The following is an excerpt from a video interview Rick Warren gave Belief Net recently (give it a second to come up). Thinking people, consider yourselves warned.

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This video showcases a common problem with “christian” pastors and their followers who irresponsibly use a bully pulpit: there is a complete lack of education and disregard for facts. Rick Warren, bumbles along, but consistently reaffirms the talking points: “for 5,000 years marriage has been defined as a man and a woman.” This is simply not true. For a discussion on what “marriage”  has “traditionally” been, one that uses actual facts, see my previous post on the topic or the Newsweek article, “Our Mutual Joy.” Even if this claim were true, doing something poorly because of our ignorance for a long period of time does not begin to excuse continued bad behavior. Why not argue that since slavery is supported by the bible, common throughout history, and, indeed, common in every culture, it should not have been abolished? This is intellectual infancy.

Warren claims “the reason I supported Prop 8 is because of a free speech issue,” and that pastors could be targeted for “hate speech if he shared his views that he didn’t think homosexuality was the natural way to form relationships.” This typifies at best a complete lack of understanding of our Constitution, and, at worst, a knowing disregard for fact in favor of propaganda. Constitutional guarantees regarding the freedom of speech and religion are articulated in the First Amendment. Rick Warren can, and has, say whatever he wants about other people, just like the Ku Klux Klan and every other white pride whack job can continue to spew out their xenophobic hate.

Warren appears Palin-esque as he remembers high points from the anti-gay script, throwing in “first, the court overread (sic) the will of the people.” I am assuming he meant to say “overruled.” This is another misguided bullet point. It is the court’s responsibility to uphold the constitution and to protect vulnerable minorities from the “tyranny of the majority,” a concept pre-dating the bible. As Byron Williams, an African American Pastor in Oakland so eloquently explains in his California Progress Report article:

Simply being in the majority opinion can lead people to believe they are impervious to the type of arrogance that robs one of self-reflective impulses that can lead to an abuse of power. As de Tocqueville argued in “Democracy in America,” majority rule carries with it an implied moral authority that “there is more intelligence and wisdom in a number of men united than a single individual.”

This is the popular, but erroneous notion that gives rise to the “judicial activism” argument, especially when a ruling by the judiciary branch of government goes against what may be viewed as the popular opinion.

I have received countless e-mails justifying support of Prop. 8 based on the majority rule of Prop. 22 in 2000 and that the state Supreme Court caused this problem by “legislating from the bench.”

This is an elementary understanding of our democracy that has most likely embraced the juvenile orthodoxy of conservative talk radio. But the Framers were aware of the potential problems associated with the tyranny of he majority, or as some would benignly call the “will of the people.”

Warren goes on to equal gay marriage to pedophilia, incest, and polygamy. His demoralizing, hate speech is protected, even though it is factually inaccurate. Marriage between consenting, same gender adults has nothing to do with taking advantage of children or women. Adults from different gene pools are not equivalent to siblings. Again, his hate speech is protected, but it is all lies. Thus, I submit Warren should be sued for slander.

The old line goes something like “well, if we let those gays marry, then everyone else is going to want to get married too,” and essentially, all hell is going to break lose! Still, why should we care if 5 people want to marry each other? Traditionally, polygamy has been used to control and oppress young girls. This is wrong. However, in this day and age, if 5 consenting adults want to marry each other, they should be free to act on their own morals. The reason I don’t believe same gender marriage will usher in favorable polygamy laws is because there is currently no legal equivalent. Allowing all people to participate in marriage equally does not make laws that would determine responsibility, survivorship, custody, etc., etc., for polygamous relationships. It’s a completely separate issue.

Last, his insistence that he has “gay friends,” and has even “eaten dinner in gay homes” as proof of his acceptance of all people represents a state of flat out denial.  A “homophobe” is someone who “fears and hates” homosexuals. One may feel that they do not “fear” or “hate,” but when you are disrespectful to a group of people, when you use derogatory, inaccurate statements to describe a person whose experience you do not understand, that is considered both. Do a Google search on the phrase “I have black friends,” and you will get almost 30 million results explaining why this claim does not make you any less racist. Just because gay people tolerate your homophobic ass, does not make you any less of a bigot.  How many times must we explain this?

Rick Warren is the Pastor of Orange County’s uber-rich, Saddleback mega church. He has been chosen to offer the opening benediction during the inauguration of Barack Obama. This is LIGHTING UP the blogosphere. I’d go to Pam’s for the most comprehensive coverage. Want to complain? Email Parag Mehta, Obama’s LGBT liaison on the transition team – parag.mehta@ptt.gov. Then go to EQ CA to sign a petition demanding the Obama campaign rescind the invitation.

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