Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, gave a message to his congregants recently. He addressed the controversy over the invite he received to lead the inaugural invocation.
Addressing his repeated comparisons of gay relationships with incest and pedophilia, Warren said (quick, paraphrased transcript):
...what do you really believe about gay marriage? Let me just lay it out for you, my members. My views have not changed in 30 years. I've been accused of equating gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia. I believe no such thing. You've never heard me in 30 years talk like that.
I've in no way ever taught that homosexuality is the same as a forced relationship between an adult and child or between siblings. I've never taught that in 30 years. I understand why people think that because of a recent BeliefNet interview. In that interview I named several other relationships such as living together, a man with multiple wives, a brother and a sister relationship, adults with children or common-law relationships. I don't think any of them should be called marriage. There should only be one definition: one man, one woman.
Now, for the facts. This is what Warren really said:
BELIEFNET: What about partnership benefits in terms of insurance or hospital visitation?
WARREN: You know, not a problem with me.
[Clarification from Pastor Warren 12/15: I favor anyone being able to make anyone else the beneficiary of their health or life insurance coverage. If I am willing to pay for it, I should be able to put a friend, partner, relative, or stranger on my coverage. No one should be turned away from seeing a friend in the hospital. But visiting rights are a non-issue in California! Since 1999, California has had a domestic partnership law that grants gay couples visiting rights and all the other rights. Prop 8 had no -zero -effect on those rights.]
The issue to me, I'm not opposed to that as much as I'm opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.
BELIEFNET: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?
[WARREN:] Oh, I do. For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion - this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews - historically, marriage is a man and a woman.
Does Pastor Rick Warren suddenly think the Ninth Commandment doesn't apply to him. Bearing false witness is bad thing, Pharisee -- ooops.... I mean, Pastor.
In the same message to his congregation, Warren said (quick, paraphrased transcript):
I believe God gives us free choice... I believe I must give everyone else that same freedom of choice. I'm opposed to forcing people to act the way I believe God wants me to act.
Oh, really? If that's so, you should have no problem with civil unions or gay marriage. You know, since you don't want to force other people to believe the same thing you do or anything. Or, do you just get to set your own rules?
- Warren supported Prop. 8. -- Forces gay people to not marry, i.e. act the way Warren thinks they should act.
- Warren does not support civil unions ("No American should ever be discriminated against because of their beliefs. Period. But a civil union is not a civil right. Nowhere in the constitution can you find the "right" to claim that any loving relationship identical to marriage." src) -- Warren to gays, "Act they way I believe you should."
- Warren told NBC's Anne Curry he believes gay people should "control their natural impulses" and refrain from having committed, monogamous relationships. After, all, he controls his natural impulse to have sex with every beautiful woman he sees, he said.
At the end of his message to his congregation, Warren sounds nice. He talks about love and kindness, and I have no doubt he might be inclined to actually live out that love and kindness among gay people. BUT, that doesn't change the fact that he is a liar. What makes it worse is that he's actually contemplated and pre-meditated his lies. All in the name of God.
Part of that whole "Do not take my name in vain" thing applies to people who use God's name to further their own agendas. Using God's name to lie, or invoking his name during your sins, is just as immoral as lying. It's a shame America's most well-known preachers can never live by the own laws they try to impose on everyone else. Wait... I thought that's what Jesus was fighting against? Oh well. Pharisee Rick will never see that.