Obama’s Invocation Pick Draws Controversy Hours after Obama chose Rick Warren to bless his first day in office, voices from both sides of the abortion and gay-marriage debate were sounding off.
[12.19.08] Saddleback Church pastor Rick Warren has drawn criticism from leaders on both sides of the culture war after agreeing to give the invocation at President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration on Jan. 20. The Rev. Thomas J. Euteneuer, president of Human Life International (HLI), said on Friday that he has complete respect for the personal relationship Warren has developed with Obama in the last couple of years through their involvement in AIDS awareness campaigns. “But such a public and explicitly Christian endorsement as this invocation is certainly confusing to those who know Mr. Obama’s record on life issues,” Euteneuer said. “We respectfully ask Pastor Warren to reconsider his participation in the inaugural ceremonies, given Mr. Obama’s extremist anti-life views.”