Sunday, December 21, 2008

Liberal Intolerance, Hate and Derangement

I simply must take today's five minutes to express my profound disgust at the giant cadre of liberal pundits and bloggers who are mounting an unrelenting attack on Reverend Rick Warren, pastor or the immensely popular Saddleback Church, in Lake Forest, California, a "new age fundamentalist Christian church." Warren's egregious sin? He was chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to give the invocation at Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009.

The level of intolerance and absolute stupidity being portrayed on the pages of The Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Slate Magazine and others is stunning and deeply saddening, especially coming during the holiday the celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. So much for peace on earth and good will toward men.



I absolutely refuse to post a single link to any of the crap out on the blogosphere from those who insist on condemning Warren for actually daring to believe the tenets of Christianity. Warren is roundly condemned for daring to both believe the basic dogma of his church and then to actually have the intellectual and moral courage to practice his faith in his daily life.

I am a deeply devout Unitarian Universalist. Warren and I share very few religious beliefs. I disagree with him profoundly on most theological issues. I most certainly disagree on the issues of human sexuality and lifestyle, especially Gay Marriage, which I strongly support.

But I disagree with almost every large and fundamentalist religion worldwide. I strongly disagree with most Islamic teachings and abhor the discrimination against women embedded in many religions.

But I DO NOT EXPECT, LET ALONE DEMAND that Pastor Warren magically abandon his core beliefs, just because liberals find some of those beliefs distressing. Far from it. I actually expect Warren to believe, follow, live and preach the word and commandments of God as he believes them. If Warren failed to do this he would simply not be a fundamentalist Christian.

Many, in fact most, of my close personal friends are Jewish. Many are Orthodox and live very conservative lives, keeping the Sabbath and following the laws of Judaism as closely as they can. Like Warren they reject homosexuality, They also deny that Christ is the savior.

Some day very soon a strongly conservative or ever Orthodox Rabbi will give an invocation at an Obama state function. Likewise I'll bet we soon see a Muslim pray at a state sponsored event. Will we so-called liberals DEMAND that they renounce their most sacred beliefs?

Or do we only demand that Christian ministers give up their beliefs and deny their God, as so many are now demanding of Warren?

And why do these supposed liberals insult and ridicule Christians, but remain reverent and respectful of other world religions? I've actually read these moronic pundits insult Christ in the most foul mouthed and demeaning language possible and then turn around and condemn the Danish who published the Mohammad cartoons for insulting Muslims and failing to respect their "deeply held beliefs."

Frankly, if Barack Obama chose Rick Warren to give the invocation at his Inauguration, I suspect that Barack Obama actually wanted a conservative Christian of deep moral faith to give that Invocation. Otherwise Obama could have chosen one of the many extremely fine and talented Methodists, Episcopalians or Unitarian Universlists to give the Invocation, or perhaps a great rabbi or Buddhist monk.

As to my fellow bloggers and pundits, have the courage to direct your outrage toward the person who chose a fundamentalist Christian to speak. Direct your outrage toward Barack Obama.

26 comments:

shoo said...

I happen to live about 2 miles from Rick's Church, though I do not attend.

What he said regarding this outrage is profound. He said you are not going to see eye to eye with someone on every issue, but that doesn't mean you can't walk hand in hand.

If you always agree with a person or a political belief system, you are completely unthinking: a mere drone.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

My respect for Rick Warren grows with each passing day.

But my disgust with the Hollywood Glitterati who litter the pages of The Huffington Post deepens with each new completely deranged op-ed.

Warren has shown more humanity, tolerance and compassion than the entire blogging population of the Huffington Post.... combined.

MadMike said...

As you may have noticed Wizard I had no editorial comment to the Hitchens piece. Regardless I have no use for religion, Christian or otherwise. I am also a UU by the way.

The fact is that Warren has a twisted view of the world [in many respects] as he wraps social institutions in the perverse paper of Christianity, the ultimate hypocrisy.

