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“The person who leads the nation in prayer on January 20th should be someone asking God to forgive us our sins, not someone who dresses up one of our baser national instincts in pseudo-religious packaging.”
“As we near Christmas, let’s remember that the one whose birthday we’re celebrating was homeless, wandered around, couldn’t be tamed or contained by conventional categories, accepted and extended invitations to the wrong people, and had a boatload of critics.”
And, most interestingly, Diana Butler Bass describes this as a spiritual challenge:
“I don’t really want to pray with Rick Warren. But being the post-partisan progressive pilgrim that I am, I am willing to accept President-elect Obama’s challenge that it may be good for the nation’s soul if I–if we–do. It is a much better option than casting those with whom we disagree into the darkness. We’ve had too much of that in the last eight years.”
UDPATE: And this powerful statement from Renita Weems:
Rick Warren’s smiling, right wing, socially conservative, anti-gay, anti-women’s rights biblical preaching has been deemed to be not as divisive as the blistering prophetic denunciations of American imperalism by his former pastor Jeremiah Wright. Reaching out to Warren reaps more political capital for Obama than does reaching out to Wright. The pro-gay rights man whose fiery preaching nurtured Obama into becoming the community organizer he is at heart remains a pariah, banished from the inaugural platform and the American public. The man whose anti-gay message is overshadowed by the fact that he represents the face of millions of conservative voters gets to pray for the country.