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Some of Rick Warren’s Best Friends Are Gay…

Jim Burroway

December 16th, 2008

– and he’s even eaten dinner in their homes! — but Rick Warren views their marriages as being equivalent to incest, child rape and polygamy:

Rick Warren: But the issue to me is, 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.

Steven Waldman: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?

Rick Warren: Oh I do.  …

… Most people, you know… I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes, no church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of “A Purpose-Driven Life” helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships. So they can’t accuse me of homophobia. I just don’t beleive in the re-definition of marriage.

Rev. Warren used his pretext of “many gay friends” and the work that Saddleback Church has done for “people who got AID through gay relationships” to say, “they can’t accuse me of homophobia.”

But it seems to me that if a friend of mine said that my relationship was no different than having sex with my brother or sister or a young child, that person would no longer be my friend. And I’d most likely call him a homophobe.

I wonder what Rick Warren’s “many gay friends” think?


Here is the full transcript:

Steven Waldman: Which do you think is a greater threat to the American family? Divorce or gay marriage?

Rick Warren:Haha! That’s a no-brainer. Divorce. There’s no doubt about it. Here’s an interesting thing. The divorce statistics are quite bandied around. People say, well half of marriages end in divorce. That’s just not true. Forty percent of first-time marriages end in divorce. Forty percent. About 61% of second-time marriages end in divorce, and almost 75% of third-time marriages end in divorce. So the odds get worse, and what’s balancing this out when you hear 50% ends in divorce, it’s just not true. The majority of marriages do last. But what you have is these people who are second, third, fourth time, who are getting married again and so the divorces keep coming in to equal the marriages.

Steven Waldman: So why do we hear so much more, especially from religious conservatives, about gay marriage than about divorce?

Rick Warren: Oh, we always love to talk about others’ sins more than ours. You know, why do we hear more about, you know, drug use than being overweight. Okay, why do we hear more about, you know, anything else besides wasting time? Or gossip? We want to point out… my sins are perfectly acceptable. Your sins are hideous and evil. [laughs]

Steven Waldman: Now you, one controversial moment for you in the last election was your support for proposition 8 in California. A couple of questions about that. First, to clarify, do you support civil unions or domestic partnerships?

Rick Warren: 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 have unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles or whatever stuff like that. So I fully support equal rights.

Steven Waldman: But 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, 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.

Steven Waldman:Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having 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, historically marriage is a man and a woman. And so I’m opposed to that. And the reason I supported Prop 8 really, was a free speech issue. Because if it had…. First, the court overid the will of the people. But second, is, there were all kinds of threats that if you… that did not pass, then any pastor could be considered doing hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the most natural way for relationships. And that would be hate speech. To me, we should have freedom of speech. And you should be able to have freedom of speech to make your position, and I should be able to have freedom of speech to make my position. And can we do this in a civil way?

Most people, you know… I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes, no church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of “A Purpose-Driven Life” helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships. So they can’t accuse me of homophobia. I just don’t beleive in the re-definition of marriage.

Comments

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Rick
December 16th, 2008 | LINK

Again with the 5,000 years. Marriage has not been the same institution for 5,000 years, nor has it been the same across all cultures and belief systems. Although, if he wants to stick with this argument, he should include gay couples marrying in the ’5,000 year-old’ definition of marriage.

“The first recorded use of the word “marriage” for the union of same-sex couples also occurs during the Roman Empire.” [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marriage]

Roman Empire: 44 BC – AD 286.

There’s also the little matter of church-sanctioned same-sex unions from 500 to 1,500 AD, as discussed by John Boswell in his book ‘Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe.’ [http://www.ualberta.ca/~di/csh/csh12/Boswell.html]

So really, the ‘redefinition of marriage’ began when it excluded same-sex couples, not when it them.

Rick
December 16th, 2008 | LINK

Oops.

So really, the ‘redefinition of marriage’ began when it excluded same-sex couples, not when it INCLUDED them.

Timothy Kincaid
December 16th, 2008 | LINK

Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of “A Purpose-Driven Life” helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships.

Really?

Through gay relationships?

I call BULLCRAP on that statement.

