Sunday, December 21, 2008

What's the Problem With Rick Warren?

Pastor Rick Warren
Saddleback Church

So now Barack Obama is facing outcries from the Gay Community for his choice of Pastor Rick Warren to give the invocation at the Inaugural on January 20. Warren, a nationally-known pastor of the Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, California, was host to a joint forum at his church with Obama and John McCain during the election campaign. And why is the Gay Community so outraged? Because Warren is opposed to gay marriage and supported California's ballot initiative declaring marriage to be between a man and a woman.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have occasionally attended services at the Saddleback Church though I am not a member. I do know, however, that the church does a lot of great work helping the less fortunate. One couple who are friends of ours went to Africa as part of a Saddleback Church group where they helped build infrastructure in small villages. The church also has programs to help those addicted to drugs and alcohol or are involved in marital difficulties.

None of which counts to the Gay Community, which organized protests outside Warren's church after Proposition 8 passed. None of that means anything to Barney Frank, who is criticizing Obama's choice of Warren. Frank takes exception to Warren's taped response to a question about same-sex marriage that he was against the redefinition of marriage, just as he was opposed to incestuous marriage, polygamist marriage or marriage between a child and an adult. (I am paraphrasing). Apparently, Frank and others object to Warren putting gay marriage in the same breath as the other three.

Of course, every time Barney Frank has the temerity to condemn anyone, I will be quick to point out his involvement in a gay escort service run out of his Washington residence by his then-boyfriend several years ago. I will also not hesitate to point out Frank's role in the whole Fannie Mae fiasco including his conflict-of-interest relationship with a former Fannie Mae executive, Herb Moses. That is because Barney Frank is a hypocrite who has no business being in Congress.

Am I digressing here? I'll try to stay on topic. It seems to me that this so-called Gay Community-whoever it represents, is acting like a bunch of spoiled, narcissistic bullies-lashing out at whomever is opposed to same-sex marriage. Apparently, they believe that anyone opposed to same-sex marriage isn't fit for anything except perhaps scrubbing toilets. Now they are going to try and put pressure on President-elect Obama to rescind the invitation to Warren. This is a signature moment for Obama, where we will see what he is really made of. If he caves in to the gay lobby and the Barney Franks of the world and rescinds this invitation (or Warren is discreetly asked to remove himself), then we will know that we are in store for a weak president.

Weak as in Jimmy Carter weak.


Lance Christian Johnson said...

Okay, I've been away, obviously.

Gary, would you support somebody who believed that YOU shouldn't be allowed to get married?

This Rick Warren is a shmuck, if you ask me - fleecing his followers with more "purpose" books. Sure, he does some good work - but so does Farakhan.

Gary Fouse said...


...and Hitler built the Autobahns.

Glad you're back. I managed to slip a couple past you.

Rick Warren will never prevent anyone from getting married. However, he has as much right as anyone to voice his opinion on same-sex marriage. Will you feel comfortable if he is forced off the inauguration?

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Considering that a Presidential inauguration shouldn't be a religious ceremony in the first place, I'd call removing him progress. (Of course, they'd replace him with some other snake oil salesman though.) That aside, no, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Barney Frank aside, it is not just offensive, but particularly ignorant to compare same sex marriage with incest and pedophelia. Sure, Warren has a right to express his opinions, but others have a right to react to his opinions - especially when his influence so many other people.

I guess the thing is, Gary, aren't you lucky that you are like the majority and attracted to the opposite sex? How do you think you'd feel if you were a gay man?

Perhaps it's time to take a walk in another man's shoes and see how you'd feel then.

Gary Fouse said...


Nor would I compare same -sex marriage with bpedophilia and incest. Poor choice of words, perhaps, but he was responsing to an interviewer's question. So do we hang him for it? The man opposes same-sex marriage, which puts him in the majority (I know-the majority once supported slavery). I am just saying the guy is no monster.

I don't buy the walk a mile in a gay man's shoes argument either. I have made it pretty plain in the past on this blog that gays are human beings and deserve to be treated as such. I just don't buy into the argument that sexual preference is basis for all sorts of constitutional legal protections-as would be race, gender etc.

Remember, we have only begun thinking of the idea of gay marriage for what- 20 years now? 25?

But the thesis of my article was not to stir up another debate over the idea of gay marriage, which we have gone over and over-it was to point out the fact that certain gay organizations are starting to act downright offensive in their bullying tactics. They are not winning any new friends to their cause by these tactics.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

I don't think that he's a monster either. I believe that I went with the word "shmuck" and I'll stick to that.

But do you honestly think that you'd feel the same way about all of this if you were gay too? Seriouly, can you REALLY say that and be honest with yourself?

And I don't even necessarily disagree with your main point. However, I think that gay people are reacting towards hundreds of years of discrimination. Perhaps they don't always focus it exactly where it belongs, but guys like Warren are definitely part of the problem (as gays - and I - see it) while not necessarily being the root cause of it.

Gary Fouse said...

"But do you honestly think that you'd feel the same way about all of this if you were gay too? Seriouly, can you REALLY say that and be honest with yourself?"


I think (THINK) I would want to be left alone, be accepted, not made fun of, be able to live openly and be with whomever I want. I would not want anyone making moral judgements about me and my sexual orientation.

Would I demand the right to change the institution of marriage that has existed for thousands of years all over the world?

Maybe. Maybe not. Do all gays think that gay marriage is a right? I don't think so.

Gary Fouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lance Christian Johnson said...

Would I demand the right to change the institution of marriage that has existed for thousands of years all over the world?

You know, Jon Stewart, while interviewing Mike Huckabee recently, made a good point about this argument. You are aware that it's not exactly the same thing now as it was thousands of years ago, right? Shoot, thousands of years ago, polygamy was the norm! (And it also had more to do with viewing the woman as property - hence the whole dowry thing).

So, it's already changed. Looks like it's going to change again eventually.

Lance Christian Johnson said...

Hey Gary,

I just did a bit of reading on this issue, and perhaps what I found out will shed some light on why there's such an outrage against this guy.

1 - He refuses to accept the fact that all the evidence indicates that gay people are biologically predisposed to being attracted to the same sex. He refers to homosexuality (not just gay marriage) as a "moral" issue.

2 - He supports "ex-gay" causes. You know, those groups that try and get people to stop being gay, which perpetuate the absurd myth that we can choose to whom we're attracted.

3 - His church does not accept "unrepetent" homosexuals. (Don't get me wrong - that's his right, but it's also the right of gay people to criticize him for it.)

While you and I disagree on the marriage issue, I think that you're closer to my side than you are to this guy's side. I agree with the protesters - this man has no place in a ceremony that's supposed to represent ALL Americans.

Gary Fouse said...


I think you are correct about the positions of his church regading Gays. I understand the web site just took down that portion. I don't beleive however that Warren hates gays. he says he loves them as children of God.

By the way, I don't agree with his positions on that as you listed them.

What I fear about Warren is that he is becoming Too Big if you know what I mean. Not good for a Christian to start thinking he is a major player on the world scene.