Let Rick Warren Speak.

This will offend a lot of people’s sentiments, and I don’t care, I’m saying it anyhow.

I am absolutely pro-gay rights. I am completely for gay marriage and gay adoption rights. I loathe violence against gays, and think “hate crimes” prosecutions should be used not only more frequently, but more vehemently.

That said, it’s times like these when the gay rights movement really pisses me off. The childlike in-the-streets revolutions after the Prop 8 scandal were infuriating, but this outcry against Rick Warren being selected to speak at Obama’s inauguration just smacks of utter hypocrisy, and someone has to say it.

In a nutshell, gays want respect to live their lives as they see fit. They want to be respected for their differing viewpoints and lifestyle choices. They want inclusion. They want equality.

Yet they want to un-include a man who commands respect as one of America’s religious leaders who happens to oppose their viewpoint. They want him kicked out of the big flashy party, unable to speak, and they want him to lose validation in the eyes of the country’s leaders. Am I really the only one who doesn’t get it?

Look. Warren believes what he believes, but he is a good man. I disagree passionately with him on gay rights, but as Christians go, he’s a great one… until you get to the gay-rights thing.

But you don’t win people over by isolating them or judging or excluding him, or any of the right-wing religious types, like many gay activists want to do here. No, you bring both sides together and you remember what things you hold in common, and you say, “Well, we DO have common ground, let’s start there” and you proceed with eyes open, not hearts or minds closed.

This butting of heads — “I’m right, you’re wrong” — done by both sides of this issue in the last decade has gotten us nowhere. Am I really the only person sick of the redundancy of the arguments, tired of the repetitive motions of all of it?

Obama proclaims he can put “community” and “unity” back into the country. He was elected primarily because he was to bring an END to this partisan you’re-with-us-or-against-us mentality that has taken America by storm. Now he’s putting his money where his mouth is and inviting BOTH sides to be a part of what is billed as the most inclusive inauguration in American history, and people want to call him a hypocrite?

Wake the fuck up. This is a new way of tackling a problem that wasn’t getting solved the old way. People on the left and the right have common grounds. Let’s find them, start there, and see where a new direction takes us. This isn’t the end of the fight. It’s just a smarter fight.

It’s time to open minds to possibility, rather than hemmed in with judgment and fear. Like that’s been working for us?