Warren press handout

He’s for “civility.” So am I. So let’s have some. Will he apologize to those whom he has affronted?

Just hit my in-box:

I commend President-elect Obama for his courage to willingly take enormous heat from his base by inviting someone like me, with whom he doesn’t agree on every issue, to offer the Invocation at his historic Inaugural ceremony.

Hopefully individuals passionately expressing opinions from the left and the right will recognize that both of us have shown a commitment to model civility in America.

The Bible admonishes us to pray for our leaders. I am honored by this opportunity to pray God’s blessing on the office of the President and its current and future inhabitant, asking the Lord to provide wisdom to America’s leaders during this critical time in our nation’s history.

A question for Dr. Warren:

Since you are committed to modeling civility in America, would you like to apologize to any of the groups you have insulted:

* To supporters of reproductive choice, women who have had abortions, and physicians who have performed them for likening their activities to those in Nazi death camps?

* To mainstream Protestant leaders and believers in the Social Gospel for calling them “Marxists in Christian clothing”?

* To men who love men and women who love women for likening their lovemaking to pedophilia and bestiality?

* To President Ahmadi-nejad and the Iranian people for endorsing a plan to “take out” Ahmadi-nejad, whether by war or assassination?

* To all the non-Christians in the world for telling them that a just, wise, and loving God will rightly inflict on them an eternity of torment unless they become Christians, and that all of their non-Christian ancestors, and their friends and loved ones who have passed, away are justly and irrevocably condemned to burn in Hell forever?

I’ve sent the text of the questions above to both of Dr. Warren’s press agents, with a promise to run any response unedited and an offer to do a telephone interview with them or with him. I’ll report if I hear back.

[If these were only Warren’s private religious beliefs, I would feel torn about rebuking him for them. They’re ugly beliefs, but civility requires us to be polite about the ugly beliefs of others, as it does about their ugly children. But he has chosen to make them a public issue by engaging in politics. Like anyone else in politics, he is properly subject to being called to account for his words.]

Note to my fellow Obamaniacs: Note that Warren has already started to pay Obama back for the honor, by reminding his fellow Christians of their religious duty to pray for their rulers. That’s going to be a hard duty for most of Warren’s fellow evangelicals, and for conservative Catholics, to fulfill. Don’t worry, guys: God won’t send you a cross you can’t bear. Say “God Bless our President, Barack Hussein Obama” a few hundred times, and eventually you’ll get used to it.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com