Before Christmas, President-elect Obama made the selection of Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and host of a pre-election Q&A, do give the inaugural invocation. Warren, the author of "The Purpose Driven Life" and activist in third world poverty, must have made an impression on Obama.
No sooner had the announcement been made of Warren's selection, that the left hit the ceiling. The cries from the pro-abortion and the GLBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered) communities were deafening. I'm not sure if they were hoping to have Gene Robinson (openly gay Episcopal bishop in New England) offer the prayer. Warren is too conservative to have any place at the Inaugural ceremonies.
With all the uproar, you would have thought that Rev. Jeremiah "god d**n America" Wright was selected. Oh, sorry, that would have been the other side of the political spectrum getting upset.
Nonetheless, Obama raised the ire of the left with his selection of this purpose driven pastor. He raised the ire of the left earlier in the campaign when he had conservative African American pastor and singer Donnie McClurkin involved in a fund raiser.
But the left isn't the only one who is upset with the president-elect for an inaugural decision.
The right wing got upset with the announcement that Obama was going to use President Lincoln's Bible, currently on display at the Smithsonian. Comments were as expected by some folks: "He must not own a Bible himself so he has to borrow one". Or "The Muslim has to put up a front and use a Bible instead of his own holy book."
Obama's ads in the early part of the primary campaign touted his ability to cross over the aisle. There were Republicans and Democrats both praising his abilities as a mediator on crucial votes.
Actually, I think both decisions may show that Obama is more deeds than talk when it comes trying to bridge the gap between left and right. My logic has always been that if you have folks on both ends of the political spectrum mad at you, you must be doing something right.
For the good of the country, let's hope that this initial gesture is a sign of things to come.