Rick Warren, moderate?

The Washington Post's On Faith section would like us to believe that megachurch pastor Rick Warren, who is hosting Saturday evening's Saddleback Forum at which Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will speak about issues of faith, is a religious moderate. We beg to differ.

Warren wrote Time magazine's egregious puff piece on Nigerian archbishop Peter Akinola, and supported Ugandan archbishop Henry Orombi's decision to boycott the Lambeth Conference because supporters of an openly gay bishop would be there.

Cafe regulars will remember that Akinola supported anti-gay legislation criticized by every major human rights group, the European parliament and the U. S. State Department, and has yet to answer questions about his knowledge of a massacre of 700 Muslims in Yelwa Nigeria in 2004.

Orombi isn't quite as bad. He only believes that gay people and their supporters are out to kill him, and will pay Africans to become homosexuals.

A Kampala newspaper report on Warren's support of the Lambeth boycott included this paragraph:

Dr Warren said that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. "We shall not tolerate this aspect at all," Dr Warren said.

Maybe Senators McCain and Obama should turn the tables and ask Warren a few questions, like whether he would like to recriminalize homosexual activity.

All that said, counting Akinola as your spiritual leader does not seem to disqualify one from being considered a religious moderate, as the career of that great advocate of the emerging center Michael Gerson makes clear.

Comments (4)

Wasn't it Rick Warren who welcomed Barack Obama to Sattleback? Yes, it was: http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1369009.php

Rick is also good friends with Bono, not exactly known as a right-winger.

-Mary Ailes

That's just my point. Homophobia remains socially acceptable. You can consort with anti-gay bigots and still have snazzy friends.

I was once part of a group discussion, where a well known evangelical Anglican begged those of us in the room to consider writing something exposing The Purpose Driven Life, on the grounds that it was a theology of glory that was compromising the Church's witness to the Gospel.

There's NO WAY that Warren is a moderate. I have my doubts about whether his writings can be considered Christian. But in a society that can describe a centrist politician like Barack Obama as a liberal, he looks pretty moderate. But is that a good thing?

And remember, Warren was a keynote speaker at one of Bsp Duncan's/DioPitt defining-who-were're-against parties.

Marc P Vance

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