Jesurgislac’s Journal

December 19, 2008

Message to heterosexual supporters of Barack Obama

Telling us you don’t think it’s a big deal that a homophobic bigot has been invited to give the invocation at Barack Obama’s inaugeration?

Because Barack Obama has got to reach out to those homophobic, sexist, racist evangelical Christians. And it’s not a big deal when in doing so he insults LGBT people.

What else are we good for, if not to be the group that people of all religions can insult? It’s not as if Obama needs to treat LGBT people with any respect: the sane ones know he’s better than any Republican alternative, the insane ones suck John Hagee’s dick in airport restrooms and thank him for the privilege.

Members of the Lesbian and Gay Band Association are going to have to stand there politely and listen to Rick Warren, who thinks their having the freedom to marry is like incest or paedophila. I bet they weren’t warned in advance that they would be required to do that.

I hope Nancy Sutley can arrange to be absent. It would be ugly for Obama to force her to attend as Rick Warren prays.

Now why didn’t Obama invite John Hagee? Hagee could have insulted Barack Obama, too, and then we’d all be even.

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20 Comments »

  1. I appreciate your reading and linking my blog (always open to criticism) and I appreciate your opinion. I responded to your comment on my page…I’ll just repost it here with slight additions.

    This is fair criticism. I do not claim to understand how it feels. And yes he does vilify LGBT, and yes it hurts me less, but it does not make my statements any less true.

    I try to look at this practically, as emotion so often gets in the way, but is perfectly understandable when you are under attack. I am on your side. I am a staunch supporter of equal rights for LGBT. But it has to be looked at practically. As Prop 8 showed, unfortunately, we have to convince them. We, and specifically gay people, shouldn’t have to do this, but thats what has happened. I think this is a very crude attempt to hasten the equality we both wish for. A battle can be fought on several fronts, this is just one strategy. While it is an uneasy one at best, I think in the long run, this will work in equalities favor.

    I understand if it’s hard to stomach in the mean time. And the criticism is more than fair. With that in mind, while Warren is praying, I will hit the fridge for a snack as I don’t personally respect the man, but so many others do. Which is my most basic point.

    Comment by Tim — December 19, 2008 @ 12:01 pm | Reply

  2. I don’t personally respect the man, but so many others do. Which is my most basic point.

    Many people respect Sarah Palin. So Barack Obama should ditch Joe Biden and have Palin as his Vice President.

    That would be equally effective as a strategy in “hastening equality”.

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 19, 2008 @ 12:33 pm | Reply

  3. i don’t care who supports rick warren, the man is a bigot. 40 years ago, he would have been saying that the bible forbid obama himself to have rights. i am disappointed in obama, and i sincerely hope this is not a sign of things to come.

    no one is free when others are oppressed. the oppression of lgbts affects me, too, and the more people who realize it, the better.

    besides, being an atheist, i’m not sure why there even is an invocation at the ceremony.

    Comment by Personal Failure — December 19, 2008 @ 1:52 pm | Reply

  4. You know, I hadn’t thought about how disappointed in Obama I really am. I feel betrayed. This time was supposed to be different. This time was supposed to be better. I can’t believe that at 33 years old, I am still falling for the same old “baby, this time will be different” bullshit. It’s not like I haven’t dated a few men before.

    Yeesh, I’m a moron.

    Comment by Personal Failure — December 19, 2008 @ 2:46 pm | Reply

  5. The Sarah Palin point is not relevant at all. Not only do far, FAR less people respect her than this Warren character, but Warren is saying a prayer, not becoming VP. If during the inauguration Obama needed a moose field dressed I’d say yeah, give Sarah Palin a nod.

    The point is that in the long run I feel this choice will be good for equality. Warren himself may not be, and it certainly won’t have any immediate effects, but in the long run this CHOICE will help.

    I am not saying Warren is a good thing, or that he himself will change his mind of help the cause.

