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red meat and quiche

By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Dec 18, 2008

David Gibson of the Commonweal crowd is surprised that Rick Warren will be offering an invocation at the Obama inaugural. So am I. But Gibson's ways are not my ways, and whereas I'm surprised that Pastor Rick accepted the invitation, Gibson is surprised that the invitation was extended by President-elect Obama in the first place, since Warren "was viewed by many as having sandbagged Obama at the forum Warren held at his Saddleback SoCal church during the campaign."

Sandbagged? I thought Warren was scrupulously fair in his questioning of Obama. The "many" people who hold a contrary view had not made their presence known to me until I read Gibson's post. At least one other reader was puzzled, and Gibson helpfully explained that Warren had invited the presidential candidates with a promise that they would talk about "climate change and poverty and AIDS in Africa and such"-- topics on which Obama could score points. But the Saddleback Forum "instead focused on more red-meat religious rights topics." Such as abortion: a topic on which Obama's answer was utterly incoherent.

Some people avoid red meat, particularly when there's quiche on the menu. But how could anyone-- even a Democratic operative-- be surprised when a notedChristian, well known for his pro-life stand, questioned a candidate about abortion? What sort of Evangelical or Catholic group would discuss the top issues of the day with a future president without raising that issue? 

Wait; I can answer the latter question. The National Catholic Reporter tells us that leaders of 15 Catholic groups met with the Obama transition team this week, and the topics on the agenda included "international development and trade, health care reform, immigration, domestic poverty and poverty reduction, and the environment."  Not a mention of abortion-- nor of euthanasia, same-sex marriage, embryo research, family life, or any other issue directly involving the 'culture of death.'

The Catholic groups represented include: Catholics United, Pax Christi USA, Network, the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, Conference of Major Superiors of Men, the Jesuit Conference, School of the Americas Watch, Franciscan Action Network, Sisters of Mercy, Africa Faith and Justice Network, the Center of Concern, Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.

Ah, that explains it. Rick Warren might not have been comfortable in that group-- which is only fair, because the group would not be comfortable with Warren. If lunch was served, you can wager there was no red meat on the menu.



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