I was all ready to write the normal hope all of you have a blessed Christmas and a Happy Kwanzaa Talk to Danny when out of nowhere came this Rick Warren doing the invocation at the Obama Inauguration drama.
I'm driving into the office and all of a sudden my phone lights up like a Christmas tree in Leimert Park and everybody is saying, "Can You Believe Barack invited Rick Warren to give his Inaugural Speech"? Which to all of them my answer was "YES" and my question was what is so surprising about that? Now I have heard everyone talk about the fact that Rick Warren and Saddleback Church is ultra conservative, there behind the Orange Curtain of Orange County and all of that. But, I have to ask you who are upset?
Didn't you know this when Barack went there along with John McCain during the election? President Elect Obama has from day one said that him and Rick Warren are and have been long time friends, and don't you think Rick Warren (yes, the ultra conservative Rick Warren) demonstrated that fact when he invited both candidates to his church together so that one candidate did not get the upper hand on the other (especially, since it appears Rick Warren's congregants would more likely have been McCain supporters)?
Furthermore, how many Black churches dedicated 40 Days to Living a Purpose Driven Life? I know Loveland (my home church) did. We went out bought the book, bought the work book and had weekly study sessions at different members homes. So why is it that we can study Rick Warren's ideology for worshipping Jesus, but now we are concerned about him saying the opening prayer at the inauguration?
Then there is his stance on Proposition 8. Well as many of you know Rick Warren and I certainly disagree on this (The Sentinel endorsed No on Proposition 8 and personally I voted No on 8 as well), but since African Americans voted overwhelmingly to support Yes on 8; what's the problem now? I can understand if you are No on 8 supporter (be you straight or gay), but almost any pastor you get to say the opening prayer was going to be split on this either for or against (this is one of those no win issues). Besides, President-Elect Obama has said from day one he was going to be one of those people who was and will reach across the isles and play non-partisan politics, so just think of this decision as reaching across the isle and embracing someone who we don't see eye to eye with on every issue.
And lastly, for those of you who did not know, Rev. Joseph E. Lowery, a stalwart of the civil rights movement and co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, will deliver the benediction. So, once again Barack has not left anyone on the sidelines. He has conservatives and civil rights icon's sharing the same stage. I am sure just like in his cabinet appointments, there will be a place and a role for Jewish representation, Muslim's, gays and all people of good will. So again, I ask what is all the fuss about, let's give our President-Elect a chance before we start shooting off at the mouth and casting the first stones.
And lastly, to my original thoughts and plans. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year! The challenges of this past year have been many, and the road will continue to be rough and weary, but we can overcome, we will overcome, we just need to keep our head up, our minds focused and our hearts directed in doing the right thing. Together, there is nothing we can't achieve. We did elect a Black Man President of the United States of America!
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to "Talk to Danny."
God Bless You,
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor