January 15, 2009

What America Needs to Know About Rick Warren

President-elect Barack Obama made a serious mistake in asking Christian extremist pastor Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his inauguration ceremony. Worse still, he has refused to heed the cries of protest from many core segments of his base asking him to uninvite Warren. In this brief post, I'd like to remind you one last time why we should make sure Obama hears from us on this subject.

By inviting Rick Warren to deliver the invocation, Obama elevates his status in the eyes of many Americans who have not been adequately informed about Warren. Here is what America needs to know about Rick Warren:
  1. Warren's much praised work on AIDS in Africa has been revealed as undermining scientifically-sound efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in favor of thoroughly discredited religiously-based methods. He opposes contraception, even when it comes to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS. This takes anti-intellectualism and religious delusion to astounding levels.
  2. Warren opposes reproductive rights for women and stem cell research. He has criticized Obama's position on these issues and vowed to pressure him into changing his mind. This should be worrisome for anyone who values separation of church and state.
  3. He was a strong supporter of Proposition 8, the measure which rolled back civil rights for many Californians by denying marriage to GLBT couples. This is bigotry.
  4. Warren has equated gay marriage to incest and pedophilia. This is bigotry.
  5. Warren has publicly stated that he would not vote for an atheist, regardless of qualifications. He thinks that no atheist could possibly be worthy of holding office. This is bigotry.
  6. He is a creationist. Lest we dismiss this as mere stupidity, please remember that many of us are still having to fight to keep this nonsense out of our schools.
For those who continue to insist that allowing Warren to give the invocation is no big deal, I simply remind you that Obama selected Rick Warren out of a near infinite number of clergy to represent him. This sure as hell concerns me.

H/Ts to Open Left, Right Wing Watch, and Daylight Atheism