Monday, December 22, 2008
Invoking a Sense of Grey
A lot of people are up in arms about President-Elect Obama asking pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration on January 20th.
Pastor Rick Warren is the author of the top selling book, "The Purpose Driven Life" and is also a big supporter of the proposition 8 initiative that was passed in California in November banning gay marriage.
Gay marriage is an explosive issue in America all of a sudden, it has aligned itself with abortion as being the two issues that are the dividing line of morality in our country.
Proposition 8 was passed because people are scared of change. They are scared that their concept of marriage will change. But the throughout the years it has changed drastically. Marriage in it's original concept is a business arraignment between two families. What we know of as marriage today is a religious institution. Two people declare their love for each other before God. They stand in front of a priest or a rabbi. But If the Church doesn't recognize the marriage then you just don't get married in a church. People get married at City Hall. In fact the Mayor can marry you. In that case don't even call it a marriage then, call it a Civil Union. But that Civil Union should afford those two people the same right as any other people who marry as far as the law of the state is concerned. right?
Nope. the Church defines what marriage is. What happened to separation between Church and state you say? Well that's a wonderful concept and ideology but it isn't a law or an amendment in the constitution. It's a suggestion of a concept written in a letter penned by Thomas Jefferson referring to the first amendment.
What seems to bother me most is that people who are not gay nor can have children let alone abort one feel so threatened by these issues. I, myself fall into this category. and when someone asks me what my view is I say I don't have a view because it doesn't affect me. But I have realized that that is only partly true. I am affected in that when one persons freedoms are taken away or when one person isn't afforded the same rights as another because of their orientation then that marks the beginning of the end of our democratic way of life.
But Barack Obama is a smart man, why would he invite Rick Warren knowing their differences in opinion regarding things like abortion, and gays?
Appealing to the masses is tricky business especially in this country. I learned that a few years ago when decided to put out an album. Like Jay_Z said you dumb it down to double the dollars. Not everyone is going to get Talib Kweli. Only the "progressives" and the "elites". But shouldn't we be striving to be better, to understand more? When you are pulling double shifts to feed your family on close to minimum wages and you get a chance to relax, puff an el and listen to some tunes you don't want to be trying figure out what the emcee is saying. You just want to hear some slightly witty, silly shit over a good beat. simple. You want to know that republican means good and demorcrat means bad. or visa verse. simple. It's the same even when we go to the movies. Within the first 20 minutes of any action movie you know clearly who the good guys are and who the bad guys are and those lines never get crossed. This clean cut way of thinking cuts across many lines culturally. In religion, well, Christianity at least, God is good. Anything that is not good is of the Devil and considered evil making the clear enemy of God, the devil. simple.
In the abortion issue there are those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice. This battle has waged on for so long that those who fight on either side actually believe that they are the opposite of the other just because they oppose each others view. But that can be no further from the truth. Someone can actually be pro-choice and pro-life- but that would be too much for the average american to understand and come to grips with. They wouldn't know who the enemy was. And we need an enemy, believe me. This is where I think the brilliance of Barack Obama is at work. Americans have to fundamentally change the way they look at issues. One of Obama's quotes that really stuck with me was when he said that no one is pro- abortion. we're not on two clean cut sides of an issue. If we listen to each other we might just get a broader understanding of where we are coming from.
Baracks choice of Rick Warren to do his invocation is a statement of grey, explaining that nothing is as black and white as it seems.