The Rick Warren inaugural invitation is a real slap at those who supported Obama as a principled yet pragmatic leader. Certainly, his willingness to put people in his cabinet who may have divergent opinions has showed that pragmatic side. However, inaugurations carry powerful symbols that can't be ignored. Rick Warren's lack of respect for homosexuals and non-believers should disqualify him from giving him such a forum.
So what is the change we were supposed to believe in? Was it merely competent government? Or was it a fundamental change in direction and change in the ways things are to be done. More than anything, will Obama use the bully-pulpit to speak out against intolerance? Or will he continue to give a forum to those who wish to use the apparatus of the state to harm those they demonize?
We'll all survive a prayer from this wingnut. Since there is no God, I'm pretty sure whatever Rick Warren says in his prayer will not be given any divine traction. But enabling intolerance isn't respecting a diversity of opinion. Some opinions aren't worthy of respect. Do I respect the way muslims treat women? No. Do I respect the way Mormons treated people of African descent for the majority of their history? No I don't. And I don't respect many of the viewpoints of Rick Warren and am troubled that this man will have a prominent seat at an inaugural that was supposed to represent a change in direction for our country.