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Bishop Joe Simon Sings the Blues Over Rappers and Ministry

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE

I call this column "Beneath the Spin" because it's dedicated to an honest search for truth, an attempt to stimulate thought, and an earnest effort to clear up the trough of pure bullshit served up to us on a daily basis. I generally deal with political demagogues in this context, but due to our current economic crisis I'm going to expand my attention to anything that doesn't smell quite right–and the fumes emanating from my current focus, seriously suggests that demagoguery is far from exclusive to Washington D.C.

While I'm normally not one to defend the rap industry, I have several problems with a claim being levied against it by former rhythm and blues singer, and now ordained bishop, Joe Simon.

Why Rick Warren Really Matters

Oisted with the permission of Nicholas Benton, owner/editor of the Falls Church News Press.

Why Rick Warren Really Matters

by Nicholas Benton

It is misguided to view the persisting flap over the inclusion of the Rev. Rick Warren in the upcoming inauguration of Barack Obama as primarily a gay rights concern.

In fact, it is a matter that cuts to the quick of the 233-year cultural struggle since 1776 from which Obama emerged as America's president-elect this November, and that's why it really does matter so much.

That said, one should ask whether, in the name of embracing differences, it would be appropriate to open the inaugural ceremony with an invocation by an outspoken racist.

Prejudice is prejudice, and bigotry is bigotry, especially when directed against an entire class of persons with perceived undesirable attributes, be they skin color, nationality, religious preference or sexual orientation.

The same simple reality fundamentally applies to the subjugation or determination of the inferiority of women by men.

Rick Warren is the very embodiment of all the above, and not as some unenlightened plumber, but as a high-profile quasi-celebrity figure, who because he speaks from behind a minister's collar using religious terminology, thinks he can get away with spouting barely-disguised hate with no consequence.