Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Amazing Transformation Of Rick Warren

Shuck & Jive calls out Rick Warren on his Prop. 8 hypocrisy. Seems Pastor Warren told Larry King last night that reports portraying him against gay marriage and a supporter of Proposition 8 were all one big misunderstanding.

Why, Warren claims, he
never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop 8 was going.

Really? So this video statement from October 2008 where he says...

Now Let me just say this really clearly. We support Proposition 8. And if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8.

... was not an endorsement, and just part of this big misunderstanding, huh?

Warren has undergone an amazing makeover these past few years. Once a proud member of the wackadoodle far-right fringe, who sent this pre-2004 election letter to his flock informing them that abortion, gay marriage, and stem cell research were the most important issues of concern to Christians, he now claims that he's "impartial." BTW, in that letter he closed with the admonishment:

this election REALLY counts more than most others have.

Yes, it sure did. Pay no attention to the war and torture your president did in your name, Pastor Warren.

Meanwhile in 2005, Warren was enjoying fresh celebrity thanks to Ashley Smith. So he appeared on Hardball, where he all but called Michael Schiavo a murderer:

MATTHEWS:  What do you do in that situation, after four or five years of sitting in a room with a person, in this case, 15 years of being in a room where he knows, when he goes in that room, there is not going to be another person in there?  What do you do for hope?

WARREN:  Well, my first question is, I wonder why he is in a hurry to pull the feeding tube on her.  In the first place...

MATTHEWS:  Fifteen years is a hurry? 

WARREN:  Well, he has already began his own life.  He is living with another girl. 


MATTHEWS:  So why is he doing this, do you think?

WARREN:  I have no idea.  Well, I don‘t know.

There‘s 1,000 reasons could you speculate.  What if she came back out of the—out of this state and had something to say that he didn‘t want said?

Wow, that’s some amazing compassion and understanding right there.

Interestingly, despite being such a prominent religious voice during the Terri Schiavo debacle, Warren had nothing at all to say when President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding for stem cell research. According to Warren’s spokeswoman,

Kristin Cole said he will not be issuing a public statement on it. Cole said in a brief phone conversation that Warren typically avoids making public statements on political matters.

Really? Since when? He said in that October 2008 video that he won’t endorse a candidate but he will speak out on moral issues. I guess stem cell research and "right to life" are no longer moral issues for Pastor Warren. What an amazing flip-flop.

However, let's give Rick Warren credit for taking on the evangelical establishment on issues like global warming and AIDs in Africa. These issues are popular with young evangelicals; it allows him to hobnob with President Obama and rock star Bono. But it’s hard for me to take anything he says seriously, knowing that Warren’s commitment to a cause seems to shift with the political winds--and the all-important desire to take his "brand" global.

Rick Warren has always been a limelight-chaser. He’s ambitious, and ambition and religion are a deadly combination. He wants to be “America’s pastor” but the thing is, America doesn’t need a pastor. This is post-Christian America, remember?