Rick Warren

Religious Right Leaders Join Vatican Man-Woman Marriage Event

Fresh off the synod on the family, at which conservative Catholic bishops rallied to assert ideological domination over the final report, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the Inquisition) has announced that it will be hosting a colloquium this month on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.” Trekking to Vatican City for the event will be some American anti-equality advocates: Rick Warren, the Southern Baptists’ Russell Moore, right-wing Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The November 17-19 event will be co-hosted by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The announcement of the colloquium says it will feature representatives from 14 religious traditions and 23 countries. Among them is Nicholas Okoh, the Anglican Archbishop of Nigeria, who has called homosexuality a manifestation of the devil and praised Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan’s “courage” in signing a harsh anti-gay law last December. Okoh said in January that people who oppose the law will face “disaster.”

The event will also premiere six short films about marriage; a trailer for the series is online now.

UPDATE: Russell Moore has explained why he's going to the Vatican:

Here’s what I hope comes out of the meeting. I hope that this gathering of religious leaders can stand in solidarity on the common grace, creational mandate of marriage and family as necessary for human flourishing and social good. I also hope that we can learn from one another about where these matters stand around the world. And I hope that those of us from the believers’ church tradition can represent well our views of how marriage is more than just a natural good (although it is never less than that), but is a picture of the gospel one-flesh union of Christ and his church.

Evangelical Leaders Warn Of 'Secular Totalitarianism' And 'Jail' For U.S. Christians

Religious Right leaders love to claim that Christians are threatened in the U.S., the subject of a forthcoming PFAW report on the Religious Right’s persecution complex. The latest example comes from the just-completed annual conference of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Russell Moore, who heads the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, hosted Rick Warren, David Platt, and Samuel Rodriguez for a June 9 panel on religious freedom in America through the lens of the Hobby Lobby case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. 

According to an account by Tom Strode in the Baptist Press, Rodriguez, who heads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, warned, “Today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity. The firewall against secular totalitarianism is religious liberty and religious pluralism.”

“Secular totalitarianism” in this context is the requirement, being challenged in the Hobby Lobby case, that for-profit businesses provide insurance coverage that includes contraception methods to which the company’s owners have religious objections.

“The justices will decide whether “there is the freedom to dissent and the freedom to accommodate these conscientious objections in the governing of people’s lives and the running of their businesses,” Moore said. “This will have everything to do with everything that your church does for the next 100 years.”

Moore of course is ignoring, or rather obfuscating, the clear constitutional, legal, and policy distinction between churches, who are exempt from the requirement, and for-profit corporations, whose claim to a religious conscience is at the core of the Hobby Lobby case.

Rodriguez and Warren agreed that religious liberty is the civil rights issue of the future.  And panelists spoke as if Christians are on the verge of being jailed for their beliefs:

“I’m spending all of my time right now making sure that we stay out of jail,” [Moore] told the audience. “But there is one thing worse than going to jail, and that’s staying out of jail and sacrificing the gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Warren responded, “This issue may take – just as it did with Martin Luther King – it may take some pastors going to jail. I’m in.”

The idea that pastors are going to be thrown into jail is a ridiculous argument that Religious Right leaders have used to oppose hate crimes legislation and laws against anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. This kind of rhetoric is not only ridiculous, it is also irresponsible and damaging. As People For the American Way Foundation’s Twelve Rules for Mixing Religion and Politics says in explaining that religious and political leaders should not “cry ‘wolf’” about religious persecution:

Inflammatory charges about religious persecution can lead to an angrier and more divisive political arena. If you believe your political opponents are actually out to take away your religious freedom, shut down your church, and literally criminalize Christianity—goals that some Religious Right figures attribute to political liberals—you have little reason to treat your opponents civilly or engage in a search for constructive common ground or compromise. Creating that kind of environment is not good for our country.

 It is possible to have a vigorous debate about political issues and about the separation of church and state without resorting to falsehoods about religious persecution.

The panel wasn’t a total bust, apparently. Unlike some Religious Right leaders, who claim that religious liberty protections apply only to Christians – or to a particular subset of Christians – news reports indicate that Rodriguez, Warren, and Moore said Christians should promote religious liberty for everyone in the context of religious pluralism. We don’t say this often about these guys, but we agree.

