Monday, December 22, 2008

Rick Warren's Great Manipulation.

My first reaction to the controversy of Obama's choice of Rev. Rich Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration as President of the United-States was that it was a a bit of a tempest in a teapot.

Sure, Rick Warren is against abortion and gay marriage, but I always thought the guy was interesting anyway because he offered a new image of conservative evangelical Christians by focusing on causes like poverty in the world, diseases, education for the poor, and the environment.

In other words, he seemed to be the kind of guy a moderate liberal could work with. The teddy-bearish, Hawaiian-shirted pastor is after all the founder of the currently fourth largest church in the United-States.

Besides I have become weary of the cultural war, and even I support gay marriage, I don't think it is the most pressing issue of the time.

But then, I read a couple of interviews that puzzled me to say the least.

Here for instance, in the same sentence, he mentions his opposition to gay marriage as well as "having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage ... [and] an older guy marrying a child.". Then, when asked by the reporter if he thought those [i.e. marriage in incest and pedophilia] were equivalent to gays getting married?, he answered with no hesitation "Oh, I do!".

It is one thing to be against gay marriage, it is another to compare it to the the sanctification of criminal and widely recognized heinous sexual acts like incest and pedophilia. By the same logic, homosexuals who have sex with their own gender should be put in jail.

Then, on this interview with NBC’s Ann Curry (see video below), he said this :
If it [homsexuality is biological] I would be glad to know, we all have biological predisposition. Sompe people struggle with anger, other people say 'I don't struggle with anger, I sure struggle with fear', "
Then he goes on :
"Here's what I'm saying : I've had many gay friends tell me 'Well Rick, why shouldn't I have multiple sexual partners, it's the natural thing to do' .
Well, just because it seems 'natural', doesn't mean it's best for you or society. I'm naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see, but that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. And why should I reign in my natural impulses, and you say 'because I have natural impulses toward the same sex, I shouldn't have to reign them in.
Well, I disagree, I think it's part of maturity. I think it's part of delayed gratification. I think it's part of character".
Rick Warren is a good orator and a good manipulator : he uses false empathy by talking about his 'gay friends', then he uses their words as representative of gays in general (a synechdoche in rhetoric) as if all gays wanted 'multiple partners'. If this was the case by the way, why would they even bother to want marriage? Obviously, the whole premise is false.
Rick Warren clearly associates gays with depravity, with a lack of control of unchecked desires ('multiple partners'), thus linking their urge to that of heterosexuals craving for sex. And to make it clear, he uses 'I' to create some emotional appeal (pathos), showing that he too can relate to their impulses and then by showing how he, contrary to them, is 'mature' and has 'character'.






Of course, what comes next is that gays can become heterosexual. In other words, they can be cured of their bad life-style. This really looks like something from another age which can have dire consequences.
Although the scientific community cannot say definitively what determines sexual orientation — whether it is nature or nurture — most mainstream mental health professionals dismiss attempts to eradicate homosexual desires or to change someone’s sexual orientation as quackery that is potentially harmful.
(.../...)
Mental health experts say there is no proof that sexual reorientation therapy, as it is often called, works. Meanwhile, they argue, the damage it can inflict on self-esteem, triggering depression and even suicide , is well documented.


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