Gay Activist Wins Hardball Debate With Preacher

My friend Mike Rogers was simply awesome on Hardball yesterday. Just awesome.

Digby saw it, too. She wrote:

I saw something very interesting today on MSNBC. Barnicle, filling in for Matthews on Hardball, hosted Reverend Eugene Rivers, a well respected, uncontroversial African American preacher, and Mike Rogers, strident gay activist.

Loaded for bear, Rivers came out firing, very aggressively and derisively attacking the gay community for being intolerant and asserting that Warren is a thoroughly acceptable mainstream preacher. ("This is a pseudo-controversy that's been fabricated by the anti-religious left. Fact: Rick Warren is not a divisive figure, there's not one shred of empirical, statistical data to support this unfounded

claim.") That's obviously untrue, but that's not what made me take note of the interview.

The problem was that Rogers took a very unusual tack and said that Rivers coming on the show to defend Warren shows how powerful the gay community is and that he was very happy to see Warren changing his web site just today (to hide his more outrageously homophobic content.) He characterized this as a big victory for gay rights. ("I compliment Rick Warren on seeing the error of his ways and changing his web site.") Rivers was agitated by this and seemed to be frustrated that the dialog wasn't taking the predicted path, rather sarcastically saying things like "well we're all happy now, I guess."

But the really interesting reaction came about when Rogers suggested that if Warren is to be seen as a man who builds bridges between the right and the left that he should quietly and without any kind of fanfare meet with leaders of the gay community and listen to their concerns. Rivers reacted very badly.

Go read the rest.

(From a different angle: on Warren's refusal to meet with several gay and lesbian couples (and kids) for a meal and conversation - after first agreeing to it. What a hypocrite.)

Let me put it this way: I know better than to think I'll win an argument with Michael. It's never happened, and it never will. Every conversation with Michael is dotted with his interjecting, "Can I tell you something?" and my muttering, "Like I could stop you?" He is, hands down, the most talented debater I've ever seen. (Scorpio. Naturally!)

He doesn't just answer the question, he's always ten steps ahead of his opponent. If we could only clone him, we'd never see liberals lose an argument again.

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