Profile in Weaseling

Rick Warren Says He’s Never Been Anti-Gay Marriage. Excuse Me?

Saddleback Church pastor Rev. Rick Warren was on Larry King this week doing what all media personalities do after they’ve fucked up– trying to repair his tarnished image as a gay-hating evangelical holy roller. Warren told King, “I am not an anti-gay marriage activist. Never have been, never will be.”

Please don’t throw things at your monitor. We won’t pay for the replacement.

According to Warren, the whole gay marriage controversy was a huge misunderstanding and that nobody listened to all the nice things he said about gays and lesbians leading up to the inauguration.

We can call ‘shenanigans’ on this pretty easily. Queerty was in touch with the press folks at Saddleback Church from the day he was announced as the one who would give Obama’s invocation. We repeatedly asked Warren to speak with us about his views and to explain them and finally, a week before the Inauguration, his representatives told us that he had decided not to speak to any media, allowing the invocation to speak for itself.

If Warren was saying something nice about gays and lesbians, it was to his pillow, or to his favorite lesbian rocker, Melissa Etheridge, while eating canapes.

What Warren did say, quite unequivocally, was that he was opposed to gay marriage and that his followers in California ought to vote for Proposition 8. He did so in a video to his church:

Warren says in the video:

“I hope you’re thinking about your vote. One of the propositions I want to mention is Proposition 8, the proposition that had to be instituted because the courts threw out the will of the people… Now let me just say this really clearly: We support Proposition 8 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.”

If that’s not anti-gay marriage advocacy and a direct call to vote for Prop. 8, then nothing is.

Furthermore, in an interview with Beliefnet, Warren compares gay marriage to pedophilia and incest, saying:

Beliefnet Editor Steve Waldman: Now one of the controversial positions you’ve taken is your support of Proposition 8 in California.

Rev. Rick Warren:
Yeah, Yeah

Waldman: A couple questions about that. First, just to clarify, do you support civil unions or domestic partnerships?

Warren: I don’t know if I’d use the term there, but I support equal right for everybody in America. I don’t know if we should have unequal rights depending on particular lifestyles, so I fully support equal rights?

Waldman: What about domestic partner benefits, hospital visitations?

Warren: You know, not a problem with me. I’m not opposed to that, so much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of the definition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage, I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and getting married.

Waldman: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?”

Warren: Oh, I do.

Now, Warren says, “I was asked a question that made it seem like I compared gay marriage to pedophilia or incest, which I absolutely do not believe and I announced that.”

The question, ” What about domestic partner benefits, hospital visitations?” isn’t where the comparison comes from, it comes from Warren’s unprovoked answer. He goes on to complain, “All the criticism came from people who didn’t know me. Not a single gay leader who knows me criticized me. For years we’ve been working together on AIDS issues…”

Ah, yes– Saddleback Church’s much vaunted AIDS outreach, of which Warren is so proud. The only problem with this is that the religious groups in Africa that Saddleback partners with are funded by Bush’s PEPFAR program, which mandates that money can not be spent on helping prostitutes and that one-third of all funds go-to abstinence-only programs, which some of these groups have used as a mandate to have condom burnings in West Africa.

King then asks Warren about his response to the Iowa marriage ruling. Warren responds, “I’m totally oblivious to– that’s not even my agenda!”

It sure is your agenda, Rev. Warren. We’d love to think that Warren’s position has evolved and certainly, the fact that he’s backpedaling now is an indication that he sees the writing on the wall when it comes to America’s rapidly changing attitudes towards gay marriage, but how do we say this nicely? Rev. Warren is a sleazebag who’s demonstrated that he will say whatever is necessary for him to get what he wants.

If Warren wants to change his views, we’re all ears and we would be happy to count him an ally. If he wants to rewrite history, we’ll be here, reminding him– and us– of the facts.–Japhy Grant

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41 Comments

  • fixator

    The hate and intolerance this man preaches in the name of interpretation of the Bible is horrifying and disgusting.

