themcglynn.com

08 Jan

Turn Your Back On Warren

Protest this callous slap to the face of all progressives and all people of conscience:

When this right wing nut speaks at Our Inauguration, whether in attendance or at home watching on TV, turn your back to him. Better yet,

turn the TV off during his so-called “Invocation”.

My only prayer is that it doesn’t last too long.

To Obama: Cancel Him Out

Condom Burnings and Anti-Gay Witch Hunts:

How Rick Warren Is Undermining AIDs Prevention in Africa

By Max Blumenthal, The Daily Beast
Posted on January 8, 2009, Printed on January 8, 2009

Click for Full Article

Once hailed by Time magazine as “America’s Pastor,” California megachurch leader and best-selling author of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren now finds himself on the defensive. President-elect Barack Obama’s selection of Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer has generated intense scrutiny of the pastor’s beliefs on social issues, from his vocal support for Proposition 8, a ballot initiative banning same-sex marriage in California, to his comparison of homosexuality to pedophilia, incest and bestiality. Many of Obama’s supporters have demanded that he withdraw the invitation.

Warren’s defense against charges of intolerance ultimately depends upon his ace card: his heavily publicized crusade against AIDS in Africa. Obama senior adviser David Axelrod cited Warren’s work in Africa as one of “the things on which [Obama and Warren] agree” on the Dec. 28 episode of Meet the Press. Warren may be opposed to gay rights and abortion, the thinking goes, but he tells evangelicals it is their God-given duty to battle one of the greatest pandemics in history. What could be wrong with that?

But since the Warren inauguration controversy erupted, the nature of his work against AIDS in Africa has gone unexamined. Warren has not been particularly forthcoming to those who have attempted to look into it. His Web site contains scant information about the results of his program. However, an investigation into Warren’s involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education. More disturbingly, Warren’s allies have rolled back key elements of one of the continent’s most successful initiative, the so-called ABC program in Uganda. Stephen Lewis, the United Nations special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, told the New York Times their activism is “resulting in great damage and undoubtedly will cause significant numbers of infections which should never have occurred.”

Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempa enjoys close ties to his country’s first lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them.

Dr. Helen Epstein, a public health consultant who wrote the book, The Invisible Cure: Why We’re Losing the Fight Against AIDS in Africa, met Ssempa in 2005. Epstein told me the preacher seemed gripped by paranoia, warning her of a secret witches coven that met under Lake Victoria.

“Ssempa also spoke to me for a very long time about his fear of homosexual men and women,” Epstein said. “He seemed very personally terrified by their presence.”……………………………………

Obama – Reject Warren Petition at: Petition

What’s the Matter With Rick Warren?

The McGlynn comment: A helluva lot!

By Sarah Posner

December 17, 2008

Click for Full Article

Now it has officially gone too far: Democrats, in their zeal to appear friendly to evangelical voters, have chosen celebrity preacher and best-selling author Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Obama’s choice to give the invocation at his inauguration is a slap at progressives and a bow to the religious right.
There was no doubt that Obama, like every president before him, would pick a Christian minister to perform this sacred duty. But Obama had thousands of clergy to choose from, and the choice of Warren is not only a slap in the face to progressive ministers toiling on the front lines of advocacy and service but a bow to the continuing influence of the religious right in American politics. Warren vocally opposes gay marriage, does not believe in evolution, has compared abortion to the Holocaust and backed the assassination of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Warren has done a masterful job at marketing himself as a “new” kind of evangelical with a “broader agenda” than just fighting abortion rights and gay marriage. He dispatches members of his congregation to Africa to perform AIDS relief and has positioned himself as a great crusader for bringing his “purpose-driven” pabulum to the world.

Faith in Public Life, a nonprofit cultivated by the Center for American Progress, was so wowed by Warren that it co-sponsored a presidential forum in August at Warren’s Saddleback Church. There, his “broader agenda” included asking Obama whether he believed that life began at conception (which Warren believes, he says, based on the Bible, not science) and to ruminate on the nature of evil. (As for Pastor Rick, he believes the Bible dictates that the US government “punish evildoers,” as in Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.)

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The Center for Constitutional Rights

The Center for Constitutional Rights is outraged at President Obama’s choice of the right wing Rev. Rick Warren to lead the convocation at his inauguration. This is “change” we can neither believe in nor support. Many of us have been looking forward to this inauguration as we have no other in the past, with great hope that the new administration will restore our Constitution and its place in a nation of laws. We understand, too, that the new president is working to reach across the aisle and make people of different beliefs welcome at his table.

But the choice of Rev. Warren is a callous slap in the face to all progressives and people of conscience who cherish the equality of women and their right to a safe and legal abortion. Roe v. Wade is still the law of the land. It is a constitutional right. Women fought and died for it. A man who so vocally opposes such a hard won and important a constitutional right has no place at this inauguration.

The choice of Rev. Warren is a slap in the face to all progressives and people of conscience who cherish the equality of men and women in the LGBT community. His vocal support for the shameful California Proposition 8 pushes from the table those who have fought long and hard to be able to love and be loved without the interference of hate mongers.  A man like Rick Warren who envisions a society where some classes of people are entitled to fundamental rights while others are not based solely on whom and how they love has no place at this inauguration.

We understand that there will be compromises and decisions we won’t agree with in the coming years, and we will be right there challenging them. But to begin it all in this way, is a terrible signal to send to the people who worked day and night to elect President Obama. He should withdraw his invitation. At the very least, he should ask someone else to officiate as well, someone with decency and eloquence who can balance the presence of Rev. Warren. If the president is at a loss for ideas, allow us to suggest two women who could ably fit the bill: Bishop Katherine Jeffords Schori,  the presiding head of the Episcopal church who supports the ordination of gay ministers, and Susana Heschel, a feminist theologian and daughter of Abraham Joshua Heschel, the Jewish leader who worked hand in hand with Martin Luther King.

Let’s not start off on the wrong foot and hobble progress before we’ve even begun.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

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