Wednesday, January 16, 2013
This One Might Bite Us On The...
Pastor Louis Giglio was invited by President Obama to deliver the invocation at his second inauguration next week. This was announced early last week and almost immediately the queer community was up-in-arms over his inclusion on the official program. Apparently, sometime in the mid-1990s, Mr. Giglio delivered a homily to his congregation condemning homosexuality as a sin.
The furor mounted and by late last week, Mr. Giglio withdrew from the ceremony. Shortly thereafter, it was announced by the White House that he was officially not participating in the Inauguration. A sure victory for the GLBT community and their friends. But, was it really and at what price? Was it even worth the effort?
President Obama has the privilege to invite whomever he pleases as a part of the inaugural program. His theme for this, his second term in office, is "Our People, Our Future." To me, this means one country, one direction. Our President has always been an advocate for equality and inclusion. After all, he is the President of the United States. He is the President of Us All. He isn't just the President of the GLBT community and our allies, he's the President of our haters and oppressors as well. Completely the opposite of his predecessor who was the President of "Only Those Who Think And Act Like Me."
We all know that this President has embraced the GLBT population of this nation. He has proudly welcomed us and included us at the table. His stand on equality is and has always been, very open and very public. Hell, even his very public evolution on marriage equality cost him some voters and fueled his opposition in the recent election.
Our President invited Mr. Giglio to deliver a prayer at the inaugural event knowing his past history. Mr. Giglio accepted the invitation knowing our President's beliefs and his support of diversity, fairness and inclusion. "Our People, Our Future" playing out on the national stage in full view of the country and the world. Americans coming together in hope of building a better world for us all. A weaving together of all the different threads that make up our national fabric.
The tapestry of unity unravelled with the opposition of the GLBT constituency. All of this over an isolated sermon delivered almost twenty years ago; in a different age and a different time. We don't know if Mr. Giglio even believes the same way now. Hell, he, like President Obama, may even have evolved on this issue. Others have changed their outlook in the course of even twenty days. Mr. Giglio may even have changed his over the past decade or so. Or, maybe he hasn't. Regardless, even a misguided or unfounded belief, with no history of exclusion advocacy or segregationist policies, is hardly grounds for protesting a persons ability to offer a prayer for national unity. This is a brief invocation that few, if any, listen. It's not a public policy directive. There are far greater axes to grind and hurdles to overcome.
In my humble opinion, we wasted time and effort over a minor issue. We lost political capital and public support. Up until this point, we, the GLBT community, were the wronged. We were denied opportunity and freedom. Our people were under attack. Now, we are the ones excluding others. It's now our way or no way.
With this unfortunate incident, we have collectively lost our innocence. We've proved ourselves no different from the bigots, haters, oppressors and religious extremists who persecute us. We stooped down to their level. Now, we have to lie with the dogs.
I fear that's a high price to pay for such an empty, hallow gain.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!