  • PatrickD

    Why is ANYONE surprised that a Christian lies? I’ve NEVER run into a “True Beleiver”, whether they be Christian, Jewish or Muslim that considered lying “lying” when applied to one of their many vaunted “enemies”. Lying only counts as Lying between Beleivers….

  • Brad

    I wonder if we could spin silk from that sow’s ears? Once an always opportunist, always an opportunist.

  • David Michael

    Good going Japhy. I’d like to see both those vids played on a high profile CNN type debate show.

  • Wayne

    He is a Christian Right Wing Pastor. You don’t expect him to tell the truth do you? Lies are all they know.

  • Attmay

    Yeah, right. And he’s also never been morbidly obese.

    Obama did a better job of picking basketball pools than he did at picking preachers to lead inauguration invocations.

  • PatrickD

    @Attmay:
    Unfortunately, Obama’s reminding me a lot of Clinton and his actions toward us once he got Elected and no longer Useful to Him…

  • Daniel

    Oh. My. Goodness.

  • Helga von Ornstein

    @Wayne: Not only are you correct but back during the first Reagan administration it was discovered that right outside Lynchburg, Va, the stronghold of Jerry Falwell, home schooled children were being taught blacks were brought to this country as settlers.

  • Michael

    Yes, Jerry Falwell didn’t die, he’s alive and still evil, living in Rick the Hut’s throat.

    Long ago, Warren’s ordained bookend at the Inauguration, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, spoke at an antiwar rally I’d organized in Indiana. One of his lines, a hybrid of some passages from the Psalms, is still fresh in my mind:

    “Their lying tongues strut through the earth.”

    King doesn’t maintain the rebuttal format as much as some other shows, and, I’d guess, unfortunately, that, in his mind, Warren is too exalted to be insulted by such a thing—another indicator of how far below religious con artists gays reside on the respect list.

    But I’m still in shock that our own Rachel Maddow let Colin Powell tell a MUCH greater lie to her—and millions watching—the other night about the origins of DADT when he was, in fact, one of the Four Horsemen of the Moral Apocalypse that brought it about, along with Dole, Moskos, and Nunn.

    And still in mourning that too many of us have given up our right to outrage when such homohating thugs, theocratic like Warren or ostensibly non-parochial like Powell, lie through their fangs and get away with it.

    With respect, one appreciates people like yourself reminding readers of the facts, but I’m beginning to fear that the Internet, far from being a lighting-quick instrument for generating protest, has become another “opiate of the people.”

    Two quotes from the times of Harvey Milk, albeit one a paraphrase:

    “Where is your anger?”

    “Out of the blogs and into the streets!”

  • Paul

    Lying makes the baby Jesus cry, oh False Prophet Warren.

  • mick

    This is why people don’t watch CNN, the evening crew at MSNBC would not have let him get away with lying.

  • fern

    Just bear with me Ricky always sided with the gay community but god in his wisdom told him that the gay thought that the vote was a done deal as all the polls showed them winning and would remain lethargic, so God told him to push for prop8 and that all the people would wake up and try to fight it, which they did. Of course Ricky couldn’t spill the beans about what God told him which is quite understandable. You don’t believe me? Me either!

    Seriously in my opinion prop8’s success was a catalyst for what’s to come, proof to this is Iowa, soon the fed, then the world, and it’s none too early.

    To the people who say homosexuality will be taught in schools my answer to that is better in schools than off the street.

  • strumpetwindsock

    This is a good news story. Nothing else.

    The fact that a homophobic snake like him has to eat his words on national television is a sure sign that public perception is changing on this issue. As blind, stupid and pigheaded as he is, the fact that he saw the writing on the wall and acted (even if it was only to save his skin) is very significant.

    I don’t give a shit about him doing the weasel dance to try and save his reputation. I am happy that it will probably mean others of his ilk may soon be doing the same. Let them play the “good germans” if they want. They are very small people and I don’t care. The most important thing is that by his actions he acknowledges that he is on the wrong side of history.

