Monday, April 27, 2009

Eleventh Commandment: "Thou Shalt Not Tamper With Your Wikipedia Profile!"

In Other Words: Don't Fuck With The Truth!
(With an Update about his "Susan Boyle" Speech)

Let this post be a Rick Warren Primer with several rules to remember:

1. Reinventing yourself is something only a true artist can pull off successfully.
2. Once you've stated something in public, you'd better have a good reason to state the opposite in public.
3. Only people with good self-esteem can lie well enough to be believed.

4. If, by lying, you're trying to straddle a wooden fence, get ready to get chafed in the balls.

5. If the fence you're straddling is a picket or has curled razor wire - you're an idiot.

Rick Warren is an idiot and by far the worst person to attempt reinvention. If, say, Madonna is a "10,"
then Warren is definitely a "-10." He's gone from shiny round face to rotund hipster with mustache, goatee and Hawaiian shirts. Now he's back to sport coats and (sometimes) shirt and tie. His church has gone from a series of big tents to a 120 acre "campus" complete with cafes, skateboard park and hundreds of monitors outside the "worship center," which, by the way, looks like an enormous basement liberally slathered with innocuous cream-colored paint.His book, The Purpose Driven Life spiraled to the top of the Bestseller lists and gained him much fame and even more fortune.

His call to the ministry was supposedly (according to wikipedia) initiated by a laying on of hands by W.A. Criswell, the arch-conservative Southern Baptist pastor of Dallas' First Baptist Church and former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. Criswell was influential in making the SBC MORE conservative than it had been in the 40s and 50s. And with Warren, Criswell espoused "Whatever it takes" more than "Thou shalt not lie."

By now everyone in the world with an internet connection knows about Warren's sanctified chicanery: He compared homosexuality in the same category as bestiality and pedophilia, then he said he never said it. His website stated that practicing homosexuals could not be a member of Saddleback Church. When someone pointed to that part of the site, it was expunged.

He persistently claims that he has many "gay friends" and knows "gay leaders" yet no LGBT community person has come forth in admitting that he or she has even spoken to Warren. Search the Saddleback website and you will be hardpressed to find out what Saddleback believes about homosexuality. Visit the HIV/AIDS part of the site HERE and note that homosexuality is not mentioned at all! Also in regards to AIDS/HIV: while he is considered the undisputed champion of AIDS relief, his projects are in AFRICA, not America (go to his site and you will find out how to minister to - supposedly - straight HIV+ people, but you will not find names, addresses or contacts of any kind). Warren's wife, Kay, runs the "international" AIDS initiatives in Africa and while you will read of the "stigma" attached to AIDS, not one word will be mentioned about homosexuality.

In the section, "Bible Questions and Answers" all answers are on an audio software that was useless to me. And while putting it in audio form may be wonderful for the blind, it is not so great for the deaf. One convenient thing about the audio: while it might site chapter and verse, it doesn't have to tell you which VERSION is used. Last year, the site's written answer for "What does the Bible say about homosexuality?" quoted three different sources/versions. With audio, the listener will make the assumption that all chapter and verse will be from the same source.
While the HIV/AIDS page tauts needle exchange and condom use as prevention, all of the money and sources channeled to Africa are given to programs preaching abstinence only and denounce needle exchange programs. (NOTE ON AFRICA: Warren's influential relationships with Rwanda and Uganda's presidents have beggared the question as to why he has not guided them towards decriminalizing homosexuality).

Warren made a last-minute video (supposedly for his congregation ONLY?!?) endorsing California's Proposition 8, then said on Larry King's national television program that he never campaigned for Prop 8.
To clarify his about-face concerning gay marriage, a press release was given out (the usual "one man, one woman for 5000 years, EVERY culture, EVERY religion" gibberish), but it did little to explain anything.

The much-anticipated appearance of Warren on George Stephanopoulos' Washington program, This Week, was cancelled at the VERY last minute, again giving lame excuses and even blaming his strained vocal chords on Fox News' insistence that his pulpit be varnished, thus forcing him to inhale fumes for hours.

The latest news is that there's been some strange goings on concerning Rick Warren's page on The site's been "frozen" for some time because rewording and restructuring has been going on without the proper sources. After scrutiny, the revisionist was discovered to be one Mark Carver, an advisor to Warren, heading what has now become known as WWW: "Warren Wikipedia Whitewashers." From The Ignorant Heterosexual:
Among the contentions made by the Warren Wikipedia Whitewashers: - Warren did not compare same sex marriage to incest, polygamy and pedophilia during his notorious Beliefnet interview. - Gay and lesbian people have never had the right to marry in California. - Controversies surrounding Warren's position on gay marriage are, according to CarverM, "a tempest in a teapot" and unworthy of more discussion than a link to Wikipedia's Proposition 8 page. After weeks of voluminous and sometimes heated debate, it was uncovered that CarverM is in fact Mark Carver, the International Director of Purpose Driven Ministries.

Warren just used the inspirational Susan Boyle story in a speech (see below). He includes the footage we've all seen in his presentation, depending upon it, leaning upon it like a crutch to get his point across. His primary message is that we are all wonderful and loved by God no matter what our appearances may be. How beautiful! How insightful! How meaningful!

How...much more of this can we take? Where's the meme "It's not about YOU!" Warren talks about how so many of us have been brainwashed to prejudge people by the way they look or their circumstances. This is a guy who put being gay in the same class of sin as being a pedophile! This is a guy who can't backpedal enough when criticized for his homophobia. This is a guy who thinks image is SO important that he renamed his own church: it USED to be the "Saddleback Southern Baptist Church." This is a guy who will always let others emphasize his importance in the welfare of African nations, but would be hard-pressed to outline his church's local AIDS outreach.

Warren, his wife, Kay, and their staff have come off this past year as a bunch of Christofascist proselytizers without much sense at all: when their lies are discovered, their spins and explanations are absurd. That they've gotten this far regarding America's emotions and souls is very disturbing.

Be afraid. The next Christofascist preacher might be a better liar.

Just a thought.