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

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