Maddow: Rick Warren Is ‘Lose-Lose Proposition’ for Obama

Barack Obama‘s shameful and treasonous decision to bring Rick Warren to Washington on Inauguration Day, despite the man’s proud homophobia and equal comparisons of gay relationships to those of incest and pedophilia, is the stuff that just might turn the gay community against the very man they thought would bring real change to America. Change for everyone, it’s becoming clear, expect us. Here’s Rachel Maddow — cable news’ only publicly out gay pundit — on the matter.

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  • Michael W.

    Cable news’ only openly gay pundit? Wrong. Suze Orman has been out and proud for sometime now on CNBC.

  • Wolf

    Well guys I did start that activist site I wanted to. Could still use some help.

    Warren is the first on the list.

    For Immediate Release: Call to ACTION!
    ACTION Date: January 20, 2008 calls on EVERY Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangendered. and our Hetrosexual allies to STAND WITH US (LITERALLY) wherever you are, weather you are in Washington DC, New York, California, or Missouri. That if you are present at or watching the Inauguration to STAND SILENTLY AND TURN YOUR BACK ON WARREN as he is introduced and STAY with your back turned to turned in SILENCE until he has finished. We will do this not only as a display of our dismay at having him involved but also as a SYMBOL of PROTEST showing that all of us despite our sexual orientation, race or gender will not stand for and “turn or backs” on the Bigotry and Hate that Warren embodies.

    Please help us spread the word.

  • Mark

    Breathe, people. Warren is NOT being given a cabinet position.

    Plus, NO ONE ON THE PLANET will ever ever ever talk about Warren’s invocation after Jan 20th. NO ONE.

    I don’t care what Warren believes because the man believes in mythological creatures. I don’t care what Warren says on Inaguration Day because NO ONE on the entire planet will ever discuss it again after that day. Who gave both of Bush’s invocations? Who gave Clinton’s? See?

    Warren will eventually end up in the dustbin of history. On the other hand, Obama has already achieved the nearly impossible.

    And the rest of Obama’s accomplishments – those yet to come – will be what’s remembered.

  • Evah21

    You have to remember though, Mark, that Clinton and Bush didn’t choose controversial figures for their inauguration nor was gay marriage as big of a national issue back then as it was in this election…so while I think we will move on from Inauguration Day, I don’t think Warren will end up in the dustbin of history…Obama’s choice is sparking a lot of anger among the gay community and it is definitely something the gay community could use against him later on in this battle for our rights.

    I can understand Obama’s reasoning, but at the same time, I wonder if the homophobs out there consider the choice of Warren as a nod towards the validity of their arguments…

  • David Hauslaib

    @Michael W.: Semi-fair point, but we’re talking cable news pundits, not financial advisers. Hairs? Split.

  • :-(

    Bush chose Billy Graham–quite controversial.

    Go Maddow. It’s routine that a president puts a bloated god profiteer in a position of respect. It doesn’t matter if Obama *really* shares Warren’s views. He’s willing to sop to the Christo-political faction in this country *after* an election for the sake of Unity. And there are plenty enough members of the intelligentsia who think we should just shut up about it and pay our respects to the Leader. Well, no. We’re free people. And it’s our right to say this sucks.

  • Adam Sank

    Obama’s choice of Warren may indeed be shameful, but it’s hardly “treasonous.” Treason means that one has betrayed his country.

    Let’s not inject hysteria into this important conversation; it only weakens our side’s arguments.

  • Leland Frances

    Further, Maddow’s Lesby Anness has been widely talked about even among media Kinsey 0s [don’t ja just luv the designation Kinsey chose for exclusive heteros?]. “Now in Living Rooms, the Host Apparent,” New York Times, July 17, 2008, et al.

    But Orman’s coming out has, I’d guess, slipped under the radar of most of those who worship her, “Listen to MEEEE, you little moron. You’re too STUPID to deserve to even have money!” bedside manner. The last time I accidentally turned her shown on, my cat jumped out a four-story window. Christ, even Suzie Q’s gay civil rights concern is couched in Money Is God terms: “It’s killing me that upon death, [my partner] is going to lose 50 percent of everything I have to estate taxes. Or vice versa.”

    But, hey, I bet Suzie would never have invited Rick Warren to HER inauguration.

  • Leland Frances

    Damn dyslexia! That was supposed to be “Kinsey 0s.” For the record, he designated exclusive gays as 6s. Or as a T-shirt used to translate it: “Perfect Score.”

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    @Wolf: THAT WOULD BE JANUARY 20, 2009!

  • JJJJ

    I agree with those who say the real problem here is that it gives Warren a lot of seeming-legit-credibility to be at such a major event, and will up his standing and gain him new followers (maybe in the millions). If McCain had won and chose Warren you’d all be screaming that this will cause more homophobic assaults across the country.

  • Leland Frances

    Jeesh! Not that it’s that important, but I can’t stand the error which now appears to be the site’s somehow and not mine. It’s supposed to be “Kinsey Zeroes”

    As to the actual thread topic, I’ve often flamed out TIME writer John Cloud for things he’s said. But he dares to use the B-word for Obama vis-a-vis Warrengate, adding:

    “Obama also said today that he is a ‘fierce advocate for equality’ for gays, which is—given his opposition to equal marriage rights—simply a lie.” …and Cloud’s RIGHT!

  • Anonymous Coward

    @Leland Frances: It’s not an error; it’s the way the Georgia typeface displays zeroes. (They’re short when text figures are used, but you can tell the difference between it and a lowercase letter O if you look closely–the 0 character takes up another horizontal pixel or two.)

