For the record; I'm not against "engaging" with people like Rev. Warren; not doing so is not an option. I object to honouring them. I object even more to boosting their position and helping them with one of their major immediate and vital goals: keeping anti-queer hate-politics "respectable," and "polite," which is to say, in the game, which is what this does.
Allow me to explain.
A few years ago when I posted about a big theoconservative confab where people from Concerned Women for America and Focus on the Family were doing things like quoting Stalin without irony, I also posted how they were talking about how they were in danger of becoming like the racists, and had to avoid that same fate. Some people saw that as kind of an awareness that they didn't have any ground to stand upon. That's part of it, but they don't care; they're anti-rationalists anyway.
This is what they actually meant: the overt racists, the segregationists, and so on, were put out of the game because it it stopped being a respectable position. Having those positions alienated you from polite political society. After that happened, nobody would defend the selection of a segregationist with the inevitable argument, "He can be engaged. He does good work in many areas." It became a disqualifying attribute in many circles. Not all, of course, but many. The fundamentalist leadership saw this happening to them, and it scared them good. It should've; you don't easily climb back out of that hole.
Mr. Obama's selection of Reverend Rick Warren helps preserve and further their respectability. It arguably adds to it, within the Democratic party. It supports and elevates the idea that you can support work to have queer people be illegal, you can argue that we're paedophiles and that our relationships will destroy free speech, and even if someone else in the political class doesn't agree, or even finds it distasteful, they won't really hold it against you. It's not important enough for that. It's still reasonable. It's still respectable. It's still accepted in polite politics. You're still in the game.
The worst part is, continuing this is exactly the point. Mr. Obama wants some of that fundamentalist evangelical segment in the Democratic party. He's trying to wedge off some of the GOP's largest remaining base group, the theoconservatives; the "inclusiveness" he wants is to include them, knowing he doesn't have to give a rat's ass about us. He wants them to know that just because they hate queers, that doesn't mean they aren't welcome in today's Democratic party. He knows they haven't gotten what they want out of the GOP, and he's telling them, "it's okay; you can have a big hate-on for the fags, and we're just fine with that. C'mon over."
Chris Crain thinks this is all bullshit; he dismisses the anger as a "unity call" falling on "PC ears." He also thinks Mr. Obama will deliver on his campaign promises, talking about his campaign positions being "the most supportive ever on LGBT civil rights." I do not share this particular faith; I remember the last time that sentiment was expressed, and I remember what actually happened. I rather suspect we're being offered as the chip in this little exchange, and I assure you, I do object.