    Comment by Tim — December 19, 2008 @ 4:26 pm | Reply

  6. Obama has been elected POTUS. That means he is the president of conservatives and gays. He is trying to bring them together. To do so, he has to put them in the same place at the same time. Rather than condemning Obama, why not give him a chance? He hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

    I understand the disappointment. But folks, this is exactly what Martin Luther King Jr, would have done. King saw no inconsistency in 1955 in joining both the NAACP and the (mostly white) Alabama Council on Race Relations. He couldn’t understand why people saw controversy in this, when he saw joining both as complimentary.

    Just as King approached the race problem from both sides, Obama may be approaching prejudice against gays in this manner also. Obama will be the POTUS and, as such, hopes to make us see we are all Americans. Having unity as a goal does not negate fighting prejudice and hatred against gays. We should all fight for nothing less than equality. Obama knows what the “prize” is.

    Comment by helenl — December 19, 2008 @ 4:30 pm | Reply

  7. why would “homosexuality=incest and pedophelia” be good for equality? is this some other definition of equality i am unfamiliar with?

    Comment by Personal Failure — December 19, 2008 @ 5:21 pm | Reply

  8. tim: The point is that in the long run I feel this choice will be good for equality.

    Because telling bigots they`re worthy of respect is so good for equality. Yeah right.

    Personal Failure: This time was supposed to be different. This time was supposed to be better. I can’t believe that at 33 years old, I am still falling for the same old “baby, this time will be different” bullshit.

    Ha. I`m old enough to remember how hopeful LGBT people were when Clinton was inaugerated – a President who would actually use the words `gay` and `lesbian` in public at official speeches! – so I don’t think I’m as disappointed. Just disgusted.

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 19, 2008 @ 9:04 pm | Reply

  9. helenl: McCain has been elected POTUS. That means he is the president of white supremacists and black people. That`s why he`s invited a white evangelical who opposes civil rights for black people to do the Invocation prayer at his inaugeration. He is trying to bring them together. To do so, he has to put them in the same place at the same time. Rather than condemning McCain, why not give him a chance? He hasn’t even been sworn in yet.

    sound about right to you? That`s what you`re saying.

    I understand the disappointment. But folks, this is exactly what Martin Luther King Jr, would have done. King saw no inconsistency in 1955 in joining both the NAACP and the [KKK] (fixed that for you) He couldn’t understand why people saw controversy in this, when he saw joining both as complimentary.

    So when exactly did Martin Luther King invite a white racist bigot who actively and publicly declared he was against equal rights for black people to speak at any event King was organising? What racist, anti-civil rights organisations did King join, seeing white opposition to equal civil rights as “complementary” to his work for equality? Go on, cite it. I`ll wait.

    Just as King approached the race problem from both sides, Obama may be approaching prejudice against gays in this manner also.

    So again, please cite the occasions on which King approached “the race problem” from the side of those in active opposition to racial equality.

    Obama will be the POTUS and, as such, hopes to make us see we are all Americans. Having unity as a goal does not negate fighting prejudice and hatred against gays.

    I`m not seeing any evidence in this that Obama has unity as a goal. Or that he sees LGBT people as equally Americans, as deserving of respect as straights. He has given a public platform and his credibility to a man who believes that prejudice and hatred for LGBT people is just the Christian way to behave. He hasn`t even given equal time to a preacher who opposes hatred and prejudice against LGBT people.

    Obama knows what the “prize” is.

    Yeah, he wants the homophobic vote, and he figures he can afford to publicly court the bigots, because he`s still better than a Republican president.

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 19, 2008 @ 9:18 pm | Reply

  10. Jesurgislac: I`m not seeing any evidence in this that Obama has unity as a goal. Or that he sees LGBT people as equally Americans, as deserving of respect as straights.

    Then I would postulate that you don’t have a very long memory.

    As a gay man, I have to say, my first reaction to hearing that Warren was going to be preaching was “So what?”

