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Melissa Etheridge: Warren “Regrets” Pedophilia/Incest Comparison

Jim Burroway

December 22nd, 2008

According to a post by Melissa Etheridge on The Huffington Post, she happened to run into  Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren on Sunday. During their discussions, he reportedly told her he regrets comparing same-sex marriage to pedophilia and incest:

He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn’t want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays.

While these words are encouraging, I’d much rather hear from Rick Warren himself. He’s very media savey, and could book himself on virtually any talk show in the country.  He could clear this up very quickly at any time he wants. Make an apology — “repent” in his words — and retract his insulting comparison. Maybe the scrubbing on his church’s web site is a sign.

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Patrick
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

“He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn’t want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman.”

***
Call me a skeptic. Does anyone really think he would support Civil Unions in California that gave the same state rights and privileges as marriage?

And I thought an explicit reason for supporting Prop 8 was the free speech issue. Does he still believe this fallacy or not?

Personally, I’m still waiting for him to publicly acknowledge he was wrong when he said that every culture in the world only defined marriage heterosexually. We know for a fact that’s not true.

Timothy Kincaid
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

I believe in confession, repentance, forgiveness, and redemption.

So far I’m hearing maybe a second-hand confession. If he’s willing to publicly confess to his “choice of words”, repent by means of speaking out in favor of “equal protection for every loving relationship”, then I’ll join Melissa at the front of the forgiveness line… on this issue.

I’m still waiting to hear what he has to say about Akinola and Orombi. Does he support “equal protection” here and incarceration in Africa?

David C.
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Well, at least this is movement. If he goes on to actually own up to a position that favors civil unions for all Americans, that will be a break with hard-right evangelicals, and signal a sea change.

In spite of the flap over Rick Warren appearing at the Obama inauguration, progressives should have hope that the debate is finally coming out into the open. We need to remember that the momentum has been with the evangelicals for some time thanks to Bush. Emboldened by their gains in the last 8 years, they have become more strident and reaching, and their victories have gone to their heads which suggests a backlash is coming.

It’s not going to be as easy for evangelicals to hide behind their faith when they have such a public figures in the news. Warren sticking his nose into the schism developing in the Anglican Church and its growing tolerance of homosexuals is going to get noticed on the international stage and here in North America. People are going to start seeing the evangelical movement for what it is and ask questions that fuel the debate. All the noise arguments and smokescreens laid down to obscure bald-face intolerance will be penetrated and exposed.

The more that mainstream America starts to see all of this for what it is, the faster things will begin to move back towards the center. I just hope whatever happens, we can arrange for a smooth deceleration away from the ideological extremes to something more sustainable near the middle.

Zeke
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Wow, a little flattery at the beginning of a phone conversation and Melissa rolls over and purrs like a kitten.

If Warren truly felt bad about some of the things he said; if he was misquoted; if he has changed his mind about some things then why, throughout all of this controversy over the last few days, did he not take one of the MANY interviews or press releases he’s done to say so and clear all of this up. If he really felt that way then why did he miss all of these opportunities to say so but then tell ONLY Melissa Ethridge on a private phone conversation?

I can’t tell if Melissa doesn’t realize that Warren is a top rate con man or if she is just oblivious as to what con-men do and how they do it. They ALWAYS start out by flattering their “mark”. It seems that that was all it took for Melissa and then she swallowed everything that followed.

billd
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Really folks! Do you believe any of this crap about Rick Warren maybe rethinking his position, or that his latest statements show movement on his part? Nonsense. No amount of back-peddling, apologizing, recanting, removing offensive web-site faq’s or anything else should give us cause to trust the likes of this media crazed, slogan driven, it’s all about me creep.

One thing remains true: neither Rick Warren, nor apparently Barack Obama, get that inequality, no matter who it’s against, is morally reprehensible and should disqualify a person from any official recognition (except as a jerk) by the state. The fact that the Obama team just doesn’t seem to get that is truly sad.

Frankly, right now, my anger is much more for the Obama team than for Rick Warren. He is what he is and we all know it. Obama, on the other hand, appears to have fooled us. I should have know. With empty words like “Change we can believe in” and “Hope”, what were to expect. I’m beginning to think O is just another narcissistic politician who cares much more about his political fortunes than about the lives of everyday people. He needed some political points – and when you need to score some political points, go kick a gay (quoting a cnn commentator from last week).

I wish I could get my $2300 campaign contribution back.

AJD
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

When public figures make bigoted remarks and then make public apologies, I take it with a grain of salt unless I see an indication that they really mean it.

