Ha Ha, Saddleback Church Pastor Richard Warren was kind enough to sit down for an extended interview with Beliefnet’s Steve Waldman and all he got for his time was the Editor-in-Chief asking aloud whether Warren should be fired because he doesn’t absolutely totally hate the gays.
Waldman posted a letter today saying:
“Since Rich Cizik was just booted from his leadership role at the National Association of Evangelicals for supporting civil unions for gays, I found it fascinating that Rick Warren — the leading evangelical pastor in America — basically just said the same thing.
Here’s the relevant passage from a just-released interview with Beliefnet and the Wall Street Journal:
Beliefnet: Do you support civil unions or domestic partnerships?
Warren: I don’t know if I’d use the term there but I support full equal rights for everybody in America. I don’t believe we should have unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles so I fully support equal rights.
Beliefnet: What about partnership benefits in terms of insurance or hospital visitation?
Warren: You know, not a problem with me.
Of course the difference between Warren and Cizik is not substantive, it’s that Warren is untouchable — the much beloved “America’s Pastor” — and Cizik has been getting under the skin of religious conservatives for some time. They were looking for a reason to show him the door.”
You can watch Rick Warren talk about gay marriage and how divorce is a bigger threat to America here.
Now, Warren was a major supporter of Prop. 8 and hardly a friend to the gay community, so it’s pretty interesting that Waldman is all but crying “heresy” at even the slightest indication that gays and lesbians deserve equal rights. Faced with a protracted conversation about gay and lesbian rights, religious conservatives are circling the wagons tighter than ever. Obviously, they must still think there’s an audience for hard-line hate mongering, but if the very first comment Waldman’s letter gets on his letter is any indication, that audience is diminishing. It reads, “Oh for the days when you kicked out for your view on the Trinity or the deity of Christ! Now we quibble over marriage. Sad, very sad!”