Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Why The Gene Robinson Pick Gets Less Media Uproar than Rick Warren

Tony Jones of New Christians ponders why the selection of Gene Robinson has gotten so much less press coverage than the pick of Rick Warren. He speculates that it’s because gay groups put pressure on the media.
That’s probably partly true. The press reacts to ruckus. Gay groups made one. Strangely, conservative groups have not made nearly as much noise about Robinson. I don’t think it’s that they’re any more peaceful or tolerant. I suspect it’s just because Robinson came second in the cycle. After mocking liberals for their reaction to Warren, how could conservatives then attack Obama for inviting Robinson?
I bet the same thing would have happened in reverse: if Robinson had been appointed to give the invocation, there would have been howls of protest from the right and liberals would have defended the decision. When, a few days later, he picked Warren, liberals would likely have been much more quiet about Rick Warren than they have been.
If it’s true that Obama’s folks planned this sequencing all along, that’s pretty shrewd, eh?

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posted January 19, 2009 at 12:02 am

The issue of Rev Robinson’s prayer will be causing controversy after today. His microphone was off until the last sentence of the prayer. In addition, Rev Robinson was not in the recorded HBO broadcast. The following is from someone that worked his heart out to get Barack Obama elected:
“As a proud Gay American and a faithful Episcopalian, i thought i got to it to late to hear his Rt. Reverence give the prayer. I even cut into my sleep time for work tonight to catch the rebroadcast to hear it. Imagine my dismay and disappointment when i did not see him, or hear his words.Now i am hearing that virtually NOBODY assembled could hear it. As a person who worked my heart out to get Barack Obama elected, i am totally disenchanted. I really think he has some explaining to do. I am in short, appalled.
Gay People did have a broadcast. presence at the concert. An assemblage of Gay Mens Chorus members from around the nation backed up Josh Groban when he sang ” My Country Tis of Thee”, I recognized some of my freinds and acquaintances. But alas, they were on none of the lists.
I think i feel the wheels of the bus hitting us now. For all of his inclusive rhetoric, i really think he intends to give us all no more than lip service.”

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posted January 19, 2009 at 4:12 am

Or it might be that Rick Warren got more coverage because he’s a discriminatory hate-monger about whose invitation to pray the country into the next Administration people should rightly be upset.

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posted January 19, 2009 at 3:06 pm

Being gay certainly should be less controversial than being a dangerous, bigoted, religious extremist.

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Common Loon

posted January 21, 2009 at 5:02 pm

Adam and libhomo,
If you are truly concerned (as I am) about GLBT rights and fostering a more inclusive, tolerant society that respects diversity, you should know that name-calling (“hate-monger”, “bigoted religious extremist”) won’t get you anywhere.

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non-metaphysical stephen

posted January 21, 2009 at 9:11 pm

> “…you should know that name-calling (“hate-monger”, “bigoted religious extremist”) won’t get you anywhere.”
Would “brood of vipers” and “whitewashed tombs” be better?

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Common Loon

posted January 23, 2009 at 10:33 pm

> “Would ‘brood of vipers’ and ‘whitewashed tombs’ be better?”
You are clever to point out the words of Jesus, however, I believe he also said that we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.
If we can somehow hold both these principles in tension (truth and love together), our critiques will carry more weight. Otherwise, it’s simply ad hominem without any substance.

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