Friday, December 19, 2008

What Am I Missing?

I am about to stir up some more sh*t here, and I know I will get some flak for this post, but I am soldiering on anyway. First of all, I think by now anyone who reads my blog knows I don’t care for Obama. It’s my right, and I defend it. I don’t trust the man. I actually want to like him; I want to see what everyone else sees, but I don't. To quote Naomi Klein, (who is about as left-wing as one can possibly be), as she states in the New Yorker Magazine,

“I’ve been at rallies and seen him speak, and I find that feeling that one feels. “It is thrilling and its churlish not to allow yourself to be thrilled. We crave inspiration, and it’s a bleak life to always be dissecting things. But the main feeling that Obama creates in me is fear, because I see people fooling themselves. If you actually look at his policies, what they reflect is the triumph of the right-wing political paradigm since Reagan, and I think he could set things back dramatically, because for young people who are getting engaged in politics for the time time, for them to be disillusioned is very, very damaging.” “He’s telling regular people what they want to hear, and then in the back rooms he’s making deals and signing on to the status quo.”

Now Obama has signed on Rick Warren to give the invocation prayer at the inauguration. Rick Warren! Obama campaigned on a platform to end the extreme religious right viewpoint that has a stranglehold on America. During his campaign, anyone who didn’t care for Obama was automatically labelled a racist and a bigot. So, Obama, of all people, should understand that racism and homophobia are two sides of the same coin.

Rick Warren is opposed to stem cell research, cloning and euthanasia. He said these things were non-negotiable because “God’s word is clear on these issues.” He opposes women’s legal rights of choice, comparing it to the Holocaust. He actively campaigned for Proposition 8 in California, overturning the rights of gays to marry. As a Democrat, these were the very issues upon which Obama campaigned, and for which he was elected. "Change you can believe in."

Isn’t there something slightly disingenuous about choosing Rick Warren to give the invocation prayer? The political spin argument in favor of it is that Obama is “reaching across the aisle” and being inclusive. It is inclusive to choose a diehard right-wing extremist, whom many of Obama's supporters have referred to as a bigot, to pray at his inauguration? What am I missing here?

Ann Curry interviewed Rick Warren about this issue. My personal opinion is, it's time to get into the 21st Century, and get rid of the ignorance from the Dark Ages. And it's time to stop letting these self-righteous religious zealots have control over how people live. There is a huge difference between religion and spirituality.

Change? No, just more of the same old, same old.

32 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Here's my take,

1), people had such incredibly high, and unrealistic, ideas about Obama that he can't help but fail them.

2), I think he was definitely the best candidate in the race, although that doesn't mean I think he'll fix everything. That would be highly unrealistic.

3) I'd prefer him to have selected somebody else for his inaguration but it's only one decision so I'm prepared to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he is intentionally reaching across the aisle.

Jo said...

Charles, yes. Exactly my point. It will be interesting to see how it all pans out. You now, the silly thing is, I wish I liked and trusted Obama, but I just do not. I have this real "wait and see..." attitude, and I wish I didn't. I really do!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I agree with Charles on his points one and two. I have even heard one young British lass refer to him as "like a Messiah". These people will be disappointed. But overall, I have liked most of what I have heard from Obama and hopes he can do even a portion of what he has spoken of. He has already made a difference in the way the world views the USA and has opened the possibility of dailogue and peace where previous Presidents had only sowed the seeds of war and strife. He may be no saint but he is the best hope of a breath of fresh air and a return of America towards a real democracy.

Finally, I would also tend to disagree with your labeling of Rick Warren as a bigot. Granted I do not know that much about the man but from reading his books and from what I have read about his actions, he would not fall in the category of someone who has "preconceived" ideas and "hatred or intolerance" for those with differing views.

Firefly said...

Ready, aim... pop. Sorry I fired a blank. I don't want to comment in US politics cause it's not my place. We have our own politics to worry about with general elections coming up early next year. And its going to be an interesting election.
We are heading off on holiday tomorrow so I want to take this opportunity to wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. May this Christmas bring lots of joy and may the new year bring even more. I will be back online on the 3rd or 4th of January so we will chat again then.

