Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Sinatra Syndrome

For eight years I have heard the left talk about "diversity" and "inclusion." They have spoken of how the Bush Administration and the political Right have excluded some people because of a philosophical difference. With yesterday's announcement of Rick Warren as the one to lead the invocation at the inauguration, I have finally found out the what the Left means when it says "diverse" or "inclusive." It means "I'll have it my way." The Frank Sinatra song was playing in my head as I went to bed last night, and I couldn't shake it.

Mr. Obama has been surprisingly inclusive in his selection of administration. In fact, if I had to mention just one word that has been characteristic of this transition time, it would be "gracious." He has not entered Washington as a conqueror, but as another servant in a long line of succession of public servants. However, I am pleased to see that Mr. Obama knows that he's no one's lap dog. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, with all their partisan bitterness and rudeness, have implied that they have great plans for him, and he is consistently reminding them that, come January 20, he will be their boss.

Late in the evening of November 4, cities across the world looked like the cities that win super bowls. People were dancing in the streets. Why? They were anticipating a grand new age: the dismantling of everything that the Bush administration stood for. On January 21, they thought, the cargo planes would pull all the military out of Iraq. All those filthy rich people would lose all those horrible tax exemptions, and the money would be automatically deposited in the accounts of the deserving poor. Billions of dollars would be released to abort babies of poor innocent women, and the stem cells of those feti would be harvested and all known diseases in the world would be cured. Gay people would be celebrating marriage in court houses and liberal churches in all 50 states, and any of those rustic old churches that did not allow the ceremony would be padlocked or burned to the ground.

In early February, after picking an "inclusive" jury, the war crimes trials were going to begin for Bush, Cheney, Rice, and others, with Colin Powell getting immunity for turning states' evidence. Then they would all be sent to an international court somewhere for life imprisonment.

The only unemployed people, after January 20, would be right wing fundamentalist ministers, conservative talk radio hosts, and Republican lawmakers.

Rick Warren is not a right wing fundamentalist minister. Most Southern Baptists, of which he is one (though his church does not include the word in its name), would consider him "left-leaning." Understand, however, that those "fundamentalist" Southern Baptists are far more tolerant of alternate people and views than the Left. Rick Warren is a fiscal moderate and would probably come closer to the views of mainstream Democrats and moderate Republicans in the area of medical care, government backing of social programs, and funding for research. His church has raised millions of dollars to combat AIDS worldwide. He believes that both the government and the church have a responsibility to help the poor, and is an environmental advocate and supports measures to reduce global warming, something that probably would not be said of most Southern Baptist ministers.

Mr. Warren no longer accepts a salary from his church; in fact, he has even paid back all the salary they have paid him since he started the church in the 80's. Like J.C. Penney of another era, the Warren family are "reverse tithers." They keep 10% of their earnings and give the other 90% to their church and to charitable causes. He has not gotten his money from tearful begging sessions on cable TV, but through the writing of well-researched books that people have actually wanted to buy. He is not a "money grubber" by any means, and desires no national stage or world wide recognition.

Mr. Warren hosted the first tête à tête between the two major candidates, on the stage of his own church, asking them the same questions, endorsing neither, and affirming both. It was not the first time Mr. Obama has appeared at his church, having spoken there before he was a serious candidate for president, on an issue that he and Warren have in common: AIDS eradication. There was no outspoken criticism of Rick Warren from that "fundamentalist right" for these moderate, inclusive views. We must face the truth: whether we like right-wingers or not, they are far more tolerant than their angry counterparts on the left.

If nothing else, Rick Warren is the best possible choice to lead the invocation at the Inauguration. He represents the best of both worlds. He is a man of faith and integrity as well as a man of conscience. Unfortunately for the Left, the man has a genuine, non-political conscience, something that radical leftists lack. He feels that the unborn are an oppressed group, just like the Jews of the Holocaust, and the American slaves of past centuries.

Now Katheryn Kolbert, of the so-called "People for the American Way" has the audacity to say that Mr. Obama should have selected a minister who represents the "mainstream" of America to open the Inauguration. I can think of no other way to say it, except that maybe that was the most ignorant statement I have heard since the election. She said this because Rick Warren recommended that Californians vote for an amendment to undo the damage that judges had done to the concept of marriage in California. Gays and lesbians represent 2% of Americans, and many of their own group feel that gay marriages are unnatural and uncalled for. Yet the clueless Ms. Kolbert thinks her views are "mainstream."

Abortion is and always has been a hot-button issue. When the US Supreme Court hijacked America's wishes in 1973 and by a 5-4 vote decided that it was right to kill babies after all, and that states had no say in the matter, and that taxpayers had to pay for it, regardless of their own conscience, over 70% of Americans were opposed to abortion. Even after 35 years of this murder being imposed on us, over half of Americans are against it. Yet a pro-life pastor is considered outside the "mainstream."

When gays and lesbians began their repugnant crusade to be recognized as a minority group, and invaded the civil rights issues that rightly belonged to racially displaced Americans, their battle cry was "it's not the government's business what goes on in the privacy of our own bedrooms." It would be a very hypocritical cry. Most of us did not want to look in their bedrooms. We had -- and have -- absolutely no interest in their bedrooms. We're tired of seeing them march in streets, tired of having to watch them kiss while in the movie theaters, both on the screen and in the seats in front of us. We're tired of them forcing their way into churches and civic clubs, trespassing and disrupting orderly meetings, violating the constitutional right of freedom to assemble.

The gay and lesbian movement has not been in the bedroom. If it had been, there wouldn't be propositions like the state wide ones that all passed on election night, 2008, while Democrats were making historic gains in races all across the country. If anything shows how out of touch the Liberal Left is, it is that the party closest to their views, which voted in near-record numbers, did not help out their radical agenda.

I fear a disruption of the inauguration by this vocal 2% and less. You see, they lied about diversity. They lied about inclusion. They care about neither; all they care about is the violent imposition of their narrow views on the vast majority of decent Americans. Mr. Obama chose the person he felt most qualified to lead the prayer at his inauguration (since his likely first choice, Billy Graham, at 90 years old, is now too feeble for such events). Mr. Warren is a minister who is faithful to the text that he has studied and practiced most of his life. He is supportive of his friend, the President-elect. His inaugural prayer will be neither the first nor the last prayer he offers for Mr. Obama.

Evan Wolfson, founder of the group Freedom to Marry, said "Rick Warren did a real disservice to gay families in California and across the country by casually supporting our continued exclusion from marriage. I hope in the spirit of the new era that’s dawning, he will open his heart and speak to all Americans about inclusion and our country’s commitment to equality.”

I hope that in the genuine spirit of the new era that's dawning, Mr. Wolfson and others will find the intelligence to live by his own words, and realize that it's absolutely none of his business whom the President-elect chooses to lead the opening prayer at his inauguration.

The far left has shown its true colors. Some have said that Obama was the most liberal senator we have had since his election. That may or may not be true. Hypothetically, if it is true, we need to realize the chilling fact that the most liberal of all 100 senators is still not liberal enough for the radical left.

I am pleased that Mr. Obama has been his own man so far. I'm sure I will not like all the decisions he makes as president, but he has impressed me so far by showing that he will not kowtow to anyone. He's president, and that's what it's about.

And to the leftist radicals -- the Loud-mouthed Left -- I have one message. If you want it "your way," either visit a Burger King or go buy a Sinatra CD.

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