The news yesterday didn't seem controversial at first… "Aretha Franklin and Dr. Rick Warren, an evangelical minister of the Saddleback Church, are among the select group of people who will participate in Barack Obama's inaugural swearing-in ceremony on Jan. 20," the New York Times wrote. "Mr. Obama has also chosen Elizabeth Alexander, an African-American poet at Yale University, and some of the world's premier musicians, including Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma, to share the podium with him. In honoring the civil rights movement, Mr. Obama has asked the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery, dean of the civil rights movement and co-founder with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, to deliver the benediction."
But per Politico, the news about Warren -- who supported the victorious anti-gay-marriage California ballot proposition -- infuriated gay-rights groups. "'Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans,' the president of Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, wrote Obama Wednesday. '[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.'"
CBN's Brody says Warren giving the invocation makes a lot of sense. "Even though Warren and Obama disagree on the life issue, they do see eye to eye on many social justice issues. This move is also classic Obama because it is a signal to religious conservatives that he's willing to bring in both sides to the faith discussion in this country. Obama has never shied away from that."