Right Wing Round-Up - 12/9/13

Right Wing Leftovers - 2/22/13

  • Even though studies keep proving that morning-after pills don’t cause abortion, Religious Right groups will continue to baselessly argue otherwise. 
  • Family Research Council invites you to the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay Marriage March.
  • Yet another tough break for professional vote-suppressor Hans von Spakovsky. 
  • Rick Warren is very, very, very sad that Tim Tebow pulled out of his appearance at Robert Jeffress’ megachurch. 

Right Wing Round-Up - 11/28/12

Van Impe Breaks With TBN Over "Censorship" Of Program Accusing Rick Warren of Promoting "Chrislam"

Back in April, we posted a video of Jerry Boykin warning of the dangers of so-called "Chrislam," claiming there could be no hope of creating dialogue between Christians and Muslims and warning Christian not to allows Muslims to use their facilities for worship. 

One of the leaders Boykin cited as falling into this "Chrislam" trap was Rick Warren ... and it appears that Boykin was not alone as Michigan televangelist Jack Van Impe has now broken with Trinity Broadcasting Network claiming TBN censored him by refusing to air a program accusing Warren and others of undermining Christianity:  

Michigan televangelist Jack Van Impe ended his decades-long relationship with Trinity Broadcast Network late last week after becoming embroiled in a controversy with pastors Rick Warren and Robert H. Schuller ... Officials for TBN, based in Tustin, Calif., said they had to censor a Van Impe show set to run June 6 because he accused Warren and Schuller of trying to combine Christian and Muslim beliefs into a new movement called "Chrislam."

...

The head of TBN said he was not going to allow Van Impe to use his station to attack other religious leaders.

"It has been my position for TBN's 38 years of ministry that TBN preach(es) Christ only and that it does not become a bully pulpit for endless debate and/or criticism on/of various doctrinal issues among denominations," said Paul Crouch, president and founder of churches, ministries or individuals.

"Specifically, it has been TBN's policy not to allow its broadcast air time to be utilized for personal attacks by one Christian brother against another or to call them out by name," added Crouch in a statement.

A spokesman for Van Impe said "after much time in prayer" the Van Impes decided to part ways with TBN.

"We would not be able to minister effectively if we had to look over our shoulder wondering if a program was going to be censored because of mentioning a name," said Ken Vancil, executive director of the Jack Van Impe Ministries.

Santorum: Obama Will "Eviscerate" Freedom By Supporting Gay Rights

Rick Santorum is set to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa tonight along with Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer. On Saturday he wrote a guest column for the Des Moines Register where he repeated the same groundless right-wing arguments that marriage equality will lead to the end of religious freedom and that the Obama administration has stopped enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. In Iowa, a state which has had equal marriage rights since 2009, religious liberty has yet to collapse, as many conservatives predicted. And while the Obama administration found DOMA to be an unconstitutional law that it would no longer defend in court, it will continue to enforce the law. Santorum claims that as a result of Obama’s “power grab,” the “free exercise of religion will be eviscerated,” and also argues that advocates of marriage equality use “hate-filled” rhetoric against their opponents:

In refusing to enforce DOMA, the president was saying a law that was overwhelmingly passed by both Democrats and Republicans, and signed by a Democratic president, was simply no longer valid, no longer constitutional. Usually such actions are the province of the Supreme Court. This was a power grab, and it was wrong at every level. It was also a surprise. President Obama defended the law in the courts for the first half of his term, and said to Rick Warren in 2008, "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman."

Let me first define what we are not talking about. I believe if two adults of the same sex want to have a relationship that is their business. But when they ask society to give that relationship special recognition and privileges, then we should be able to have a rational debate about whether that is good public policy.

We should also ensure the debate takes cognizance of its constitutional implications. And with the President's decision, the free exercise of religion will be eviscerated.


Iowa is on the front-line of this looming battle because its activist Supreme Court redefined marriage to include same sex couples. But for the first time in Iowa history all of the justices up for retention were soundly defeated in November.

Iowans are not alone in standing up for traditional marriage. From Maine to California, 31 times voters were given the opportunity to amend their state constitutions to affirm marriage as it has always been, one man and one woman, and 31 times it has passed.

What is the retort to those who stand for what has been the foundation of every society from the beginning of time? Do they make a reasoned case providing evidence about such things as the effects on children, traditional marriage, faith, school curriculum and public health?

No, sadly there is no reasoned, civil discourse. Civility is only trotted out as a tactic to put the opponent on the defensive, never to actually enlighten. Their game plan is straight out of the Saul Alinsky playbook. Claim high-minded concepts like "equality" and "tolerance" then launch vile and hate-filled personal attacks intended to strike fear and silence the opposition.

