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The Gods of Liberalism Revisited


The lie hasn't changed, and we still fall for it as easily as ever.  But how can we escape the snare?



Friday, December 19, 2008

Rick Warren on Responsibility for Homosexual Behavior

Pastor Rick Warren has sometimes gotten a little cozier with some bad elements (e.g. terrorist sympathizers, abortion and homosexual apologists) than I care for, but he seems to be redeeming himself lately, even though President-elect Barack Obama has invited Warren to say a prayer at his inauguration (that alone would make a person of character wonder).

Newsbusters highlights one of those things that's restoring my trust in Warren.

In an interview with uber-liberal and Queen of Political Correctness Ann Curry, Curry pulls the usual "mainstream" media "aren't-you-a-hater" and "aren't-you-mean-for-believing-in-morality" tactic on Warren.

She essentially accuses Warren of being homophobic, to which Warren laughs (I don't know whether he's laughing at the implication that he might be afraid of sameness--which is what "homophobic" means--or whether he's laughing at the implication that he's afraid of homosexuals).

ANN CURRY: Your position [on gay marriage] has raised the spectre that you are homophobic.

Warren responds with a hearty laugh.

CURRY: You laugh, but that is why gay people are angry.

RICK WARREN: Well, I could give you a hundred --

CURRY: Are you homophobic?

WARREN: I don't know any church in America that's done more to help the gay community, particularly with AIDS, than Saddleback. But the hate speech against me is incendiary.

Indeed. Warren and Saddleback have been so "there" on the AIDS issue (as all good liberals are), that I have some mistrust for Warren because of this. I'll admit that I don't know the full details of everything Warren and Saddleback have done with regard to AIDS, but what I have seen appears more than a little short on recognition of the fact that according to the CDC the vast majority of AIDS cases stem from homosexual activity...and homosexual behavior is just that--a behavior, something that can be chosen or not chosen.

Which brings us to the next statement that redeems Warren in my book.
CURRY: If science finds that this is biological, that people are born gay, would you change your position?

WARREN: No, and the reason why is because we all have biological predispositions. I'm naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see. But that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.

Indeed. The Bible teaches that, as fallen creatures descended from Adam and Eve, we are all predisposed to sin, and some of us have weaknesses for some sins over others.

But the Bible makes it equally clear that we are all culpable for all of our sins. There are no "my pet sins" clauses or exceptions in the Bible.

Newsbusters supplies a link to a video of Curry's textbook display of liberal apologetics and defense of PC dogma.

If Warren's uncomfortable coziness with liberal causes has resulted in this opportunity for him to speak an all-too-rare truth in the national limelight, then (provided he hasn't compromised truth behind the scenes) perhaps it's been a brilliant strategy, after all.

Lies enslave (as does the lie that homosexuals can't change), but the truth sets people free.


Haggs said...

It doesn't surprise me that you liked those statements from Pastor Warren. I thought his statements on gay marriage were very stupid.

But I'd rather dig deeper into your thoughts on AIDS. What don't you like about Warren's work on the AIDS issue? And so what if the CDC says most AIDS cases come from homosexual activity? You do think HIV and AIDS should be treated, right?

Bob Ellis said...

Haggs, you claim to be a Christian, right? What specifically did you find "stupid" about Warren's comments on the concept of homosexual "marriage"?

I haven't been impressed with what I've heard of Warren's involvement in AIDS policy because I haven't heard very much about responsibility, and avoiding the behavior most likely to result in the transmission of AIDS.

With alcohol-related illnesses, we usually encourage people not to use alcohol. With smoking-related illnesses, we usually encourage people not to smoke. With diabetes and obesity, we usually encourage people to avoid sugary, fatty foods.

But with AIDS, it's "Use a condom and have a great time!" How pathetically stupid!

And yes, I think AIDS should be treated, just as I do smoking and drinking and drug related illnesses. But policy regarding these illnesses--including AIDS--should involve counseling and education to avoid the behavior that resulted in the illness. That's a no-brainer.