  • WetWaffleSlag

    Another one trick pony. He should hire Keye’s writer, might sound like less of an idiot.

  • Michael

    Wake up, Strumpet! Weasels dancing on the wrong side of History amounts to gibberish! How about a nice slice of pie in the sky?

    Hooray for the startling turnabouts in Iowa and Vermont but theocratic thugs like Warren are still dancing ….their followers all the way to the polls. Gay couples in 40+ states still can’t get married, most can’t even have a civil union. 30 states still provide no LGBT job protection. We’re still being murdered just for being gay. Regardless of what he still SAYS, Obama is still waaay behind Bill Clinton’s advances for gays despite getting elected in part by demonizing his wife for her husband’s disasters for gays.

    No matter the exceptions, no matter the polls, no matter the young who “don’t care,” the Warrens of America still have their claws around the throats of 90% of us and will continue to until more of us grow balls to do something about it other than sing, “Some day my political prince will come”—or foolishly believe he already has.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Michael:
    I know that…
    But if those thugs’ control is so absolute and iron-clad why did he do this? …Especially since fundamentalists aren’t usually in the habit of admitting they are wrong or taking a position contrary to scripture.

    And what is he saying, really… God’s just a little behind the times? He must have enjoyed that.

    If someone like him has to take the embarrasing step of eating his own words it is a good sign that his attitudes may not be so cool anymore. More importantly, other bigots are going to see this and realize they don’t have absolute freedom to brand us as evil degenerates.

    I don’t want to get into a big argument about this, because I don’t disagree with you. But would you rather he had not made this embarrasing admission at all?

  • strumpetwindsock

    …’scuse me. Taking a position contrary to their interpretation of scripture.

  • Alex

    Ah yes, I remember 5000 years ago, when marriage was a consensual contract between one man and one woman, entered into as two citizens with full rights and blessed by Jesus, who will have has had died for their sins. Its all in the history book known as the Bible.

  • Alex

    @Alex: I’m sorry. It’s all in the Bible.

  • John in CA

    Give President Obama some credit.

    He chose to have a dialogue with one of the few fundamentalists who seem to have a knack for “evolving” his theological positions to fit the current political situation (much like Obama himself). Warren isn’t that complicated to figure out. He’s a populist evangelical.

    With the vote in Vermont and lawmakers’ surprisingly positive response to the Iowa ruling, I think we can definitely say Glenn Beck is right. The political center in this country has moved to the left. Not quite as dramatic a shift as wingnuts like him would have us believe. But it has lurched ever so slightly leftward. At the very least, if Obama’s reformist budget passes later this year, the Democrats can finally say they’re not a “center-right” party with a straight face!

  • Lance Bergstrom

    You shall worship nothing above God. 2nd Commandment.

    You also shall bear false witness. 9th Commandment.

    Rick Warren doesn’t quite get it yet, apparently.

    Do the parishioners at Saddleback read the Bible? They apparently can read because they have a heck of a lot of money.

    Get off your camels and start talking to the people who are being scapegoated, please.

  • mylilpip

    he’s opposed to one guy having multiple wives but isn’t that as biblical as it comes?

  • Alec

    @mylilpip: Maggie Gallagher doesn’t like polygamy, but she likes gay marriage less:

    Polygamy is not worse than gay marriage, it is better. At least polygamy, for all its ugly defects, is an attempt to secure stable mother-father families for children.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/comment/comment-gallagher071403.asp

    She also has a track record that indicates she’s way more supportive of polygamists than she ever would be of gay men and women. http://townhall.com/columnists/MaggieGallagher/2008/06/05/parents_rights_trump_polygamy

    I bet if you pressed Warren, he’d agree. They prefer polygamy to homosexuality any day of the week, even polygamous relations between older men and young, teenage girls.

  • EchoMark

    What’s sad and infuriating is that a crappy infotainment show like Larry King, and the people who know better at CNN, would never correct the record on this. They are too busy kissing Warren’s ass trying to book him for another interview to bother with those pesky basic tenets of journalism.