Some have argued this is not the time to wage this fight; that we have to focus solely on the vitally important job of limiting government, reducing the debt and creating jobs and growth. I agree these issues are at the top of our national list, but a big nation can focus on more than one thing at one time, just as men like Jefferson and Madison fought for religious liberties when arguably more consequential issues were occupying the public mind. In the end, it simply will not profit a country to gain wealth and lose its soul.

Rodriguez, Jakes Decry Those Who Question Obama's Faith, Warren Offers "No Comment"

Via CBN's David Brody we learn that a group of Christian leaders have signed on to a letter decrying those who have been questioning the legitimacy of President Obama's faith and urging the media to ignore those who are doing so: 

As Christian leaders— whose primary responsibility is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our congregations, our communities, and our world— we are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama’s faith. We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.

President Obama has been unwavering in confessing Christ as Lord and has spoken often about the importance of his Christian faith. Many of the signees on this letter have prayed and worshiped with this President. We believe that questioning, and especially misrepresenting, the faith of a confessing believer goes too far.

This is not a political issue. The signers of this letter come from different political and ideological backgrounds, but we are unified in our belief in Jesus Christ. As Christian pastors and leaders, we believe that fellow Christians need to be an encouragement to those who call Christ their savior, not question the veracity of their faith.

Therefore, we urge public officials, faith leaders, and the media to offer no further support or airtime to those who misrepresent and call into question the President’s Christian faith. And we join with the President in praying that God will continue to bless the United States of America.

It is no surprise to see names like Joel Hunter, Jim Wallis, and Kirbyjon Caldwell among the signers, but it is a bit surprising too see that Bishop T.D. Jakes and Rev. Sam Rodriguez signed on as well.

For his part, Rick Warren is taking a bold "no comment" stance regarding the legitimacy of Obama's Christian faith, with his spokeperson issuing this statement to Brody:

Dr. Warren has not made any comment, nor has he signed any group letters or statements.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Don Wildmon is officially stepping down from his role at the American Family Association due to on-going health problems.
  • Politico got its hands on a rather remarkable RNC fundraising presentation, and the RNC is already furiously backing away from it, calling its images and language "unacceptable" and saying "it will not be used by the Republican National Committee – in any capacity – in the future."
  • Shirley Dobson has been dismissed from the lawsuit against the National Day of Prayer.
  • Rick Perry has been the Governor of Texas for more than a decade, so why is he playing off his primary win last night as some sort of shot at the establishment?
  • Rick Warren and the Jonas Brothers, together at last.
  • Wow, FRC is really producing groundbreaking research.
  • Finally, the quote of the day from Rev. Rob Schenck reacting to marriage equality officially coming to Washington DC today: "Let me remind everyone that there’s nothing new about what happened today at the Superior Court of the District of Columbia Marriage Bureau. In fact, it’s very old. Thousands of years ago, the world at the base of Mount Sinai looked very much like Indiana Avenue, NW, the street outside the Marriage Bureau office. Actually, it was far worse. On the Day of Pentecost, when the Christian Church was born at Jerusalem, Greco-Roman athletes competed in the nude and engaged in homosexual acts to titillate insatiably wild crowds. Worse, Roman men of stature kept wives to sire children by, but young boys as sexual play toys. Temple prostitutes were used and abused as an act of worship. It was into this kind of moral abandon that the Jews first taught God’s moral code and Christians later were called to evangelize. Both remain our challenge today. It was this kind of sin-sick, miserably wretched, often shockingly coarse and even frightening world that 'God so loved,' and to which He 'gave His only begotten son' ... If there’s anything to be disappointed about today here in the Nation’s Capital, it’s that we thought human progress had come so far, but, in fact, it has regressed."