Anonymous said...


I won't answer for Haggs, but I also thought Warren's comments about gay marriage were stupid. He has gone on the record as saying that he equates a homosexual relationship to polygamy, incest, and pedophilia. This is stupid both logically and politically. How do you even begin to compare a relationship between two people of the same sex with those other things?! And politically speaking, if you want the gay community to accept your point of view and admit that you are right, it's pretty counterintuitive to equate them to child molesters, people whom even murderers and death-row convicts look down upon. How friendly would you be toward someone who thinks your loving committed relationship is no different from a man having sex with his underage child? And Warren has the gall to complain about the incendiary hate speech against him, as if HE were the victim!

Elsewhere in this interview, Warren claims to have literally "hundreds" of gay friends. I'm an openly gay man living in a liberal city, and I don't even know a hundred gay PEOPLE, let alone friends. So how does a straight evangelical pastor with a family and a busy schedule find the time to meet enough gay people to consider hundreds of them his friends? Easy: you think of all the casual acquaintances you've ever had with gay people, even if they amounted to nothing more than a handshake years ago with someone whose name you can't remember, and consider that a friendship. That way, you can say all the offensive things you want and justify it by adding, "I don't hate gay people, look at all the gay friends I have!" As if that makes it ok to put a gay couple on the same plane as a sex offender and his catamite.

Another stupid comment Warren made is the oh-so-tiresome appeal to tradition. "Why should we redefine something that's been around for 5,000 years to appease two percent of the population?", I believe is what he said. The appeal to tradition is a pathetically weak and nonsensical argument for why gays shouldn't be allowed to marry each other. An inconvenient reality that anti-gay activists such as yourself prefer not to face is that heterosexuals have redefined marriage many times. And while it's true that all cultures recognize marriage as being between a man and a woman, many of those same cultures also consider the wife to be the property of her husband, and have done so for thousands of years. Saying that something shouldn't change simply because "this is the way it's always been" is illogical, and it's obvious that marriage has NOT always had the same definition throughout history.

I think one part where you and I can agree, Bob, is that we both have a problem with the interviewer; Curry was way too PC and her line of questioning was way too soft. If I were her, I'd have asked:

1) How exactly would same-sex marriage threaten or restrict your civil rights? In what specific ways has same-sex marriage restricted civil rights in Massachusetts and Connecticut?

2) Name at least fifty gay people whom you consider friends. May we get in touch with them and ask them to comment on your views about homosexuality? May we see if your claim of friendship is mutual?

3) Like marriage, slavery is another institution that has existed for thousands of years. If you were alive in America during the late 19th century, would you have cited the appeal to tradition as a valid reason to keep slavery legal?

Haggs said...

"Claim." Nice choice of words there Bob. I do not claim to be a Christian. I AM a Christian. I believe with all my heart that Jesus Christ sacrificed His life to save all of us from sin. I believe in the Holy Trinity. I believe that while doing good works is not a requirement to get into Heaven, our faith in Jesus should compel us to be Christ-like and do good works in our lives. I've gone to church every week since I was born (except the random snow day or illness) and help out my church as much as I can.

There. Happy with that?

As for gay marriage and Warren's comments, I strongly disagreed with him comparing homosexual relationships in a recent interview to incest and pedophilia. I have yet to see any commonality between those horrors and the relationships my gay friends are in. To me, homosexual relationships have much more in common with your average heterosexual relationship. If two gay Americans are in love, then I don't see the problem in letting them get married. I got to see two of my gay friends get married in Sioux Falls last year and nothing bad seems to have happened because of it. They're still in a committed, loving relationship. They would prefer it if their marriage was legal, but even though it isn't they still consider themselves married.

I think it's funny that you're comparing homosexuality with addictions like alcoholism. I know a lot of people who would find that offensive. Homosexuality is not like an addiction. If two people of the same sex love each other, they can't be councelled out of it. The best way to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS is through practicing safe sex (condoms) or abstinence.

In general, I really like Pastor Warren. I think it's great that he's been an advocate for the Christian principles of helping the poor and sick and working to help the environment. I like seeing the younger generation of evangellicals supporting his efforts in those areas and moving the evangellical movement away from the rightwing Republican side.

Bob Ellis said...

cinemaphile85, homosexuality is similar to polygamy, incest and pedophilia in that it, like those behaviors, is an unnatural and immoral sexual behavior which violates God's design for human sexuality.

It is also irrelevant to consider whether "you want the gay community to accept your point of view and admit that you are right" because barring a long chain of events in their life which can prepare them for the truth, or the work of the Holy Spirit, or both, they will never accept this point of view, nor will they admit we are right. In other words, why compromise the truth when it isn't going to bring those caught up in the sin over to your side anyway?

You are right that an appeal to tradition merely on the basis of blind obedience to tradition is weak. However, implicit in Warren's appeal to the 5,000 (or 6,000) year precedent for marriage and sexual normality is the recognition that human biology obviously points to heterosexual behavior as the norm. And every civilization for 6,000 years has not only recognized homosexual behavior as abnormal, but despite some isolated tolerances here and there during societal decay, have also universally recognized homosexual behavior as immoral. And the fact that every civilization for 6,000 years has recognized that only men and women can comprise a marriage is compelling on the basis of historical and sociological precedent alone; precedent alone isn't authoritative, but when that precedent is universally recognized throughout history and throughout human sociological experience, that becomes pretty powerful.

Frankly, the argument that marriage has been redefined is pretty pathetic and weak. A second-grader can easily refute it. Your argument, with which I am familiar, deals with the trappings of marriage, which have indeed changed over the thousands of years and vary by civilization.

But it's fundamental composition has never changed in all that history and across all those civilizations.

As I told someone on a different post a couple of weeks ago...

You can have apple pie in many different ways. You can bake it in a metal pan or a disposable foil pan. You can bake it in the morning, evening, or at midnight. You can bake it at your house, your mom's house, or in a bakery. You can sell it (whole or by the piece), you can auction it, or you can give it away. You can eat the whole thing, a single piece, or none of it. You can have it with whipped cream or without. You can have it with ice cream or without. You can have it at the end of a meal, or at the beginning of a meal, or in the middle of a meal, or as a meal itself. But without apples and a crust, you don't have an apple pie. You don't have what it takes to make an apple pie without apples and a crust. You can't make an apple pie with peaches, pears, mangoes, aardvark lips, shoe leather or spare oboe parts.

You can be married by a preacher, or a JOP, or a ship's captain, or a mayor. You can have a reception after your wedding or not. You can have a dance at your wedding reception, or not. You can have 10,000 guests or just enough witnesses to meet legal requirements. You can get married indoors or outdoors. You can get married whether you're 20 years old or 80 years old. You can get married whether you're rich or whether you're poor. You can get married whether you're ugly or pretty.You can get married feeling great love and affection, or with only mild affection. You can get married during the day or at night. You can get married at 6:00 am, 10:00 pm, or 1:56 pm on a Thursday. You can get married while wearing a hat or not. You can get married in Montana, Florida, Mongolia or anywhere else. You can get married in winter or summer. You can get married in a white dress or blue jeans. You can get married with the bride's father's permission or without. You can get married with the bride's parents paying for the shebang, or you can pay for it all yourself. You can get married wearing shoes or barefooted. You can have a honeymoon or not. But without a man and a woman, you don't have a marriage..

You can't bake an apple pie without apples and crust, and you can't make a marriage without a man and a woman.

Even if Curry had asked your questions, I'm reasonably sure Warren would have been able to refute them just as easily as I could--perhaps even more easy, since he's a trained member of the clergy and I'm not.

1. Same-sex marriage does not restrict the civil rights of heterosexuals; this is a red herring. First of all, homosexuals already have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, just as heterosexuals do; the fact that they choose not to exercise that right does not give them the "right" to substitute a "right" to call something "marriage" when it fundamentally does not meet that definition. Allowing homosexuals to counterfeit marriage devalues the genuine article in the same way counterfeiting currency devalues legal tender. It undermines confidence and value in the original and creates confusion. It also places children at risk, since parenting is inextricably linked with marriage, and homosexuals experience much higher rates of AIDS, other STDs, hepatitis, anal cancer, depression, substance abuse, suicide and domestic violence. Homosexuals also have much higher rates of promiscuity, even in relationships where a claim to "monogamy" is made. A home where such things were an increased risk would be a terrible place in which to place a child, and even if such risks were not the reality, placing a child in a homosexual home would send the child the unmistakable and damaging message that one or the other sex is either undesirable or unnecessary.

2. The number of homosexual friends one has is absolutely irrelevant to the issue. If someone had 150 friends who were murderers, would murder suddenly become "moral"? If someone had 300 friends who were pedophiles, would pedophilia suddenly become "moral"? If someone had 500 drug abusing friends, would drug abuse suddenly become "moral"? The answer is obvious: this is another red herring.

3. Some probably did cite tradition as a justification to continue slavery in the 1800s. However, see my comments above regarding the weight and authority of tradition. Also, slavery as we understand it in the modern context involves the denial of basic human rights to the enslaved person. This is not the case for homosexuals. Homosexuals already have the right to marry someone of the opposite sex, just as heterosexuals do. Race-based slavery as we had in the United States also involves another difference in the homosexual issue. Skin color is an innate, inborn physical characteristic that is morally neutral; homosexual behavior is an immoral behavior that has never been proven to be genetically dictated, and even if it were, human beings still have freedom of choice and a will. Again, another red herring.

Homosexual advocacy and apology has nothing but a fish net full of red herrings because there is simply no reason whatsoever to support the acceptance of homosexual behavior, let alone allowing the counterfeiting of the invaluable institution of marriage.

Bob Ellis said...

Haggs, I can't see into your heart to know the actual status of your relationship with Christ, so I can't know for certain whether you are or aren't a Christian.

However, Christ did say we would know a Christian by their fruits, and when you condone and endorse a behavior that God has made extremely clear is immoral and violates his design for human sexuality, I have to wonder. Endorsing something God clearly condemns is NOT a positive fruit for a Christian. The word "Christian" means "Christ like" or a "Christ follower;" someone who strongly supports something Christ opposes, and who refuses to obey Christ's teaching on such a fundamental topic, makes me really wonder.

With regards for your dislike of Warren's comments because of his comparison to other sexual sins, I've already answered those in a reply to cinemaphile85, so I won't retype those here. Love doesn't constitute morality; I may love my daughter, but I can't morally marry her or have sex with her. I may love a woman at work, but I can't have sex with her without committing adultery against my wife and committing a sin. What's more, it takes a man and a woman to create a marriage; if you're missing one or the other, no amount of love or commitment is going to produce a marriage. Even the physicality of the proposition should tell us something--in plumbing, can you marry two female parts or two male parts? If you try, you're going to have a lousy excuse for plumbing.

Frankly I don't care if people find the comparison between homosexual behavior and substance abuse offensive. The truth is sometimes offensive; Christ made that very clear also. And he also made it clear that the truth is more important than shielding someone from being offended...and thus shielding them from the truth.

Homosexual behavior, like drinking or taking drugs, can indeed become an addiction. And like substance abuse, it is immoral and destructive to the individuals doing it.

Your comment about condoms is also a bad joke. How long have we known where the majority of AIDS transmission comes from? Since the early 1980s. How long have health professionals been counseling homosexuals to use condoms? Since the early 1980s. Yet AIDS cases continue to go up. Why? Many if not most won't use the condoms, and even when they are used, the often break, and are not a good barrier to the transmission of virus-sized material. Counseling condoms for homosexuals is like counseling clean needles for drug users. Wouldn't it make infinitely more sense to counsel them not to engage in the immoral and unsafe behavior (as we do with drug users)? Oh, sorry, can't do that; might offend them.

What will you do when you stand before God and he asks you why you didn't warn homosexuals about their behavior? "Sorry, God. I didn't want to offend them." I'm virtually certain that while you may be fooling yourself with it, it isn't going to fly with God.

Amie Davis said...

I realize I am feeding the troll here, but I thought I would put some accurate information on your board. (You know, just in case some innocent gay person came here and became confused.)

1.) Condoms really do protect against virus transmission. It is recommended that you use them. There is definite evidence that condom use protects against HIV transmission.

2.) A lot of straight people have problem using condoms too. The result, if not an std, can sometimes be pregnancy. We have lots of statistics on children born out of wedlock...

3.) Women are the fastest growing segment of the population with regards to HIV/AIDS infections. That means not gay men having anal sex.

The problem as it always has been is sexual promiscuity, a separate problem for being gay. An sexual promiscuity is a problem (rampant some might say) among straight people as well.

Your continued application of these kind of negative things to gay people is what helps you be so heartless toward them. You depersonalize them, consider them as only their supposed sin and not as actual living breathing people.

You do this to gloss over reality and have someone to attack, and maybe you think that is the right way to do it. But the way in which you dehumanize people is a lie. Here is some more truth to your deception:

1.) Homosexual behavior is not a chemical addiction like drugs or alcohol. There is no relationship between the two.

2.) Two gay people really can have a loving monogamous relationship with each other. (And not so surprisingly many do.)

3.) In plumbing, you can get really creative with the parts, making your comparison look silly. Besides do you really want some guy with his butt crack hanging out to be fixing you? We are not pipes. We're people.

The sooner you start seeing gay people as people the sooner you will see that many of the problems that afflict them are the same problems faced by straight people. (And the sooner we can all work to overcome those problems.) It is unfortunate that gay people have to overcome people like you before they can overcome those problems.

And speaking of you, your rapant fixation with sexuality, specifically the sexuality of other people, ie gay people, is disturbing.

Anonymous said...


Just a few thoughts regarding your reply the other day:

"Homosexuality is similar to polygamy, incest and pedophilia in that it, like those behaviors, is an unnatural and immoral sexual behavior which violates God's design for human sexuality."

Are you implying that gay people are criminals? If homosexuality is indeed similar to polygamy, incest, and pedophilia, then why do our laws not reflect that similarity? Should they?

If a husband and wife sodomize each other - that is, if they have oral or anal sex - then they are guilty of violating God's design for human sexuality. Would I be justified in comparing them to child molesters? Or is there some hidden Bible verse that says any kind of sex act is ok as long as you're married? If so, please cite it.

"The number of homosexual friends one has is absolutely irrelevant to the issue."

Then please explain why Rick Warren made such a point to tell us that he has gay friends. And if the number does not matter, then why did he specify his alleged circle of gay friends as being in the hundreds? Would you consider him a personal friend if he compared you to a man who rapes little girls and steals away their innocence?

"Homosexual behavior is an immoral behavior that has never been proven to be genetically dictated, and even if it were, human beings still have freedom of choice and a will."

If that's true, then the only factors that stop you from being a homosexual are the Bible's prohibitions against it, your commitment to your wife, and your fear of encountering all those problems you often cite, such as HIV, drug abuse, and depression. Is that correct? If the Bible said nothing against expressing physical love with another man, if you weren't married, and if there were no such thing as HIV, would you "choose" to be a homosexual?

Bob Ellis said...

Homosexuality used to be criminal in many places. The reason why was that our civilization was built on Christian principles, and Christianity recognizes that homosexual behavior is immoral and contrary to God's design for human sexuality, which is between a man and a woman.

If a husband and wife sodomize each other, they are not having sex in the manner God intended for procreation. However, while some of such behavior might be inadvisable for health reasons if nothing else, the Bible doesn't say anything which prohibits this activity between a husband and wife. The Bible is, however, quite clear in both Old and New Testaments that any sexual contact between two males or two females is immoral, violates his design for human sexuality, and is a sin.

I don't know why Warren made a point to mention that he has homosexual friends. Perhaps because you can count on that fallacious attempt to score points every time a discussion of homosexuality comes up, and he sought to head it off at the past. It's obviously irrelevant to the morality of the behavior, so perhaps he didn't want to waste his time refuting silly arguments.

And to answer the last question of your sixth paragraph, he would have no reason to compare me to a man who rapes little girls; there is simply nothing in my behavior, public or private, to create a foundation for such a comparison. When I was a drunk, though, I had friends who told me what I was doing was inadvisable and wrong; they were and remained my friends because I was at least intellectually honest enough to acknowledge that what I was doing was indeed immoral.

As to your last paragraph, obvious health hazards aside, if the Bible said nothing against having sex with another man, and nothing against having sex with someone other than my wife, and said nothing about God having intended human sexuality to be between a husband and wife, then no, there would be no moral reason I could not engage in homosexual behavior.

I would not, however, choose to do so, because I feel no compulsion to do so. I also feel no compulsion to commit the sin of gambling, either. I also feel no compulsion to eat raw tomatoes, either, which is not a sin. In other words, the theoretical arguments proffered in your last paragraph are irrelevant and have no bearing on the morality of homosexuality, and are moot.

Anonymous said...

You feel no compulsion to have sex with men. I feel no compulsion to have sex with women. But between the two of us, why am I the one for whom change is possible and you are not? Do you think you could ever learn to find men sexually attractive? Was there a point in your life when you consciously and deliberately decided to focus all of your sexual energy exclusively toward women? Of course not.

I ask because you seem quite convinced that gay men can "learn" to be attracted to women. What I don't think you understand, though, is that to many gay men, there is nothing quite as unpleasant, boring, or repulsive as having sex with a woman. As a heterosexual man, I'm sure you think such an idea is ridiculous, but at the same time, you also can't understand why or how a man could ever be attracted sexually to another man.

If nothing else, hopefully this explains why your repeated and unsubstantiated claims that "homosexuals can change their orientation" are met with such incredulity. And ironically, if you had any gay friends, you would already have learned these things. No, it would not have changed your opinion of homosexuality or made it "moral" by your standards, but at least you would understand the mindset gay people are coming from.

Bob Ellis said...

I didn't say it was impossible for me to change; just that I feel no need to. Part of what helps me not need to is the realization that homosexual behavior is immoral, thus putting my soul in jeopardy, and is also fraught with health risks. Just as a realization of these things helps me to no longer feel the need to drink to excess. See, change is indeed possible for me.

Heterosexuality is the norm (the numbers--less than 3% of the population is homosexual--tell us that, as well as the Bible), so there is every reason to believe homosexuals can learn to be attracted to women (just as drunks can learn to be attracted to sobriety). What's more, we have thousands of years of history which tell us homosexuals can change, and the testimony of people living today who change (the recovery rate for homosexuals is actually better than that of drunks and drug addicts).

Of course, if a person doesn't want to change (or believes the lie that they can't change), then they will not change.

As I said before, knowing 10,000 homosexuals, 10 homosexuals or zero homosexuals doesn't change the reality that homosexual behavior is immoral, unnatural and unhealthy, nor does it change the fact that homosexuals can change if they want to. I understand the "mindset" many homosexuals are coming from, but it cannot change reality.

You could start that change tonight, if you'd like. God wants so tremendously much more for you. Why not trust him and see what wonderful good he can work in your life?

Anonymous said...

Bob, you don't have to lie for proselytizing's sake. We both know that nothing in the world could ever make you want to have sex with a man. Yes, it is impossible for you to change. And if you keep looking at homosexuality as some kind of addiction, you will always be tragically misguided on the subject.

Bob Ellis said...

If the physical and spiritual consequences weren't so serious, your advanced state of denial would be hilarious. As it is, it's just plain sad.

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