Regan DuCasse
December 16th, 2008 | LINK

“The Purpose Driven Phoniness that Enriched My Life So That I Could Equate Committed Gay Couples With Those Who Abuse Children, Betray Other Spouses and Sibling Relationships.”
That should be the title of his book and lectures.

What a PIG to say he has gay friends and then equate their lives that way.
They were NEVER his friends, nor they his…and he’s made that quite clear.

See what I mean by those people very secure in their human and civil rights access and protections?
Warren nor Marjorie had NO worries about losing those very things that are most important to the health of our body and spirit.

Love and family, marriage and fidelity.

They are quite willing to decide FOR gay people what makes for a happy life and they’ve decided that gay people can’t decide for themselves and don’t deserve THAT kind of happiness, it’s too much like infidelity and incest.

They really are insulting and someone needs to tell them so.

Regan DuCasse
December 16th, 2008 | LINK

I meant, see what I mean about people with unchallenged security in marriage and family, looking down their long noses at gay people as inferior and unworthy of benefitting or giving benefit with having the same choice to marry.

Assuming that there will be harm to it, is arrogant.
Asserting a 10% difference in the oft repeated divorce statistic still makes what he says they are much better.

That’s right, when you give with one hand and take away with the other…you leave NOTHING.
He’s done nothing for gay people and indeed, he’s hurt them by saying what he has about what their marriages are equivalent to.

lurker
December 16th, 2008 | LINK

I don’t think that Rick would be admitting to being friends with or eating dinner with someone who’s having sexual relations with a minor . . . it is not the moral equivant of someone in a mutually committed and loving couple and Rick knows it.

Ben in Oakland
December 16th, 2008 | LINK

When he says “gay friends”, I suspect he means ex-gay firends, or used to be gay but ain’t any more friends, or those who have “left the lifestyle”.

He doesn’t mean gay as in self-respecting gay man or woman who isn’t filled with selg hatred.

As humty dumpty put it so eloquently, “words mean what I say they mean. nothing more and nothing less.”

Lynn David
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

Uh… if you take a failure rate of 40 in 100 first marriages and then fail 60% of those 40 second marriages you get 24 failures, and then fail 75% of those 24 third marriages then you end up with 82 of 164 marriages failing. That’s 50% pastor. But I guess if you’re a true Christian you don’t call those second and third marriages failures because they weren’t true marriages… wait! Let’s ban getting marriage a second time! For Christian heterosexuals…. that is.

Tavdy
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

Rev. Warren used his pretext of “many gay friends” and the work that Saddleback Church has done for ”people who got AID through gay relationships” to say, “they can’t accuse me of homophobia.”

I have to wonder how many of the men Saddleback has helped would still be alive and/or HIV-free if people like Rick Warren hadn’t opposed gay rights over the decades? After all, they have consistently actively encouraged the social alienation and subsequent risky sexual behaviours which helped spread HIV – and they’re continuing to do so even now.

Of course when you think about it the continued spread of HIV is in Rick Warren’s professional best interests – it ensures that gay men are seen as disease-ridden filth, and gives him a reason to continue promoting lies about us. It also gives him a way to be “nice” to gay men – by helping those infected with HIV.

There’s a painting by gay artist Steve Walker, called “The Kindness Of strangers”, that is a good illustration of the kind of relationship people like Rick Warren want with LGBTs. They want gay men to be subservient, weak and needy; they want to make gay men dependent upon them, because it reinforces the idea that their beliefs are the ones that are valid and true. HIV/AIDS is simply a means to an end for them.

Monogamous long-term same-sex relationships are a threat to people like Rick Warren as monogamy doesn’t encourage the spread of HIV – so they are bound to oppose anything that will encourage that kind of relationship, such as gay marriage. Why else do we so often hear “Christians” (I use the term loosely) saying they’re willing to “compromise” and allow relationship-strengthening things like hospital visitation rights, only to have the vociferously oppose them weeks or months later?

Nugget
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

His statements are a haunting reminder of the past. “I’m not a racist, plenty of my friends are black.”

Patrick
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

“I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. … I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.”

If you take the Bible literally, polygamous marriages have existed for 5000 years. Lamech (Genesis 4:19) is the first to be mentioned as having multiple wives and he lived long before the supposed flood. Why are so many evangelical leaders ignorant about the Bible?