Right Wing Round-Up

  • In times of trouble, remind me not to turn to Brit Hume..
  • Rick Warren needed $900,000 in end-of-the-year donations and got $2.4 million instead.
  • The New York Times examines the role that three American anti-gay activists played in the creation of Uganda's death penalty for gays effort.
  • Apparently, Oklahoma Republicans are going to attempt to "opt-out" of federal hate crimes laws. Good luck with that.
  • The Washington Monthly explains how David Barton, Don McLeroy, and other Texas conservatives are rewriting your kids’ textbooks.
  • You know, if GOProud has a problem with WorldNetDaily's reporting, they ought to take it up with WND, not Good As You.
  • Finally, I never fail to be amazed at the sort of outrageous things conservatives can get away with saying.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Matthew Yglesias: War on Christmas Just Got More Fierce.
  • Pam's House Blend: GOProud calls for President to speak out against Uganda's execute gays bill (You know, maybe GOProud should be calling on some of its CPAC allies to speak out as well.)
  • Sarah Posner: Rick Warren condemns the punishment but not inflammatory rhetoric.
  • Think Progress: Tea Party activists to ‘storm Senate offices’ and ‘stay there until they force us to leave.’
  • Tapped: CAIR Tipped Off The FBI.
  • Media Matters: AIM blog post smearing Jennings as a "pedophile" removed from site.
  • Finally, it's amazing that ABC let an insightful media professional like John Stossel get away.

Warren Finally Speaks Out Against Uganda Bill

For nearly two weeks, Rick Warren has been getting relentlessly criticized for refusing to speak out against the proposed legislation in Uganda that would have carried the death penalty for gays after declaring that "it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations."

Well, Warren has apparently changed his mind and has now spoken out ... though of course he is still playing the victim, complaining that he had to speak out in order to "correct lies, errors and false reports when others associate my name with a law that I had nothing to do with, completely oppose and vigorously condemn."

Of course, had he just said that when he was asked about the legislation in the first place, instead of saying it wasn't any of his business, he wouldn't have had to make this video at all:

Warren Complains That Nobody Cares About Christians

Rick Warren is attempting to respond to all of the criticism he is receiving for refusing to condemn the proposed law in Uganda that would make some homosexual acts punishable by death - claiming that "it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations" - by trying to change the subject with the following tweet:

Globally last yr 146,000 Christians were put to death because of their faith. No one, except Christians, said anything.

I realize that Twitter is not necessarily conducive to rigorous fact-checking, but it would be nice to get some sense of just where Warren got this figure of 146,000 Christian martyrs.

I've been looking all over trying to find some article or report or anything to back this up and I'm coming up empty.  I'm not saying he's just making this figure up, but he obviously got it from somewhere and it would be nice to know just what his source is for this claim.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Think Progress: Pastor Rick Warren Refuses To Condemn Ugandan Law Making Homosexual Acts Punishable By Death.
  • Hanna Rosin: Did Christianity Cause the Crash?
  • Mother Jones: Palin's Latest Error. Also, why is Palin seemingly incapable of finishing anything she starts?
  • Queerty: Why Is Chase Bank Willing to Give NOM Some Of Its $5 Million Charity Prize?
  • David Weigel: Randall Terry Capitalizes on Tea Party Movement.
  • Jamison Foser: The other right-wing media mogul you should worry about.

Exporting the Anti-Gay Culture War

Political Research Associates has released a new report, written by PRA Project Director Reverend Kapya Kaoma, entitled "Globalizing the Culture Wars: U.S. Conservatives, African Churches, and Homophobia" [PDF] which explores how figures like Rick Warren and Scott Lively and organizations like the Institute on Religion and Democracy have been promoting "an agenda in Africa that aims to criminalize homosexuality and otherwise infringe upon the human rights of LGBT people while also mobilizing African clerics in U.S. culture war battles."

From the PRA press release:

[T]he U.S. Right – once isolated in Africa for supporting pro-apartheid, White supremacist regimes – has successfully reinvented itself as the mainstream of U.S. evangelicalism. Through their extensive communications networks in Africa, social welfare projects, Bible schools, and educational materials, U.S. religious conservatives warn of the dangers of homosexuals and present themselves as the true representatives of U.S. evangelicalism, so helping to marginalize Africans’ relationships with mainline Protestant churches.

The investigation’s release could not be timelier, as the Ugandan parliament considers the Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009. Language in that bill echoes the false and malicious charges made in Uganda by U.S antigay activist and Holocaust revisionist Scott Lively that western gays are conspiring to take over Uganda and even the world.

"We need to stand up against the U.S. Christian Right peddling homophobia in Africa," said Kaoma, who in recent weeks asked U.S. evangelist Rick Warren to denounce the bill and distance himself from its supporters. "I heard church people in Uganda say they would go door to door to root out LGBT people and now our brothers and sisters are being further targeted by proposed legislation criminalizing them and threatening them with death. The scapegoating must stop."

