The hate-Driven, fear-driven, ignorance-driven life of Rick Warren

Either way, it’s all in the same homophobic place. And it’s not helpful.  Evangelical, pastor of Saddleback Church in CA and author of the The Purpose Driven Life and the The Purpose Driven Church, Pastor Rick Warren came out (pun intended) this past week in support of California’s proposition 8, banning gay marriage:

For 5,000 years, every culture and every religion — not just Christianity — has defined marriage as a contract between men and women. There is no reason to change the universal, historical definition of marriage to appease 2% of our population. This is one issue that both Democrats and Republicans can agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain have publicly opposed the redefinition of marriage to include so-called ‘gay marriage.’ Even some gay leaders, like Al Rantel of KABC oppose watering down the definition of marriage.

Of course, my longtime opposition is well known. This is not a political issue, it is a moral issue that God has spoken clearly about. There is no doubt where we should stand on this issue.

This will be a close contest, maybe even decided by a few thousand votes. I urge you to VOTE YES on Proposition 8 — to preserve the biblical definition of marriage. Don’t forget to vote!

The good news here (yes, more punning) is that members of his own religious community are calling him to task for it :

And if we needed further warrant for this, the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection under law” codified that into the Constitution itself.

Many Americans, myself included, understand the California supreme court’s decision (and similar rulings in other jurisdictions) as an expression of that principle, an expansion of civil rights to those who have been denied equality for a very long time. It’s not at all at odds with fundamental Baptist principles of liberty and protection from a majoritarian ethic that imposes its standards on the minority.

I challenge Rick Warren, my friend and fellow evangelical, to reconsider his support for Proposition 8. Warren and all people of faith have every right to hold to their religious views about homosexuality. But to insist that those standards must be observed by everyone in a pluralistic society is — well, it’s not Baptist.

Rick Warren knows better.

Yes, Rick Warren should know better.  He’s been one of a group of Evangelical leaders trying to get evangelicals to work on issues such as the AIDS crisis and the environment, but something like this makes me question why? I don’t like questioning people’s motives for such work, and I believe Warren has good intentions, but I wonder what what he thinks about people with AIDS? Still sinners who he love in spite of their sin? I think his statement on Proposition 8 is more of a true colors statement about his theology, some people  have more dignity and worth than others; some people view the world and who’s acceptable differently than Rich Warren and that’s not acceptable. Having such views is called bigotry. Bigotry is born of ignorance and fear, together they breed hatred and violence.  It’s sad and damaging to see someone with Warren’s profile contributing to this in a season where political rallies are calling for the death of candidate for president of the United States under what amounts to thinly veiled racism.  Right now we need tolerance and acceptance, not bigotry, fear and hate driven lives. I do hope there’s room for that in Warren’s ministry.

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