“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, historically marriage is a man and a woman.”

Simply not true – ask any cultural anthropologist. Why are so many evangelical leaders ignorant about the rest of the world?

Patrick
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

“People say, well half of marriages end in divorce. That’s just not true. Forty percent of first-time marriages end in divorce. Forty percent. About 61% of second-time marriages end in divorce, and almost 75% of third-time marriages end in divorce. So the odds get worse, and what’s balancing this out when you hear 50% ends in divorce, it’s just not true. The majority of marriages do last.”

So, at least half of marriages DO end in divorce, because 2nd and 3rd marriages are still marriages. When people talk about 50% of marriages they are not just focusing on 1st marriages, they are focusing on all marriages.

For the love of G-d would somebody please teach these people logic!

Timothy Kincaid
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

To give a small bit of balance:

Rick Warren’s church does offer AIDS assistance and doesn’t insist that the recipient “repent”.

Additionally, Warren, in the statements above, does suggest that he supports some rights for gay couples. He opposes marriage (and does so in highly offensive terms) but he seems to be saying in a round about way that he’s not opposed to some form of civil unions (or perhaps he’s speaking PC double speak).

So he’s not typical of the conservative evangelical movement. While we should unceasingly critize the frothing homophobia that is inherent in the comparison with incest and pedophilia, this does show a positive step.

As for his illogical math about divorce, I think I know what he’s saying.

I think Warren’s point is that while 50% of marriages may fail, that isn’t 50% of people who marry. 60% of those who marry succeed in their marriage the first time while some portion of the other 40% get it wrong multiple times. How he said it inaccurate.

And really is there some huge difference between 50% of all marriages or 40% of all (first time) marriages end in divorce? Both of those a pretty big numbers.

K.
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

I used to live near that church.

Saddleback? Helping people with AIDS?

Please. They spend all of their money printing hateful yard signs. They encourage each other to put nails under the tires of people who refuse to attend their church. In the six years I had to put up with Saddleback members, I heard of not ONE charitable event hosted by them that wasn’t anti-something.

Rock Warren: not just a homophobe! A liar.

Timothy Kincaid
December 17th, 2008 | LINK

K,

Can you please link to some support for those claims? Are there police reports about the nails or perhaps newspaper reports?

thanks

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Mary-Lee
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

“Additionally, Warren, in the statements above, does suggest that he supports some rights for gay couples. He opposes marriage (and does so in highly offensive terms) but he seems to be saying in a round about way that he’s not opposed to some form of civil unions…”

So, Timothy Kincaid, are you saying that Rick Warren is like… just a little bit pregnant?

See, if people don’t have completely equal rights, they simply don’t have equal rights.

It may be fine, for purposes of debate, to try to lead Warren from the place where he is to the place he needs to get to, but when it comes to my rights or anyone else’s rights, there’s no room for any debate. We either have rights or we don’t.

Maurice Lacunza
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Righ on Mary-Lee. We either have rights, or, we do not. The gay community doesn’t have to “moderate” or “disagree”. We want what every other person has: EQUAL RIGHTS. PERIOD.

Timothy Kincaid
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

Mary-Lee,

“Additionally, Warren, in the statements above, does suggest that he supports some rights for gay couples. He opposes marriage (and does so in highly offensive terms) but he seems to be saying in a round about way that he’s not opposed to some form of civil unions…”

So, Timothy Kincaid, are you saying that Rick Warren is like… just a little bit pregnant?

I’m saying that his positions (if he does support civil unions) are the same as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and a whole host of others about whom you would probably not ask this question.

I don’t disagree with you about equality. I want full equality and won’t settle for less.

Yet I will also encourage those who take steps in the right direction. And if we have to take things in steps, I’ll take them while I advocate for full equality.

In Warren’s case, I applaud him for the small steps he has taken. But in no way are those small steps adequate or an exuse for his blatant bigotry in comparing gays to pedophiles.

I consider Warren to be different from, say, most Southern Baptist preachers quoted in the paper. But by no means should he provide the invocation at the inauguration.

