This one puzzles.
Rick Warren is the pastor of the California-based megachurch known as Saddleback and the author of super-bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. He wins plaudits from mainstream media types and Very Serious People because he is trying to expand the evangelical community's priorities beyond the standard social issues. He wants to see more attention paid to poverty, climate change, AIDS, and human rights. That's all well and good, but Warren still has many views that match the hardline right. He strongly supported Proposition 8. He considers stem cells "non-negotiable." He compares abortion to the Holocaust. He has admitted the difference between between him and James Dobson is primarily "a matter of tone." In a move that would make George Orwell proud, he just gave George W. Bush an "International Medal of P.E.A.C.E."
And this is the guy Barack Obama has chosen to give the invocation at his inauguration? A man whose views stand in stark contrast to the ones held by the tens of millions of Americans who elected Obama?
I'm not the only one who is shocked. There is already a petition at whitehouse2.org that urges the President-elect to give this incredible privilege to one of the nation's thousands and thousands of men and women of the cloth whose views match Obama's, and those of the people who will have flown in from around the country to see the inauguration in person. Take a look.