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Rick Warren? Really? I’m afraid so. Rick Warren, who compares homosexuality to incest and pedophilia. Rick Warren, who labels advocates of the social gospel Marxists. Rick Warren, who makes common cause with James Dobson and his ilk. Rick Warren will give the invocation when President-elect Obama is inaugurated.

What does this mean? In terms of policy, let’s hope very little. But in terms of symbolism, a great deal. As a statement from People for the American Way notes, this elevates Warren, who has already airbrushed his rough edges so effectively that many observers think he’s a moderate, into a position of bipartisan authority. And that’s a real shame, although I suppose it should help boost bumper-sticker sales.

Update: John Cole provides a reasonable counterargument. I remain unconvinced.

Update II: As jazzbumpa notes in the comments, Bérubé brings the hammer down.