If Warren just goes before the public and says he apologizes for his “choice of words,” then I’ll know he’s just trying to save his own ass.

On the other hand, if he says that he has a lot of ideas about gay people that are wrong — including those dictated by the Bible — and announces that he’ll let openly gay people become members of his church, then I’ll believe him.

Ken R
December 22nd, 2008 | LINK

Rick Warren will never approve of civil unions or DP’s for gays. For him as an evangelical Christian to publicly state his support for them would be the catalyst to his downfall. Look at what happened to Richard Cizik. They forced him to resign on that very issue.

Benjamin
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Ken, you’re right about that, however, the GLBT Evangelical movement is growing a great deal in this country so his congregation might eventually follow suit with several others who have finally realized how wrong homophobia and hatred of God’s GLBT children is. Evangelicals Concerned is an excellent Gay Christian organization that is growing.

Tina
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

AMEN Melissa!

I’m Christian and gay, and MOST of my friends and family are/were “thrown” when they found out.

It’s been a struggle, but I’m not throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Although I feel hurt and dismayed and FRUSTRATED by the understandings that many Christians hold about homosexuality, I have trouble calling it “Hate.” -maybe, institutionally… and yes, probably SOME leaders. But, by and large, I do not sense hate when I’m dealing one on one with people… and by building loving relationships, with a long-term goal of building COMMUNITY where everyone’s dignity is affirmed… that’s worth the effort.

And, come on… we know we’re right about this… so, keep plugging away. I’m betting that we have a better shot at changing hearts and minds if we reach out instead of react. (straight people don’t have our battle-begotten thick skin… you gotta talk nice or they get scared… after all, you know what they’ve been taught about the homosexual menace)

So, I’m for building bridges. I want community with affirmation and respect for all. And, as Martin Luther King, Jr was fond of saying, “the means and the ends are the same.”

Josh
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

GLAAD has vids of interviews that the Warrens did last year where they admitt that they didn’t care about HIV/AIDS when they thought it was just a “gay disease”…

http://glaadblog.org/2008/12/18/past-media-coverage-of-rick-warren/

Fox News: Hannity & Colmes – Warrens Address AIDS

12.20.07 09:00 pm – Pastor Rick and Kay Warren talk about their work with AIDS and Kay says, “I thought it was a gay disease. And for me I thought that meant I didn?t have to
care. And I was so wrong.”

ABC: Nightline – Kay Warren on AIDS

12.14.07 11:42 pm – Kay Warren, wife of pastor Rick Warren, admits she did not respond to the AIDS crisis immediately because it “was tied with homosexuality,” but now says all people with HIV/AIDS should be treated with compassion.

Jon
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Now we know that Rick Warren is secretly a Catholic and thinks that Melissa Etheridge is his priest.

TonyJazz
December 23rd, 2008 | LINK

Sorry, Melissa, as you have proved you are human after all, and you have also made a mistake….

The con man conned you… He wanted someone from our community to speak up for him (as he couldn’t seem to locate any of his gay friends for some reason), and you delivered.

I hope you’ll learn from this, Melissa, and either be quiet about Mr. Warren in the future or denounce his bigotry.

His support for prop 8 may have cost you your marriage!!!!

grantdale
December 24th, 2008 | LINK

Well, I read all what was said … and I had to wonder if an adult women actually wrote much of it etc.

He hugged me = he’s not anti-gay.

Please. (vomit) Are your that desperate?

No con man has ever been successful without also being able to put his mark at ease. They are never nasty. To the contrary, they always go out of their way to flatter you. That’s how they work.

The empty slickness of “I love your work” is an entire World away from “I am happy play and pay for your songs in my Church”.

Could Rick Warren have actually NAMED a song of M.E. that he “loved”, if she had been sharp enough to put him on the spot at that very point in time???

I doubt it.

(Good grief: next thing I’m going to hear is that he has also sold her land in Florida. All above the water-table, of course.)

SeattleMary
December 29th, 2008 | LINK

I appreciate Melissa’s willingness to talk to the source and get a sense of what he really means.

As a Lesbian, I have very mixed feelings on the choice. My initial reaction was anger and a sense of betrayal.

BUT, I also realized that Obama said that he wanted to be everyone’s president, that he did not want to continue politics as usual. And this is a way to reach out to conservatives that does not give them power. I would much rather he have Mr. Warren give the invocation than have a conservative right-winger appointed to the cabinet.

We need to make peace. George Bush has done a very good job of making it us vs them. I hope we can try to work together – or else we will all loose.

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