Tuesday, December 01, 2009

More incoherence

Rick Warren is back in the news. Once again his name is showing up in connection with homophobia. Once again he wants to change the subject rather than give an honest response.

For those of you who are late arriving to the story. The Ugandan government is currently considering an anti-homosexuality bill that mandates life imprisonment for merely being gay, prison sentences for not turning gays in, and the death penalty for being gay and HIV positive among other things. The author and most vocal proponents of the bill include certain darlings of the American religious right. Warren's connection is that he is a supporter and friend of pastor Martin Ssempa, one of the Ugandan proponents of the bill.

Over the past two years, Warren has been trying to put some distance between himself and Ssempa, but he won't go so far as to actually condemn the Ugandan legislation. When asked about it he issued this statement: "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." When asked about it on Meet the Press this weekend, he said he never takes sides and tried to change the subject to abortion.

Today, still trying to change the subject, he has fallen back back on that old favorite of the religious right, when backed into a corner, cry persecution. On his Twitter feed this morning, Warren wrote: "Globally last yr 146,000 Christians were put to death because of their faith. No one, except Christians, said anything." What is his point? If someone, somewhere, kills Christians for who they are, then it's okay for Ugandan Christians to kill gays, most of whom are also Christians?

Who were these 146,000 Christians and where were they put to death? I can't find a source for his claim. The closest I could find was a comment on a conspiracy forum making the same claim four years ago. I also can't find any evidence that Warren was one of those Christians who protested it. I guess that would be him not interfering in the political processes of other nations.

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