The Washington Post’s On Faith section would like us to believe that megachurch pastor Rick Warren, who is hosting Saturday evening’s Saddleback Forum at which Senators John McCain and Barack Obama will speak about issues of faith, is a religious moderate. We beg to differ.
Warren wrote Time magazine’s egregious puff piece on Nigerian archbishop Peter Akinola, and supported Ugandan archbishop Henry Orombi’s decision to boycott the Lambeth Conference because supporters of an openly gay bishop would be there.
Cafe regulars will remember that Akinola supported anti-gay legislation criticized by every major human rights group, the European parliament and the U. S. State Department, and has yet to answer questions about his knowledge of a massacre of 700 Muslims in Yelwa Nigeria in 2004.
Orombi isn’t quite as bad. He only believes that gay people and their supporters are out to kill him, and will pay Africans to become homosexuals.
A Kampala newspaper report on Warren’s support of the Lambeth boycott included this paragraph:
Dr Warren said that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. “We shall not tolerate this aspect at all,” Dr Warren said.
Maybe Senators McCain and Obama should turn the tables and ask Warren a few questions, like whether he would like to recriminalize homosexual activity.
All that said, counting Akinola as your spiritual leader does not seem to disqualify one from being considered a religious moderate, as the career of that great advocate of the emerging center Michael Gerson makes clear.