20 December, 2008

Reports of Rick Warren's Dining with Gays Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Pastor Rick Warren, defending his homophobia:
"I have many gay friends. I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes."

Q: Are you homophobic?

WARREN: Of course not. I have always treated them with respect. When they come and wanna talk to me, I talk to ‘em. When the protesters came, we served them water and donuts.

A former homophobe says horseshit to the first. And here's an interesting little example of Rick Warren "talking to" and "dining with" gays:

In December of the previous year, I wrote a letter to Warren outlining my plan to bring a group of gay and lesbian couples, and their children, to visit his Saddleback Church over Father's Day weekend. I expressed our intent to attend worship on Sunday, and my hope that he and some families in his congregation would share a meal with us in an effort to reach beyond our differences and focus instead on the commonalities we share as parents and people of faith. In due course, I began a series of phone conversations with Warren's chief of staff. Over the next several weeks, we agreed that eight of our families would eat lunch on June 16 with Warren, his wife Kay, and six of their staff members. After the family meal, eight people from our group would then convene for a 90 minute conversation with Warren, his wife, and the six other church leaders. Here's where it gets interesting.

The week before our visit, Newsweek senior editor Lisa Miller published an article that contained a single sentence about Warren's upcoming get-together with a bunch of gay dads. Suddenly, the tone and demeanor from those paid to protect Warren's public image began to deteriorate.

First, we were told that things had changed and Warren and his wife "might" attend the meal and forum. A few days later, Warren posted a message on a religious blog saying that he never intended to meet with our families. Once we arrived in California, I called his chief of staff to discuss final details. Implausibly, I was told that Saddleback had now decided to only feed the eight people from our group who were going to be in the meeting, but not our children or spouses.

I pushed back by expressing my opinion that it was not very Christ-like to renege on our covenant after we had already traveled thousands of miles from Texas. "We'll discuss your visit again and call you back," they said. An hour later they telephoned - this time with a much more serious tone. I felt like I was negotiating a nuclear arms deal rather than the breaking of bread and some fellowship among families. With seeming reluctance, they finally settled on feeding everyone but announced that now only four Saddleback staff members would attend and that Warren and his wife would not be among them.

They made a new offer. Warren had decided to preach from one of Saddleback's satellite facilities, 45 minutes away from the main campus. He would sit down with my family for ten to fifteen minutes after the early service, if we agreed to attend. I accepted that offer and on Sunday morning we waited near our seats at the conclusion of church.

Eventually, I heard Warren call out my name. As I turned to greet him, he hugged me, my partner, and our three children . . . and then walked away. No conversation. Minimal eye contact. Just an awkward hug and he was gone.

The following day we tried to initiate heartfelt conversation with the four Saddleback staff members who managed to show up. From the opening moments it was clear that this was a meeting to save face without any real interest in hearing our stories or getting to know us.

It appears Rick Warren only wants to speak with gays who are "repentant." Not the icky kind who are married with kids and don't feel they have to repent for basic biology.

But then, Rick Warren doesn't understand biology. The Bible doesn't mention evolution, you see:

WARREN: If you're asking me do I believe in evolution, the answer is no, I don't. I believe that God, at a moment, created man. I do believe Genesis is literal, but I do also know metaphorical terms are used. Did God come down and blow in man's nose? If you believe in God, you don't have a problem accepting miracles. So if God wants to do it that way, it's fine with me.
Oh, and in answer to Mike, liberals are most vocal about their disgust when it comes to Rick Warren's appalling views on gays, but there's plenty of other reasons we can't stand him. Let me count the ways:

1. His penchant for believing that God gives us the right to assassinate foreign leaders is spectacularly outrageous.

2. It's rather incredible that he could find the time to grill Obama on abortion, but "never got the chance" to bring up torture with George W. Bush.

3. And, in fact, thought Bush was deserving of his "PEACE" prize.

4. He equates abortion with the Holocaust.

5. And stands in the way of stem cell research.

6. Not to mention, he himself has confessed that the only thing that separates him from James Dobson is "tone."

7. Have I mentioned he's a snotty little shit when he talks to atheists?

8. And thinks Jews are going to hell.

9. Not to mention the enemy of science shit mentioned above.

Do I need to go on, or are we good here?

Rick Warren may have done a few decent things in regards to poor people, but overall he's the same kind of festering fundie fucktard that's led this country to believe it can shit on science, human beings, and other countries all in the name of God. And he's a bald-faced fucking liar, as proved above in reference to his "I talk to gays" and "I dine with gays" remarks.

The more I see, the more I loathe. Obama needs to rethink this one.


Woozle said...

Criticism of Warren has been a hot topic on the (annoyingly limited) Change.gov discussion board; it was all anyone was posting about last night, though now the conversation seems to have moved on a bit..

Woozle said...

Mind you, when I say "a bit", I only mean that some other topics have come up. Warren is still probably the most popular topic, and is overwhelmingly condemned. A few apologists come on and say we should stop whining about it and "move on"; a few anti-gays -- I've decided I like that term, btw, as in "You anti-gays keep whining about how we can't just 'move on' from objecting about stuff that threatens the lives and happiness of millions, including ourselves and our friends" and "being cured of anti-gayness is easy; you just have to admit you have a problem and be willing to educate yourself" -- chime in with anti-gay rhetoric which is easily shot down, except they've got so much of it on hand that they never run out and they don't seem to understand that reciting yet more rhetoric is not equivalent to a rebuttal.

I suppose I have only myself to blame for even bothering, but I have this silly little idealistic idea that a few people might be educated by seeing their assumptions challenged.