Roundup: Rick Warren Claims He’s Not “Political”


Rick Warren Not "Taking Sides," Except When He Does

In several recent statements, Rick Warren, pastor of the Saddleback Church and a leader of Christian fundamentalists here and abroad, has demured when asked about his work in politics.

On Meet the Press yesterday, for example, he was asked about his involvement in the Proposition 8 battle in California last year, as well as in other political efforts.  Warren replied by referring to an earlier statement he’d made on the program:

I said, "I’m just a pastor.  I’m not a politician, I’m not a pundit."
And so I began to say, "What am I supposed to do with this, this
platform?" And I don’t believe God gives you money or influence for
your own ego, so you can just be a fat cat and be a celebrity.  We need
more heroes, fewer celebrities.  Heroes sacrifice for others,
celebrities sacrifice for themselves.

But Warren’s statement strikes many as disingenuous.  In Newsweek this morning, for example, Lisa Miller writes about Warren’s reactions to the work of Martin Ssemap, the Ugandan religious right leader with whom Warren has had close past affiliation under US Global AIDS Policy, and the proposed law in Uganda to make "homosexuality punishable by death."

In October, Warren distanced himself from
Ssempa and the Ugandan legislation, saying, "Martin Ssempa does not
represent me; my wife, Kay; Saddleback Church; nor the Global PEACE
Plan strategy," a reference to Warren’s work in the developing world
and Africa in particular. "In 2007 we completely severed contact with
Mr. Ssempa when we learned that his views and actions were in serious
conflict with our own.

"Our role, and the role of the PEACE
Plan, whether in Uganda or any other country, is always pastoral and
never political. We vigorously oppose anything that hinders the goals
of the PEACE Plan: Promoting reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders,
Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next
generation." 

But Warren won’t go so far as to condemn
the legislation itself. A request for a broader reaction to the
proposed Ugandan antihomosexual laws generated this response: "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." 

Yet Warren has called abortion "a holocaust," supports the global gag rule,  is a frequent visitor to Capitol Hill to lobby on issues of concern to his fundamentalist agenda, and was among those instrumental in defeating critical changes in the reauthorization of global AIDS policy last year, changes needed to ensure US-funded prevention programs were based on evidenve, public health and human rights, and to benefit women and girls.  In fact, he joined a press conference with Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NJ), Joe Pitts (R-PA), and others during which he and others used inaccurate and misleading information to deny HIV-positive women access to family planning information and services.

On Raw Story, Stephen C. Webster explores his connections to the secretive fundamentalist Christian group whose political influence is detailed in Jeff Sharlet’s book, The Family.

Sharlet told Terry Gross last week on NPR’s Fresh Air that:

The Family has operated secretively with the
help of influential congressmen and senators who are members of the
group to promote their anti-gay, anti-abortion, pro-free-market ideas
in America and other parts of the world, but two sex scandals involving
people connected with The Family -Nevada Senator John Ensign and South
Carolina Governor Mark Sanford – have brought public attention to the
group.

Apolitical?  It appears Warren doth protest too much.

South Korea Enforces Decades-old Abortion Ban for Economic Reasons

Women’s rights advocates have long contended that governments manipulate women’s access to contraception and abortion based less on "moral" considerations or on women’s health and human rights concerns  than on anti- or pro-natalist goals affected by national economic and political concerns.

A recent turn of events in South Korea appears to underscore that claim, as the government is acting suddenly to enforce a long-ignored ban on abortion in the interest of raising birth rates.

The Examiner.Com reports that fears of a shortage of young people to take care of the elderly underlies a change in plicy in the country:

According to The Christian Telegraph, about
45 years ago the government claimed that there was an overpopulation
problem, and so great effort went into encouraging contraception and
abortion, even though abortion was technically illegal.

Now, fears of a “demographic catastrophe” are resulting in a push for larger families.

[T]he Presidential Council is proposing an
“Increase Koreans project” which would give special privileges to
families with at least three children, as well as the third child. The
families would be given “special interest rates on mortgages,” and the
third child would receive, “an advantage in university entrance
examinations, employment, and financial support for high school and
university tuition.” 

