Scrap the Inaugural Invocation

Anyone who follows politics can’t have missed the current uproar over the announcement that Pastor Rick Warren will deliver the Invocation at President Elect’s Inauguration next month.

Rick Warren is some kind of mega-pastor with whom I was unfamiliar until the point of the campaign that he was able to command McCain and Obama to come and kiss his butt at a campaign forum hosted by Warren. I was embarrassed for both of them for having to do so.

I’ve read arguments both for and against Warren’s selection to deliver the invocation. GLBT advocates are understandably upset that such an advocate of the hateful Prop. 8 anti gay marriage bill in California should be invited to speak at the inauguration of the President for whom expectations of tolerance is so high. While the Obama folks say they are demonstrating that they can be civil to those with whom they disagree.

My personal feelings favor those who oppose his involvement. Obama’s supporters deserve better than this, and certainly a better message would be sent through the participation of a more tolerant individual to give the invocation.

But there is a better solution. Don’t include an invocation in the inaugural ceremonies at all. Let’s keep religion, any and all of them, out of our civic lives. I’d be very glad to hear our new President begin his term by telling all American’s what his plans are for addressing our many problems, and there’s no need to first listen to some doofus call out to the invisible man for help.

And for that matter, leave the bible out of it too. Put your hand on a copy of The Constitution while you vow to preserve, protect and defend it.

I’m A Lefty And I Like Obama’s Pick Of Rick Warren, December 18, 2008

Obama’s Inaugural Mistake
The Washington Post, December 19, 2008

Rapture Letters


Are you spending any time wondering what your friends will think when the Rapture comes and you’ve been taken up to heaven while they are left behind to pay for their sinful ways with seven years of Hell on Earth? They’ll worry where you went, and wonder why you haven’t called.

Problem solved! Prepare for this eventuality with a visit to, where you can enter the email addresses of your friends and family that you fear will be left behind, and when the Rapture comes, they’ll receive an email from you letting them know you’re with God in heaven. Only people who know they’re going to heaven could be so thoughtful.

How does it work? The site’s creator describes it as a ‘dead man’s switch’. Each week, he resets the program to prevent the Rapture Letters from being sent. When the Rapture comes, and he’s snatched up to heaven, he won’t be there to reset the program and so the letters will be sent. It’s one thing to be sure you’re going to heaven, but won’t it be a hoot when this guy finds himself stuck in traffic, or otherwise incapacitated, and the letters go out… false alarm, no Rapture yet… psych!

It raises a larger issue. Who might maintain such online services after the true believers disapear? On the FAQ of they deal with the question of how the site will be maintained after the Rapture occurs. It seems to me that what is really needed is a corps of unholy sys admins… non-believing webmasters who will still be around to keep the email flowing and the web sites humming. With all the spammers and pornographers on the Net, there should be no shortage of skilled techies who will be left behind to keep it up and running.

with thanks to Ed Helm on The Daily Show for his great segment on Rapture Letters