Have you heard this news? President-Elect Obama has chosen Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration ceremony.
An invocation prayer is a long-standing tradition at the ceremony, and that is troubling enough to anyone who takes the separation of church and state seriously. But to pick Rick Warren?????
Some of you may not know much about Pastor Warren, the head minister at Saddleback Community Church in Orange County, California. He is the author of the best-selling evangelical book, The Purpose-Driven Life (for a wonderful rejoinder see Robert Price’s, The Reason-Driven Life). This past summer, he hosted televized interviews with both McCain and Obama at his church asking them questions that highlighted concerns of the
evangelical, right-wing Christian community. But here are some other things about Warren that make his involvement at Obama’s inauguration troubling to this secular, progressive ex-fundie:
- Warren is anti-abortion, referring to someone who is pro-choice as a “holocaust denier”
- Warren believes that Roe v. Wade is equivalent to genocide
- Warren has compared women who get abortions to Nazis
- Warren is anti-gay and exhorted his followers to vote for Proposition 8 in California which rescinded the right for gays and lesbians to marry
- Warren calls opposition to homosexuality a ‘humanitarian issue’ because “God created marriage for the purpose of family, love and procreation”
- Warren likens homosexuality to incest and statutory rape
- Warren is a creationist, denying the science of evolution
- Warren believes that the presence of homosexuals disproves evolution
- Warren has stated that he could never vote for an atheist
- Warren urged the murder of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on public television
- Warren recently referred to the social gospel – the late 19th- and early 20th-century Protestant movement that led a religious crusade against poverty and inequality – as ‘Marxism in Christian clothing’
- Warren believes the lives of non-Christians to be ‘spiritually empty’
- Warren believes that Muslim, Jews, Hindus, atheists, Buddhists and every other non-Christian will spend eternity in hell
I am deeply disappointed at the pandering of Obama and the Democrats to the evangelical, right-wing Christian community and it’s implicit slap-in-the-face to those who support equal rights, science and free-speech.