Let’s Ask Obama to Invite Rev. Sarah Halverson to Do the Inauguration Benediction!


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Rev. Sarah Halverson

You *know* she’d do a good job! No harm in asking, is there?

I have SO not asked for permission to write this one — and I’m sorry (but not entirely sorry) if the praise embarrasses its subject.

As you may know, Obama’s choice to give the benediction at his Inauguration a week from Monday, Louie Giglio, has withdrawn from the event due to the discovery of an ringingly anti-gay sermon he gave in the mid-1990s. This leaves the President in a bit of a pickle. Who can he get to step into the fray at almost the last minute — someone with the right symbolism, the right demeanor, and the right chops?

Well, I think it would be a great gesture if he chose Rev. Sarah Halvorson, pastor of the Fairview Community Church in Costa Mesa, as his clerical honoree for his second Inauguration.  She’s be a sort of a bookend to his choice four years ago of Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church, just a short drive south, for his first one. (We’re Orange County — honoring us just once is not enough!)  And, as Obama supposedly prepares to give up on being an occasional doormat for Republican intransigence, what better way to make the point then with the beaming face you see here?

If you agree, one of you — or all of you — may choose to set up a Facebook page or a petition to get the ball rolling while the iron is hot, or however that metaphor should end.

Rev. Halvorson is pretty much of a Democrat’s dream, as you can see from her extremely fashionable “No on 32″ button in the photo at right.  She’s pro-GLBT, as you can see from this article where she celebrated “Same Sex Kiss Day” with a kiss on the cheek while symbolically giving the chicken-finger to Chik-fil-A.  She’s pro-union, even when it’s as heart-breaking as having to stand against belover Trader Joe’s for its labor practices or as daunting as getting arrested in support of a strike by LAX workers.  She’s pro-peace, pro-woman, and was one of the first clerics to come out and support Occupy Orange County in the first days of Occupy Irvine.  She’s friendly, smiling, and will look good on TV — especially if she wears her rainbow vestments!

I’m not saying that there aren’t other clerics in Orange County just as deserving of this national honor, but she’s the one that comes to mind first.  That she comes to mind first shows just how hard she works to do the Lord’s work even when it’s not always going to be popular.  And if the presence of a sunny, unmarried female pastor who (I’m told) can hold her liquor and go beyond pure G-ratings on her Facebook posts shocks a few people across the nation, so much the better.  Religion-wise, even speaking from a different denomination, I’d be happy to have her representing me.

Is she going to get chosen?  Well, I’m posting this late enough so that if we start tonight we’ll have a jump on all of those soon-to-be-asleep East Coasters, so that’s in her favor!  But even if she doesn’t, I’d love for her to be on the list (even if it’s only spoken on background rather than written) of people who were also considered to step into this position of honor.  She’s young; she’ll surely go far — so let’s give her a nice big push!  It’s an honor just to be nominated, right?

For all I know, this post is as likely to embarrass her as delight her (though I’m hoping for the latter), but I’m happy to say that her hard work promoting social justice and standing against discrimination is noted and appreciated.  And if she doesn’t mind a trip to D.C., if things go as hoped, well I’m sure the trip would do her some good!

OK, who’s with me on this?  (Note: any negative comments should be mild and funny, if you want them to last.)


About Greg Diamond

Prolix worker's rights and government accountability attorney. General Counsel of CATER, the Coalition of Anaheim Taxpayers for Economic Responsibility, a non-partisan group of people sick of local corruption. Deposed as Northern Vice Chair of DPOC in April 2014 when his anti-corruption and pro-consumer work in Anaheim infuriated the Building Trades and Teamsters in spring 2014, who then worked with the lawless and power-mad DPOC Chair to eliminate his internal oversight. Runs for office sometimes, so far to offer a challenge to someone nasty who would otherwise have run unopposed. Someday he might pick a fight intending to win it rather than just to dent someone. You'll know it when you see it. None of his pre-putsch writings ever spoke for the Democratic Party at the local, county, state, national, or galactic level. A family member works part-time as a campaign treasurer. He doesn't directly profit from that relatively small compensation and it doesn't affect his coverage. (He does not always favor her clients, though she might hesitate to take one that he hated. He does advise some local campaigns informally and generally without compensation. If that changes, he will declare the interest. He also runs a less frequently published blog called "The Brean," for his chosen hometown, where he is now fighting with its wealthiest and most avaricious citizen-donors. This just seems to be his way.