JFK to Rick Warren

I have few memories of JFK before those surrounding his death. The doings of presidents meant little to a twelve year old back in 1963. But I remember exactly where I was the moment I heard that he had been shot. And I bet that most of you do, too. That’s a connection we will always share.

From then on he became “our president”. Who knows if he would have had a successful administration. Maybe — maybe not. What we do know is that he became a symbol for a new generation. And that symbol was immortalized in the words “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”

When did we turn our backs on that sentiment? When did we decide that we have to go on the offensive every time something doesn’t go our way? When did it become about me instead of about us? Or am I being naive and its always been that way?

I know that Rick Warren was a poor choice for the inaugeration. But let’s face it, Barrack Obama has repeatedly said that it is his belief that we can disagree about certain issues but still find some common ground to work together. We are not going to like all of his choices — and neither is anyone else. Wouldn’t it be better to give him a chance to at least get sworn in before we judge what kind of a president he is?

Besides, if you think about it for a minute, which religious leader could have been chosen for the invocation that would have met with eveyone’s approval? Ah…maybe that should be the focus of some of this dispute.  There shouldn’t be an invocation during the inaugeration. No matter who does it — no matter what they say — a large number of American citizens will be offended and feel as if their beliefs are not being honored. That’s the whole point of separation of church and state.

I think we’re a little scared. We’ve allowed ourselves to believe that it was our turn to take our equal place in society. We got bruised pretty badly in November. Now, we’re wondering if Obama said all the things we wanted to hear so that we would help get him elected.

Personally…..I’m still hopeful. I’m still excited about the inaugeration. If Rick Warren starts spouting religious hogwash, there’s always the volume control button on my remote.

This is going to be my president — I’ve waited a long eight years for him to get here.


3 responses to “JFK to Rick Warren

  1. Yes we did allow ourselves to believe that it was our turn to take our equal place in society. Equality is our birthright. The physician Ernesto Guevara once said, “The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall.”

    I think we waste our credibility when we get overly concerned with issues like the Warren decision. Our country needs every prayer it can get. In that respect everyone should be welcomed to the table.

    I don’t believe we should go on the offensive every time something doesn’t go our way either. But we should be prepared to shake the trees and make the apples fall.

  2. Hey, I thought he was going to be MY president?

    Which is the scary thing here. Because all these groups (like GLBT and autism families… and 100 other groups with agendas) think that he will make good on his direct and implied promises. Can he really make us all happy now?

    You’re right. He should not be judged until he IS the president. And he…like the presidents before him… can not be fairly judged until well into or AFTER his presidency. Let’s not forget that “W” had like a 97% approval rating at one point…

    I doubt you’ll need your remote control for the inaugeration. I’m sure strict parameters are in place so that Rick Warren doesn’t say the wrong thing. After all, Obama didn’t work so hard at saying the right thing to so many interest groups to have Warren mess up his big moment.

    I don’t have a problem with invocation at the inaugeration. People with religious beliefs turn to their faith in good and bad times. If the commander in chief wants to acknowledge his faith at his big moment, I’m ok with that. We are all looking to him for guidance and putting our faith in him. I think its ok for him to be putting his faith somewhere and looking for guidance too.

    I’m hopeful, as my name implies. But realistic. After all, it is politics. Only time will tell.

  3. he is MY president because he believes e pluris unum– out of many: one. he knows that we are a multitude of tribes rubbing shoulders, trying to share this nation’s resources as best we can. everyone comes here to be part of this shoulder rubbing. they either join an existing tribe, or create their own–and then squeeze in. that’s what we’re all about. and that’s what he sees.

    we need to find a way to accept who we are and share what we have. that’s what i’ve heard him say. that’s why he’s MY president. he wants, he invites–hell, he dares us (by inviting warren) to talk about our differences. he wants us to solve all of our problems. together. amen.

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