Apolitical Rick Warren is being blistered by bloggers today for waiting "for weeks" to take sides against the gay genocide law being considered in Uganda, and for the "hair-splitting" nature of some of his remarks.
Warren earned that reaction.
After all, this is the man who, for example:
- Last month told Newsweek it wasn’t his “calling” to “comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.”
- Recently in an apparent attempt to change the subject, tweeting that, "Globally last yr 146,000 Christians were put to death because of their faith. No one, except Christians, said anything."
- Has welcomed anti-gay, Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa, who endorsed the bill, into his church. Ssempa, who has compared homosexuality to witchcraft, found Warren's recent withdrawal of contact mystifying.
- Not apolitically pushed for passage of California's Proposition 8, and subsequently contradicted himself.
- Apparently has a presence in Uganda which he promoted and could and should have brought into play earlier, given the beliefs he expressed today, rather than after weeks of searing pressure.
More important than all of that may be the additional step evangelical leader Warren took today in persuading the recalcitrant among his peers to consistently treat homosexuals as human beings, rather pawns in the culture wars.
Returning from two weeks in Uganda, Stand For Marriage Maine's co-chair Bob Emrich sent an email to his supporters saying he "wanted to share the following article" he found in Uganda’s largest daily newspaper. It said in part:
This whole concept of human rights grates my nerves. It has made people un-african, mean and self-centered.
One can now shamelessly stand up and tell you: “I do as I please. You have no business in my affairs.” A sodomist can now swear to you that what they do in the privacy of their bedroom does not concern the public.
No wonder when a brilliant MP comes up with a Bill against homosexuality, the human rights activists baptize him an enemy of the people.
Of course the "Bill against homosexuality" is the gay genocide bill.
Uganda to drop death penalty and life in jail for gays, according to Bloomberg.
In October, Warren said of his connection to Ssempa:
Martin Ssempa does not represent me, my wife Kay, Saddleback Church, nor the Global PEACE Plan strategy. In 2007, we completely severed contact with Mr. Ssempa when we learned that his views and actions were in serious conflict with our own. Our role, and the role of the PEACE Plan, whether in Uganda or any other country, is always pastoral and never political. We vigorously oppose anything that hinders the goals of the PEACE Plan: Promoting reconciliation, Equipping ethical leaders, Assisting the poor, Caring for the sick, and Educating the next generation.