Karen Ocamb

Rick Warren: 'When the Church Accommodates Culture, It Weakens It'

Filed By Karen Ocamb | April 09, 2012 6:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: anti-gay discrimination, Bruce Wilson, Rick Warren

ABC News' Jake Tapper interviewed Pastor Rick Warren on This Week on Easter Sunday and surprise, surprise - he has not changed his antigay point of view.

This election year, freedom OF religion has become a hot political/religious version of the "stand your ground" law with Religious Right wingers asserting that their religious beliefs should excuse them from civil laws or rules with which they disagree as a matter of "conscience." Now I may need a refresher course in American history - but it is my understanding that the revolutionaries wanted the freedom to worship or not worship however they pleased and not be forced to accept the Church of England. I have always interpreted that as the freedom FROM religion, with civil laws as the agreed upon common bond. Evangelicals and Religious Right politicos such as Rick Santorum, on the other hand, want a theocracy where their version of Christianity rules. What about MY version of Christianity? What about Judaism, Buddhism, the Muslim faith - and what about secular people for whom the Bible is just an interesting work of fiction? Unfortunately, this is not just idle consideration. As Religious Right-watcher Bruce Wilson notes, Warren is tied to the antigay efforts in Uganda.

WARREN: That makes me extremely unpopular. Why? Because I don't believe in premarital sex. I believe sex is only for marriage, between a man and a woman, and it has a purpose there. Why? Because I believe the Bible. Why would anybody expect a Christian pastor to believe anything else?

TAPPER: I didn't ask you if you'd change your mind. But certainly your church has members who have engaged in premarital sex.

WARREN: Oh, of course.

TAPPER: And I'm wondering if you think the church, in order to continue to thrive, might have to adjust its policy on same sex marriage?

WARREN: Actually, history shows that when the church accommodates culture, it weakens it. This is why there is a very weak church in Europe today. It's almost non-existent in many areas.

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