Et tu, Barry?

First off,  I really wanted to get back to sweet little stories of human connection and the everyday foibles of parenthood, you know?  Really did.  Have something in the hopper even.  I genuinely try to use this venue as a means to lift not just my own spirits, but those of others.  But then the shite keeps being shoveled directly into the fan, and me and my family are positioned directly in front of the damn fan.  

And here I thought that my four-year-old’s tantrum en route to preschool was the toughest thing about being a lesbian parent.  

Nope.  

It’s the long, long, tiring fight.  Yeah, so this is about the whole Rick Warren Obama inaugural invocation choice thing. Meet Rick Warren, Pastor of the Saddleback mega-church, foe of gay marriage but  friend to gay people

Rick Warren: But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

Steven Waldman: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?

Rick Warren: Oh I do.  …

… Most people, you know… I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes, no church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of “A Purpose-Driven Life” helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships. So they can’t accuse me of homophobia. I just don’t beleive in the re-definition of marriage.

…Embracing someone like Warren is no more “inclusive” than inviting a White Supremacist or, for that matter, a Christian-hater to deliver the invocation. People like that espouse views that are shared by many Americans; why not include them, too, or have Pat Robertson deliver a nice prayer? Obama’s “inclusiveness” mantra always seems to head only in one direction — an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right. Not even Bill Clinton’s most extreme Dick-Morris-led “triangulation” tactics involved an attempt to court Jerry Falwell.

Me, I’m just plain fagged. In the 16th century sense of the word: made weary. Though the contemporary Brit-Eng. sense will do, too: it all feels like hard work at a tedious job.

I’m fagged, and I’m dis-illusioned. Plurality of voices, great. Microphone in front of a bigot? Who advocated for the removal of the constitutionally recognized protection of my family?   Let’s just say that the rain on the election night parade is forcast to continue through the inaugural. 

14 Responses to Et tu, Barry?

  1. Lesbian Dad December 18, 2008 at #

    For anyone who would like to see the conversation continued in a semi-controlled melee on mainstream media:

  2. perkl8 December 18, 2008 at #

    I haven’t seen anything from the Obama camp that remotely explains this. I feel so discouraged by it. I really hope Obama is pressed to reconsider this choice. How does it heal anything? Why does he need to go to Rick Warren? I’d like to see some Christians object. People? Fagged. Me too. Feeling fagged. But who knows, maybe after a good nap and some holiday cookies, this will be the match that keeps our flame going? I mean, we might’ve lost steam by Jan. 20…. I dunno, I’m too fagged to do the Pollyanna drag right now.

  3. Lesbian Dad December 18, 2008 at #

    Right there with you, sister. Obama’s explanation is here.

  4. lizk December 19, 2008 at #

    I had my own version of a four-year-old’s tantrum when I heard this news. Seems like the only response left in me.

  5. Lesbian Dad December 19, 2008 at #

    Said my brother, in his letter to the Obama transition team’s LGBTQ liaison:

    Date: December 18, 2008
    Subject: No Rick Warren, please

    Dear Parag,

    I am opposed to inviting Rick Warren to participate in the
    inauguration. Not because he supported an initiative I opposed, but
    because he has repeatedly equated homosexuality with pedophilia and
    incest. If someone equated interracial marriage with bestiality they
    would not be welcome to speak at the inauguration and he should not be either.

    I am a straight white man who gave multiple times to Obama in the
    primary and general. I worked for Obama in three states, my wife worked in two and my nine year old son called all over the country for him. We believe that Obama will help us all see our better selves. We believe in reaching out and finding middle ground. We do not believe in giving bigots a national platform. Please help our President-elect reconsider this poor choice.

    Thank you,

    [actual name of LD's brother currently in law]
    Berkeley, California

    Included here (a) for moral support, (b) as example, and (c) because poor Parag Mehta’s email crashed under the siege today. Or, it was actively de-activated. This way at least somebody, if not an Obama transition/inaugural team member, can set eyes on it.

