Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Irony of Rick Warren: "It's Not About You!"

Irony has a habit of presenting itself when you least expect it. I came across this diatribe (justified) by a South Carolina state representative who is himself a "Rev." He invokes Rick Warren in taking Mark Sanford, Governor of South Carolina to task about refusing the Stimulus money offered to the state. He does it in a very well-written and powerful way:

Rev. Joseph Neal, The State:

Author and pastor Rick Warren begins his transformative book, The Purpose Driven Life, with a simple statement: “It’s not about you.”

As Gov. Mark Sanford engages the General Assembly in political gamesmanship over accepting federal stimulus dollars, his actions should prove to South Carolinians that despite his words to the contrary, it’s not about you.

Don’t be confused. Whether or not the governor accepts the money has nothing to do with the potential impact on you, your family or your quality of life.

So, to the more than 4 million residents of our state, it’s not about you.

To the 1,000 to 6,000 public school teachers facing layoffs if the money is rejected, it’s not about you.

To the hundreds of thousands of school children facing larger class sizes, fewer gifted and talented course offerings and fewer textbooks and supplies, it’s not about you.

To the business owners who rely on state government or the workers it employs to survive, it’s not about you.

To the 241,000 residents currently unemployed, it’s not about you.

Even to the 601,868 of you who voted for Sanford in the 2006 general election, it’s not about you.

And especially to the 170 members of the General Assembly, it’s not about you.

The rest is HERE.

Ironic? Yes. A pastor quoting Rick Warren to chastise a Republican governor. Yes, it is a twist of fate. But it brings out another aspect of the Warren story.

Rick Warren: It's not about you.

This man has been all lover the place trying to cast himself in a better light after Proposition 8 and the Presidential Inauguration. "I'm not anti-gay."

But, Rick, it's not about you.

Warren's Big Excuse: "THE DOG ATE IT!"

Or the equivalent thereof!

Rick Warren couldn't give a believable excuse for late homework!

You can read the whole aide-written excuse HERE. Besides giving a hole-ridden excuse, the email received by the producers of This Week show that he also has a staff of complete idiots.
“Easter weekend is like the Super Bowl for a megachurch like Saddleback; this year they were expecting upwards of 43,000 to attend 43 service venues and locations offered at 13 separate service times, requiring an intense several weeks of preparation by the pastor and his team."
Comparing church services to football is one helluva stupid way to start a letter like this. What it really says: "43,000 people were expected to see our oh-so-popular pastor perform!" And who was so stupid to get him so tightly booked that it would have been amazing if he HADN'T come down with something!
"My understanding was that Dr. Warren’s condition was related to fatigue and exhaustion — which affected his voice — exacerbated by inhalation of fumes from the newly refurbished (but still drying) pulpit used in the televised services the previous night."
Even the pulpit thinks he's a liar! And what's with the "I'm-covering-my-ass-by-saying-'my-understanding-was'" bit? Either Warren was sick or he wasn't.
"After initially informing George Stephanopoulos of his inability to pre-tape on Saturday, I put him directly in touch with his chief-of-staff after doctor consultation to pursue the remote possibility of an early [Sunday] AM pre-tape. That turned out to not be a possibility as he had to cancel half of his sermons today, though he was able to preach several of the six services at which he was scheduled to preach.
Hmmm. Let's see. He couldn't pre-tape on Saturday, couldn't pre-tape on Sunday, but Stephanopoulos' producers screwed up and scheduled him LIVE on Sunday anyway? The ABC team didn't just pick the "moments before" comment out of thin air, did they? Or is Warren's staff calling ABC's staff liars? That's rich! Did he cancel out on the show or the pre-tape? Cancellation of a pre-tape is not "moments before."
I was looking forward to the opportunity for him to clarify his position with Messrs. Stephanopoulos and Huckabee (the latter with whom he was to interview live at 2:45 PM EDT on Saturday) to reframe the picture for television viewers the way we had been trying to do on a per-inquiry basis with print outlets by sending out the statement below:
Then comes the ubiquitous one-man-one-woman 5000 years, blah, blah, blah. "...reframe the picture..." A rather nice turn of phrase meaning: damage control.

Doesn't wash. None of it.

Rick Warren on Easter Sunday: Playing Games

Something's Up - Besides Me!

Today I was up early to catch Rick Warren's Easter Sunday appearance on George Stephanopolis' program, This Week on ABC. I wanted to see how Warren would sidestep Stephanopoulos' questions about Prop 8, lies, etc. If it had been Chris Wallace on Fox, I wouldn't have gotten up so early. If it had with anyone on Fox, I wouldn't have programed my alarm/TV to wake me up at 8 AM on Easter Sunday morning simply because we all know that absolutely NO probing questions would have been asked. That's what Fox is famous for: generic questions lobbed gently to conservative guests. Conservative guests ONLY.

Minutes before the show, I signed on to my email and, in a Google Alert, read this:
Pastor Rick Warren, after making apparently contradictory statements about his stance on a gay-marriage measure, canceled an Easter Sunday appearance on ABC’s “This Week” just “moments before the scheduled interview,” host George Stephanopoulos told viewers.

Stephanopoulos said Warren’s representatives said the best-selling evangelical author was “sick with exhaustion.” The host told viewers that he wished the pastor a speedy recovery.

Warren’s appearance would have given him the chance to clear up his claim last week on CNN’s “Larry King Live” that he “never once … gave an endorsement” to California’s Proposition 8, a successful November ballot measure that banned gay marriage in the nation’s largest state.
Pissed. Both of us: me and George Stephanoupolos. GS did the right thing, the cool thing: he wished Warren well, then immediately slid into a hostage situation on the news.

Just about everyone in the media has a code of ethics and consideration which is: "Don't EVER cancel at the last minute." It's just as bad as being a "no show." Scrambling to cobble together a program at the last minute is a nerve-wracking affair. GS was probably clenching his fists underneath his desk while he wished Warren a speedy recovery.

Recovery from...what? Sorry, but "sick with exhaustion" is rather lame. Warren and his staff knew he had a hectic schedule and surely Warren knows his limitations. Then again, the bad dye job cold have affected his brain.

Just a thought.

And Happy Easter To ...


Here's to all of us outcasts, heathens, pagans, pigs, hookers and general demon spawn. If it weren't for us, the world would be boooooring!

The two videos below are irreverent, but fun. Who knows, maybe Christ would have liked it that way!

The first was professionally produced and has been around for several years, but hey, it's Easter! The second was one I produced myself: not quite as sacrilegious (the end might be construed as such), but it was fun putting together. I apologize for its production values (very grainy), but just kick back and enjoy the human condition! And the cat condition. And the dog condition. And the drag condition. And any other condition you can think of!