What an oxymoron. So is ‘the intolerant arbiters of tolerance’,
though it accurately describes activists who insist laws and social
norms only go their way….or else.

Or else there will be a price to pay, such as the chaos and violence that erupted after Proposition 8 passed in November.

Listen, isn’t the agenda supposed to be all about choice? Hasn’t
choice – along with tolerance and diversity – been elevated to the
altars of cultural iconography and enshrined? So (as I’ve long asked)
why has the pro-choice movement adamently fought every effort in the
country to establish informed consent in abortion clinics? Where’s the
choice without the information?

And before Prop 8 passed, the idea was that the voters would choose,
and that choice would be final. That was certainly the declaration made
by Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the ACLU about the South Dakota
abortion ban initiative on the November ballot. It failed, and national
leaders from those three groups that aggressively back abortion on
demand warned pro-lifers that they lost and they’d better not even
think of trying a referendum again, because the people had spoken and
made their choice clear.

But the swelling activist movement promoting same-sex marriage
pushed on to have the voters’ choice thrown out by a California high
court, and in the meantime angry and hostile attacks were spewed either
at demonstrations or on the internet.

So this is interesting. The abortion movement is thrilled that
Barack Obama has won the presidency because he is pro-abortion and has
promised all kinds of liberal legal maneuvers to provide unfettered
access to abortion at taxpayers’ expense. His choice for Health and
Human Services is the ‘pro-choice’ Tom Daschle, the vice-president is
the ‘pro-choice’ Joe Biden, Janet Napolitano is a pro-choice activist,
and so on.

But the anger burst open again yesterday when Obama chose Pastor
Rick Warren to offer the invocation at his inauguration ceremony, and
the furor is building through the media and across the internet.
Activists feel betrayed by Obama, and claim “his regrettable choice”
insults their very being and their dignity.

When I heard that on one newscast (among dozens), first thought
was….what happened to the hallowed right to choose? Isn’t it ‘choice’
itself that is the highest good, or does that depend entirely on which choice you make?

Obama had a good answer, and I hope he sticks with his firm purpose on this.

Although Warren’s views are not far from those of other
clergy members who could have been asked to deliver the invocation,
Obama found himself emphasizing his own record as “a fierce advocate of
equality for gay and lesbian Americans.”

“It is important for America to come together, even though we may have disagreements on certain social issues,” Obama said.

Right. But he also tried to ameliorate the impact of that choice by pointing out the liberal bona fides of his other choice.

He emphasized that Joseph Lowery, a founder of the
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, will give the benediction and
has “deeply contrasting views to Warren on a whole host of issues.”

In other words, he’s trying to keep his promise of bringing people together across otherwise unbridged divides.

When antiabortion groups pushed for Obama to be
disinvited to the 2006 meeting, Warren said the church’s goal was “to
put people together who normally won’t even speak to each other.”

Obama sounded a similar note yesterday, saying Warren invited him to
speak at Saddleback “despite his awareness that I held views that were
entirely contrary to his when it came to gay and lesbian rights, when
it came to issues like abortion. That dialogue, I think, is part of
what my campaign’s been all about.”

His liberal activist backers should listen to him as much now as
before they elected him, because he’s saying the same thing. Only now
with greater consequences.

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....