Waymon Hudson

The More Things "Change", the More They Stay the Same...

Filed By Waymon Hudson | December 18, 2008 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Fundie Watch, Living, Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Barack Obama, inauguration, Rick Warren, Saddleback Church

With the crushing defeats at the ballot box for our community this past November, the one bright spot, the glimmer of hope, that I held on to was Obama's election. While I may not always have agreed with all his stances (marriage equality) or actions (Donnie McClurkin), I always thought that somewhere deep down, he was different- that he somehow "got it."

But with the announcement that mega-hater Rick Warren will be "blessing" Obama and the nation on inauguration day, I am starting to see that change is a long way off for our community.

While the nicely packaged talking points from the Obama camp have said they are "building bridges" by having Warren speak, what they are truly doing is building walls. They are strengthening the existing hatred for our community by giving Warren the biggest audience he has ever had- the entire world will be watching on that historic day.

This is not the time for playing politics because this choice has a very real impact.

This isn't just about Warren's deplorable stance on marriage equality and Prop 8. Many people of faith might share his same views and they are free to have them. This isn't even about him using his pulpit as a place to preach politics and actively campaign against our community.

This is about his very personal and bigoted attacks on who we are as human beings. Comparing LGBT people to pedophiles and our relationships to incest, stirring the atmosphere of hatred under his guise of "religious leader", makes him equal to all the hate-filled, divisive people that have come before him and twisted religion to further hatred for a group of people. Giving him a spot of honor at a moment of national history gives him credence and makes his views more acceptable.

What Obama and his team need to realize is that this is not about politics. While many may view this a political disagreement, it is not. This is personal. This is about our very lives. It is about the dignity, the very existence of our community as Americans and as human beings.

There will be time later for "building bridges" and finding consensus with people. This moment in history is not it. This symbolic support of Warren and his views tells the world exactly where we stand as a country, and how far down the list we stand as a community.

So while I had high hopes for change, it seems what we get at a time when the entire world will be watching and taking cues, is more of the same.

And because of it, my heart hardens a little more.


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Yeah, what the hell was he thinking with this pick?

He was thinking about survival, both political and actual.

With the amount of hate and fear stirred up by the rightwing this past election Obama has to do something to soothe the ruffled feathers of the extremeists who even now are probably praciticing on paper targets that have his face on them.
Some will never be mollified, and hopefully the secret service will be up to the job, but others will be somewhat placated if he has one of their own on hand to put the blessings of "god"(the proper "white anglo saxon" god that we all know is the one true 'god'.) on what they see as a travesty of political correctness and stupidity on the part of the electorate.

Like I said before, welcome to 'under the bus' in the name of political expediency. Hope tire tracks go well with your outfit, we trannys have learned to dress for it.

My thoughts exactly. Thanks for sharing, diddlygrl.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2008 3:29 PM

I second that. I'm not at all surprised. Past is prologue and all the signs were there that this will be what our next four years will be like. We will be mistreated as far as we permit it and exercise the power necessary to stop it.

Thusfar I've seen Wayne Besen not be allowed to get a word in edgewise on Bill-O' and Hilary Rosen let Anderson Cooper's smug assessment of our complaints as much ado about nothing stand sans any meaningful analysis otherwise and Alex's headline post used only as an example of us being termed "upset" much as one would describe Aunt Pittypat having yet another attack of the vapors.

This is an outrageous insult. Not to be visibly planning to get even -- to make it clear that we will spoil their party for them if they persist in spoiling it for us -- is nothing more than an invitation for more of the same.

Waymon, I share your frustration and disgust.

It seems all Obama's camp is able to do is talk. During the campaign I so little action or commitment on HIV/AIDS issues and the inequality in the right to married is just among the many issues fueling the stigma of HIV/AIDS.

Obama's camp is great with delivering talking points and saying what the next President is commited to, but we never hear it right from his own mouth.

This past September I can't even begin to tell you the ordeal it was just to obtain a statement for the United States Conference on AIDS from then Presidential candidate Obama. It was clear to me his camp feared to have Obama speak on HIV/AIDS issues and in Florida his campaign dragged their feet for the candidate to campaign against Amendment No. 2.

