WASHINGTON (AP) – President-elect Barack Obama on Thursday defended his choice of a popular evangelical minister to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, rejecting criticism that it slights gays.

But Obama told reporters in Chicago that America needs to “come together,” even when there’s disagreement on social issues. “That dialogue is part of what my campaign is all about,” he said.

Obama also said he’s known to be a “fierce advocate for equality” for gays and lesbians, and will remain so.

Yeah, and I’m a fierce advocate for marijuana legalization; you’re damn sure not going to see me introducing Drug Czar John Walters at the next Seattle Hempfest.  

I don’t understand how you tell your LGBT supporters you’re a fierce advocate for their equality and then provide a global megaphone and a presidential endorsement of someone who’s a fierce advocate for their inequality.  Thanks, with fierce advocates like that, who needs enemies?

America does need to come together.  I’m all for that.  But why does “come together” mean Evangelicals get to stay put and we have to come to them?  Do you think if a gay Episcopalian preacher were giving the invocation that Obama would be telling Evangelicals we need to “come together” even when there’s a disagreement on social issues?  And how offensive is it to turn to an American and say, “Hey, get over your stolen civil rights, this country’s in trouble and we need to come together!”  (I wonder if this is how the segregated black troops in WWII felt?)

Of course, the sensible – the Constitutional – thing to do would be to get all the God nonsense out of the affairs of state, because this is exactly the kind of havoc it wreaks on our society!  If we are to be a pluralistic egalitarian society that respects the rights of the minority, we can only do that through a participatory democracy.  That democracy requires that we be able to work through our disagreements with reason.  Reason requires that we prove arguments with verifiable observation and fact.  Once the foundation of the argument becomes “God said it, I believe it, that settles it”, the other side can have no reasonable rebuttal except, “Huh-uh!  No sir!  Did not!”




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