18 December 2008

Pick your battles

So I'm back in Cincinnati for the holidays, and I'll be in the Midwestern "tundra" until the new year. Before I left LA, I shipped my computer to Apple for repairs, and they received it, repaired it, and shipped it back to me in Northern Kentucky in the same day. It was a 5-day turn around. And it was totally covered by AppleCare!!! For the record, I cannot say enough good things about Apple. Spending time on Vista in the interim reinforced this opinion.

Anyway, I'm sitting here worrying about things, like I usually do - I mean, 2 million jobs lost this year. An economy in shambles. The job market crumbling. High-powered investors bilking charities and towns for 50 billion dollars. And just today, a real stunner - the United States, under the "leadership" of "still-President" Bush, has refused to sign a declaration presented Thursday at the United Nations calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality! And I'm sitting here, worrying, and yet all I hear on the television or on various blogs is how progressives are disappointed in Obama's decision to invite Rick Warren to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration.

Rick Warren - probably less douchey than the evangelicals in Borat: image courtesy of ocregister.com

Seriously, is this as far as we've gotten since the election? This country is faced with gigantic problems created largely by the most incompetent and corrupt administration in the history of our country, and people are hemming and hawing over what preacher Obama invited to the inauguration!?! Has everyone forgotten that Obama ran on a platform not only of hope and change, but of bringing the country together? Last time I checked, there were a LOT of evangelicals in the country - more so than there are gay people, possibly - and Obama needs to reach out to them just as he needs to reach out to a lot of different groups. This doesn't mean that he agrees with Rick Warren, but as far as evangelicals go, the guy's less offensive than many. And according to Wikipedia:
Including the results of the 2008 general elections, two states (Massachusetts and Connecticut) allow same-sex marriage, five states recognize some alternative form of same-sex union, twelve states ban any recognition of any form of same-sex unions including civil union, twenty-eight states have adopted amendments to their state constitution prohibiting same sex marriage, and another twenty states have enacted statutory DOMAs.
That means 40 states either ban same-sex unions outright or adopted amendments to their state constitutions prohibiting it. 80% of the states in this country are currently on the same side of the issue as Rick Warren! Does that make it right? No, of course not! It just means that there's a heck of a lot of work to do, and attacking your new shiny President-elect for reaching across the aisle, or calling this preacher names, is not productive - it's self-destructive. It's subscribing to the same cynicism that left the Republican party in "rebuilding" mode this year. Lucia Brawley recognizes what Obama is trying to do in this situation, and I agree with her when she suggests that "if we can enfold (Rick's) numerous followers into our political dialogue, let them get to know us of all stripes, perhaps we can begin to wear away some of the myths and misconceptions that disconnect us."

I understand that the gay community is hurt by this. But we face many huge problems in this country, and we need all hands on deck, so I hope that people learn to start picking their battles. Gays and lesbians should and will gain equality, with time, and with understanding, because it's the right thing to do.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to worrying, probably about global warming, and the snow that it's causing in Malibu, Seattle, and Las Vegas. Especially since I just watched a Discovery Channel show about tornadoes. Tornadoes have become more and more destructive in the past several years ... in fact, while you've probably heard about Greensburg, Kansas and their efforts to rebuild the town with "green" buildings, I'm sure you've never heard of Manchester, South Dakota. That's because it's now a ghost town after a tornado totally wiped it out on June 24, 2003 and its inhabitants never came back. They never came back! How can we go on fighting about things when global warming is already wiping towns off the map!?! Hello!

Needless to say, I'm picking my battle ... with carbon emissions!

the tornado that destroyed Manchester: image courtesy of silverliningtours.com


5chw4r7z said...

What I want to know is how Obama got the gay and lesbian unconditional vote after time and again saying he opposed gay marriage.
Then when they claim he doesn't really mean it he picks Warren to prove his point.
How come when I over look my candidates fatal flaws they call me a tool?

namhenderson said...

Totally have to agree with you. I just haven't been able to get too worked up about this. Now maybe if he follows this up with not taking particularly progressive stances on gay rights (a la repealing DADT etc). But in general yawn...