Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rick Warren is worse than we thought!

If Obama really is the "fierce advocate of gay and lesbian rights" that he claims he is, then he ought to rescind his invitation of Pastor Warren.

We know already that Warren opposes gay marriage and equates it with pedophilia and incest, but apparently "unrepentant gays" are not permitted to attend his church! And that is not even the worst of it! Watch the video and you'll see what I mean:


  1. Should unrepentant adulterers be allowed to attend Warren's church?

    (Admittedly, the typical Catholic parish will allow the "unrepentant about anything" to attend, but no church has to do this.)

    You really need to face the fact that the Bible (and not just the Old Testiment) views homosexual acts as immoral.

    If you don't agree with the Bible, at least be honest about what it says. And have a bit of respect for people who believe it, even if you don't.

  2. Thanks for the comment Dr. McAdams! As always, I appreciate your feedback and commentary.
    Should unrepentant adulterers be allowed to attend Warren's church?

    Good question. The answer is difficult. Of course Christianity teaches that "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." But there is a difference, I suppose, between sinning and sinning unrepentantly.

    For my own part, I think anyone who wants to - if they have not broken the law - can attend church.

    I may not like them, or morally approve of them, but I'd let them attend. Of course that is not my decision, I don't run a church.

    the values of Jesus of Nazareth are compassion, forgiveness, reconciliation, inclusion, non-violence, peace, and justice for the poor, excluded, and downtrodden. It is by these that I judge the proper following of Christ.

    I readily confess, however, that Warren is allowed to exclude whomever he'd like from his church. I think the separation of church and state gives him that right. Although what would we thik of him if he excluded black people? Or some other minority group? But I think he could be legally permitted to so exclude.

    My concern is that he is leading the invocation at Obama's administration, not that he is excluding gays from his church.

    If Obama really is someone who speaks for the "rights of gays and lesbians" why pick such a man?

    Don't get me wrong, people who think homesexuality immoral, who oppose gay marriage, who exclude "unrepentant gays" from their churches can in many ways be good people. Such folks are often good friends, loving parents, devoted citizens, passionate advocates of compassionate causes and just battles - though I disagree with them fiercly on the issues pertaining to homosexuality.

    But, my complaint remains, should Obama choose such a figure to lead this prayer?

    of course Obama may choose Warren if he wants to. That is Obama's perogative. And the evangelical communitty is a large and important part of the political landscape in this country. In fact, I've people very deer to me who are evangelical christians of exactly warrens' stripes . . and I admire them greatly. But none of this is the issue. The issue is whether Obama is excluding and demeaning gay people by this choice, rather than another.

    Turning to the Bible: Yes, both Old and New Testaments codemn homosexuality. Levitus condemns it, along with wearing blended garments, permitting the selling of your daughter into slavery, prohibiting the eating of non-kosher foods, and so on.
    Of course this is the same Old Testament that sanctions a lot of nasty things, like genocide of the amalekites in 1 samuel, and countless other absurd laws, rituals, and so forth.

    Yes, the New Testament also condemns homosexuality. Paul is particularly fierce in Romans. Of course Paul also thought that the parousia was coming in a few short weeks, that men with long hair were an abomination to God, that slaves should obey their masters, and women submit to their husbands.

    None of this is to degrade the Bible. It's a fine book, I happen to respect both the Bible and religion - very deeply.

    But let us all admit something very important: none of us believes everything in the "good book", nobody takes all sanctions, injucntions, and prohibitions in the Bible literraly and as infallible words of God.

    When so called "Bible-Christians" start wearing fabrics of one garment, publicly stoning adulterers, putting children to death for backtalking their parents, selling their daughters into slavery, or making damn sure men have short hair . . . then I'll take their "we believe everything the Bible says" seriously.

    On a more pious note: Christians - and I count myself among them - do not find God buried in the literal words of ancient texts. Rather the word of God - the decisive revelation of God in this world to us - is Jesus of Nazareth.
    And this Jesus was not a man who excluded and condemned. Jesus broke down barriers and reached out to the outcast and pariahs of his world.

    His rebuke was to the self-righteous religous leaders and teachers who thought they spoke for God and thought they could say who was "holy" and who "unclean", who was "in" and who was "out". Our Lord Jesus called such men a "brood of vipers" and "whitewashed tombs", men who "strain out a gnat but swallow a camel," men who "make your converts twice as much a son of hell as you are yourselves" "who tithe mint, dill, and cummin, but neglect the weighter matters of charity, justice, and mercy."

    Yet this Jesus says nothing about homosexuality. Not a word. Apparently the Christ was much more concerned, affronted, and appauled by hypocrisy, self-righteousness, and judgmental exclusion, then he was by who did what to whom in the sack.


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