  6. Lesbian Dad December 19, 2008 at #

    And just to lodge it here: Reverend Joseph Lowery, who’ll give the benediction, deserves not to have been overshadowed by Warren. I was honored to have met him way back when, as a campus anti-racist activist organizing a forum at he was keynote speaker. His work on behalf of Black civil rights, against apartheid, and more is exactly what Obama’s campaign spoke to. With one difference: Lowery is a strong supporter of same-sex marriage.

    Like Coretta Scott King, at whose funeral he received a standing ovation when he said this (h/t Oxdown Gazette, linked below):

    On April 1, 1998 at The Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, King called on the civil rights community to join in the struggle against homophobia and anti-gay bias. “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood”, King stated. “This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”

    As the Oxdown Gazette notes, Warren will be clearly out-classed by Rev. Lowery. And Rev. Lowery, bless us, will have the last word.

  7. LookyDaddy December 19, 2008 at #

    Well, leave it to Warren to finally discern the reason I am supporting gay marriage: It’s so I can marry my own kids. And my cats. And that little neighbor boy I see running around every once in a while. Damn his cleverness.

    I heard Barney Frank say a wonderful comment on NPR the other day when Palin gave the same kind of “but I’m not homophobic because I have gay friends,” justification for this crap. He said he had to hand it to her, because she was apparently more tolerant of him than he was of her.

  8. JenRink December 19, 2008 at #

    I’ve waited to comment because for some reason only my middle fingers work when I think about this. It just sucks. I’m glad that folks seem to be running with it, and many seem to “get” why this is a bad call.

    For me, it’s not just the gay issue…it’s that I am so tired of having my faith defined by the evangelical right. I understand inclusion, but the evangelical right is already included plenty–disproportionately so–I thought that inclusion was about including those not at the table. Maybe we can take a bit of symbolic relief in the fact that Warren goes on first and Rev. Lowery goes on last–out with the old, in with the new!

    At any rate, my Christmas has been saved by LookyDaddy’s engagement and I look forward to hearing where he and his cat are resgistered.

  9. LookyDaddy December 19, 2008 at #

    JenRink: PetsMart. And JC Penney’s.

  10. Lesbian Dad December 19, 2008 at #

    Bops two birds w/ one gift-giving stone? Maybe? Maybe not?

  11. LookyDaddy December 19, 2008 at #

    The Hello, Kitty toaster is appropriate for any occasion. And by occasion, I mean bonfire.

  12. bridge December 20, 2008 at #

    Hi. Coming out of lurking to comment on this. Just know that this has become an important issue to me. Marriage is a right and should not be dictated by religious bigotry. To equate marriage between adults who love one another and are making a commitment with the circumstances Mr. Warren has is wrong. I was, am and continue to be supportive of our new president but do not support such ideas. I wish he would make a different choice, but hope we can stay unified in the long run. I love your blog, thanks for your words.

  13. dimplecheek December 20, 2008 at #

    I see other parents struggling with illness and the failing economy. I cannot imagine having to deal with the everyday issues as well as having the very foundation of my family being compared to sleeping with a cat.
    Please keep writing about family, parenting and love. The more people that see how a real family looks, gay or straight, the better. So many of my neighbors and co-workers think gay marriage only involves the big man in drag leading the annual parade. ( I apologize on behalf of heterosexuals everywhere.)
    Even if you have to write covered in shite sometimes, I will be here reading and listening. Your words inspire me, and I know others. Here’s hoping all the love and compassion I feel have been conveyed, as it was written 3 times, while playing rocket with a 3 year old.

  14. Lesbian Dad December 20, 2008 at #

    Thank you, dimplecheek, and likewise bridge (and welcome!).

    I really appreciate your words, especially since it has been so hard to be able to deeply experience the quotidian family details while under this period of direct siege. So. Damn. Hard. I can’t begin to count the essays that I’ve half-written in my head, only to have had them be drowned out by yet another pressing attack. That the attacks have successfully pressed their way in on me (and ironed flat the other stories) says as much about me, of course, as it says about the nature or degree of viciousness of the attacks. But there you go.

    Thank you for the encouragement to keep trying to bear the witness.

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