    Reality check: If you make a video telling people to vote against gay marriage, you are an anti-gay-marriage activist!

  • Attmay

    @Alec: Of course they like polygamy because it would give a man a chance to dominate multiple women.

  • Z reveals

    He is crazy & fat!!!!

  • Michael

    @ Strumpet

    Warren “did it” because for two reasons:

    1. Unlike bigots of the past like George Wallace, Strom Thurmond, and Jesse Helms who, when trying to block Clinton’s appointment of lesbian Roberta Achtenberg to Assistant Secty at HUD, said, “If you want to call me a bigot, fine,” today’s variety has very thin skin.

    Don’t know where you live, but at least in the Bay Area where I do, the Prop H8TERs were constantly denying it, AND even in San Francisco the TV station that has the ONE out reporter, felt sorry for them…doing a story about a poor, misunderstood San Jose Mormon couple who had a huge pro H8TE banner on their house being upset because someone parked an SVU on the city street in front of that house with “BIGOTS LIVE HERE” written on it and an arrow pointing toward them.

    Mommy Mormon whined, “‘My 11-year-old asked me ‘What’s a bigot? Is that a bad word?'”

    Then station’s anchor characterized the SVU’s owner as having gone too far.

    2. It’s pure propaganda to try to keep the “moveable middle” from seeing them for the fascists they are and stopping buying their horseshit. Thus, they coo, “We love the sinner, we just hate the sin”…”We’re not antigay we’re just proGod”…. and hoi polloi feel sorry for them and resentment toward us—already successfully demonized in the public’s mind by centuries of church-driven lies.

    Peace.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Michael:
    I agree with you completely; It is slimy, deceptive, manipulative, and (in the other case you mentioned) an attempt to portray the victims of prop 8 as villains.

    I am saying that him resorting to defensive tactics like this is very significant. I doubt it was an easy thing for him to do, and is a clear sign that he realizes it is not as acceptable to be an open bigot as it was 20 years ago.

    It is also something a lot of people will see as a callous sham and more importantly, something which will alienate him from many on the far right of his movement.

    You may see it differently and I respect that. But I am happy to see him eat his words like this because I don’t think he is fooling anyone.

    Also, I live in Canada. And yes, Peace.

  • TANK

    Rick Warren=penis pump.

  • Buffy

    As far as the RRRW is concerned, Lying for the Lord is a perfectly acceptable, even commendable act. So in his own mind Rick Warren is doing nothing wrong here by changing his story and schtick to fit his needs. What’s sad is how many people are going to actually *believe* that he really never was against same-sex marriage, and that we always have been at war against Eurasia.

  • David Anger

    I could buy and sell this guy.

  • BrianZ

    He’s a sick trick. Some good dick heals all.

    Has anyone else ever wondered if Jesus was gay? I mean, maybe there was another reason he never married … dude hung around with some a bunch of men in dresses, a hoe, and love his drink … sounds like me in my early 20’s. :)

  • froggyola

    Once he can control his gluttony he can start counseling other people on a proper lifestyle.

  • 33mhz

    It’s cool that things have changed enough, at least for the moment, that he feels he has to backpeddle in public. However, I have no doubt that he’s going to continue being his vile old self behind closed doors.

  • David Anger

    I could eat his butt and still be best friends with this guy. No matter if we covered him in all the newspapers I own — I still rock! I am the king!

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @TANK: He doesn’t pump my penis, but whatever floats your boat, dude. ;) :P

  • TANK

    No, dildo brain, it’s not that he gives me an erection, it’s that he’s a penis pump. He gives people hardons about things like gay marriage…and those hardons are so strong, that those people literally become hardons. I hope this clears up your thoughtless inexcusable confusion surrounding my choice to refer to this bloated eunuch as a penis pump. He’s a rightwing fluffer, if you will.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @TANK: I do apologize, Tanky. I mistook you for someone with a sense of humour. My bad.

  • TANK

    You can haz cheezburger, vernon.

Comments are closed.