Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Warren Piece

From an interview with Rick Warren:

Steven Waldman: Do you support civil unions or domestic partnerships?

Rick Warren: I— I— you know, I don’t know about&mdash I don't know if I use the term there, but I support full equal rights for everybody in America. I don’t believe that we should uh— uh— have equal— unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles or whatever stuff like that. So I fully support equal rights.

Hey. Warren, who supported Proposition 8, now supports equal rights. That was a quick turnaround.

Steven Waldman: What about, like, partnership benefits in terms of insurance or hospital visitation?

Rick Warren: You know, to me, not a problem with me. But the issue to me is, is um— I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

Hey I don't think those should be protected by the constitution either. Is there some common ground here?

Steven Waldman: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?

Rick Warren:Oh I do. I just— For five thousand years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion. This is not a Christian issue. Buddhists, Muslims, the Jews, uh you know historically marriage is a man and a woman. And so I’m opposed to that.

Division. Because of the legacy of a definition that he understands only as is convenient to his cause, he believes that homosexuality is equivalent to incest, pedophilia and polygamy. I'm surprised he didn't throw bestiality in there too. But by this standard he's going to have to change his tune on polygamy.

The New York Times provides the following bio of the man who will invite his god to be a part of Obama's inauguration/administration.

Dr. Rick Warren founded Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, in 1980 with one family. Today, it is an evangelical congregation averaging 22,000 weekly attendees, a 120-acre campus, and has more than 300 community ministries to groups such as prisoners, CEOs, addicts, single parents, and those with HIV/AIDS. He also leads the Purpose Driven Network of churches, a global coalition of congregations in 162 countries. TIME magazine named him one of “15 World Leaders Who Mattered Most in 2004,” and in 2005 one of the “100 Most Influential People in the World.”

What a faithful servant he is.

Obama is defending this choice and that's too bad. He wants to unite the edges. That's fine. But please, not with this guy. Diverse voices are fine. Controversial voices are great. But if there's gonna be a prayer can't it be offered by someone who knows what respect is?

It's not that he's a voice of the religious right. Obama needs to reach out to even them. It's not that he supported Prop 8. Maybe he supported it for reasons that I don't completely understand. Maybe it was his understanding of the church/state issue. Maybe it was a purely linguistic issue. Maybe he fully supports all the same rights, but wants to preserve that one word. And he's happy to see the laws change accordingly to favor equal rights. Probably not. But his mind isn't the issue.

It's how he speaks of homosexuality. It's how he guides his listeners. As a leader he creates division by speaking disrespectfully and casting judgment even if he says he's not. And there are plenty of good Christians out there who actually believe in love. There are Christians out there who opposed the amendment regardless of their biblical reading. There are Christians out there who have used their understanding of the bible to focus only on giving and supporting and protecting. Who spend their time advocating for the oppressed. There are Christians who make Christianity look good.

Look, this isn't policy. It's all for show and Warren isn't being asked to play any role in government. But politically he's a weak choice. It's a predictable statement. It has disappointed a small percentage of voters and it reaches out to a slightly larger block. It will probably be forgotten, but the appeal to the far right is there in Obama's pocket.

There are of course disapproving voices out there saying that Warren needs to be protested.

At the above link you'll find the following list of contacts including Parag Mehta, Obama’s LGBT liaison:

  • (Steve Hildebrand)

Senator Dianne Feinstein was the chair of the Inaugural Ceremonies committee.

1 comment:

The Ridger, FCD said...

Has someone suggested this guy check out the Bible. You know - Jacob and Rachel and Leah?