Barack Obama recently announced that Pastor Rick Warren from the Saddleback Church in California will give the invocation at his inauguration. This announcement has been met with much criticism from the left and right. I've heard Warren called a hate monger because of his views on homosexual marriage, and an inappropriate pick to give the invocation at one of the most historic moments in our history.
While I certainly don't agree with everything that Warren says or believes, I do agre with Obama on his statement that we need to have a variety of views present at the inauguration. He has defended his pick, saying that Warren represents views that differ from his own, but in those differences America's greatness is represented. We are a country of multiple belief strains, having Warren at his inauguration represents something that I love about Obama, his willingness to have a variety of views represented.
I'm hopeful that Obama will continue this practice throughout his presidency. I'm hopeful that he will lead from a centrist position in the White House. And I also think that many Christians could learn a thing or two from this encounter. Our differences, while they are important to us, are not what should divide us. Conversation amongst people of faith is a good thing. Not so that we may be swayed to another position, but rather so that we are able to hear the viewpoint of the other. So that we can understand the perspective of our brother next to us. And some times, it may be ok for us to be friends even if our belief systems don't match up like a connection on eharmony.