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Via John Aravosis at AMERICAblog, Rick Warren is doubling down and accusing his critics of "hate-speech" and "Christophobia."
Rachel Maddow has the video, and takes Warren to task for the hypocrisy of saying that it's unfair to call his views hateful while simultaneously accusing his critics of hate speech. Moreover, as Rachel notes, Warren flat-out lies about his comments comparing gay marriage to pedophilia and incest.
Setting aside Warren's role as inaugural invocation speaker (for a brief moment), I don't think there's any way to defend what he is now saying. I accept the proposition that it's possible to disagree on the issue of gay marriage without calling someone names.
But there's really no comparison between gay marriage and incest or pedophilia, and if Warren thinks they are equivalent, he's either a fan of incest and pedophilia, or he has serious problem with gay people. And calling his critics "Christophobes" just makes matters worse.
A simple apology from Warren for having made the comparison probably would have made this whole controversy go away. But now he's doubling down, and it's just making matters worse.
Anytime Rick Warren's name is mentioned, there seems to be a fair number of people who just want the issue to get swept under the rug. I have great sympathy for that view. I want this mess to go away, too. Obviously, the last thing we need is a divisive force at the inauguration.
But it's important to remember that it is Rick Warren who is the divider, and the real division isn't between those who think he should speak at the inaugural and those who don't, it's between those who would deny gay citizens the same rights and privileges as everybody else, and those who believe gay citizens deserve the same rights and privileges as everybody else.
That's the real division, and Rick Warren is on the wrong side. Unfortunately, we're stuck with him, barring any unforeseen developments. But that doesn't mean we have to resign ourselves to accepting his views -- nor does it mean that Rick Warren has ruined the inauguration.
The truth is that this is a situation that demands a complex political position, recognizing that Obama's team screwed up by inviting Warren without losing sight of the fact that inauguration day will still be a great day, signifying not just the end of Bush's reign, but also the triumph of this nation over the terrible scourge of racism.
Rick Warren's presence at the inauguration is a fitting symbol of the work that is still to be done, and perhaps the best thing that has come out of this whole affair is that those who support gay rights have learned how important their voice is.
In the end, Barack Obama's record on gay rights will be measured by what he accomplishes, and what he is able to accomplish will in large part be determined by what we as citizens empower him to achieve.
In recent days, we've once again seen the fundamental truth of those three little words: yes we can.
As Obama himself has said many times, it's not about him. It's about us, and what we can achieve, united. We have so much work to do, and we can't lose site of the fact that part of that work is achieving full equality under the law for all citizens, regardless of sexual orientation.