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Monday, January 12, 2009

Clever People and the Inauguration

OK, so we're used to people thinking that there's a Yes-No, Right-Wrong, Black-White, Up-Down answer to most things. The selection of Rev Rick Warren to perform the inaugural prayers raised an enormous ruckus because he espouses views that are used to take benefits (and to many, rights) away from people. Obama was pressed by many in the gay community to rescind this selection.

Personally, I was vastly disappointed by the selection, but did not see his opening prayers as as a gay rights vs homophobia debate. So removing Rev Warren seemed somewhat of a false objective.

However, the selection of our very own Right Rev Gene Robinson, Bishop of New Hampshire, to lead invocation at the 3-day Inaugural Ceremony was highly satisfying. One, it showed the influence that Episcopal Church has on the nature of the gay rights vs homophobe debate.

More surprisingly to me, however, was simple and clever way to defuse the issue. As in a big-tent, Hawaiian-style luau where everyone gets to have a stab at the roast pig, President-elect Obama's people have put forward a message that says "everyone has a seat at our table".

The announcement was simple, smart, affirming and appealing. I'm impressed.

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