When I'm at the pearly gates/This'll be on my videotape
I don't get why this is a controversy. Here is a man who, despite their differences, invited Obama to speak to his congregation and treated Obama with respect and admiration. Why should Obama not return the favor? You don't shrink divides by focusing on differences. There are those (on both sides as you well point out) who would say "I'd rather that divide just remain" but I personally think those people are the problem not the solution.
It's a controversy because Prop. 8 recently passed, and a lot of people, myself included, hate Prop. 8, and Rick Warren fervently supported Prop. 8 and has compared homosexuality to pedophilia. That said, Obama billed himself from the start as someone who would battle partisanship and try to build bridges (remember the "sitting down with Axis of Evil leaders" part of his campaign?), so I'm not too surprised by his decision to give Warren a prominent role at the Inauguration. I agree that "you don't shrink divides by focusing on differences," but to some people, Warren's views are too extreme to respect or admire at all. In other words, he eliminates himself from consideration based on his views. The question, I think, is where do you draw the line as far as bridge-building is concerned? Do you try to build bridges with Nazis? Or just evangelical homophobes?
Melissa Etheridge checks in:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/melissa-etheridge/the-choice-is-ours-now_b_152947.html
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