Thursday, December 18, 2008

Rick Warren? Really?

I have to say that I'm disappointed with Obama's choice of Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration in January. Granted, my disappointment would have been more like shock had he gone totally off the deep end and chosen someone like James Dobson, but I have to wonder if this choice was made for personal religious reasons or for political reasons. Not knowing Obama's thoughts, I'll have to speculate it was political (Democratic majority in Congress or not, he still has to play nice with Conservatives to get things done), but perhaps Obama's religious beliefs are more conservative than I originally thought.

In his defense Warren has taken on some issues that are outside of the mainstream evangelical agenda, such as eliminating poverty and human rights abuses, but on many other issues he sticks pretty close to the conservative side. So who would I have chosen? Well, if it were me I'd pick my parish priest, but if I were in Obama's shoes I believe a better choice would be Jim Wallis.

People who know me know I'm a big fan of Wallis. Although I'd never consider myself an evangelical Christian, I think he's done an outstanding job of giving evangelical Christians a moderate, rational voice. He's the first nationally known minister I've really cared to listen to, frankly, and he has sensible ideas about faith, politics, and the meeting of the two. His message is far more inclusive than Warren, and I think he'd do a lot more than Warren to bring everyone together at a time when we need a common sense of community the most.

If you don't already know Rev. Wallis, he's one of the founders of Sojourners, whose mission is "to articulate the biblical call to social justice, inspiring hope, and building a movement to transform individuals, communities, the church, and the world." You can read about him and his organization at