MadMike said...

P.S. I never believed that Warren or any of these Fundamentalists should give up their calling. If this is what they choose to believe so be it. If however, it turns to hate, as in Falwell, a true agent of intolerance, then perhaps we should take a different view. In reality I don't want any kind of religious invocation at the inauguration. I am insulted that I am asked to put my faith in a deity that I do not accept.

Lee said...

Nice Intolerance displayed there Mad Mike...Twisted indeed...

As for the Huff Po, it seems, needs to take from "The Onion".

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=97157

Another example of the decline of western Journalism.

MadMike said...

It has nothing to do with intolerance Lee. I am tolerant. I don't demonstrate in the streets and I don't spread hate. I will, however, express my opinion and I don't like the fact that God is forced upon us in a government setting and at a government function that is paid by the taxpayer. As to Huffington Post...I love it!! So think twice before you call me twisted. You know nothing about me so try to stop yourself from name calling and judging what you don't know. This is the sort of behavior I expect from the "Christians." Oh! Wait.....

Stella said...

As usual, Shoo's comment is one of peace and understanding between people. Certainly, those that disagree can still walk hand-in-hand. And I also agree that people who always believe in "group think" are drones. Bravo, Shoo. What can one learn in an echo chamber.

Melissa Etheridge published a wonderful post on Huff Po. She writes I received a call the day before to inform me of the keynote speaker that night... Pastor Rick Warren. I was stunned. My fight or flight instinct took over, should I cancel? Then a calm voice inside me said, "Are you really about peace or not?" Their meeting was quite amicable. Warren told Etheridge that she was his favorite artist. Starkly differing views are best shared to create peace.

Lee, I think you'll be quite surprised, so I hope you and Wizard read the article before you go bashing every progressive. Frankly, Wizard, I find your comment about the Huffington Post intolerant. How can you be disgusted at Huff Po if you haven't read Etheridge's article?

Many, in fact most, of my close personal friends are Jewish. Many are Orthodox and live very conservative lives, keeping the Sabbath and following the laws of Judaism as closely as they can. Like Warren they reject homosexuality, They also deny that Christ is the savior.

So, some of your best friends are Jewish? Wizard, that "Some of my best friends..." line bothers me. Orthodox Judaism is the least practiced of the religion, and yes they adhere to Leviticus as do conservative Christians. Women cannot pray with men, as in Islam, and they must cover their heads.

Moderate and Liberal Jews, as well as Jewish mysticism, are pro-choice and welcome gay rabbis. The religion does not seek to convert people like Christianity: those who choose the religion, though, are welcomed. We believe Christ was a great teacher, but not the Son of God. Where's freedom of religion in the statement "They also deny that Christ is the savior." So what?

Judiaism is a religion that venerates intellect and religious evolution. I want to ensure that Israeli is a nationality and not a religion before we go down that road. It's critical to know the difference.

Frankly, I don't believe in an invocation for the president: that does not follow the law of Separation of Church and State. If we do have religious ceremonies, then several religious faiths should be represented. I'm with Mike 100% on this one. And, Lee, Mike is one of the kindest, most tolerant people I've never met. (~giggle~)

Still, a wonderful article in Lesbian Life, quotes Obama's position on gay and lesbian issues: "I'm a Christian. And so, although I try not to have my religious beliefs dominate or determine my political views on this issue, I do believe that tradition, and my religious beliefs say that marriage is something sanctified between a man and a woman." I admire him for speaking his beliefs but recognizing the Constitutional law of this nation.

If Warren has the right to believe deeply in Christianity, then progressives have the right to speak their mind, also. I feel that Warren has uttered some extremely hate-filled rhetoric that invites criticism. About his spiritual beliefs, I respect them, but he has no right to propound his beliefs on others. No one does. Christianity, too, is misogynistic.

Now, Wizard, have you even read the Qu'ran? If not, I suggest you do so before you criticize teachings you don't understand. It's always the fanatics in any religion that are the problem.