I'm saving my hopes and dreams for when Hillary runs in 4 years.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2008 3:50 PM

I can't help but remember his gay outreach person in Iowa. My wife chairs the progressive coalition and one of the things they do in the run-up to those important Iowa caucuses is provide a forum for candidates and their issues representatives to make presentations to the leadership of the state's progressive organizations. The Obama gay outreach person was so ignorant about LGBT issues -- prepared only to discuss DADTDP -- that that mostly straight crowd lectured him on them, especially on the fact that civil marriage equality and gender identity inclusion in basic civil rights was what defined the cutting edge and why. It was a truly pitiful showing. How bad was it? Well, even Dodd's Mormon wife did a better job.

I have to take a more broad view of this in that he is actually having two minister one do the invocation and one do the benediction. One of them is very conservative and one is very progressive. And I think that this is exactly the moment that he should build bridges and include people. It establishes a tone of inclusion and a style of leadership in which he efforts toward leading everyone in this country.
Consider: How many of us felt that Bush 2 was not our president but was a president for only a certain portion of the population? Ultimately where did that get us? Would our country fare any better if we now could say that we hove a president who is our president and not their president? Ultimately it would get us exactly where our last administration got us.. divided.. fractious.. picking teams and infighting with plenty of hatred to go around. Well that worked so well last time around... So I would rather have a president who is not exclusive and picking a side on these issues but looking toward including everyone at the table because i know how the exclusion felt and I believe that excluding us bred in us a fire to change things. If we then in turn exclude others, we can't reach any understanding we can only breed a fire against us.
Obama is doing exactly what I expected him to do and hoped that he would do and this inclusive attitude toward leadership is why I voted for him.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2008 3:57 PM

Where a people's basic rights are concerned, there is no middle ground -- you either support them or you don't. All I've seen from Obama is that he falls short and is kissing up to the arch-enemies of them. It's not time to soft-pedal the reaction to this gross insult, it's time to sharpen the pickets on the damned fence.

Angela Brightfeather | December 18, 2008 8:48 PM

So, here we go again. Another round of being thrown under the bus, but this time the victims are a bit different.

Just to make sure that everyone understands me, I don't like this guy Warren. He stinks, his positons on SSM and abortion rights stink and generally he is a perfect caricature for a Monty Python skit about what the perfect American Preacher of hate should be. But I have other questons also.

How does he stand on Hate Crimes, ENDA and DADT? Has anyone even bothered to ask? Maybe he is an ace in the hole for Obama on these issues when they come up. Lets remember, Obama loves to play poker and he may be just trying to sweeten the pot before he goes all in.

While I totally sympathize with GLB's on Prop 8 and about Warren being a slap in the face to all GLBT people and to women in general, I have to say that after last year and what happened, I truly know how you feel and all this, is just more dung piled on to the previous dung, suffered by the Trans Community last year. So now we are all thrown under the bus, some of us twice. But even so, you can now imagine how it felt when it came from within our own community. At least Warren is as far from being in the GLBT community as Fred Phelps. So while the anger and dislike is applied to both, while your at it, throw Barney out there for me with those other two and have them all stand behind an HRC sign for me so that I can take a picture of what real political and religious activism is in this country.

While everyone is cursing the moon about the right to be married or not, how about trying to remember that Hate Crimes, ENDA and DADT were issues that needed solutions because lives depend on those solutions, way before the issue of the right to marry and try and get the order of the issues that need to be corrected in the right order instead of playing leap frog.

All this brings to mind the time I picketed the HRC dinner in DC a few years back about ENDA and one young, handsome, well dressed, gay man smiled at me in passing as he went up the elevator saying loudly, "it's not your turn honey, stand in line." Perhaps now he understands how much that hurt me to hear him say that.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2008 4:18 PM

I get from your comment that you think civil marriage equality does not encompass issues that "lives depend upon" with the same gravitas as hate crimes, DADTDP (don't forget that pursue part -- it's the part they violate with near-impunity these days), and civil rights (I won't insult them by suggesting that ENDA comes even close to sufficing as a solution). Are you nuts or just so highly willfully ignorant that you should be holiday red from embarrassment? I'm not going to tick off the many reasons for you. They're there for you to see if you choose to.