  • Hello

    @Michael W.: @Michael W.:
    Suze though fantastic is not a pundit she is a financial adviser.

  • Ed

    Rachel Maddow is correct. This is a legacy issue for an election that stands to be symbolic for many future generations. Obama unwisely chose to forever tarnish the image of this event with this poor choice.

    To all those who say that this isn’t the end of the world- they are correct. But given the degree of politiking going on with every selection made in today’s tenuous climate, this was a bad opener and stains his self-described image of tolerance.

    The Glbt community is correctly taking note.

  • RocketInMO

    Obama has so many choices, and he chooses a man who supports “reparative therapy.” Shame shame. I didn’t spend days and nights walking around my rural Missouri town enduring the racist vocal wrath of bigots so he could invite another kind of bigot to provide a prayer during his Inauguration Ceremony.

  • hal

    Gosh, if only Obama could have found another, better, more likable anti gay marriage, anti abortion, anti stem cell researcher to do the invocation at his inauguration. Rick Warren is already legit to millions of people folks.

    How about we wait until Obama has made some policy decisions and had a chance to pass a law or two, or knock down a law or two before we decide he’s committed treason?

    Oh and turn the gay community against Obama? Speak for yourself. I’m tired of everyone assuming the gay community is one vast, monolithic mind and voice.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Perhaps, if we started acting like the gay community is one vast, monolithic mind and voice, like the Christian Church or the religions right does, we’d get somewhere instead of having to stand outside the gate, looking in like a mournful, mongrel puppy waiting for a table scrap to be tossed our way.

    United, we stand.

    Divided, we fall

  • DavidOnTheMedia

    I am tranced that we first have prop 8 on O’bama’s election day and now this! Talk about a double wammy!!
    I hope O has a card up his sleeve with this move, that helps us all in the end. He isn’t stupid, I think he thought this through. I think he is holding something close to his chest. I just want to see him lay down his hand, and very soon.

  • DavidOnTheMedia

    Charles,,,I think we are doing “united” very well . . . considering. And I don’t think we are looking for scraps, I think we are demanding steak, particularly on Prop 8. I don’t quite see how you get this hurt puppy image with all that has gone on since Nov 4th, care to explain?

  • charlie-o

    Yeah, Warren’s invocation isn’t policy – it’s just symbolism. But symbolism is pretty much all we get. Hell, I felt kind of thrilled when Obama mentioned LGBT people in his acceptance speech. Wow, like he acknowledges that we actually exist, Kind of pathetic to be happy about such a little thing, but I guess it’s a step forward.

    But what are the big policy changes we can expect with Obama? Elimination of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell? Wow! Maybe the military would get some people who could actually translate Arabic. Wouldn’t that be a bold step!

    Obama says he’s a fierce supporter of equality for LGBT people, but what he actually supports is “separate but equal.” As an African-American constitutional law scholar, I’m sure he’s acutely aware of Brown v. Board of Education, which pretty much said that separate but equal doesn’t exist – that separate is inherently unequal. But maybe that only applies to school children.

    I know there are plenty of crucial issues facing this country and that our issues are pretty low on the priority list, even for those who are generally supportive. But if symbolism is all we’re going to get for a very long while . . . well, Rick Warren is just a slap in the face.

  • Charles J. Mueller


    > “care to explain?”

    I don’t think that I need to. All the “I don’t need marriage” statements and negative comments from self-loathing gays on these blogs speak for themselves.

    All of my str8 friends support my fight for civil-rights and feel that the religious right is absolutely wrong in trying to control everyone else, while most of my gay friends have turned against me with comments like “I am not interested in getting married”, “Why didn’t you pick on an American for a partner instead of a ‘foreigner'” and similar comments.

    This is a copy and paste of a letter I received from a gay friend that I have knows since 1993.

    Enough already!

    “Get a grep and return to normal life.

    You are reaching overload and starting to sound like Ross Perot!
    We no longer have a single conversation where you aren’t on a
    soapbox screaming about something or other.

    I already know everything you are pissed about!

    We have a meeting of the minds!

    Don’t keep telling me the problems! I know them!

    For Christ sake start telling me the salutations!
    I’m 62 years old and time is running out!

    You see what I’m say’n? Homie?

    This man is 62 years old. He is fat (and getting fatter by the day))and totally out of shape. He abuses alcohol. He still lives at home with his mother and has never had his own apartment or house. He has never had a lover in his entire life. He is not a member of any gay organizations. He did not participate in the National Day of Protest or any other gay protest that I am aware of and obviously feels that gay people are not deserving of their civil-rights. In all honesty, he pretty much represents most of the other gay people that I know.

    Need I ‘explain’ further?

  • Chuck

    The problem with the argument for inclusion of the “other side” and the mentality that if we make the GOP happy, then that’s a good thing is way off.

    The other day I happened to see a snippet of Sean Hanity saying that Barack’s appointments had been good so far. This needs to be a BIG warning.

    If we don’t piss these people off, how can Change every happen? I want a president who is pissing the hell out of the GOP and Fox News pundits. Only then can Change be implemented.

    If you have in mind that ‘let’s get along now and make the Change happen later,’ then they will inevitably be pissed at some point, so why not just get the tone set now?

    We know that they are for wars, guns, and government sanctioned Christianity. We know they hate education, health care, and gay rights. So making nice now will only cause more anger later on. Get the tone set right away otherwise, there will be an intrinsic culture of getting along and you have to create waves to create change.

    If the Shrub/Cheney crowd is happy with you, you know that you’re doing something wrong.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)

    He does.

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. He’s a pragmatist. He reminds me of Blair in the UK…but I DO think he is a liberal…

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