Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rethinking Rick Warren

I wish gay rights was America's biggest problem. I do wish this was the only or even the primary issue on our agenda not only as Americans but as citizens of Earth. If it were, I would be truly upset with Rick Warren at the inauguration.

I have been thinking about this over the past couple of days and reading various opinions. I am trying to look at the bigger picture here. The biggest issues are not gay rights nor reproductive choice as important as these issues are. The largest issues are those that for the most part go unacknowledged.

The biggest issues as I see it are those that surround sustainability. How are we going to feed and care for an increasing world population (now over 6 and half billion humans) in a post-petroleum age?

I have been posting on population, energy, economy, ecology, and growth and will continue to do so because I think the interaction of these issues makes all others in comparison insignificant. Rather than offer my opinion or prediction which means nothing, I invite you to check out Chris Martenson's page and take his Crash Course. I invite you to talk about it, blog about it, share it with others, show it at your church or with neighbors.

I have to know that Obama knows what is happening as do all world leaders. We will be experiencing resource crises. Ultimately, I trust him as much as I can. He is a smart guy and I think he cares and wants to do the right thing. He cares about the future our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will inherit. He may not be able to change our destiny but at the very least, I hope he won't be the one when things get crazy who sends the first nuclear missile. I am hoping he may help us have conversations with the world leaders we don't get along with very much so they won't send those missiles either.

This brings me back to Obama and Rick Warren. Warren has a huge following. It is probably in our country's interest not to alienate him and his followers before Obama even gets started. Warren does have good qualities. He has raised awareness regarding AIDS and he has a personal commitment to giving away 90% of the money he makes.

Having him offer the invocation is a symbolic gesture. It is gesture that will hopefully make some positive relationships with evangelicals. By offering an olive branch to Warren, Warren, in turn, might be motivated to encourage those whom he influences to work for peace and for cooperation with world leaders rather than beating drums for war. I think Obama is giving Warren and his followers the benefit of the doubt. I wish I was as gracious.

Obama did balance out the "prayer ticket" by having Rev. Joseph Lowery offer the benediction. (I have been told by parishioners that the benediction is the most important thing I say in church anyway!)

I have been having a change of heart regarding this and willing to let this go, to hope for the best, and to trust that in the big picture, Obama knows what he is doing.

That does not mean I am insensitive to my lesbian and gay sisters and brothers. At least I hope not. I am with you with my whole body and soul.

In the end, we need Obama to worry about the big picture rather than social issues. We, you and I, need to be involved in the social issues. Those changes are up to us.

After all, when we are faced with loss of jobs, power outages, and whatever else, it isn't going to matter if we are straight or gay. We are all in this together.