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EvilPoet
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

That olive branch has thorns. OUCH. Warren reminds me of Falwell.

“I believe that homosexuality is moral perversion,” Falwell told NPR in 1996. “I think it is a violation of the laws of nature, as well as the laws of God. I do not think that that gives me permission to be unkind or ungracious to a person who may be living a homosexual lifestyle.” http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=10188427

Melisssa
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Marrige hasn’t changed over the past 5,000 years? Really?

And here I thought that blacks could marry whites, divorce was legal, polygamy is illegal, and women were still property of their husbands.

besides polygamy is allowed in Islam.

BS that marrige hasn’t changed

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Mare
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

It’s amazing how those commenting here can take the man’s words and twist and distort them to justify their own hatred and anger. There is not an angry word or tone in anything that Rick Warren has said. He is simply expressing his beliefs.

Look at the name calling, look at the venom that is so freely spewed here! It’s amazing how vile people can become when the want their agenda to be the mandate!

How can you call the man a liar for saying he has gay friends? What if I called you a liar for saying you had gay friends?

Or saying marriage has changed by bringing up polygamy, and blacks marrying whites when the issue is marriage between a man and a woman?

Do you hear Pastor Warren calling you names and calling you liars?

Can’t you make your opinions be known with out spewing hatred, and, by honest comparisons, i.e. apples to apples and oranges to oranges, rather than the ridiculous comparisons that are taking place here?

By the way, I am a Christian, I have gay friends whom I LOVE dearly, including a sister in law. You have NO RIGHT to make such a hideous statement!!! I can love my sister in law, accept her decisions and her choice of a life style. However, I know that the Bible says her lifestyle is a sin. I want to see her avoid sin in her life, as much as I want to avoid sin in my life. Sin is sin, is sin, is sin. I am no better a person than she is. It’s about removing sin from your life people! We all have choices to make!

I am entitled to my understanding and views of how to live my life, just as Rick Warren is, just as my sister in law is, and just as each of you are. But I DON’T choose to HATE others for not sharing my convictions, as many of you here do.

Maurice Lacunza
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Dear Mare,
Are you of a minority race? Is your skin black? Have any of your Christian friends lately been strung up on a barb wire fence? How many of your friends have been beat up? How about you? If you aren’t on the receiving end of discrimination, then you can’t understand the pain, sorrow, sadness; and then comes the venom.

I no longer want to hear how perverted I am, or what a genetic misfit I am. I no longer want to hear that God hates me. I love God, I love Christ. He loves me. Why should I have to hide? Why should I not have equal access to the law?

I hear your point about the vile mud slinging back and forth. But please understand that victims have a right to be angry and express that anger. And passing Prop 8 won’t heal that pain. It goes much deeper. I still long to be accepted for who I am by my church, my family, my government, my school, my friends, my hometown.

Gay people want to be loved and accepted. If society had laws that gave equal access to gays, then maybe people’s attitudes would loosen and eventually we would be just another demographic in some marketing poll.

I imagine that the lack of understanding towards gays creates fear. The Bible says that where there is fear, love is not perfected.

Maurice Lacunza
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

One more thing Mare, you can’t call cake pie, and, you can’t call discrimination “personal convictions” and “right to an opinion”.

Priya Lynn
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Mare said “I am entitled to my understanding and views of how to live my life, just as Rick Warren is, just as my sister in law is, and just as each of you are.”.

As you said, you’re entitled to live your life as you choose, but trouble is you aren’t satisfied with that, you want to criticize others for how they live theirs when they hurt no one and you want to tell them they are sinning and they shouldn’t do that. Live your own life and let others live your own. If you don’t like the way they live their lives keep it to yourself.

Mare said “But I DON’T choose to HATE others for not sharing my convictions, as many of you here do.”.

You’ve chosen an ugly attitude Mare, you have to accept that with that choice you’ve chosen hate and displayed it for all to see. You aren’t hated for not sharing the convictions of gays, you’re hated for condemning as sinful those who hurt no one. You don’t like that then change because it is an accurate judgement.

John
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Mare,

So, I guess you would think it perfectly okay for one of your neighbors or friends to go around comparing you to a child rapist? That person would be welcome in your home and honored with the highest profile position you could think to give him/her?

