Now that Saddleback has stripped its anti-gay language from its website, Pastor Rick Warren appears in a new video to Saddleback Church members to set the record straight. In the video, Warren blames the controversy that has erupted over his inclusion in Barack Obama’s Inauguration on a) the media, which always tries to generate controversy and b) “bloggers who really need to get a life. A lot of people think that because they can sit in the quietness of their own home and hide behind the screen, they can hurl all kinds of bombs at people and get away with it. Well, no – they are just being rude.”
Warren goes on to say that he has never equated gay relationships to incest or pedophilia, but understands how some people might think that based on his recent Beliefnet interview. Warren attempts to clarify, declaring that his point was merely to make clear his opposition to attempts to change the definition of marriage to include anything other than one man and one woman.
Warren then explains his views of gays:
Gay partnerships are typically between consenting adults. While I believe that the gay view of sexuality is contrary to God’s word, I do believe that God gives us free choice. He gives us the choice to obey his word or disobey it . And you know what, God has given me that choice? He’s given me the free will that I can choose to follow him, and his ways, his rules, and his precepts, or I’m free to not follow them. And because of that, I believe I must give everybody else that same freedom of choice. I’m opposed to forcing people to act the way I believe I ought to act – that’s not what it’s about. It what I believe God wants me to act and it’s the way I believe God wants other people to act, but God has given me the choice and there have been times that I didn’t act the way God wanted me to act.
He concludes that the Bible commands him to love everyone “regardless of the choice they make” and that while “we’re all free to make choices, I think gays should use another term for their consenting adult relationships and partnerships – I oppose the redefinition of the meaning of marriage.”
In a separate video, Warren says they will respond to all the “hate speech” he and his church have received by “overcoming evil with good” and says they are being targeted because of “Christ-ophobia” and “people who are afraid of any Christian.”