    Yeah, Warren’s a bigot, but he’s also progressive on a number of issues that the evangelical community has been lagging behind on. And Obama has been stating over and over again that he’s going to try to reach out to all Americans and Rick Warren does represent a fairly sizable fraction of Americans.

    I’m more concerned with the attempt to cancel the marriages of 18,000 gay people in California than with who Obama chose to fill a ceremonial role during his inauguration.

    So it’s not just heterosexual supporters of Barack Obama. It’s some of us homosexual ones too.

    Comment by Spherical Time — December 20, 2008 @ 6:47 am | Reply

  11. Spherical: Then I would postulate that you don’t have a very long memory.

    And I would postulate that you failed to understand the grammatical meaning of the words “in this” in the sentence you quoted.

    Yeah, Warren’s a bigot, but he’s also progressive on a number of issues that the evangelical community has been lagging behind on

    Enviromentalism? Possibly, but so what? Couldn’t Obama find someone better who was evangelical and yet sound on the environment? I’m sure he could. Rick Warren has supported pro-abstinence anti-condom religious programs that get billed as “AIDS work” – and are, in the sense that they ensure more people become HIV+. He presents himself as someone who does international work on poverty, but he supports the global gag rule, which ensures that the poorest women in the world get less health care. He refers to abortion as “another Holocaust”, and he also says he believes Jews go to hell. What is “progressive” about this?

    Comment by jesurgislac — December 20, 2008 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  12. Jesurgislac: And I would postulate that you failed to understand the grammatical meaning of the words “in this” in the sentence you quoted.

    Then you’re trying to generalize Obama’s entire position from a minor bit of a single event. Obama’s not perfect, but asking Warren to do the invocation doesn’t mean that he hates gay people. The fact that he was willing to talk about homosexuality in front of traditionally black churches means a lot to me, and should mean a lot to gay people.

    Jesurgislac: What is “progressive” about this?

    Does Obama think that abortion is “another Holocaust?” Does he support abstinence only education? Does he support Warren’s position on poverty? Obama hasn’t made Warren Surgeon General or Secretary of State or even appointed him head of his charitable committee.

    You haven’t managed to convince me that having Warren do an invocation means that Obama supports his position on every issue.

    And unfortunately the homophobic women-hating pro-environmentalism HIV-spreading fundamentalist evangelists are Americans too. They’re wrong about a lot of stuff but respecting them as people and occasionally asking them to participate on the things that you do agree with doesn’t necessitate respecting their idiotic positions on other things.

    Comment by Spherical Time — December 20, 2008 @ 6:41 pm | Reply

  13. Obama’s not perfect, but asking Warren to do the invocation doesn’t mean that he hates gay people.

    No, it just means he regards LGBT people as insignificant and unimportant.

    Then you’re trying to generalize Obama’s entire position from a minor bit of a single event.

    I’m pointing out how Obama’s position is highlighted by this event.

    You haven’t managed to convince me that having Warren do an invocation means that Obama supports his position on every issue.

    I wasn’t making that argument. You were trying to argue that Obama supports Warren and that’s why he invited him. Backing down from that now?

    Comment by Jesurgislac — December 20, 2008 @ 7:11 pm | Reply

  14. Jesurgislac: No, it just means he regards LGBT people as insignificant and unimportant.

    Prove it.

    I’m pointing out how Obama’s position is highlighted by this event.

    Oh, then I was right then. Thanks for conceding that point.

    I wasn’t making that argument. You were trying to argue that Obama supports Warren and that’s why he invited him. Backing down from that now?

    WTF? I was not. Where did you get that idea? I mean, if you conflate respect with support then this conversation is meaningless.

    Comment by Spherical Time — December 20, 2008 @ 7:36 pm | Reply

  15. Prove it.

    Selecting a homophobic bigot for the Invocation. Proof.

    Do you think Obama would have picked someone for the Invocation who had campaigned against the right of black people to be able to marry?

    <WTF? I was not. Where did you get that idea?

