the gay community I have that are not on drugs, who have excellent jobs, who contribute to their communities, do not go to bathhouses and who love their families.

I think the times are changing, but gosh ... they're moving too slow.