Obama's Pro-Life Invocation?

The Democratic Party’s powerful abortion and homosexual lobbies are incensed over a symbolic hint that President-elect Barack Obama may be tolerant of opposing views on these issues.

Controversy has erupted over Obama’s selection of evangelical pastor Rick Warren, author of the bestselling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” to deliver the invocation at the presidential inauguration next month.

Warren opposes both abortion and the redefinition of marriage to include the union of homosexual couples.

Homosexual activists are especially hostile to Warren, who is pastor of California’s Saddleback megachurch, because of his forceful intervention in favor of the Proposition 8 ballot measure that amended the state constitution to specify that marriage is a one-man, one-woman institution.

“By inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table,” Joe Solmonese, president of the homosexual lobby group Human Rights Campaign, said in an open letter to Obama, CNN reported.

CNN also reported that abortion activists are “outraged” about comments Warren made in a recent Belief.net interview regarding the argument that abortion should be “safe and rare.”

“Don’t tell me it should be rare,” said Warren, who noted he and Obama “totally disagree” on abortion. “That’s like saying on the Holocaust, ‘Well, maybe we could save 20% of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that’ — I’m not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended.”

In another signal that Obama isn’t applying a pro-abortion litmus test to every aspect of his coming presidency, there will be at least one solidly pro-life member of President Barack Obama’s new cabinet: Rep. Ray LaHood, R-Ill., his expected appointee as Transportation Secretary.

In his cabinet capacity, the Republican LaHood will have few opportunities to introduce his pro-life perspectives into the new administration’s policy-making process. And the overwhelming preponderance of abortion supporters among Obama’s appointees to date, and Obama’s own commitment to advancing abortion rights, continues to indicate that his presidency will be a very negative one for the unborn.

Still, like the selection of Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation, LaHood’s appointment nonetheless is welcome evidence that Obama has not closed his ears completely to pro-life voices.

— Tom McFeely