Thursday, March 12, 2009

A big difference

From A Flock Divided, Paul Elie on Rowan Williams
Barack Obama invited Gene Robinson to give an invocation at the beginning of the inaugural festivities – but only after he’d invited Rick Warren, who regularly speaks out against homosexuality, to give the invocation at the main event. Was that a token gesture, or something more substantive?

That’s our new president’s “contradictoriness.” It’s been pointed out endlessly that Obama is willing to sit down and have a conversation with people on different sides of an issue—meeting with the conservative journalists as well as the more progressive ones, and so forth. To some extent that was the point of having both Rick Warren and Gene Robinson give invocations at the inaugural. This is a president who's saying we can't resolve all of the questions beforehand. He’s saying we need to bear with a little contradictoriness and go forward together, even though we don't all line up on the issues in the same way. I think that's been Williams's strategy too. And it's a big difference from what we've been used to both politically and religiously.

We much prefer to be told what to think!
I've just - today - finished Rowan's book on Dostoevsky! But I probably need to re-read some of the novels to really appreciate it on a re-reading after that, I haven't read most of them since the 1970's (apart from Crime and Punishment!)

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