    You said “Yeah, Warren’s a bigot, but he’s also progressive on a number of issues”. So presumably you think he and Obama do agree on some issues.

    Comment by Jesurgislac — December 20, 2008 @ 10:24 pm | Reply

  16. Then you’re trying to generalize Obama’s entire position from a minor bit of a single event.

    If it were only this single instance, then you might have a point. When you consider his non-support for equal rights for LGBT people, his unwillingness to consider removing the ban on allowing gays to serve in the military and the lack of gay representation in his administration. Obama’s position is becoming clear.

    Comment by Joel — December 21, 2008 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  17. The do agree on some issues. They’re both Christians and I would presume that they share similar stances on Environmental issues. However, a few issues does not mean all issues.

    The problem I have with your “proof” is that it’s not convincing to anyone who has to deal with people they disagree with.

    For example, following your line of logic, you disagree with me on this issue, thus you must disagree with my position on copyright infringement, torture of detainees, immigration, and a host of other things.

    Well, you probably don’t disagree with me on all of those issues but by saying that if you disagree with a person on one issue the rest should be discarded is not only hurting those causes on which we agree but my feelings about those issues on which we don’t agree.

    Here’s an example: I disagree with single issue abortion voters. The fact that they claim that this one issue is so important that everything else about a candidate can be discarded makes me think that they don’t care about their country and I’m less inclined to agree with them. Further by setting themselves up as single issue and refusing to work with people that they agree on other issues with they actually hurt their other political interests.

    Yeah, I haven’t agreed with everything that Obama has done and I certainly wouldn’t have asked Rick Warren to do the invocation, but I’m not willing to smear Obama for being willing to ask his political rivals to fill meaningless ceremonial positions.

    Really, at this point it’s obvious that we’re just talking past each other. I think you’re a very good writer and I look forward to reading more by you, either fiction, nonfiction, or criticism. Here’s hoping that we’ll agree about the next issue raised on your blog.

    Comment by Spherical Time — December 21, 2008 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  18. I just posted this at the Pharyngula blog:

    None of us are happy about Warren giving a five minute prayer at the inauguration. The guy’s a right-wing, anti-abortion, homophobic christard. Many of us at this particular website are annoyed and even angered that there’s an invocation at all, no matter who would be giving it.

    However, after Warren gives his invocation, then what? He hangs around in the background until the ceremony’s over. He gets a free meal and a dance with the missus. Next morning he gets on a plane and goes back to Bumfuk, Mississippi or wherever his home is. He’s not setting GLBT national policy, he’s not camped out in Obama’s front office, he’s not whispering in Obama’s ear about those nasty gays. In short, he’s not a big deal.

    Comment by 'Tis Himself — December 21, 2008 @ 6:31 pm | Reply

  19. “he wants the homophobic vote, and he figures he can afford to publicly court the bigots, because he`s still better than a Republican president.”

    Joseph Lowery, same-sex marriage advocate, benediction 2009 presidential inauguration.

    I guess he’s courting the homophobic bigots and us homosexuals. Sounds like savvy politicking, not impartiality and hypocrisy. After reading the rest of the blog author’s comments, however, it is clear that anger and emotion rule the day at this journal, not reason and level-headed advocacy. We’ll never achieve equal rights if the hetero world continues to be exposed to rantings like this – the trashing of any opinions that do not coincide with our own. Spherical Time is absolutely spot-on in saying that respecting and supporting are two very different things. If we do not have tolerance for different opinions and world views, how can we expect it from others?

    Comment by Kiplinger — December 22, 2008 @ 9:35 am | Reply

    • ‘Tis Himself: He’s not setting GLBT national policy, he’s not camped out in Obama’s front office, he’s not whispering in Obama’s ear about those nasty gays. In short, he’s not a big deal.

      We can certainly hope so. But we just don’t know. All we know is that Obama wanted to have him give the Invocation.

      Comment by jesurgislac — December 22, 2008 @ 12:33 pm | Reply


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