5:22PM UPDATE: Warren compared abortion to the “Jewish Holocaust,” and said that making abortion “rare” wasn’t enough, he’s for outlawing abortion, period. So that would make pro-choice people like Obama in favor of the Holocaust, according to Warren. Interesting.
“Of course I want to reduce the number of abortions,” Warren told Beliefnet Editor-in-Chief Steven Waldman when asked if he was going to work with the Obama administration to achieve an abortion reduction agenda or if he thinks that the effort is a charade.
“But to me it is kind of a charade in that people say ‘We believe abortions should be safe and rare,’” he added.
“Don’t tell me it should be rare. That’s like saying on the Holocaust, ‘Well, maybe we could save 20 percent of the Jewish people in Poland and Germany and get them out and we should be satisfied with that,’” Warren said. “I’m not satisfied with that. I want the Holocaust ended.”
5:06PM UPDATE: The Human Rights Campaign, pretty much “the” gay lobby, just blasted Obama in a letter, and called on him to remove Warren from the inauguration:
Dear President-elect Obama –
Let me get right to the point. Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT Americans. Our loss in California over the passage of Proposition 8 which stripped loving, committed same-sex couples of their given legal right to marry is the greatest loss our community has faced in 40 years. And by inviting Rick Warren to your inauguration, you have tarnished the view that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans have a place at your table.
Rick Warren has not sat on the sidelines in the fight for basic equality and fairness. In fact, Rev. Warren spoke out vocally in support of Prop 8 in California saying, “there is no need to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2 percent of our population … This is not a political issue — it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about.” Furthermore, he continues to misrepresent marriage equality as silencing his religious views. This was a lie during the battle over Proposition 8, and it’s a lie today.
Rev. Warren cannot name a single theological issue that he and vehemently, anti-gay theologian James Dobson disagree on. Rev. Warren is not a moderate pastor who is trying to bring all sides together. Instead, Rev. Warren has often played the role of general in the cultural war waged against LGBT Americans, many of whom also share a strong tradition of religion and faith.
We have been moved by your calls to religious leaders to own up to the homophobia and racism that has stood in the way of combating HIV and AIDS in this country. And that you have publicly called on religious leaders to open their hearts to their LGBT family members, neighbors and friends.
But in this case, we feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination. Only when Rev. Warren and others support basic legislative protections for LGBT Americans can we believe their claim that they are not four-square against our rights and dignity. In that light, we urge you to reconsider this announcement.
Human Rights Campaign
UPDATE: PFAW blasts Obama’s pick of Warren as inaugural preacher “a grave disappointment.” Warren says he’s just like James Dobson.
It is a grave disappointment to learn that pastor Rick Warren will give the invocation at the inauguration of Barack Obama.
Pastor Warren, while enjoying a reputation as a moderate based on his affable personality and his church’s engagement on issues like AIDS in Africa, has said that the real difference between James Dobson and himself is one of tone rather than substance. He has recently compared marriage by loving and committed same-sex couples to incest and pedophilia. He has repeated the Religious Right’s big lie that supporters of equality for gay Americans are out to silence pastors. He has called Christians who advance a social gospel Marxists. He is adamantly opposed to women having a legal right to choose an abortion.
I’m sure that Warren’s supporters will portray his selection as an appeal to unity by a president who is committed to reaching across traditional divides. Others may explain it as a response to Warren inviting then-Senator Obama to speak on AIDS and candidate Obama to appear at a forum, both at his church. But the sad truth is that this decision further elevates someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans.
Rick Warren gets plenty of attention through his books and media appearances. He doesn’t need or deserve this position of honor. There is no shortage of religious leaders who reflect the values on which President-elect Obama campaigned and who are working to advance the common good.
As you regulars know, this blog has argued that it’s premature for liberals to get too agitated about Obama’s cabinet picks and that we should wait to let his policies do the talking. But I’m not sure how you can defend this one, even if the two men are friends and the choice doesn’t necessarily have actual policy implications.
After all, the decision really gives Warren an extraordinary platform — not to mention yet another data point supporting the bogus notion that the radical Warren is some kind of “moderate.” If the first black president doesn’t mind him giving the invocation at his historic inaugural, how bad and bigoted can he really be?
Gee, maybe Donnie McClurkin wasn’t a fluke. Picking Rick Warren to give THE invocation is abominable. I’m doing my research and will be updating this post in a minute.
Rick Warrens eats with gays
But hey, Rick Warren says being gay isn’t the biggest sin (gee, so just how much of a sin is it, Rick?), and he’s actually eaten dinner with gays. How white of him.
Lamenting the “tyranny of activist judges,” who obstruct the will of the majority, he evinces no understanding of minority rights or the judiciary’s role in enforcing them. Explaining his views about homosexuality and gay rights, he notes, “I don’t think that homosexuality is the worst sin,” and, “By the way, my wife and I had dinner at a gay couple’s home two weeks ago. So I’m not [a] homophobic guy, okay?”
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 k
now… 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.
What exactly is a “gay” home, Rick? One where the shingles hang kind of limp?
Rick Warren: 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?
Really? You tried to revoke the marriages of 20,000 gay couples because if we let gay couples marry then preachers will be thrown in jail? What kind of bs is that?
Hey, Rick Warren actually did an ad for the Prop 8 homophobes! And he invokes Barack Obama as being on his side, in the ad. Nice.
If you watch the video, in addition to invoking Obama’s name to justify homophobia, Warren talks about how (he claims) gays are only 2% of the population. And how we shouldn’t let 2% of the population decide what we do on this issue. Gee, wonder how he feels about Jews, who are also 2% of the population. Watch the video, and prepare for your head to explode.