Friday, December 19, 2008

The Thin Line

Most people know the old addage, 'The difference between love and hate is a thin line.' The vigor one has for someone they love can sour into the same passionate response as experienced as hate. Anyone who has ever loved someone more than anything they've ever imagined--and then, hated that very same person when their love ended can testify to this strange but true reality.

And, we don't have to look to relationship gone bad to see a modern example of this phenomena. We only need turn to Barack Obama's decision to have Rick Warren pray his inauguration. Just a month ago, the tide of pride and hoopla surrounding his election was heard the world over. Who'd've thunk he'd ever get elected? Liberals, gay folks, and moderate America was celebrating like no other. Coming off 8-years of President Bush, America was ecstatic over Obama.

And just as bright and shiny as the celebration began, it is fizzling with the same intensity. And, why? Because a politician, who never supported gay marriage in the first place, picked an evangelical who has said horrible things about gay marriage but supports civil partnerships, just as Obama does. They have a common issue, granting legal rights to gay folks--but using different language to justify it. And, to Obama's credit, he picked a liberal the Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, a wonderful liberal in his own right who does support gay marriage, to end his inauguration. In this way, he is sandwiching himself between religious extremes hoping to be the middle ground in American politics.

Unfortunately what Obama didn't expect is that in American religion, nothing is worse than being 'luke-warm' and in politics luke-warm often equals 'middle ground'. He is learning that his position will offend both sides of the religious debate. To Obama's credit though, he doesn't seem to care. He is forging ahead doing what he thinks is the right thing and, I would agree. But then, I know that Obama is a politician and not a prophet.

Maybe some liberals were hoping for an opposite-President to everything Bush wasn't. Such an idea is misguided at best and naively ignorant at worst. However, from the looks of things, it sure looks like liberal America put their hopes in Obama in a way that is disengenuous to any healthy relationship by championing him as their savior in American politics. It won't take long (and we can already see that) as bitterness will surely follow. It's a shame though, Obama hasn't even stepped foot in office and we've already turned on him.

I shudder to think what'll happen when Obama disappoints us again (and, he surely will). Will we call for impeachment if we discover an unpleasant secret of his? Will we impeach him because he still smokes cigarettes?

Seriously, we're blowing this thing WAY out of proportion. We elected Obama because we wanted something different in Washington. Let's give him a chance to show us something different rather than just more of the same sort of 'its us against them' mentality that has continued to divide us as a nation.

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