::RAGE::, Redux

Sunday, January 11th, 2009

In audio clips posted on their website, Pastor Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church preaches that, for one Christian to divorce another Christian is a sin – even if one of the so-called Christians is physically abusing his (or her!) partner.

On whether women can divorce an abusive spouse (question #32):

I’d always rather choose a short-term pain and find God’s solution for long-term gain than try and find a short-term solution that’s going to involve long-term pain. … [In scripture] adultery is one [reason for divorce] and abandonment is a second. I wish there were a third in scripture. Having been involved as a pastor in situations of abuse there’s something in me that wishes there was a Bible verse that says if they abuse you in this and such kind of way then you have a right to leave them. … If you’re in this kind of situation I strongly recommend that you take advantage of our lay counseling ministers. Go in and talk to someone and let them minister to you. And the advice that we give is not divorce but separation.

On whether a woman has to stay in a “miserable” marriage (question #31):

The Bible answer is yes. Does God expect me to stay in a miserable marriage, and why would he do that to me? I often say to people when they’re facing this decision, really, you’re choosing your pain in this moment because it’s going to be painful either way. If you stay in your marriage there is the opportunity for reconciliation and for the loss of pain, but there is going to be short-term pain on the way there. … There is lifelong pain in divorce. … I wish there was a way to say there is a choice here where you’re not going to have pain but there is pain in relationships. Now, God understands that… He can be with us in our pain and he can comfort us, he can strengthen us, he can give us perspective. He can also give us wisdom. Does God expect me to live with this pain? No. I think he expects us to ask for wisdom to do the things that would cause the pain to begin to be solved. … The Bible says the husband is to sacrifice for his wife and the wife is to respect her husband and if that doesn’t happen you have the right to keep pushing for that.

According to Warren’s teachings, abused women have no right to divorce their abusers.

(More below the fold…)

“Tolerating the intolerant” isn’t change I can believe in.*

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

Update, 12/21/08: Nina M., guest posting at Reclusive Leftist, has an excellent dissection of Obama’s “talking points” on the Warren issue. Go read now!

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard that Obama’s chosen the homobigoted, woman-hating pastor Rick Warren to give the Inaugural invocation. Setting aside the issue of whether an invocation, delivered at a government event, is even appropriate, it’s really shitty of Obama to choose Warren, friendship and shared ideologies aside.

As PFAW President Kathryn Kolbert noted,

Pastor Warren, while enjoying a reputation as a moderate based on his affable personality and his church’s engagement on issues like AIDS in Africa, has said that the real difference between James Dobson and himself is one of tone rather than substance. He has recently compared marriage by loving and committed same-sex couples to incest and pedophilia. He has repeated the Religious Right’s big lie that supporters of equality for gay Americans are out to silence pastors. He has called Christians who advance a social gospel Marxists. He is adamantly opposed to women having a legal right to choose an abortion.

I’m sure that Warren’s supporters will portray his selection as an appeal to unity by a president who is committed to reaching across traditional divides. Others may explain it as a response to Warren inviting then-Senator Obama to speak on AIDS and candidate Obama to appear at a forum, both at his church. But the sad truth is that this decision further elevates someone who has in recent weeks actively promoted legalized discrimination and denigrated the lives and relationships of millions of Americans.

The Obama camp’s “leaked talking points,” as reported in HuffPo, are, well, laughable:

At his press conference on Thursday, Barack Obama for the first time addressed the flurry of protest that has erupted over the choice of Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation.

Stressing his own advocacy of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans, the president-elect raised a relevant anecdote from his biography as a defense.

“Advocacy of equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans”? What the fuck is he smoking? A supporter of “civil unions” – for reasons that basically amount to religion and “tradition” – Obama is a-ok with allowing individual states to decide whether GLBT couples should be granted the same civil rights that heterosexual folks enjoy. How’s that advocating “equal rights for gay and lesbian Americans,” again?

A reader at HuffPo said it best:

I was very enthusiastic to have Obama as my president for the most part but I always had reservations about his commitment to GBLT issues and this is more than disappointing. I wonder if people would be saying, “it’s not that big of a deal, give him some slack” if someone of the ilk of David Duke or a virulent Holocaust deny-er was invited to give the invocation, you know, in the spirit of unity and to be open and inclusive. Why is it ok for a spokesperson of the anti-gay movement to be included and not recognized as a step too far into so-called post partisanship ? Why is Warren’s AIDS work supposed to mollify angry GBLT voters? Is AIDS still only erroneously considered a gay thing in America, so if you are doing work for that you are, by default working for the gay community? Why can’t even progressives understand what a stinging slap in the face to the GBLT community it is to have a vocal, active, and powerful homophobe given a platform no matter how large or small that platform may be?

Somehow, I doubt it.

* Bah, it isn’t even “change.”