Look how similar these two passages are:

Qu'ran 4:34: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded...

Ephasians 5:23-24: For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.

No liberal is asking Warren or any Christian to abandon her/his beliefs. In fact, even Christian sects fight each other, as when Hagee called the Catholic Church the "Great Whore of Babylon." I subscribe to neither belief, but Hagee's comment is hate-filled. Those strike me as extremely un-Christian beliefs.

I don't like the idea of Christians or any religion pushing a pro-life, anti-gay agenda on me in a nation that was founded on freedom of speech and religion. However, I support anyone's right to the faith they choose.

The only issue I have was written by Mike I don't like the fact that God is forced upon us in a government setting and at a government function that is paid by the taxpayer.

MadMike said...

Good for you Sis!!

Stella said...

8-)

Vigilante said...

As a U-U, I am proud to be associated with Mike and Stella.

And Wizard, I am proud to count you among my most attentive readers and harsh critics. I hope this retail season, harsh as it is for most retailers, is kinder to you. For you, speaking of your bottom line, are a kind man.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all. You, too, Shoo.

Lee said...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you Vig.

You and yours also MadMike.

Stella, I wished you a joyous holdiday as well back on my blog.

Stella said...

Same to all of you, my friends. I don't know how Wizard puts up with me. I am amazed to find so many bloggers I admire are UUs.

And I admire Shoo and Lee who have also taught me so much.

You are all extremely special people and I wish each of you a wonderful holiday.

Lee said...

MadMike, I do not need to "know you" to call you on your intolerance. As a UU you would have respect for anothers Spiritual journey. Further, I was referring to your opinion as irnoically twisted, not your person (deflection much?).

Rather then universally demean the mans beliefs, why not specify?

"The fact is that Warren has a twisted view of the world [in many respects] as he wraps social institutions in the perverse paper of Christianity, the ultimate hypocrisy."

Social institutions are about helping people? What was Jesus's message agian, oh yeah, help the poor and the sick and treat all men like brothers. Yeah, I can see that hypocrisy... its in your "twisted" statement.

Lee said...

Stella,

Christians who go out and "save" folks via confrontational means I find irksome. As a Catholic I was taught to provide an example that draws people towards my faith. So, I have never knocked on doors or walked up to strangers on the beach. I have invited people to attend various catholic religious groups I was involved with.

Some make the choice others do not. How is converting someone to a beief bad?

Seperation of church and state is really taken out of context these days. Is it not ment to say, for example, that the Pope cannot dictate US law or policy. And likewise the government cannot restrict religious practice?

The invocation is tradition, to be sure, and as the President, I am quite sure that Pres. Obama wants the invocation and the swearing in to be traditional and to adhere to his personal and public beliefs. As such, should we not respect tradition and his choice in the matter? It appears the "issue" is much ado about nothing.

MSM style over substance?

If people disagree with Rev. Warren they have my full support to counter any statements or ask for clarification of such. The hate-filled rhetoric that is being leveled at him has no place in the debate. Also, all those fallacy arguments that get thrown up should be called out for what they are.

As I believe you have stated in the past Stella, "Civil" Discourse.

There are several issues that have no resolution. There are many who would not like God being forced out of a Government setting and at a government function that is paid by taxpayers who practice religions like Pres. Obama...

Vigilante said...

Right back atch'a, Lee: Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Lee said...

Ugh, I have to stop typing so fast.

Stella said...

Lee,

I had a New Year's Resolution not to rant on Wizard's blog in 2009. Since we're not there yet, I apologize to Wizard in advance.

We both agree that Christians, in fact, any religion, that confronts people to "save" them are annoying. Like you, I believe in acting appropriately and accepting others' faith. Good works are far more persuasive than pushing people.

You ask how converting someone is bad. My response is that no one can convert anyone without their free will. Particularly pushy people who try to force their religion on others end up alienating those they try to convert.

