Editorial: Pastor Rick Warren and President Elect Obama’s Inaugural Invocation
I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority.(1 Tim.2:1-3)
The next four years will be a contest over what constitutes true human progress. We cannot be silent when some seek to argue that a return to barbaric practices such as the reaching into the birth canal or into the womb in order to kill our first neighbors is “progressive”.
I was impressed with the Pastors understanding of the social implications of our shared Christian faith during that forum. He is one of a growing number of evangelical Protestant leaders who are addressing the full spectrum of issues associated with an informed Christian worldview, including our commitment to respecting life from the womb to the tomb, protecting, supporting and promoting marriage and family, exhibiting a love of preference for the poor, promoting true and responsible freedom, being responsible stewards of our environment and practicing Peace in our relationships on the local, national and international level.
Pastor Rick Warren presided over the forum with excellence. His comfortable demeanor and charitable manner evoked candor from both candidates. He showed courage by directly asking the candidates the foundational question in any sincere analysis of inalienable human rights, when those rights attach to the human being. His efforts to provide a forum where we can learn to disagree “without demonizing the other” and to “restore civility” were a breath of fresh air. It is the Christian Church which has been at the forefront of so many of the great social crusades in our shared history, such as ending slavery and eradicating institutional racism. Today, the President elect was out defending his choice of Pastor Warren for the invocation. Three groups seemed most upset and angry.
The Homosexual Equivalency Movement
The President of the Human Rights Campaign, Joe Solomonese, led the opposition from one front. He wrote to the President Elect on Wednesday, “Your invitation to Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at your inauguration is a genuine blow to LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered) Americans…[W]e feel a deep level of disrespect when one of architects and promoters of an anti-gay agenda is given the prominence and the pulpit of your historic nomination.”
The Human Rights Campaign is the leading advocate of what I call the “Homosexual Equivalency Movement” which insists that all Americans recognize a legal equivalency between true marriages and cohabitating practicing homosexuals. They use the Courts and the legislature to force this to happen. They want the Police Power of the State behind their social restructuring. Pastor Warren holds to the position which the Christian church has held for over two millennia that marriage is between a man and a woman, intended for life and open to the bearing and rearing of children. Support of any other definition in any Christian community or by individual Christians is a relatively modern aberration. Pastor Warren will not support efforts to change what is written in the Natural Law and confirmed by Revelation. He is in no way discriminating against those who profess to be homosexuals by taking that position. As a Catholic Christian I applaud his courage on this vital truth.
The Strident Secularists
Next among those decrying the selection of Pastor Warren are the strident secularists. These are people like Rev. Barry Lynn of “(Protestant) Americans United for the Separation of Church and State” who wrongly interpret the Establishment clause to preclude the right role of people of faith in the public square. Rather than following the founders that there should be no National Church but that religious people have a right to fully participate and even seek to inform the public conversation, they want to make religious people retreat behind their church walls. In an interview on Public radio following the Saddleback Forum, Rev. Lynn called Rev. Warren a member of the “Far Right”. He accused him of having only a “veneer” of concern for issues other than abortion. He consigned him to what Lynn considers the narrow “right wing” and he ridiculed him. He dismissed the commendable concerns for the poor demonstrated by Rev. Warren and his congregation and his teaching on other issues such as environmental stewardship as some kind of subterfuge on his part.
Pastor Warren got it exactly right when he began the Saddleback Forum with these words "We believe in the separation of church and state but we do not believe in the separation of faith and politics." He went on throughout the night to underscore the fact that, in ...
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