Jo said...

LGS, but unfortunately, he does have hatred and intolerance for people with different views. That is why he actively campaigned for Proposition 8 in California. I know it is a hot potato issue, but it was devastating for a lot of people. He has compared legalized marriage in the LGBT community to incest, polygamy and pedophilia. That is the very definition of bigotry. And it is the very antithesis of what Obama believes in and campaigned for.

Firefly, yes, politics in South Africa is nothing if not interesting. Have a wonderful holiday, and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Russell said...

Rick Warren... hmmmm, interesting.

You can see what Mr. Obama is doing, can't you? (I am sure you do...) He is trying to bring in a cross section of people as a representation of his intended way of leading. Dr. Warren is not a man I agree with but he was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world a few years ago.

Obama is trying hard to get support from conservatives - and he will need all the support he can get given what he will have to deal with.

I noticed he also selected Elizabeth Alexander to read a poem and has Yo Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, and others playing a John Williams piece. I like those choices.

The really odd couple, so to speak, will be to see John Roberts, Jr. - Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (who I actually like a lot though I do not agree with him) giving the oath to Mr. Obama (who I don't like a lot but who's policies I like more than McCain's).

And so it goes. Just always remember, it's politics, politics, politics! And politics makes extremely unusual bed fellows or however that saying goes.

Would I have picked Rick Warren to be part of the few people on the stage that day? No, no, no. But, well, what the heck? As the saying goes, it is better to know where your enemies are so you can keep an eye on them....

Jo said...

Russell, yes, you're probably right. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer. Still... I think there could have been many, many other preferable choices, especially after Warren actively campaigned for Proposition 8, which hurt a lot (!!!) of Obama's supporters. It's like saying, "Okay, I have your vote, now here is a nice lemon pie in the face."

Russell said...

Oh, Johanna, I forgot to mention that when I was submitting my comment earlier I was hanging upside down from monkey bars with my eyes crossed and swallowing my chewing gum! I had eaten a nice poinsettia earlier and will be eating a turkey meal later before I read under a dim light! Heh!!

When it comes to politics, well, what do people say? Something. I forget. But it is relevant. If only I could remember.

I think I'll another poinsettia leaf!

Take care and keep up your thought provoking posts!! We like them. We like them a lot!

Dr.John said...

I value your opinion but I am beginning to like Obama. I really think he is trying to bring the country together.
I know that when you stand in the middle both sides throw things at you but I think he's really trying. He promised he would try. At the same time things will be different.
I wouldn't have chosen that pastor either.

frizzy scissorhands said...

did we expect anything to change ... i mean really?

c'mon, now.

Jo said...

Russell, sometimes I feel as if I am pushing the envelope a bit too much. You know, that I should stick to nicer more ladylike things. But darn it anyway, stuff like this makes me mad. It is deception. Plain and clear deception. I have a real wait and see attitude about it all...

Dr. John, I don't think anyone can be all things to all people, and in inviting Rick Warren to speak at his inauguration, Obama did not bring people together, he has alienated his followers, and there is a huge backlash now as a result.

Frizzy, oh, yes. Plus ca change, plus c'est la meme chose. *sigh*

JR's Thumbprints said...

He didn't get my vote because he wasn't on Michigan's ballot during the Democrat's primary; this doesn't mean I voted Republican either. So, I guess my expectations aren't as high as most of the younger folks.

Jo said...

JR, well, if I were an American, I definitely would not be a Republican. I would be a Democrat. But I don't think Obama is the best choice. But, time will tell...

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

You don't understand.


Barack Obama is God.

On the way to work,you might trip.

Or not.

He my personal saviour.

Well, I did write a book once,called The Black Icon--too far a stretch?

Jo said...

Ivan! You're back! No, Obama is not God. Not even close! You have been hypnotized. When I count to three and snap my fingers, you will wake up.

