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Thursday, December 04, 2008

Rick Warren Backs Assassination of Ahmadinejad

From The Washington Monthly:

WARREN ENDORSES HANNITY'S WARMONGERING.... Pastor Rick Warren has a reputation for being far more stable and grounded than religious right leaders and TV preachers like Pat Robertson, but it's worth remembering that he's not exactly a moderate.

Last night, on Fox News, Sean Hannity insisted that United States needs to "take out" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Warren said he agreed. Hannity asked, "Am I advocating something dark, evil or something righteous?" Warren responded, "Well, actually, the Bible says that evil cannot be negotiated with. It has to just be stopped.... In fact, that is the legitimate role of government. The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers. Not good-doers. Evildoers."

Watch the clip and read the full transcript here.

Since this clip hit the blogosphere, Warren's people have claimed that Rick was simply citing Romans 13. I agree with Romans 13 that every person is "subject to the governing authorities." I also agree that the government has a duty to keep "law and order." This obviously means that those who break the law will face punishment. But that wasn't Warren's point. Warren was responding to Hannity's assertion that "We need to take [Ahmadinejad] out." Warren agreed to this assertion with his "YES" response. And then Warren defended Hannity's notion that we need to Assassinate the Iranian President by offering a theological thought or two. And who said that Rick Warren was an evangelical centrist???

David Gushee did.

In The Future of Faith in American Politics (2008), Baptist ethicist David Gushee writes:
Rick Warren has become the most influential pastor in the United States. His two Purpose Driven books (on churches and personal life) have sold tens of millions of copies and created Warren disciples al over the American landscape. Tens of thousands stream into his Saddleback Church every weekend. He is constantly in the news. By now it is probably fair to say that if Billy Graham has a successor in American religious life, it is Rick Warren. Thus, it is no small matter that Warren has moved his ministry and his message squarely into the evangelical center.
No offensive to David Gushee, but if Rick Warren is considered a leader of the Evangelical Center - count me out. Guys like Warren give true centrists a bad name.



Blogger texasinafrica said...

Sweet land.

5:29 PM

Blogger Carlos Colón-Quintana said...

It's easy for anybody to say "I am a centrist."
You just find someone more to the right or to the left on certain positions.
For example, someone may think he is a centrist because he believes in reducing the number of abortions.
Reminds me of the right-winger who thinks he is compassionate because he leaves the trash can open at night...
The interesting about right-wing and left-wing fundamentalists is that they don't see themselves as extremists.
I am pro-life (as in I oppose Roe v. Wade); and I affirm women in the ministry.
Gee, I must be a centrist!

7:02 PM

Blogger Georgia Mountain Man said...

Sounds to me like the guy is a nutcase, and should be given little credibility. Since when do we start taking out opposing leaders simply because we don't like them? Oh, I forgot, we did that already. Actually, WE didn't. The current president did. Armi-whoever is an extremist, but, to date, he has done little more than talk and shoot off a few rockets. This country has got to quit thinking "shoot first and ask questions later" now that the miserable Bush years are coming to a close. Can you imagine the extremist Muslim response to such an assassination? Our credibility in the Middle East would go further into the tank.

8:12 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

Ironically, the terms Carlos has employed here - "right-wing" "left-wing" and "fundamentalist" - are quite problematic. Fortunately, Gushee has on numerous occasions defined the terms that he often employs such as "evangelical centrist" and "emerging evangelical center." I have on more than a few occasions written about these terms and ideas. These terms have well-developed definitions.

When I employ the term "fundamentalist" and direct it towards individuals from Protestant denominations, I have rooted the term in its appropriate historical context. Carlos might need to brush up on his church history and the history behind the term fundamentalist. Phrases such as "Left-Wing Fundamentalist" are made-up terms. They have no historical context and often (as in this case) the user fails to define the term. From a historical point of view, a "Left-Winger" can't be a fundamentalist. A "Left-Wing Fundamentalist" is a fine example of an oxymoron.

Now, should we give Carlos the Culture Warrior a cookie for affirming women? WOW.

9:22 PM

Blogger Carlos Colón-Quintana said...

Speaking of Church History, was this early Church Father a cultural warrior?

Augustine of Hippo (354-430):

"Sometimes, indeed, this lustful cruelty, or if you please, cruel lust, resorts to such extravagant methods as to use poisonous drugs to secure barrenness; or else, if unsuccessful in this, to destroy the conceived seed by some means previous to birth, preferring that its offspring should rather perish than receive vitality; or if it was advancing to life within the womb, should be slain before it was born."

-De Nube et Concupiscentia 1.17 (15)

BDW, you must not assume that because I spend my days writing symphonies, I don't know Church History. As a Bapto-Catholic composer, I must read it.

In the same way, nobody should assume that a theology student is sleeping during his classes because his arguments are weak.

9:21 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My reading of the transcript says Warren endorsed "taking out" the guy, not assassinating him. You all may not like that option any better than the other, but it doesn't seem accurate to me to say that he endorsed assassination.

9:44 AM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...

So,are you Baptist? Catholic? Or just plain ole Confused? I'd say its telling that you chose to make Baptist the adjective that describes Catholic.

I probably need to make one correction. I'm not a theology student.

My arguments are weak? Tell that to Douglas Kmeic. Unoriginal? Perhaps. No need to offer an original argument when a better one already had been made.

9:02 PM

Blogger Carlos Colón-Quintana said...

Goog morning, my brother!
I'm a Baptist who has connected with the intellectual tradition of the church.
Thanks for asking.
Have a great weekend.

6:05 AM

Blogger Carlos Colón-Quintana said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:06 AM

Blogger texasinafrica said...

Hey, you know your regular URL is gone, right?

8:36 PM

Blogger Big Daddy Weave said...


I'm in the slow process of making the switch to Word Press. I have a web host. I have a Wordpress blog theme that I bought. But I had some problems transferring my Domain from Yahoo to Blue Host. Yahoo is taking their time. So, hopefully in 72 hours or less, www.thebigdaddyweave.com will take you to a new blog that I've yet to setup. I also don't have a clue what I'm doing - so who knows!

1:25 PM

Anonymous Michael Westmoreland-White said...

Warren's previous moves to the center fooled Gushee, but I was always skeptical. He began showing his true colors earlier this year.

12:41 PM

Anonymous Troy said...


"He said 'take him out' "

You mean on a date?

10:07 AM


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