 

11/30

Rebecca
St. James passionate about pro-life message
Florida Baptist Witness

America
becoming more
pro-life
The Daily Advance

Behind
RNC ‘Checklist’ Controversy
Human Events

Column:
Contraception
isn’t abortion
Wausau
Daily Herald

Adoption
process tries patience
Grand Junction Sentinel

Abortion
guidance ruling expected
BBC News

 

11/29

Malta
‘burying head in sand’ on sexual health
Times of Malta

Father’s
lawsuit aimed at clinic
Corpus Christi Caller Times

Opinion:
Health care reform could eliminate abortion coverage
San Jose Mercury News

Pro-life
plan
Lawrence
Journal World

Tennessee
Right To Life’s endorsement of Dem has GOP up in arms
Kingsport Times News

Thankful
for Planned Parenthood
Cal Coast News

Economic
instability motivates South Korea to enforce decades old abortion ban
Examiner.com

Talk
about safe sex, government urging young
BBC News

Condoms
popular among teen girls; tubal ligation among older women
Jamaica Observer

Varadaan
promoting
adoption and
child rights
Times
of India

New
Qld
adoption
laws in effect in 2010
ABC Online

Economy
may be impacting
adoptions, officials say
Dayton Daily News

In
South Korea,
abortion
foes gain ground
Los
Angeles Times

In
Congress, a Generation Gap on
Abortion
New York Times

Evangelical
Pastor Rick Warren on
abortion, sexuality and Obama
Politico

Senate
Debate on Health Bill Set to Begin Monday
Wall Street Journal

Insider
Poll: Utah May be First in Nation to Categorize Illegal
Abortions as Homicide
Fox 13 Now – Salt Lake City

Why
Do You Believe What You Do?
TPM

The
Abortion Distortion
New
York Magazine

 

11/28

Program
is key to successful
adoption, foster planning
Gadsden Times

A
look at Catholic Church’s opposition to
abortion
Providence Journal

Abortion:
Paying for one’s own mistakes
Chicago Daily Herald

In
Support of Abortion, It’s Personal vs. Political
New York Times

Outspoken
MP Slams Canada’s “Abortion Regime”
 Catholic
Exchange

Pro-life
conference sells out months early
Catholic News
Agency

Pro-Life
News: Catholic Pols, Abortion, Assault, Canada, Rationing, France …
LifeNews.com

Catholic
influence
Chicago Tribune

Basic
reproductive health should be in reform bill
Patriot-News

Consent
requires accurate information
Milwaukee Journal
Sentinel

For
the Vatican it’s Clear – Pro-Abortion Politicians ‘Must’ be Denied Communion

Lifesite

Editorial:
Christian leaders’ stance on civil disobedience is dangerous
Los Angeles Times

Abortion’s
New Battleground
Newsweek

Kennedy
to speak on health care after church feud
The
Associated Press

Anti-abortion
initiative heads to court in Alaska
Anchorage
Daily News

Ex-nurse,
83, nurtures artisans’ co-op, family planning clinic she founded
Boston Globe

Natural
Family Planning A Tough Sell In Philly
Philadelphia
Bulletin

 

11/27

Many
pregnant women take drugs harmful to baby
Reuters

Christian
leaders vow to resist gay marriage, abortion
Pittsburgh
Post Gazette

Sarah
Palin and Me
Wall Street Journal

Choose
adoption rather than having abortion
Bloomington
Pantagraph

Hypocrisy
in pro-life provisions?
Chicago Daily Herald

Archbishop
of Detroit leads pro-life vigil ‘rooted in Christian love’
Catholic News Agency

The
fed-up faithful
New York Post

Chatting
with a signer of the ‘Manhattan Declaration’
Village
Voice

Adoption:
Second Choice, Not Second Best
 Catholic
Exchange

Woman
charged with assaulting abortion protester
Chicago
Tribune

Pro
- Abortion Bill Spanish Politicians Sinful – Church
New York Times

Abortion
hijacking
Salt Lake Tribune

Abortion,
Insurance and Health Care Reform
New York Times
(Letters)