While the American side of the story is known to LGBT activists and their allies witnessing struggles over LGBT clergy within Protestant denominations in the United States, what’s been missing has been the effect of the Right’s proxy wars on Africa itself. Kaoma’s report finally brings this larger, truly global, picture into focus.

“Just as the United States and other northern societies routinely dump our outlawed or expired chemicals, pharmaceuticals, machinery, and cultural detritus on African and other Third World countries, we now export a political discourse and public policies our own society has discarded as outdated and dangerous,” writes PRA executive director Tarso Luís Ramos in the report’s foreword. “Africa’s antigay campaigns are to a substantial degree made in the U.S.A.”

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Media Matters has launched Conservative Transparency.
  • David Weigel reports that 95% of Doug Hoffman's campaign contributions have come from outside the district and that activists from Generation Joshua are active in getting out the vote on his behalf (Generation Joshua, by the way, is an arm of the right wing Home School Legal Defense Association.)
  • Sarah Posner: Rick Warren Won't Denounce Proposed Ugandan Anti-Gay Law.
  • Rep. Michele Bachmann is organizing a conservative "insurgency" against healthcare reform, declaring it the "Super Bowl of freedom."
  • Alan Colmes: Joe Wilson Blames Obama For Flu Vaccine Shortage; Voted Against Funding.
  • Think Progress: Armey Meets With Author Of Town Hall Harassment Strategy Memo To Plan Purge Of Moderates From GOP.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Pam's House Blend: Peter LaBarbera's anti-gay 'rally' at Maine statehouse draws feeble numbers.
  • Alan Colmes: eBay Refuses Fundraiser For Accused Tiller Killer.
  • Sarah Posner is now writing for Religion Dispatches' "The Devil's Advocate" blog. Adjust your bookmarks and RSS feeds accordingly.
  • Truth Wins Out: Liberty Counsel Defends Qaddafist’s Support for Global Imprisonment of Gays.
  • Oliver North is now a Republican foreign policy advisor? Amazing.
  • Finally, Political Research Associates Calls on Rick Warren to Denounce Proposed Antigay Law in Uganda.

Celebrate Halloween With A Good Old Fashioned Book Burning

Via Raw Story we see that the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Canton, North Carolina church will be "hosting a 'Halloween book burning' to purge the area of 'Satan's' works, which include all non-King James versions of the Bible, popular books by many religious authors and even country music."

What is especially exciting about this particular book burning is the list of authors who will see their books being burned includes Rick Warren, James Dobson, Tim LaHaye, Chuck Colson, Mother Teresa, and even The Pope:

Come to our Halloween book burning. We are burning Satan's bibles like the NIV, RSV, NKJV, TLB, NASB, NEV, NRSV, ASV, NWT, Good News for Modern Man, The Evidence Bible, The Message Bible, The Green Bible, ect. These are perversions of God's Word the King James Bible.

We will also be burning Satan's music such as country , rap , rock , pop, heavy metal, western, soft and easy, southern gospel , contempory [sic] Christian , jazz, soul, oldies but goldies, etc.

We will also be burning Satan's popular books written by heretics like Westcott & Hort , Bruce Metzger, Billy Graham , Rick Warren , Bill Hybels , John McArthur, James Dobson, Charles Swindoll , John Piper, Chuck Colson, Tony Evans, Oral Roberts, Jimmy Swagart, Mark Driskol, Franklin Graham , Bill Bright, Tim Lahaye, Paula White, T.D. Jakes, Benny Hinn , Joyce Myers, Brian McLaren, Robert Schuller, Mother Teresa , The Pope , Rob Bell, Erwin McManus, Donald Miller, Shane Claiborne, Brennan Manning, William Young, etc.

Warren: "I Never Get Involved in Policy. Never."

I have to say that I really don't understand what Rick Warren's role is when it comes to politics ... or rather, I don't understand what Rick Warren thinks his role is when it comes to politics because he surfaced recently to insist to USA Today's Cathy Lynn Grossman that he doesn't get involved in political or policy questions:

Warren has no plans to burst back into politically-fired headlines, however. When politicians call him, he says,

I never get involved in policy. Never. But I'll talk to guys (like Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain and a host more) about their family, their stress and stuff like that....

Most people don't realize, I really have no faith in politics. I'm not a politician. If I thought you could change human hearts by laws, I would but I don't. Law is downstream from culture. By the time you make a law about something, you're reacting, not acting. I'd rather shape the culture.

