It seems that no matter how many times people, including us, point out that Rick Warren is really just a friendlier version of James Dobson, his media-driven reputation as some sort of “moderate” evangelical preacher continues to win out and, as such, Barack Obama apparently thinks he’s just the right person to put front and center at his inauguration:
Aretha Franklin and Dr. Rick Warren, an author and leader of the Saddleback Church, are among the select group of people who will participate in Barack Obama’s inaugural swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20.
Dr. Warren, of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Cal., will deliver the invocation, followed by musical selections by Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul, who sang “Someday We’ll All Be Free” and “Respect” at a concert for Bill Clinton in 1993, but not at the inaugural ceremony.
As we’ve pointed out several times before, in 2004 Warren declared that marriage, reproductive choice, and stem cell research were “non-negotiable” issues for Christian voters and has admitted that the main difference between himself and James Dobson is a matter of tone. He criticized Obama’s answers at the Faith Forum he hosted before the election and vowed to continue to pressure him to change his views on the issue of reproductive choice. He came out strongly in support of Prop 8, saying “there is no need to change the universal, historical defintion of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population … This is not a political issue — it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about.” He’s declared that those who do not believe in God should not be allowed to hold public office.
So why has this man been tapped to deliver the invocation at Obama’s inaguration?