Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and controversial figure who President Obama chose to deliver the invocation at his inauguration, is under fire yet again. This time it is for his association with Martin Ssempa, a Ugandan pastor who supports the new legislation there to imprison and even execute people for homosexual acts and having HIV/AIDs, and for Warren’s soft stance on the legislation itself, according to the this Newsweek blog, and The Huffington Post.
Warren has distanced himself from Ssempa, saying that he neither represents him, or his ministries. When asked to comment on the legislation, Warren would not condemn it outright, although he did say, “The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.”
Alright. I understand being outraged at this legislation, I really do, but I think directing this outrage at Rick Warren is a bit ridiculous. His statement is not a support for the legislation, it actually is pretty good condemnation without going as far as condemning it. Can we not assume that Warren, if he thought it would do any good, would condemn the legislation? Maybe he is trying to use his relationship with the pastor in Uganda to lobby against it and an outright condemnation would ruin that position? We have no idea.
Has Warren called this on himself? He was a vocal supporter of Proposition 8 in California. That Proposition, although only a pro-traditional marriage amendment, was seen as very anti-homosexual. Could he be holding himself to a double standard? I think its best for pastors to stay out of politics altogether. He did not have to be such a vocal supporter of legislation, he could have only clearly defined his stance on marriage in his church and the church as a whole. But still, to call him a hater of homosexuals is taking it a bit far.
Outrage should be directed to the appropriate people. Maybe our politicians and leaders who can actually do something instead of saying something. And maybe instead of assuming that people, who haven’t shown hate to anyone, are haters, we should give them the benefit of the doubt. Let’s look at what people are doing instead of what they are not doing.