One ... two ... three ...

SNAP!

Bandobras said...

It's one thing to stop attacking others because of the way they think. It's another to give bigots a high profile spotlight. Obama could find hundreds of right wing preachers that aren't so divisive if he wants to reach across the aisle. He obviously prefers the larger persona this bigot will give him.
It is sad and I hope not a hint of what is to come but I expect it is.

Jo said...

Bandobras, "He obviously prefers the larger persona this bigot will give him. It is sad and I hope not a hint of what is to come but I expect it is." Oh, yes. Obama is an arrogant s-o-b. It's all about him. People will find out soon enough!

Country Girl said...

I say it's just a prayer, so let it go.

The Pink Cowboy said...

I voted for Obama and I am starting to feel queasy. Is this a red flag? As a gay human I feel very upset about having Rick Warren, who I feel is an utterly ignorant person when it comes to understanding the gay community, say the invocation at the Inauguration. I know he is trying to reach out. Whatever...I still feel insulted, I am beginning to feel he is only a politician. I hope I am wrong.

Anonymous said...

al masih ad-dajjal.

Anonymous said...

This is for Jo and everyone else that seems to be having such trouble "trusting" Obama. No, this is not an attack and no, I don't think you are a racist for having reservations. I think after many, many years of absolute duplicity from our regional and national political figures it might be better that we all inch towards a philosophy of 'trust but verify". I don't think Obama is responsible for all the feelings and desperate wishes that people want to project on to him, especially after the last 8 years of open banditry from the White House,(did you vote for him, Jo? Twice?) but I do think that in Barack we have at least a chance that we will get a good look at the inner workings of our frail democracy--and have a crack at doing something about preserving it. I am not expecting perfection from President Obama--just honesty and integrity. I trust that he will bring that...and will be paying close enough attention to inspect my expectations.

As for Rick Warren and his ilk, I think we might be missing the point on that too. We can have no impact on the extreme religious right if we leave them inside the cone of their fundamentalist silos thumping away at the world from a 6000 year-old perspective. Their views need to be brought out into the open and I think that is what Obama is doing. We ignore them (and ridicule their perspectives on the world) at our peril.

Sit A Spell said...

Great post! I am "afraid" of what will come in the next 4 yrs, but know God is still in contol.

BTW...i did not read ANY of the above comments : )

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love your Blog!

Now, as for Obabma. You are very astute as well as psychic so your "feelings" come from a place that is directly connected to the "source".

Looking in his Astrological Birth Map one can see many potentials....and self delusion is a great possibility with his Neptune squaring his Sun.

Then I see his Saturn in Capricorn....he stands guard at the gates of antiquity. He is a plutocrat in his soul ( Saturn is in the house of the Soul ) and desires no change at all.

Has anyone noticed his choices for cabinet appointments? All old school mental, spiritual and social handicaps.

Obama is a tool of the Kleptocracy. Nothing more, nothing less.

Jo, I'd love to see your birth map! It has to scream "psychic".

Thanks for engaging and enlightening the populace at large!

jamie

Anonymous said...

I am interested in why you state that,"there is a huge difference between religion and spirituality."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous, the best way to understand the glaring differences is to get Eckhart Tolle's books, read them, and then compare the understanding to what is taught in any church.

I think that the New Testament is just as damaging as the Old Testament because women and children were still seen as second class citizens.

Even though this Jesus was trying to teach equality the message was completely lost due to this fact.

There is so much ignorance and prejudice ( not to mention murder, incest, bigotry and more!) in the bible I do not see how anyone could mistake it for a tome of guidance on a healthy expression of the self.

I find that the bible insults my intelligence more than anything that I have ever read.

Perhaps this is what Jo means by this statement.

Jamie

Anonymous said...

One can define religion as, "something one believes in and follows devotedly." Can Eckhart Tolle's philosophy not be thought of as a type of religion?

Anonymous said...