With the inauguration and prayer, I can only speak to the passage I particularly love, which comes from Paul, who advised his disciples that any place which would not receive Christianity was to shake the dust off their feet. He knew you couldn't push anybody to believe.

The problem I see with Separation of Church and State is that many people who are pro-life want to take that right away from others. The OT in Leviticus states that gay men are an abomination, but a close passage in Leviticus states the same of shellfish. I just don't get it.

Stopping these practices come from religious beliefs. Those who do not believe in a particular religion's tenets should not be stripped of their rights. As a pro-choice individual, I believe people should mind their own business: although most of us have trouble doing that. =)

Yes, I agree with you completely. The government cannot restrict religious practice. I don't care that courts have "In God We Trust" over the judge's head. Nor should the government permit people of one faith to dictate behavior to another. It's a case of Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar, Render unto God that which is God's.

As I mentioned in my last rant, I don't necessarily agree with religious invocations in civil situations. As long as such practice would be acceptable for a Muslim swearing on the Qu'ran, a Hindu swearing on the Hindu Bible, a Jew who chooses a Bible exclusive of the New Testament, etc., as courts now practice, then that represents freedom of religion. No problem.

Sure, the invocation is traditional and, as a Christian, Pres. Obama wants a traditional invocation. What most people don't know from MSM is that Rev. Joseph E. Lowery will deliver the benediction. He has been proactive about recruiting gay Methodist ministers and is an avid Civil Rights supporter who marched with Dr. King. Accordingly, we have two pastors with opposing views at the same ceremony.

I do know Warren met with Melissa Etheridge, and told her she was his favorite singer. He expressed regret over his anti-gay comments. Frankly, I don't know whether to believe him.

Accordingly, what we have are two religious leaders with completely different spiritual views that will play a part in the inauguration. As much as I believe the inauguration should be secular, in this case, Obama is practicing what he preaches by selecting pastors with divergent views.

My issue with Warren is that he compares gays to pedophiliacs, immature, and refuses to allow gay members at his church. He is clearly misguided.

Even other conservative Christians take exception to Obama's choice of Warren. There's a good argument to be made that this "issue" is much ado about nothing. My concern centers on ensuring strict adherence to the First Amendment. That was the first Amendment our Founding Fathers wrote given their escape from having religion forced down their throats. It was the seed of the Revolution and the birth of the United States.

My rhetoric is not hate-filled, but Warren stated his own beliefs publicly.

And I do believe in civil discourse. I have even written a comment on my blog that lays out this issue and is not an attack-filled rant. I have a right to disagree with him, but certainly not act viciously.

You aren't kidding that several issues have no resolution. I absolutely agree with you Sure, taxpayers of various faiths want to keep God in a government setting. In fact, Obama will be sworn in on Lincoln's Bible. On the other hand, as a spiritual person, I still feel that extreme caution must be exercised in these situations.

Overall, Lee, we're not all that far apart in our perspectives, even in that we type fast. I so respect what you wrote: "Every opinion is a gift." I so respect that perspective. Thanks for pushing me to think and consider once again.

Alas, I need to get to work...

Lee said...

"but a close passage in Leviticus states the same of shellfish."

There is a joke about a clam with a beard in there someplace...

Stella said...

And I can understand Wizard's anger about intolerance.

LOL, Lee. You are terrific. Yes, civil discourse. Bearded clam?

MadMike said...

Lee: Jesus was a great man and then he died.

LOL on the bearded clam:-)

cosmiccowboy said...

They dont make jews like Jesus
anymore.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

I cannot support or endorse any resolution that might eliminate any of Stella's wonderful and passionate rants.

Stella, you add much value to this blog. Keep up the good work.

Lee said...

MadMike, shame you only got 1/2 the story on Jesus.

Vigilante said...

Think He got it all, Lee. He's not into mythology. Mike's got his feet on the ground.

MadMike said...

Thanks Vigil! Happy New Year to all.

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