from a public speaker's point of view, the person who gives the benediction has the last word and is far more likely to be remembered than the person who gives the invocation. I know it has been a shock and a disappointment to learn that Rick Warren will give the invocation at Obama's inauguration.
Anger and calling for a reversal are very normal responses to a loss. So is sadness. But at some point it is important to look at the fact that the staunch pro-gay civil rights leader Joseph Lowery will have the last word.
I understand the outcry from the BGLT community and I support their right to holler loudly. I hope they will come to terms with their grief and, instead of continuing to feel betrayed, recognize that Lowery is in the better position. Warren is only a warm-up act, not the main event.
I see the inauguration as analogous to a worship service, in a way. The opening words are benign, mild, encouraging people to listen. There are other ceremonies involved but the climactic event is the inaugural address (or sermon) and the benediction wraps it up and sends people out fired up to go out and do something positive.
You can call it a political maneuver, and it doubtless is a payback for the support of those evangelicals who just couldn't stomach McCain/Palin. Obama has called it a bridge, an outstretched arm to those with whom he differs. That makes good sense. I'll bet Abraham Lincoln is chuckling right now: "To get rid of your enemies, make them friends" he said long ago.
I'm sorry for the pain it is causing people I love. I hope they will find hope on the other side of the pain.