Well.......I suppose if you believe in yourself...then yes! And a resounding YES!!

Religion is a handicap...it's a crutch passed out as you walk through the doors of any church.

It absolves all responsibility for our personal thoughts made into actions IF we only believe in our salvation through this Jesus guy.

I take that back. That's a wheel chair offered at the alter instead of a crutch.

In the books that I read all responsibility for paradise (heaven) lies wihtin in one...not without. We have the ability to manifest heaven or hell right here on Planet Earth if we so choose.....and it looks as if a lot of people choose to create hell.

Religion is a wheel chair, a crutch and an electrical, orthaopedic bed.....the kind that does everything for you except sleep.

I've attended many denominations in my life but have never heard one priest or pastor speak of responsibility to the self and others. I've never heard one pastor talk of how beautiful we are as we enter upon this Earth Plane. Not one.

It is a very sad thing to watch so many people drive or walk to a building to be told that they are the very opposite of what I know each soul to be. The amount of energy wasted is enormous on such vain and ignorant pursuits.

I often wonder what kind of world we could create if we ALL attended the "church" of universal love and accpetance.
I once was approached ( actually solicited at my front door) by a nice man and his wife asking me to attend their "new church".

I told them "thank you, but I attend church every day of my life. Church is everywhere that I go...not just a particular destination."
They looked astounded as they searched for a retort. None could be found.

How does one teach that (universal brotherhood) from such an insular point of view....from such compartmentalized thought patterns?

If we believe in ourselves then there are no limits to what we can harmoniously manifest here on Earth.

The Eckhart Tolles, Jesus Christs, Albert Einsteins,Madame Blavatskys and the like teach that one has to become the thing that they most desire. If we desire love then we must be love. If we desire peace then we must be peace. If we desire unity we must be the embodiment of that sentiment or desire.
It does not reside outside of us or is some paranormal realm of pearly gates and harp strains.

It lives within each and everyone of us.

Jamie

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Jo. I think that I will be quiet now and let you speak for yourself.....I need to go work on that.

Please forgive the intrusion.

Jamie

Roy said...

Obama said that this election is not about him. Smart man. No one man can represent all of the people or for that matter even 50% of the people. He said it is up to us. He is not promising to fix things, he is promising to try. If you want to fix things your way, he wants you to have that opportunity. He believes, from what I see, that we can all get along. He is a Law Professor and believes in the the rule of Law.

When all is said an done this country is not about freedom or democracy. Those are words that have 1000 meanings to any given 800 people. What makes this country work is the rule of Law. Law is always in transition but at any given moment it is fixed. What is open to interpretation is resolved by a legal method.

Just getting back to the Status Quo of 2000 will be a welcome change.

I believe in Obama as a man who says what he means, but the difficulty is that he is not a idealouge, he is pragmatic which means there is a lot of potential for change in says (the direction he want to go) and what eventually is done (what he actually gets done).

It is not that he is disingenuous it is he has to wait to see where the road leads, and he say that frequently.

The important thing is he is already setting up channels to listen to anyone who can get to a computer.

Anyone who places too much faith in any man is bound to be disappointed. Put that faith in yourself and get out and change your corner of the world.

Become the change you want to see. - Ghandhi

Anonymous said...

Ummmm.....the "law of the land" I assume is what you are speaking of.

If man is flawed and his societies corrupt and perverse then would it not standthat his laws are as well?

I am sorry that he is a lawyer because this means he has been brainwashed.

It is time to wake up to the reality of the world we have manifested whether through will or willful negilgence.

Obama is nothing more than a projection of the mass mind.

It is time for us to grow up collectively for the sake of our children and take responsibility for every structure we have created that confines our minds and spirit to outmoded expressions of being in thsi world.

The Law? The law is truth. Where do we see truth in this culture or society?

Anonymous said...

As far as Rick Warren, he did reach across the aisle which may appease some, but it was for an utterly useless and one-time function.
But I do worry that people expect un-humanly feats for him to accomplish in just four years.

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