Gasp! Most folks OK with Warren!

55505654Did I miss the poll on the status of the other ordained participants in this festival of public-discourse?

I guess this is to be expected, in light of the Rev. Rick Warren’s name-recognition factor as the author of You Know What which sold several bazillion copies worldwide.

President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration was initially met with a torrent of criticism because of the evangelical pastor’s views on homosexuality, but most Americans support the choice.

In a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, 61 percent said they back Obama’s invitation to Warren, who gained prominence for his book “The Purpose Driven Life.” About a quarter of those polled, 23 percent, oppose the choice, and 16 percent expressed no opinion. Party affiliation had little effect on respondents’ views about Warren — 66 percent of Democrats and 60 percent of both Republicans and independents expressed support for Obama’s choice.

You have to admit that this is another piece of evidence that social and moral issues are the flashpoints in newsrooms as well as in voting booths. Was the “torrent of criticism” in the national population, or in certain segments of the culture that have a high impact in newsrooms and other media centers?

And now, here is another interesting chunk of that Washington Post story by Jon Cohen:

The poll results also suggested that Warren and Obama are likely to have a huge audience. Nearly three-quarters of the respondents said they will watch or listen to the inauguration, far exceeding the roughly six in 10 who planned to watch on television when Bill Clinton took the oath of office in 1993, the last time a Democrat took over the White House.

Americans of all political stripes expect to watch or listen to Obama’s inauguration, although Republicans are somewhat less likely than Democrats: Ninety percent of Democrats plan to make time for the swearing-in, compared with 62 percent of Republicans. One reason many Republicans plan to find something else to do is that six in 10 of them see the occasion as a political celebration for Obama supporters more than a unifying event, according to a new CNN poll.

By the way, did I read that right? Did a higher percentage of DEMOCRATS favor the Warren choice than Republicans? And, even Sally Quinn thinks the guy has some upside that the left should consider.

Meanwhile, methinks there is another question or two the pollsters should have asked, linked to the Democrats, if we want to understand where Obama stands with members of his own party on this hot-button issue.

Question 1: What is the racial breakdown on those numbers, in terms of white Democrats vs. Democrats of color?

Question 2: What about links between church attendance and opinions on this life-and-death Warren issue?

Print Friendly

About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Jason

    Interesting this is here. I came to GetReligion this morning because I am listening to “This American Life” podcast, which is all about the inauguration. They are doing a story on conservatives who feel that Warren is being a hypocrite to being giving a prayer at an event for someone so Pro-Choice. I was going to mention it in reference to previous comments about all the media attention be on the opinion of a certain other community.

  • Margaret

    I was thinking that the Purpose Driven Life was first published as the Purpose Driven Church, in which case it was the community organization that Mr. Warren began to be famous with and this sounds like the same community organization that Barak Obama believes is very important.

    When I first heard the choice of Warren it made sense to me from this connection. I knew he was also very active and “walking the walk” (referred to in the Quinn article) with AIDS victims in Africa.

    These issues outweigh the Proposition 8 comments as far as making Warren a good choice for the inauguration prayer.

  • Pingback: Items of Interest: The Way to Understand — Civitate

  • Pingback: OD Today: 20 January 2009 (late edition) « Online Discernment Today

  • Stephen A.

    And this rather liberal, social justice preacher gave a bang-up, conciliatory prayer, which included these lines:

    When we fail to treat our fellow human beings and all the earth with the respect that they deserve—forgive us.

    And as we face these difficult days ahead, may we have a new birth of clarity in our aims, responsibility in our actions, humility in our approaches, and civility in our attitudes—even when we differ.

    Story over. Maybe? Please?

  • Stephen A.

    Sorry, here’s the full text: