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.