>Pastor Problems

>Apparently we liberals are up in arms over the selection of Rick Warren to give the invocation at President-elect Obama’s inauguration.

Overlooked in the uproar is this info from Salon’s War Room:

This time, though, the decision to get involved with Saddleback was actually not Obama’s. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, run by the House and Senate, put together the program for the swearing-in ceremony. Congress, not Obama, invited Warren (as well as scheduling a musical performance by Aretha Franklin; here’s hoping she doesn’t reprise the 2005 inaugural performance of John Ashcroft’s “Let the Eagle Soar”).

Really? Maybe I’m a skeptic, but I’m calling bullshit on that one. I find it hard to believe that if Obama objected to the pastor giving the invocation at his inauguration, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies would still have overruled him.

But what do I know. Definitely worth keeping an eye on, though.

Yes, there are lots of reasons why liberals would hate this choice for the presidential inauguration–Warren’s support of Proposition 8, his anti-choice stance, giving President Bush an “international medal of peace,” plus the whole way he set up Obama with a phony ”cone of silence” deal, etc. etc. Oh, I could go on.

I have my own reasons for not liking Warren, which have nothing to do with his position on social issues and obvious partisanship, and everything to do with what I call his “bullshit driven empire.” When religion and commerce meet, I have a problem. And this strikes me as the antithesis of what Jesus preached:

The ubiquitous “celebripastor” […] recently announced that he and Reader’s Digest have formed a “partnership” aimed at “produc[ing] an inspirational multimedia platform called ‘The Purpose Driven Connection.’”

The Plan: According to a Reader’s Digest press release, “the organizations will pool their international resources to produce and publish this Purpose Driven platform to help people who are seeking their purpose in life and wish to interact with others on their spiritual journeys.” The goal is to “provide a suite of bundled multimedia tools: The Purpose Driven Connection, a quarterly magazine; small group study materials delivered in DVDs, workbooks and downloadable discussion guides; and a state-of-the-art Christian social networking Web site.” All for a $29 membership fee.

This isn’t Christianity, it’s merchandising, and it’s revolting.

There’s already a host of Purpose Driven crap for sale as it is. Someone overturn this money-changer’s table already.

I don’t care that Rick Warren loves fetuses and hates gays, that’s standard-issue with this crowd. I do think he’s profiting from his soul-salvation business and that in my book is Class A hucksterism. He’s a fraud and shouldn’t be given the platform the Presidential inauguration provides.

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