Monday, November 30, 2009

Rick Warren Can't "Take Sides" on Gay Executions

Via Box Turtle Bulletin comes this post in which we learn that Rick Warren, who in the past had ties to the Uganda pastor who helped spearhead legislation that would execute HIV-positive gay men if enacted, will not speak out against the legislation, saying that "it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations."

On Meet the Press he said, speaking more generally on the gay issue, "As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides." As Newsweek's Lisa Miller points out, this is a guy who called abortion a "holocaust" and who certainly does what he can to stop it in this country and around the world. Surely, he believes, as a self-proclaimed moral leader, that one must speak up against injustice. That is, if he sees state executions of gay men as a true injustice at all -- or at least one that is worth upsetting the apple carts he so neatly set up in Uganda.

And is it a coincidence that the Obama administration -- in which Warren has a fan at the very top -- has not spoken out loudly enough against what's happening in Uganda and that the man who doles out the AIDS dollars (our taxpayer dollars, need I remind) on behalf of the president to Uganda, PEPFAR chief Eric Goosby, says pretty much what Warren says? According to, Goosby says his job is "not to tell a country how to put forward their legislation."

That has got to be one of the most outrageous things I've heard so far from an Obama official: We're neutral on extermination.

UPDATE: Max Blumenthal has done a lot on Warren and his Uganda connections and I've had him on the show often. This piece he wrote back in January is a good refresher for the discussion now about Warren. Read the whole thing, but just wanted to pull out this passage that sums up Warren's investment in Uganda:

Days later, Warren emerged so enthusiastic after a meeting with First Lady Museveni, he announced a plan to make Uganda a “Purpose Driven Nation.” “The future of Christianity is not Europe or North America, but Africa, Asia, and Latin America,” he told a cheering throng at Makerere University. Then, Ugandan Archbishop Henry Orombi rose and predicted, “Someday, we will have a purpose driven continent!”