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Rick Warren Congratulates Himself On His “Model of Civility”

Jim Burroway

December 18th, 2008

Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren has issued this statement on President-elect Barack Obama’s choosing him to give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration:

I commend President-elect Obama for his courage to willingly take enormous heat from his base by inviting someone like me, with whom he doesn’t agree on every issue, to offer the Invocation at his historic Inaugural ceremony.

Hopefully individuals passionately expressing opinions from the left and the right will recognize that both of us have shown a commitment to model civility in America. …

Warren’s model of civility includes describing his “many gay friends” as being in relationships which are morally equivalent to child rape, incest, and polygamy, as well as his bald-faced lies about what Prop 8 will do to free speech. Yes, I’m sounding like a broken record, but I’ll keep saying that because that’s the whole point.

The mainstream media is saying that the outrage over picking Warren stems from his support for Prop 8.  That may explain some of the opposition to him, but it doesn’t explain the near-unanimous and vociferous outrage that is being expressed in the LGBT community. The fuel for the explosive reaction comes from a much deeper source.

It is indeed possible to support Prop 8 civilly. But Warren did not do that. Instead, he not only lied about what it would do, but he further insulted his “many gay friends” — and the rest of us — when he described their relationships as being on par with the lowest form of criminals. Even the most vile criminals — convicted rapists of old ladies, serial killers of defenseless orphans, and baby torturers — they all look down on child molesters, and they don’t think twice about killing them in the most sadistic way. But Warren thinks that the deeply held relationships among his “many gay friends” are no better than child rape. Or incest. Or polygamy.

That is the outrage. Maybe some day Rick Warren will see the need to apologize deeply for that offense. But it won’t happen until everyone — including the mainstream media — calls him on it. It’s not just about Prop 8. It goes much, much deeper, to that “model of civility” that Warren lacks.

Comments

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Matthew
December 18th, 2008 | LINK

“with whom he doesn’t agree on every issue”

What are the issues they don’t agree on? Why is nobody asking that? Why is the national media giving them a pass on making this statement?

Which issues?

JJQR
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

The media doesn’t WANT to question it.

elaygee
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

He has no Gay friends. He has Gay aquaintances who won’t tell him how bigoted he is.

Alex
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Ok, does Warren honestly expect us to believe that he has “hundreds” of gay friends? I have maybe a dozen gay friends at the most, and I’m an openly gay man who lives in a liberal city, not a conservative celebrity-pastor with a wife and kids! How does he find the time to meet all these gay people?! :-P

Charles Lanigan
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Rest Stops!

Bob Leahy
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

Perhaps Warren should consider converting to a more loving religion – like Christianity. The last time I read the New Testament, Christ urged his followers to love their enemies.

Christ never said a word against gays.

I haven’t read the New Testament since 1973. Has there been a revision since then?

Dennis Veite
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

@Bob Leahy: Everytime a new publisher prints another book. Better get caught up cause there’s a lot of new out there.

knobandtube
December 19th, 2008 | LINK

And he thinks political assassination is our moral duty.

http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/12/rick-warren-bac.html

Lynn David
December 20th, 2008 | LINK

An interesting article about when representatives of Soulforce attempted to talk with Rick Warren:

That Weird Hug from Rick Warren
http://www.bilerico.com /2008/ 12/ that_weird_hug_from_rick_warren.php

Filed by: Jeff Lutes is the Executive Director of Soulforce
December 19, 2008 10:00 AM

And a snippet from the policy of Saddleback Church on gay people in the church, you’re welcome to come, but you have to renounce your ‘gay sins’ to be a member of the church:

SADDLEBACK CHURCH ON HOMOSEXUALITY
http://www.saddlebackfamily.com /membership/ group_finder/ faqs_smallgroup.asp?id=7509

What does the Bible say about homosexuality? The Bible very clearly says that homosexuality is a sin.

Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one’s life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.

Joshua Mast
January 29th, 2009 | LINK

It seems unfair to classify Rick Warren’s support of proposition 8 as uncivil and outrageous. He is an evangelical Christian Pastor. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is not an acceptable expression of sexuality (Lev. 18, Rom 1:24-28, 1 Cor. 6:9-10, 1 Tim 1:8-11, etc.), and it is this same source (not Warren) which places homosexuality on par with incest (Lev. 18), but not polygamy, and the “child rape” comment is clearly a reference to NAMBLA – not all homosexuals. Thus, Warren is not being “uncivil” he is merely being consistent with what he believes.
You can argue the validity of God or the Bible, but don’t inacurately classify his behaviour as outrageous when he is merely being consistent with the Christian belief system.

Jim Burroway
January 29th, 2009 | LINK

Joshua,

It would be unfair to classify Timothy McVeigh’s position as outrageous and uncivil either then, if that’s the standard that you want to purue. McVeigh, after all, firmly grounded his beliefs in his interpretation not only of the Bible, but of the constitution.

If all that’s required is consistency with one’s belief system, then all manner of uncivil activity — and criminal activity — would get a pass.

And evoking NAMBLA — nice tough. Nobody has even thought to mention that group in this context. The very fact that you seem to think that NAMBLA is a part of a community which has repeatedly denounced and reputiated it says an awful lot about your own defective belief system.

Timothy Kincaid
January 29th, 2009 | LINK

Joshua,

You seem rather ignorant of the width of belief in the Christian belief system.

Did you know, for example, that both the Northern and Southern California conventions of the United Methodist Church officially opposed Proposition 8? Or that the United Church of Christ viewed fighting Proposition 8 as part of their quest for Christian social justice?

Or that an amicus brief requesting that the courts overturn Proposition 8 has been filed by hundreds of California ministers from Lutheran, Presbyterian, Episcopal, American Catholic, Disciples of Christ, United Church of Christ, and Methodist churches. You may not like these churches or these men of God, but you cannot say that they are not Christian.

So I don’t accept “it’s part of the Christian belief system” as justification for his maligning and lying about his neighbor.

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