This has always been Warren's stance, however it hasn't kept him out of hot water. Friday, he took a moment to clarify some of last winter's headline moments.

In December's interview with Steven Waldman of Beliefnet, did he really mean to equate gay marriage with pedophilia and incest? No, he says, he simply blew the question, and the followup, too. He has no such views of gay couples, he just wants to reserve the word "marriage" for the Biblical one-man-one-woman model.

Did he really campaign against gay marriage during the lead up to the Proposition 8 vote that overturned it's legalization in California? That would depend, evidently on how you define "campaign." He preached against it to his congregation but in Warren's opinion that's not campaigning, that's just a pastor sharing Scripture with his flock, even if his comments went worldwide on line.

Warren can claim that he "never gets involved in policy" or politics all he wants, but it won't change the fact that he most certainly does:

The election’s coming just in a couple of weeks, and I hope you’re praying about your vote. One of the propositions, of course, that I want to mention is Proposition 8, which is the proposition that had to be instituted because the courts threw out the will of the people. And a court of four guys actually voted to change a definition of Christian … uh, marriage that has been going for 5,000 years.

Now let me just say this really clearly: we support Proposition 8. And if you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8. I never support a candidate, but on moral issues I come out very clear.

This is one thing, friends, that all politicians tend to agree on. Both Barack Obama and John McCain, I flat-out asked both of them: what is your definition of marriage? And they both said the same thing — it is the traditional, historic, universal definition of marriage: one man and one woman, for life. And every culture for 5,000 years, and every religion for 5,000 years, has said the definition of marriage is between one man and a woman.

Now here’s an interesting thing: there are about two percent of Americans [who] are homosexual or gay/lesbian people. We should not let two percent of the population determine … to change a definition of marriage that has been supported by every single culture and every single religion for 5,000 years.

This is not even just a Christian issue, it’s a humanitarian and human issue that God created marriage for the purpose of family, love, and procreation.

So I urge you to support Proposition 8, and pass that word on. I’m going to be sending out a note to pastors on what I believe about this. But everybody knows what I believe about it. They heard me at the Civil Forum when I asked both Obama and McCain on their views.

So Long Sanford, We Hardly Knew Ya

We haven't written much about South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford primarily because, outside of talk that he might be the sort of presidential candidate that the Religious Right could rally around, he hasn't really done much that would cause him to show up in our monitoring.

And now that he has admitted to having an affair, it seems like our one reason for paying attention to him is gone. 

In fact, in what has to be the fasted website update in the Family Research Council's history, Sanford has already been removed from its list of "confirmed and invited speakers" to its 2009 Values Voter Summit:

But, back when his name was being bandied as a potential presidential contender, we tried to keep an eye out for things about him ... things like this recent interview he conducted with the Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty in which he explained that it was incumbent for people of faith, such as himself, to lead by example:

R&L: The religious views of candidates and their support among various faith traditions played a big role in the 2008 presidential race. Is this a good thing?

MS: It is. But I don’t know if it was more window dressing than not. Obama had Rick Warren speak at the inauguration, and then got some guy of another persuasion to give the benediction. I don’t think you want it as an accoutrement. I think that you want it to show up in policy. In other words, conversation is certainly an important starting point. It can’t be the ending point.

R&L: When it’s convenient, many politicians say they can’t bring their own religious views to bear on important issues because they represent all the people. What’s your view?

MS: I don’t agree with that. What people are sick of is that no one will make a stand. The bottom line in politics is, I think, at the end of the day to be effective in standing for both the convictions that drove you into office and the principles that you outlined in running. And that is not restrained to simply the world of Caesar, it applies to what you think is right and wrong and everything in between. Now we all get nervous about the people who simply wear it on their arm sleeve to sort of prove that they’ve got that merit badge. But I think the Bible says, “Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father that’s in heaven.“ Hopefully, by the way in which you act. The way in which you make decisions. They’re going to see that some thing’s there. I would also say the Bible says in Revelation, “Be hot. Be cold. But don’t be lukewarm“ [Rev. 3:15]. And there’s  too many political candidates who walk around completely in the middle—completely in neutral. With regard not only to faith, but with regard to policy. And that’s what people are sick of. Everything’s gotten so watered down. So I have people come to me frequently saying, “Look, I voted for you. In fact, I completely disagree with you on these different stands over here. But at least I know where you stand.“ And so I would say it’s a mistake to confine one’s belief to only matters of government. If you have a religious view, it’s incumbent upon you and it’s real to have that.

