To follow-up on my blog entry about multimillionaire megapastor Rick Warren’s cowardice exhaustion, Politico offers an elaboration on Warren’s claim:

Pastor Rick Warren abruptly canceled an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” in which he would have had the opportunity to clarify his denial last week that he had ever endorsed California’s anti-gay-marriage ballot measure, when in fact he had done so on videotape.

A Warren aide e-mails the best-selling evangelical pastor’s view on both issues:

“Easter weekend is like the Super Bowl for a megachurch like Saddleback; this year they were expecting upwards of 43,000 to attend 43 service venues and locations offered at 13 separate service times, requiring an intense several weeks of preparation by the pastor and his team.

Interesting. If Easter weekend is so understandably busy for the megapastor that his exhaustion is a natural consequence, why then did he book an interview with Stephanopoulos in the first place? Clearly Warren planned to go through with it and did not consider the busy pace of an Easter weekend to be a problem, back when he promised to go on George’s show.

Nevertheless, the Warren aide quoted in this Politico piece goes on:

“There has been a lot of blog chatter trying to connect the dots with the interviews this weekend and comments Dr. Warren made on CNN Larry King Live, but his cancellations were related to health and fatigue…. I was looking forward to the opportunity for him to clarify his position with Messrs. Stephanopoulos and Huckabee (the latter with whom he was to interview live at 2:45 PM EDT on Saturday) to reframe the picture for television viewers the way we had been trying to do on a per-inquiry basis with print outlets by sending out the statement below:

Warning to my readers: What follows is Warren’s twisted rationale for lying to Larry King. The aide’s promise to “clarify” and “reframe” the matter should serve as a warning that you’re about to be inundated with bullshit … and he doesn’t disappoint:

“Throughout his pastoral ministry spanning nearly 30 years, Pastor Warren has remained committed to the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman, for life — a position held by most fellow Evangelical pastors. He has further stressed that for 5,000 years, EVERY culture and EVERY religion has maintained this worldview.

“When Pastor Warren told Larry King that he never campaigned for California’s Proposition 8, he was referring to not participating in the official two-year organized advocacy effort specific to the ballot initiative in that state, based on his focus and leadership on other compassion issues. Because he’s a pastor, not an activist, in response to inquiries from church members, he issued an email and video message to his congregation days before the election confirming where he and Saddleback Church stood on this issue.

There are a number of problems with this statement. First, it is factually untrue that — as the Warren aide put it — “EVERY culture and EVERY religion has maintained” that marriage is only between one man and one woman. Warren’s holy text itself contains proof that this is not true. The list of patriarchs and kings in the Old Testament who had multiple wives and even concubines is long. (See my earlier post on the subject of marriage for details … complete with chapter and verse citations.)

Also, contrary to Warren and his aide, there are, even now, cultures and religions that accept alternative forms of marriage such as polygamy. (Islam is the most significant example … nearly one/third of humanity is Muslim, a number far too large for Warren or his aide to dismiss as they do.)

To lie as an explanation of a lie, is never a good idea. But Warren, through his aide, has done so! This means that not only did Warren lie for Jesus, he lied for Jesus again in order to justify having lied for Jesus. How nice.

Second, Warren asserts that his support of Proposition 8 was not as part of “the official two-year organized advocacy effort specific to the ballot initiative,” yet nevertheless he informed his sheep to vote for it; even so, those instructions were not “support.”

Did you catch that? The aide concedes that Warren supported Prop 8, but because his support was not of the “official” variety, it doesn’t actually count as “support.” This is gibberish, pure and simple.

The question I asked in my prior blog post (near the end), remains unanswered: Why is it not possible for Warren simply to apologize for having lied and be contrite? It won’t kill him to do so. And it’s never a bad idea for a Christian pastor to show a little Christian humility.

Note to Rick Warren: The humility part of your religion was best explained by your own Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount — if you open your Bible, you’ll see it in chapters 5 through 7 of the gospel of Matthew. Read it sometime. Just once, and just for kicks.

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