Warren's awaited invocation fails to provoke

The purpose-driven pastor managed to give an invocation without a hint of homophobia.

Published January 20, 2009 4:24PM (EST)

You may recall a little bit of concern on the left about Barack Obama’s selection of the not-exactly-liberal Rick Warren to perform the inaugural invocation. The megachurch pastor from Southern California, though touted as a new kind of evangelical, has taken traditional, conservative stands on gay rights. (For example, his Web site called homosexuality “an enormous sin.”)

Well, Warren has just done the deed, and suffice it to say, he left the gay bashing at home in Orange County. Gay-rights groups and liberals can still be mad at his presence (and understandably a little protective of separation of church and state), but it’s hard to get mad at the specific content of a prayer as stock as it gets. Pastor Rick hit all the classic notes -- the Lord's Prayer, the Shma (Judaism's main prayer -- that bit about "Hear, O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is one). He even danced up close to referring to global warming:

Help us to share, to serve, and to seek the common good of all. May all people of goodwill today join together to work for a more just, a more healthy, and more prosperous nation and a peaceful planet.

By Gabriel Winant

Gabriel Winant is a graduate student in American history at Yale.

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