Rick Warren. Who cares.
I'm out of the country for 8 days, and I when I return I find that the blogosphere is still talking about Rick Warren. Why? Honestly, I'd never even heard of the guy until this election season, and it's beyond me why he's the focus of so much attention.
Barack Obama, rightly or wrongly, thought it might be a nice gesture to ask him to give a prayer at the inauguration. So what? Seriously? Does anyone honestly believe that this means Obama is turning into a pro-life, right-wing evangelical? Of course not. I guess for the Kos kiddies and their like, it's not enough for a president to share their views -- the president must also refuse to countenance the mere presence of anyone who doesn't hold their views. I swear, it's amazing how fundamentalist and reactionary some of these so-called "progressives" can be. (Besides, wasn't it supposed to be somehow wrong to talk about Obama's relationships with clergy?)
To be fair, there's foolishness on both sides, of course. I've heard reports of religious conservatives who are livid that Warren would deign to attend the inauguration. Again, I'm not sure why. It seems to me that Warren, no matter his personal beliefs, went out of his way to have good relations with both political campaigns.
And why not? Does anyone else remember the good old days, when it was perfectly acceptable for Billy Graham to be the informal White House chaplain for Nixon as well as Carter, and Reagan as well as Clinton? For decades, this widely respected religious leader was able to act as spiritual mentor to our nation's leaders, without either side going into an absolutist, ideologically judgmental snit.
Those days are gone, I guess, but I'd like to have them back. Obama seems to want them back as well, and has always said so. But as soon as he tries to actually do anything about it, the netroots become convinced he's leaving the plantation and start cracking the whip.