It’s annoying, to say the least, that Obama is giving inaugural invocation duties to Rick Warren, a person who is politically active against gay rights, rejects the scientific theory of evolution, thinks Mormons and Jews go to hell, and looks forward to Jesus putting an end to this world via apocalypse.
To keep things in perspective, however, Obama is not making this man a part of his administration. When seeking advice with regard to gays, Mormons, Jews, science, and foreign policy, Rick Warren, though Obama’s “friend,” will not be at the new president’s ear.
And if Rick Warren is to function as this generation’s “Protestant parson to the political stars” (ala Billy Graham) I suppose that the country could do even worse (think, for example, of Billy Graham’s son or Rod Parsley).
But why any person should function in this “quasi-establishment” religious-political capacity seems a fair question.
Aren’t we, afterall, a country that, in its founding document, professes no formal establishment of religion?
To paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, fundamentalist Protestants may have “no king but Jesus,” but America, as a political entity, has “no king.” Period.
And so it should be.