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Barack Obama has selected Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration. The choice of Warren is in line with other Obama appointments meant to bring a broad spectrum of viewpoints to the same table. The patchwork of oddly opposing theological and social views held by Warren makes him a good, safe, political choice. Everyone can be pissed off, but also find something to like. For me – I’ll be pissed off about Warren’s stance against gay marriage and seeming tepidness about torture, but will like his concern with poverty. Steve Waldman offers a defense of Warren on his blog. And Right Wing Watch delivers this condemnation.
My personal preference would have been Rabbi Saperstein who gave such a great invocation at the stadium at the DNC acceptance speech in Denver. It would have been amazing to hear a Rabbi give the invocation for the inauguration of an African American Christian with an Arabic name, and sent a message of pluralism to the world as they will surely be watching. Alas.