So, I just read an article, linked here, about how Barack Obama has selected evangelical pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration. Now Obama is all about change, so lets take a look at some of the changes Rick Warren would like to see.
“Many Rwandans would identify themselves as Christians, but for most of them it’s just a label. Their Christian religion didn’t keep the 1994 genocide from happening, and it left horrible spiritual scars on the country. More than 800,000 people died and maybe 2 million were forced to flee the country. They have made some good progress in the last 10 years, but the only thing that will heal Rwanda’s scars is the love of Jesus Christ.” -Rick Warren, in an interview with the Women’s Missionary Union
While I disagree Warren on this, I can understand were he is coming from. I don’t have a problem this, in and of itself. What bugs me is that fact that said genocide is the product of a nasty little thing called intolerance. Now, intolerance manifests itself in a lot of ugly ways, of which racism is only one. Some people are intolerant of religion, others of certain ethnic and cultural groups, and some of sexual diversity. However, the main culprit is always the same: intolerance. To be anti-gay is no different than being anti-Jewish or anti-black. Rick warren is clearly opposed to such bigotry though, seeing as he seems as disgusted with the Rwandan genocide as I am. Or is he?
What you will find in the video above is Warren comparing gay marriage to incest, polygamy, and statutory rape. He claims to be against gay marriage, and against altering the definition of marriage, a stance which he justifies by invoking religious tradition. I might of missed this in my civic class, but I’m pretty sure that religious tradition, no matter how old and how many religions ascribe to it, doesn’t play a role in determining laws in America. Warren’s stance is basically that becuase religious tradition regarding gay marriage has been intolerant all these years, we shouldn’t go changing it now. He claims to believe in equal rights, but supports thousands of years of intolerant tradition. That fact that same-sex marriage is a religious tradition is irrelevant, and has no bearing on the legal definition of marriage. Warren claims this is not a Christian issue, but he does indicate that it is a religious one. Whats the difference? Why should me refrain from abolishing intolerance and embracing equal rights based on religious tradition? Polygamy is and was a tradition once too.
At the beginning of this, Warren claims to be a supporter of the separation of church and state. But, in the previous video, clearly stated that he is opposed to altering the definition of marriage based on religious tradition! This all seems a bit inconsistent to me. I’m pretty sure that opposing legislature based on religious traditions violates the principle of church state separation.
I have more I could say about Warren, but I’m done for now. I’m extremely disappointed in Obama’s decision to associate himself with someone so anti-change, and pro-tradition.