April 13, 2009

Warren Waffles on Prop 8 Stance, Bails on Interview

Rev. Rick Warren apparently wants to have his cake and eat it too, but what he might have done is succeeded in pissing off people on both sides of the same-sex marriage issue--something that is pretty tough to do.

In a recent interview with CNN's Larry King, Warren tried to distance himself from endorsing Proposition 8. From the Washington Times:

Mr. Warren told CNN's Larry King on Monday that he "never once even gave an endorsement" of the proposition, which said marriage in the state could only involve one man and one woman. The measure won at the polls last November by a close margin, in effect negating an earlier California Supreme Court ruling allowing gay marriages.

Right wingers are not amused. More from the Times:

"I was extremely troubled by the way he appeared to be so anxious to distance himself from the same-sex issue and to make clear he was not an 'activist' and that he'd only addressed the issue in a very minor way," said the Rev. Al Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.

Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America, said his denial is "absolutely baffling."

"Whether he supports Proposition 8 now, after the fact, is overshadowed by the bizarre claim that he did not say what the evidence so clearly proves he said."

Here's what Warren did doand how he tried to redefine it:

What Mr. Warren said he did do was send out a video to his 22,000-member church explaining his position the week before Proposition 8 went before state voters on Nov. 4.

"Now let me say this really clearly: We support Proposition 8," he said on the video, "and if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8. I never support a candidate, but on moral issues, I come out very clear."

In his conversation with Mr. King, Mr. Warren said, "All of a sudden out of it, [opponents] made me something that I really wasn't. And I actually — there were a number of things that were put out. I wrote to all my gay friends — the leaders that I knew — and actually apologized to them. That never got out."

Warren then cancelled an appearance on ABC's "This Week" Sunday morning news show only moments before he was supposed to be on live. From The Politico:

Pastor Rick Warren, after making apparently contradictory statements about his stance on a gay-marriage measure, canceled an Easter Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week” just “moments before the scheduled interview,” host George Stephanopoulos told viewers.

Stephanopoulos said Warren’s representatives said the best-selling evangelical author was “sick with exhaustion.” The host told viewers that he wished the pastor a speedy recovery.

Seeing this at about 1:15 PM Eastern time, I checked on Saddleback Church's website where live video of their service was being shown. There I saw Rick Warren behind the pulpit, preaching God's word. That's a pretty amazing, dare I say miraculous, recovery.

As I've been involved in GLBT advocacy for a while now, I've run across people who, while they do not believe in equality for gay and lesbian people, I can at least respect the courage of their convictions.

Courage, however, seems sadly lacking from the man who has sold a bazillion books and risen to great prominence teaching people how to lead a purpose driven life.

Shouldn't that purpose include accountability for your own actions? Shouldn't it include the integrity to not bail out on a committment on short notice for what appears to be a dubious reason?

Perhaps Rev. Warren should take time to re-read his own book.

1 comment:

  1. Could this be Mr. Warren's Saul on the road to Damascus moment in the making? It has all the classic signs of pre-conversion, a subject he ought to be intimately familiar with. His affiliation is with the 'Saddleback Church', after all. Just so, as in Hamlet act 3 in which Gertrude claims "The (lady) doth protest too much, methinks", it's possible the good pastor is about to work up the courage to do what he should have done on November 3rd and preach 'No on H8' from the pulpit and the rooftop.