Wednesday, December 2, 2009

America's Minister...

My biggest objection to Obama asking Rick Warren to give the benediction at his inauguration was not that he'd do an extremely crappy job (which he did), but that it gave him the stature of "the new Billy Graham" who gets to go on Meet The Press and other places as the voice of organized religion in the United States.

And then there's the stuff like this:
Rick Warren, the pastor who delivered the invocation at President Obama's inauguration, is once again on the defensive -- this time for his work with a Ugandan pastor who would like homosexuality to be punishable by death.

Newsweek tried to get Warren's reaction to the anti-gay work of Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor who has come to his Saddleback Church multiple times. (Warren has distanced himself from Ssempa in general terms, saying the Ugandan minister does not represent him or his church.) Warren wouldn't reject the idea:
But Warren won't go so far as to condemn the legislation itself. A request for a broader reaction to the proposed Ugandan anti-homosexual laws generated this response: "The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations." On Meet the Press this morning, he reiterated this neutral stance in a different context: "As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides." Warren did say he believed that abortion was "a holocaust." He knows as well as anyone that in a case of great wrong, taking sides is an important thing to do.
Ssempa has also burned condoms "in the name of Jesus," helping roll back a highly successful anti-AIDS campaign in Uganda.
Someone should probably remind him that he'd didn't really adhere to his noble "not taking sides" doctrine when he strongly supported prop 8 last year. And while we're at it, someone should tell him that not opposing a law that would execute people for being gay IS in fact taking the position that you're cool with that sort of thing.

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