MSNBC's Rachel Maddow has today's best assessment of the Rick Warren-Barack Obama invocation dust up: "Not only is it getting worse, it's getting weirder."
Yesterday, there was Pastor Wiley Drake of First Baptist Church in Buena Park demonizing Warren's participation in the Jan. 20 inauguration of our "evil illegal alien" president-elect, saying God will punish Drake's fellow Southern Baptist preacher Warren.
Wacky fundies who have been critical of Warren's social agendizing Christianity for years have the invocation spat to thank for giving them forums for their twisted views. For instance, we have this from Internet evangelist Pastor Bill Keller:
"For Pastor Rick Warren to bless and give the invocation at the upcoming inauguration for a man who will help ensure millions of babies around the world are slaughtered--and force U.S. taxpayers to fund this legalized infanticide--is no different than if Adolf Hitler had asked Warren to give the blessing and invocation when he became Chancellor of Germany."
Remember the good old days, when it was lefties comparing George W. Bush to Hitler?
Maddow believes the controversy would have subsided before such silliness could take root had Saddleback Church pastor Warren simply kept his own mouth shut. Instead, Warren-- while attempting to deny he ever equated gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia--fueled more fire by accusing his critics of spreading "false accusations, attacks, outright lies, and hateful slander, and really a lot of hate speech," and of suffering from an ailment he called "Christophobia." These would be "people who are afraid of any Christian."
Ironically, the same sort of Christian conservatives who have been critical of Warren are now joining him in playing the victim card.
"It's open season on conservatives and people of faith," argues an Augusta (GA) Chronicle editorial lumping the invocation controversy in with a fire that was set to Sarah Palin's church in Wasilla, Alaska.
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"What's being revealed in this process is that the intolerance of the radical left is coming out," declares black conservative preacher Bishop Harry Jackson Jr. of the Maryland-based High Impact Leadership Coalition.
Perhaps in a bid to get someone with a camera or notepad to interview him, the Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, who is giving the benediction at Obama's inauguration, says he, too, opposes gay marriage.
In still more weirdness, a columnist in the Black Chronicle of Oklahoma City, OK, contends Obama is trying to make Warren his Booker T. Washington.
Better than making him his bitch, one supposes.