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Rick Warren Posts Archive

Peter Montgomery, Monday 11/03/2014, 2:26pm
Fresh off the synod on the family, at which conservative Catholic bishops rallied to assert ideological domination over the final report, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly known as the Inquisition) has announced that it will be hosting a colloquium this month on the “Complementarity of Man and Woman in Marriage.” Trekking to Vatican City for the event will be some American anti-equality advocates: Rick Warren, the Southern Baptists’ Russell Moore, right-wing Archbishop of Philadelphia Charles Chaput, and Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the... MORE >
Peter Montgomery, Thursday 06/12/2014, 11:38am
Religious Right leaders love to claim that Christians are threatened in the U.S., the subject of a forthcoming PFAW report on the Religious Right’s persecution complex. The latest example comes from the just-completed annual conference of the Southern Baptist Convention. Russell Moore, who heads the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, hosted Rick Warren, David Platt, and Samuel Rodriguez for a June 9 panel on religious freedom in America through the lens of the Hobby Lobby case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court.  According to an account by Tom Strode in the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 12/09/2013, 5:35pm
J. Lester Feder @ BuzzFeed: U.S., U.K. Activists Urge Jamaicans To Keep Same-Sex Intercourse Illegal. Zack Ford @ Think Progress: Rick Warren: Marriage Is Not ‘Equally Valid’ For Same-Sex Couples. Hemant Mehta @ Friendly Atheist: Todd Starnes of Fox News Lies Again: A Texas School Did Not Ban Christmas Trees and the Colors Red & Green. Jeremy Hooper: Protecting vulnerable people from discrimination makes you non-Christian? Luke Brinker @ Equality Matters: Fox's Erickson: Gay Rights Activists Are Intolerant For Seeking Protection From Discrimination.... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/22/2013, 5:45pm
Even though studies keep proving that morning-after pills don’t cause abortion, Religious Right groups will continue to baselessly argue otherwise.  Family Research Council invites you to the National Organization for Marriage’s anti-gay Marriage March. Yet another tough break for professional vote-suppressor Hans von Spakovsky.  Anyone want to buy Human Events? AFA’s Buster Wilson is mad at us because we quoted him verbatim.  Rick Warren is very, very, very sad that Tim Tebow pulled out of his appearance at Robert Jeffress... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 11/28/2012, 5:34pm
PFAW: 16 Iowa and National Groups Call on Grassley to End Routine Delay of Judicial Nominations. Towleroad: Westboro Baptist Church Member Debates Homophobic Former Navy Chaplain Gordon Klingenschmitt. Chris Johnson @ The Washington Blade: U.S. officials dispute media reports on Uganda anti-gay bill. Amanda Terkel @ Huffington Post: Ray Giunta, Discredited Pastor, No Longer Appearing At Pentagon Prayer Breakfast. Sarah Posner @ Religion Dispatches: Televangelist Watchdog May Be Forced to Close Its Doors. Andrew Kirell @ Mediaite: Megachurch... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 06/22/2011, 1:38pm
Back in April, we posted a video of Jerry Boykin warning of the dangers of so-called "Chrislam," claiming there could be no hope of creating dialogue between Christians and Muslims and warning Christian not to allows Muslims to use their facilities for worship.  One of the leaders Boykin cited as falling into this "Chrislam" trap was Rick Warren ... and it appears that Boykin was not alone as Michigan televangelist Jack Van Impe has now broken with Trinity Broadcasting Network claiming TBN censored him by refusing to air a program accusing Warren and others of... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Monday 03/07/2011, 10:14am
Rick Santorum is set to address Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition in Iowa tonight along with Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Herman Cain, and Buddy Roemer. On Saturday he wrote a guest column for the Des Moines Register where he repeated the same groundless right-wing arguments that marriage equality will lead to the end of religious freedom and that the Obama administration has stopped enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. In Iowa, a state which has had equal marriage rights since 2009, religious liberty has yet to collapse, as many conservatives predicted. And while the Obama... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/26/2010, 9:16am
Via CBN's David Brody we learn that a group of Christian leaders have signed on to a letter decrying those who have been questioning the legitimacy of President Obama's faith and urging the media to ignore those who are doing so:  As Christian leaders— whose primary responsibility is sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with our congregations, our communities, and our world— we are deeply troubled by the recent questioning of President Obama’s faith. We understand that these are contentious times, but the personal faith of our leaders should not be up for public debate.... MORE >