Purpose-Driven Choice?

I know I haven't posted in a while. Get over it. I also realize that I haven't followed through on my promise to write about my view of homosexuality...I'll get to it. Just let me find the words. Right now, I have something completely different on my mind.

I'm a little riled up about something; more riled up than I ever would have expected, actually. I'm rather disappointed in Obama's decision to have Rick Warren pray at his inauguration. There are many reasons why people object to this choice. Some are displeased because he has a problem with homosexual behavior. Others are upset because they don't think religion should be included in civil ceremonies. I have to admit, I agree with both of these groups a bit.

But, that's not my main objection to Senator Obama's choice. I think his choice is bland, made for political reasons and, thereby devoid of positive spiritual meaning. There's no way Obama could make a choice that would please everyone, but this choice may please too many. To my mind, Rick Warren represents pop religion. Honestly, I would be very surprised if Obama had been impacted by him in any significant way and that seems dishonest.

I am aware that Rick Warren has done charitable work in Africa and other places, but so have many other spiritual leaders that Obama could have chosen. I also realize there is something important about reaching out to and representing different demographics during the transition to a new administration, but I wonder if prayer is the proper venue through which to do so. And, if it is the proper venue, shouldn't he choose someone who would appeal to an even broader demographic than Rick Warren, such as a Catholic priest or a woman?

This morning, as I was discussing this choice with a friend and her parents and I was surprised to find that I began tearing up as I mused about why Obama hadn't chosen Jesse Jackson. Jackson wept over Obama's election, it would be a brilliant and meaningful statement to have him pray over Obama's presidency. Rick Warren just feels like the same old thing to me instead of a representative of the change our new president promised.

This doesn't seem like enough, but I think my thoughts might come together better in conversation. So, I'd love to hear what you think. Does it matter who prays? Should there even be prayer during civil ceremonies?
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