That many gay people are anti-trans bigots doesn't make this insult from the Obama InauguPimps any less of one. It hurts those of us who've been in the trenches fighting with the collective you, too, as I have been since the 1950s, probably long before you the individual were even born.

Ever hear the phrase keep yur friends close and your enemys closer - I think a "chill pill" is in order and give Obama the benefit of the doubt.

Agreed. Do I like it? No. Is it politics? Yes.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 19, 2008 4:29 AM

Generally I believe leadership is not being universally "loved" by a long stretch. Everybody feels that they are "thrown under the bus" about something. The last election showed that conservatism, as it had been known, is too far to the right and the Republican "brand" has been co-opted. If the communication of our truth were easy it would have been done thirty years ago.

Though Obama did not choose either pastor by having both he insures that more obsolete "far right" elements watch the inauguration ceremony, hear Obama's message of inclusiveness,(here we could debate sincerity)and bind the wounds of the country at a time it can no longer tolerate additional deterioration. Too much is at stake for too many unemployed people. So it is not quite our turn as yet, but we are much closer. I too want patience "right now." I too find this a frustration.

I would fear the president who satisfies too many people at one time. I don't think the country can afford it. Do not harden your heart Waymon, "A faint heart makes feeble hand."

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 19, 2008 4:30 AM

Generally I believe leadership is not being universally "loved" by a long stretch. Everybody feels that they are "thrown under the bus" about something. The last election showed that conservatism, as it had been known, is too far to the right and the Republican "brand" has been co-opted. If the communication of our truth were easy it would have been done thirty years ago.

Though Obama did not choose either pastor by having both he insures that more obsolete "far right" elements watch the inauguration ceremony, hear Obama's message of inclusiveness,(here we could debate sincerity)and bind the wounds of the country at a time it can no longer tolerate additional deterioration. Too much is at stake for too many unemployed people. So it is not quite our turn as yet, but we are much closer. I too want patience "right now." I too find this a frustration.

I would fear the president who satisfies too many people at one time. I don't think the country can afford it. Do not harden your heart Waymon, "A faint heart makes feeble hand."

Once again - the Democrat got our votes, then tossed us aside.

Bill Clinton got the gay vote in 1992; Don't Ask Don't Tell was signed not long after at midnight (as if we wouldn't notice).

Obama got our vote; now we're once again being thrown under the bus.

Yes, history does repeat itself.

We haven't been thrown under the bus (yet). The guy is not a part of the administration, and is not making policy. You're falling in the same trap the far right was trying to use against Obama during the campaign ..... for all we know Obama could make a strong statement during his inauguration for GLBT equality. I'm as mad as hell as everyone else about the loses we took on Nov 4th throughout the Country - but let's quit rushing to judgement.

Thanks for the comments, gang. I think I'm a little confused by some. Why do we have to be inclusive of Warren? Shouldn't we treat him the same way racists and other extremists are treated? Why is he acceptable because he "just" hates the LGBTs?

And I am extremely concerned that by including him in this huge international event that is part of history, it raises his profile and makes him a more powerful and "legitimate" voice in the future. He'll be the guy that prayed at Obama's inauguration, not just the pastor of a mega church in California. That's elevating a common bigot to a place of international importance, all in the name "inclusiveness."

I just don't get it.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | December 20, 2008 12:55 AM

I did not call him a common bigot. He is a mega church bigot who is going to lead to more narrow minded persons watching Obama's inaugural address.

We have to look for the good in every situation.

Perhaps the benediction will include Christ's admonition to the masses about to stone the "adulterous" woman. "Let he without sin..."

I just don't think some people get it. Obama fell into two huge traps that we had hoped Democrats were smarter than to fall into: (a)"compromise," "bipartisanship," and "getting along" means the left gives in to the extreme-right, and (b) that homophobia is a simple political disagreement.

Obama got to pick the new Billy Graham, and he picked Rick Warren. Thanks a lot, Barack!