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Tim Myers: Why Obama Chose Rick Warren

Myers' Musings

Posted: January 10, 2009 9:01 p.m.
Updated: January 11, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Tim Myers

 
"The sad truth is that this decision further elevates someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans."
- Kathryn Kolbert, of People for the American Way, commenting on the selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama.

It seems to make the most sense that something constitutes the right thing to do when people with extreme views believe it wrong.

So the selection of Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama on Jan. 20 reeks in my mind of rightness.

Certain activists object to the selection of Rick Warren solely based on his recent support of Proposition 8, an initiative I voted against, and which I believe should eventually fail.

Exit polls clearly show the calendar will solve the problem of gay rights, with young voters overwhelmingly voting against Proposition 8.

I tell my gay brothers and sisters with confidence that a few more headstones in the graveyard will solve this problem once and for all.

Recognizing this, Barack Obama seeks to make good on his election night promise to act as president of everyone, and not just those who voted for him, by recognizing the 74 percent of evangelical Christians who did not cast a ballot for him.

Let me state at the outset that I read the "Purpose Driven Life," and found it OK. I believe in Jesus Christ but find Pastor Warren's characterization of Jesus Christ in the suburban role of weekly personal life coach somewhat weak, though I think Rick Warren might use this to plot more meaningful, hard future Christian work by his followers.

The far left, while focusing on the remarks of Rick Warren in support of Proposition 8, might find some of his other positions quite shocking:

n
Warren attended the Hollywood premier of the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth," and expressed dismay at the Bush administration's initial ignoring of the problem of climate change.

n Warren and his wife "reverse tithed" (a 90 percent contribution) of the profits earned from his best-selling "A Purpose Driven Life" for AIDS relief in Africa.

n
Warren also commented that while the Bible in the Old Testament did indeed state that certain homosexual acts did indeed constitute a sin, he doubted very much that sin even made the current list of top 50 sins damaging people, the broader society, and the world.

So Barack Obama realizes that just because someone does not agree with another individual entirely, they can still find common ground and work together on other important issues.

How does this relate to the Santa Clarita Valley?

Unfortunately, we see many constituencies in our community that simply knee-jerk react to each other, thinking an idea bad simply because the other party came up with it; to wit, the long battle between SCOPE and The Newhall Land and Farming Co.

It seemed to Newhall Land that SCOPE solely existed to oppose its projects, immediately taking issue with every proposal.

Similarly, SCOPE felt that every project undertaken by Newhall Land contained the overarching hand of Satan, evidenced by the group's ignoring of a Palmer project built IN the Santa Clara riverbed in the L.A. County part of Canyon Country that immediately turned into an instant ghetto.

What a shame! Newhall Land probably would rather have not paid library and other fees associated with the outcome of SCOPE litigation involving Westridge. But it's better that other developers with land abutting Newhall's also needed to comply with these standards and not produce development that would ultimately devalue Newhall Land's remaining holdings.

Also, should not SCOPE cooperate more with a local developer with a continuing interest in land holdings in the SCV rather than the alternative out-of-state developer and now heavily leveraged partnership in financial turmoil?

This also applies to politics. Unfortunately, many of the leading lights of the local Republican Party think that any idea of any Democrat stands immediately suspect, and Democrats believe that Republican elected officials solely serve the interests of corporations to the detriment of the ordinary people.

I assert the example of the SCV's leading Republican (Howard "Buck" McKeon) and the leading Democrat (the late Roberta Gillis) to effectively shame a reluctant City Council into the opening of the first winter homeless shelter to show the shining example of cooperation to accomplish real breakthroughs.

And I think Barack Obama sees such breakthroughs with Rick Warren.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident. His column represents his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal.

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