I like Rick Warren. I think he's a man who commands the respect of those who disagree with him because he respects them, too. He has strength and influence because he doesn't try to be a polarizing figure. So it bothers me a lot when people try to turn him into one, like Max Blumenthal in today's Daily Beast. 

In "Rick Warren's Africa Problem," Blumenthal says this:

Warren’s defense against charges of intolerance ultimately depends upon his ace card: his heavily publicized crusade against AIDS in Africa. … 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.

Blumenthal then goes on to talk — not about Warren at all — but about a weird Ugandan pastor and the Bush administration. Warren finally comes in at the end of the article, when he … burns condoms, like the headline would lead hasty readers to suppose? No — voices support for Ugandan Anglican bishops who disagreed with the Church of England's stance on homosexuality. 

So in other words, Blumenthal is discrediting Rick Warren's non-polarizing persona (built up through a consistently reasonable communication of his beliefs, which he seems to hold along with personal friendships with those who disagree) based on his associations with people far more polarizing than he is.

Um, doesn't this sound familiar? *cough* William Ayers *cough.* If it's unfair to Obama, it's unfair to Warren, too. 

 

 
About The Author

Alisa Harris

0 Responses to Rick Warren’s Ayers Problem

  1. David says:

    Good point. And this didn’t convince me, either:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2207554/

  2. micah says:

    here’s a fantastic article about the different approaches in africa to the AIDS crisis. it’s first things, so of course it’s going to have a catholic slant, but i found the article quite convincing…

    http://www.firstthings.com/article.php3?id_article=6172

    p.s. as far as i know the church of england is still against the approval of homosexual relationships. some provinces in the communion (like the episcopal church and the anglican church of canada) have made official steps towards full approval of homosexuality, and there are many wings in the other more westernized provinces that are similarly sympathetic, but overall, the church of england is still nominally against homosexuality.

  3. Jay Urban says:

    I don’t like Rick Warren because he tries to have things both ways. http://www.brianmclaren.net/archives/blog/melissa-etheridge-and-rick-warre.html on one hand he seems to fit perfectly with mclaren (who I respect a great deal) and on the other, he seems to cater to his Evangelical base which would react strongly against the type of behavior mentioned in the above link.

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