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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Anti-gay pastor blights historic inauguration

    It seems fitting that President-elect Barack Obama should be inaugurated the day after Martin Luther King Day. As our nation’s first black president, he represents for many the realization of the dream of equality that Dr. King longed for and preached about so fervently. Obama’s work as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago and his early career as a civil rights attorney echo Dr. King’s spirit of service. Obama celebrated the King holiday with a visit to Walter Reed Army Medical Center and volunteer work at the Sasha Bruce House, a Washington shelter for homeless teens. He devoted his last day before taking office to the sick and needy, rather than the strong and powerful. These actions portend a presidency committed to civil rights and to meeting the needs of the voiceless.

    The most notable blight on this historic inauguration is the inclusion of Reverend Rick Warren, the founder of the evangelical, ultra-conservative Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., in the program. He will give the invocation. Warren is known as staunchly anti-gay, unequivocally opposing same-sex marriage. In choosing Warren, Obama has chosen to include a note of bigotry in the day’s events, one that does not belong in the welcoming of a leader who seeks to follow in the footsteps of one of America’s most important champions of civil rights. Let us hope that Obama’s presidency reminds us more of Martin Luther King Jr. than Rick Warren. The date of the inauguration is serendipitous; hopefully, it is also an indication of what the next four years will bring.

    – Heather Price-Wright is a creative writing junior.

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