Was it a mistake or wrong for Obama to choose anti gay Evangelist Rick Warren to deliver his invocation? Let's just say, on the surface, it make as much sense as an enemy combatant asking Dick Cheney for a bubble bath. In a few recent sound bites Rick Warren has, to some degree, changed his attitude toward gays, at least in words. Maybe with the possibility of more fame, he'll deliver the invocation in drag. If Rich Warren does alter his attitude toward gays, it's not the result of some social awakening, it's probably the result of President Elect Barack Obama brilliantly playing into Reverend Warren's real God, his Ego.
But to me, there's a larger issue at stake. I'm not a religious man, by any means. What you consider prayer, I consider covering all my bases, or at worst talking to myself (and I know I'm not God, just look at my stack of unpaid bills). You give Him or Her credit for the creation of this universe, I prefer to issue blame. While others think the fundamental question is whether or not our founding fathers truly meant that there should be a separation of church and state, I think the more fundamental problem is that there should be a separation of church and God! Yes, you heard me (or read it correctly), the separation of church and God. The dollar bill and the pledge of allegiance reads "under God," not under the roof of a cathedral!
The belief in God, a supreme being, an all knowing deity, universal mind, or an all powerful emergency room nurse who doesn't have to ask for insurance, is not the problem. It's when churches get involved in religion and hand out rules and regulations, (yes, regulations, which are good for the church, but un-American for the government; the republican form of separation of church and state). Did our founding fathers really think it un-American not to believe that the earth is 5000 years old and the entire population was created by a couple of horny residents of the Garden of Eden, (although those same creationist's believe it's moronic for middle eastern women to believe that God (Allah) wants them to wear black outfits that shows as much skin as a bee keeper.) The Religious right thinks that everyone should follow their doctrine or else you are sinners -- evil doers, democrats that sacrifice embryos to their heathen Gods in exchange for magical potions.
I have nothing against being spiritual. Through spirituality it's possible for some of us to feel connected, like we're one with the universe (even when we're alone on a bare mattress eating left over's that smell like they came from the Last Supper). I believe our forefathers were spiritual people (some even taught spiritual hymns to their slaves).
As the Constitution permits, people should be able to worship in any church they want and pray to any God they prefer even one whose image can be seen duplicated on a polyp removed during a colonoscopy. I just don't think that any church, religious order, political party, army or angry spouse should claim that God is on their side (or has signed on as a member of their congregation!) First off, let's go back to basics; No one has definitive proof that there is a God. In fact every time I look in the mirror I have my doubts. I figure if I was made in God's image it must have been shortly after he had a stroke. And where is the actual evidence that God really exists. We have yet to find finger prints, DNA (not that we have anything to compare them with), or a reliable eyewitness. People (even our soon to be ex President) have claimed to have spoken to God, but none have ever recorded that conversation. You think if there was a God floating around someone would have had a camera on Him or Her and posted it on You Tube or the NSA would have certainly caught Him or Her on a wire tap. In fact, if you're so sure that your religious affiliation owns a piece of Him or Her, why not set up few cameras around the church. (Okay, I can see why Catholic priests would frown upon that practice.)
But let's assume that God does exist. Just because you worship Him or Her, (those pronouns work even if God's a cross dresser, although, if God does dress as the opposite of His or Her sex than maybe we are the one's that have it all wrong). Back to my original hypothesis. Every major religion, other than Satan worshiping, or an addiction to elective plastic surgery, base their philosophy on being created by God, and in some form call their place of worship God's house (if that's the case it's presumptive to believe that He or She would have decorated it like that).
If we all could put aside our rights of ownership and take our leash off God and think of Him or Her as having no membership in any political party, no allegiance to any church, no sexual preference, no sitting, standing, and especially kneeling requirements, and possessing very eclectic tastes in fashion, imagine how much more enjoyable the church experience would be (especially the music). And more inclusive! Arabs, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Baptists, Protestants, straights, gays and even gun salesmen could worship together, or choose not to worship at all and instead get drunk and shoot out stain glass windows.
We could take pressure off God, who wouldn't have to pretend to choose sides, or sit through the same prayers over and over again, and listen to stories about blind lepers, pestilence, disease and how He sent His only Son down to get killed for our sins (what kind of father must that make Him feel like). And if God was a woman, a mother would not want to be reminded that She sent Her son down to earth dressed so poorly.
We should think of ourselves as living in God's image, just a guy or gal, (or in some cases both) who doesn't particularly care how anyone else dresses (unless you stated so on an invitation), who you sleep with (or marry or divorce, or leave your pregnant spouse and seven children for), or what profanities you use (except on FBI wire taps) and would just like to see all the things he created live in harmony, so He or She doesn't have to make us humans take antacids as part of being made in His or Her image. Maybe we can look at each other without the assumed filter of and judgment (of someone who we've never met) and maybe we can see each other for creatures just trying to find some happiness, so that when we meet our maker, we don't show up with a frown on our face and a list of complaints.
If that were to be, the idea of government and church not being separate would now seem as ridiculous as being abducted by aliens and asking them to drop off your absentee ballot or one party having all the good guys, all the right answers, and an eternal filibuster proof majority.
Wouldn't it be great to think that we are truly all created equal not just on paper but to each other in the flesh (no matter how much flesh we have) and that God's most powerful gift is love and to love another person no matter their gender, their bank account or looks (except for bad toupees) is far more Godly than denying the pledge of love to any group of people (other than yodelers).
Go to church, sing songs, pray, but don't presume that your church's laws are His or Hers. How the hell do you know? Don't tell me the evidence is undisputable because Moses spoke to God who came to him as a burning bush (God could have certainly found a better disguise, unless Mosses happened to be carrying a bag of marshmallows) and made Moses (who by then was an old man) carry the stone tablets of the ten commandments (that must have weighed a ton each) down Mount Sinai.
If you want to believe that someone spent forty years or even just two days and three nights in the pounding desert sun without food, pools, cheap buffets, casinos, or topless showgirls, fine. Believe it with all your heart. I will fight (well okay I'm exaggerating here, I'll demonstrate) for your right to believe it. But if I don't believe in what is written in the Bible, either version, the movie, or the soon to be produced graphic novel by the people who did Sin City, that doesn't make me less spiritual, or less patriotic, or un-American. Like I mentioned earlier I don't at this writing believe in God (although I won't say it out loud and certainly not on my death bed), but if you do believe, instead of chastising me or labeling me a subversive who's against everything American -- just kneel down and pray for my soul.