Invocation

In this Aug. 16, 2008 file photo, then Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, joins Pastor Rick Warren of Saddleback Church, for a discussion on moral issues. AP Photo/Richard Vogel

This column was written by CBS News Early Show Co-Anchor Harry Smith.
President-elect Barack Obama's invitation to Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration next month has set off a stormlet of protest.

Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life, has led many evangelical Christians to a broader view of the world and a Christian's role in it.

His views of homosexuality though are quite specific: it's an abomination.

Some gay supporters of Obama are furious. A little context is in order.

To the vigorous objections of some in his congregation, Warren invited Obama to speak at his church's AIDS conference. The more conservative members of the church couldn't abide having Obama, a liberal, pro-choice Christian in their midst.

Warren was sending a message by the invite: not to hate those you disagree with. Obama seems to be reciprocating with the invitation to America's most popular preacher.

One of Obama's most important campaign promises was to work to end the divisiveness in the country. Perhaps a prayer is good way to start.
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