NHS
‘should pay costs of abortion for Northern Ireland women’
Belfast Telegraph

And
now, facts about the pill that gives men real power
Standard

Impacting
AIDS this World AIDS Day
Huffington Post

 

11/26

Abortion
donor case ends
Sioux Falls Argus Leader

Kirk’s
low-key approach in Senate drawing notice
The
Associated Press

Berlusconi
Government blocks Vatican-opposed RU486 abortion pill
Times Online

Democrat
Bob Casey Will Work to Remove Abortion Funding From Senate Bill
LifeNews.com

Pro-Life
Advocate Threatened With Knife by Woman Seeking Abortion Speaks Out
LifeNews.com

Maryland
Pregnancy Center Attack Earns Washington Post, Pro-Life Condemnation
LifeNews.com

On
abortion and the Catholic Church …
Dallas
Morning News

Planned
Parenthood Drops Lawsuit Against Former Abortion Center Director
LifeNews.com

MP
hits out at adoption policies
BBC News

Cincinnati
Pro-Life Advocates Worry City Council Bill Would Limit Free Speech
LifeNews.com

Barack
Obama’s Thanksgiving Message Emulates Bush’s, Ditches Pro-Life Words
LifeNews.com

A
Truce in the Religious Wars?
New York Times

He
who cast the first stone lives in glass house
Boston
Herald

Abortion
in Health Plan Tests a Pennsylvania Senator
New
York Times

Dawn
Norman: Planned Parenthood provides valuable services to women
Huntington Herald Dispatch

 

11/25

A
Different Kind of Pregnant Student
Inside
Higher Ed

Sask.
MP criticized for views on abortion, feminism
Globe
and Mail

Baltimore
Pregnancy Centers Forced to Tell the Truth
Change.org
Women’s Rights

New
CDC Report: Abortions Rose 3.1% in 2006, Other Research Shows Decline
LifeNews.com

Anti-abortion
protest outside Waco high school draws a few complaints
Waco Tribune Herald

Read
Kennedy His Rites: Bishop’s Abortion Stand
New
York Post

Solve
abortion distraction
HeraldNet

Should
Pro-Abortion Politicians Receive Communion?
Virtue
Online

Abortion,
Women’s Health and Health Reform
Time

Abortion,
a Kennedy and a Catholic communion conundrum
Reuters
Blogs

Superior
woman arrested after threatening abortion protesters
Minnesota Public Radio

Healthcare
holdouts: Ben Nelson says abortion funds mean ‘no’ vote
Christian Science Monitor

Catholic
Church Stokes Political Debate On Abortion, Gay Marriage
NPR

What
Will Happen in the Senate?
National Catholic
Register

SD
officials reach deal in abortion donation case
Daily
Republic

Cardinal:
"No Way" Catholics in Congress Can Back Pro-Abortion Health Care Bill

LifeNews.com

More
than 30 Michigan counties honor National Adoption Day
Lansing State Journal

Children,
families celebrate adoptions
Shelby Star

Fed-up
couples giving up adoption dreams
Ninemsn

Why
liberals hate Palin
UND The Dakota Student

Kennedy
represents a wider constituency than Catholics
Valley
Breeze

What
about other pro-life issues?
Albany Times Union

Pro-life
Uruguayans urge fellow voters to elect president who will defend life
Catholic News Agency

Baltimore
City Council passes law that would burden pro-life pregnancy centers
Catholic News Agency

NE
governors’ races give GOP a chance to build on gains
Boston Globe

Obama
can’t let bishops set US policy
Chicago
Sun-Times

Is
purity test pro-choice?
Politico

The
‘Manhattan Declaration’: The Manifesto That’s Shaking America
Catholic Online

Women,
violence and poverty – breaking out of the gender trap
Amnesty International USA

US
Officials See Progress and Challenges in Fight Against AIDS
Voice of America

Abortion
carries a high cost, too
Lower Hudson Journal
news

Planning
for change
Pasadena Weekly

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  • wendy-banks

    Riiight–Rick Warren NOT political?! *ROTFLMAO* And he thinks people will BUY that shit? *snorts* Please…