I don’t think so. This despicable bigot should be loudly denounced by all decent people, not given an honored position at this president’s inauguration.

By the way, did you ask this sister-in-law that have, what does she think of this man who thinks she is the moral equivalent of a child molester? If you haven’t, I would strongly encourage you to bring it up. Perhaps you will learn something. And if you so defend the bigotted Rev. Warren as staunchly to your sister-in-law as you do to us, perhaps she will learn something about you too.

Timothy Kincaid
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Mary-Lee…

Earlier I said

I’m saying that his positions (if he does support civil unions) are the same as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and a whole host of others about whom you would probably not ask this question.

However, Warren’s statements have cleared this up. He is NOT favorable towards any form of couple recognition for gay people and is, indeed, homophobic and hateful in his views and in the way he compares gay people to pedophiles and the incestuous.

I apologize

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Truthteller
December 21st, 2008 | LINK

Mare You say:

“Do you hear Pastor Warren calling you names
and calling you liars?”

Yes, I do. He calls gay people pedophiles, and he says they’re into bestiality.

Can you please define what you mean by a gay lifestyle.

Gay people have heterosexual parents, some of them are church attending christians, mormons, etc. They have brothers, sisters, nephews, they go to movies, they buy music, they have jobs and some of them are in committed relationships.

Is that the gay lifestyle?

If that’s the case, what about the heterosexual people who murder, rob, rape children, cheat on their opposite sex spouses. Is that the “straight lifestyle’?

Please clarify.

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Samuel
May 10th, 2009 | LINK

As Christians we should define marriage on the basis of the Bible, not what a Muslim, or Buddist, etc. think or define. If the Bible says, gay marriage is “suppressing the truth” (Rom. 1: 18ff.)and the result is “self destruction” we should stand for that.

Timothy Kincaid
May 11th, 2009 | LINK

Samuel,

Romans 1 is about folks who “exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles”.

So as long a same-sex marriages don’t include, for example, a sacrifice to the crocodile god then we can joyously celebrate God’s divine blessing on the holy institution of marriage between two persons who join before God, family, and community to become one, without having to obsess about their genitals.

TJ McFisty
May 11th, 2009 | LINK

We’re not supposed to sacrifice to the crocodile god? Uh oh.

Priya Lynn
February 8th, 2010 | LINK

Samuel said “If the Bible says, gay marriage is “suppressing the truth” (Rom. 1: 18ff.)and the result is “self destruction” we should stand for that.”.

But the bible doesn’t say that. It doesn’t say anything about gay marriage.

Salon Radio: Pam Spaulding on Rick Warren - Salon.com
May 21st, 2011 | LINK

[...] of the most vocal supporters for Proposition 8, but also using the most inflammatory rhetoric on gay issues generally, expressing anti-abortion views in the most fanatical terms possible, and even sitting with Sean [...]

Deceptive Cadence « The Nappy Cat Chronicles
July 21st, 2011 | LINK

[...] like Warren, espouse paranoia and a persecution complex; or, if you, a Christian like Warren, claim that you have “many gay friends”, you are a liar (and I suppose that means you should be delivering the invocation at a presidential [...]

Elizabeth Santorum Has “Gay Friends” Who “Support” Her Dad | One Blue Stocking
January 3rd, 2012 | LINK

[...] about the interview is Elizabeth’s claim to have gay friends. Just like her father. And Rick Warren and Joel Orstein and Sarah [...]

“I have gay friends” | Blag Hag
January 4th, 2012 | LINK

[...] Santorum—follow her on Twitter@esantorum2012—has gay friends. Just like her father. And Rick Warren and Joel Osteen and Donny Osmond and Sarah Palin. All the high-profile homophobes seem to have [...]

Anti-Gay Pastor Rick Warren’s son committs suicide | O-blog-dee-o-blog-da
April 7th, 2013 | LINK

[...] NY Times/ Rick Warren Compares Gay Marriage to Incest, Pedophilia http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2008/12/16/7415 Share this:StumbleUponDiggEmailFacebookRedditTwitterPrintGoogle +1TumblrLinkedInLike this:Like [...]

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