Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rick-Warrenophobia (maybe)..., NOT "Christophobia"!

Rick Warren - the evangelical preacher chosen by Barack Obama to deliver the inaugural invocation - has not been silent over the controversy following his interview on Beliefnet. (see our previous post)

In a 20 minute video interview, he has criticized
...the media, and, in particular, bloggers, for fueling the controversy. And he says the criticism of him in the wake of his selection has been characterized by "a lot of hate speech" and by "Christophobia -- people who are afraid of any Christian.''

"Free speech has to be free speech for everybody,'' he says. "Some people feel today if you disagree with them that’s hate speech...I’m neither afraid of gays, nor do I hate gays. In fact, I love them, but I do disagree with some of their beliefs, and I have that constitutional right". (Boston Globe)
I agree with him - it is his absolute right to express himself freely on this matter. This blog has always been for free speech, and I would defend that right no matter how much I disagree with what he says but who says he hasn't? Rick Warren just needs to take the heat that comes with it, especially as a public figure, and accept criticism and rebut, and stop playing the victim because you've said things that offend people. It is after all also their right to be offended.
And he says the criticism of him in the wake of his selection has been characterized by "a lot of hate speech" and by "Christophobia -- people who are afraid of any Christian.' (Boston Globe)
Well, some people may go extreme when they are offended, but Rick Warren should not confused pastor-rick-warrenophobia and "Christophobia", and maybe show a bit more humility in the matter.
Noting that he has been accused of comparing homosexuality to incest and pedophilia (see our previous post), he says in the video, "I believe no such thing.'' He reiterated his opposition to same sex marriage, but said he is in agreement with "the view of the vast majority of the world and the vast majority of religions.'' (Boston Globe)
Well, since when conforming to the majority view of the world has anything to do with Christ-like views? how is that even an argument?

"Our nation is being destroyed by the demonization of differences,'' he says. "The fact that an evangelical pastor believes in keeping the historic definition of marriage -- that’s not news. The fact that the gay community would disagree with me -- that’s not news either. The real story is that a couple of different American leaders have chosen to model civility for the rest of the nation.'' (Boston Globe)

Differences of opinion are good, but it's not just about diverging opinions - as we said before, it is one thing to be against gay marriage, it is yet another to compare it to allowing incestuous people and pedophiles to get married. No matter how much he denies it, that's what he said. It may not be hate speech, but it can vbe very offensive to gays and he should be able to understand that.

But some people really defend Rick Warren's words no matter what, either out of bad faith or ideological blindness. This conservative columnist for instance :

Warren did say, "I'm opposed to the re-definition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to a having brother and sister be together and call that a 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 a marriage."

Is that equating same-sex marriage with incest and pedophilia? If it you want it to, sure. Or you could see the quote as proof that Warren holds traditional religious views -- and cut the guy some slack. (

Helloooooo.... just READ THE WORDS! And please, see it in context if you need to understand what he means better.

One more development : Saddleback removed a page on their website that stated: "someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church." but a Saddleback spokesman, Larry Ross, said that it "has not been permanently removed as alleged in some media reports, but rather is being repurposed for clarity.''

"... repurposed for clarity".... Don't you love it? !

On a final note, yes, Rick Warren may be praised for many things, like organizing Christians to fight global poverty and scourges like AIDS, but he has some really scary view as well (see video below),

"The Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped.... In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers." (Fox News)

and I think that if we start using the Bible for international politics, we are about to build a more violent and chaotic world and criticizing him for such views has NOTHING to do with Christophobia!


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