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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Rick “Realpolitik” Warren

Democrats upset by the Warren invocation should not be surprised. Realpolitik is what you signed up for. I would ask people to sign my petitions for Green Party ballot access, and people would tell me we need to get the Republicans out of there. So it’s all part of the political calculation. It’s all about winning, right?

Actually, I spoke with conservative Christians as part of my research for my book, and I concluded they’re generally nice on a personal level, if you can set aside their politics for a while. If Obama can speak with Ahmadinejad, he can speak with Warren. Also, ceremonial roles like the invocation might be the only way to involve conservative Christians, since the thought of giving them any real power is so terrifying.

There are a lot of conservative Christians out there. If there were more Greens, maybe we would have a seat at the table too. But we don’t, even though we have the best ideas. (I am somewhat encouraged, however, that "green" processes are becoming more popular in the media, though I hasten to make the distinction between small "g" green actions and big "G" Green Party activism. Live Green, Vote Green.)

Getting back to the idea of dialogs with conservative Christians, I am reminded of Luke 16:26. In the verse, Abraham, in heaven, tells a rich man who is burning in hell, "And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us."

What I found fascinating is that while neither could cross to the other side, they could still talk with each other. So perhaps through communication there might be some respite from suffering for the hellbound, and perhaps it’s ok here on earth for the respective sides to communicate with each other, even though each might believe the other is hellbound.

Four days after the election, I predicted on this blog that in the first weeks of Obama’s presidency, there would be some sort of distraction like "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" was for the Clinton administration. So far this Rick Warren controversy seems to fit the bill. There’s still hope, though. I could easily be wrong. On June 3 I predicted this year’s VP running mates would be Tim Pawlenty and Amy Klobuchar. I at least got it right that it would be a white man and a white woman, and the white woman would be a relative newcomer, but I definitely did get the parties switched around.


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