Archive for Rick Warren

Mosque Controversy is Obama’s Prop to Promote Religion

Posted in Politics, Religion with tags , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2010 by neandergal

While the controversy surrounding the construction of a Community center/Mosque three blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, New York continues, the more fundamental issue of a President of a supposedly secular nation taking a positive stand on the issue goes largely ignored. To add insult to injury, President Obama had the audacity to announce his support for the Mosque and community center from a dinner at the White House celebrating the start of the holy month of Ramadan. By taking a far from neutral stance on the issue, Obama is clearly endorsing religion. Obama could have chosen to remain neutral stating that the issue of the mosque is a local issue to be resolved locally and not a matter for the administration to pass judgment. Diplomatically, this would have been the correct response. Instead, he used the issue as a platform not to give a speech on the right to religious freedom and non-belief of which neither is in dispute, but to covertly promote religion. This recent appeasement to the Muslim community is not a display of religious tolerance, but is testimony to the President’s stand on faith generally.

Let us take a look back to 2008 and review the most grandiose inauguration ceremony in history where Obama chose the Southern California Pastor of the well to do Saddleback mega church, Rick Warren to say the inaugural prayer. And let us be reminded that Rick Warren backed California’s Proposition 8 which was to prevent the right for gays to marry. Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to read a prayer should have set off early alarm bells ringing loud and clear to the media, but instead they fell on deaf ears.

In February, 2009, less than a month in office, Obama rekindled George Bush’s Office of Faith-Based Activities and Neighborhood Partnerships by executive order and appointed then 26 year old Pentecostal Minister, Joshua DuBois to head the federally funded department.

Close inspection of Christianity, particularly fundamentalist forms of the faith, Islam or any other religion are far from democratic because they marginalize women and suppress thought outside the realms of the said religion. Either the President is incredibly naive as to what these belief systems represent or he subscribes to them and views them as an integral part of a secular democratic nation.

It is one thing to promote the virtues of the right to practice faith, but to endorse it with speeches, government offices and appointing ministers to run them is quite another. The question has to be asked is that was this really just a glaring political gaff or is there another hidden agenda to promote rather than restate the country’s neutrality on religion?

Sources:

UK Telegraph: Barack Obama backs Ground Zero Mosque

Executive order 13199:

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Change We Can Believe in?

Posted in Politics with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2008 by neandergal

Barack Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the January 20 inaugural prayer is an interesting one. I am curious as to why the president-elect, who is looking to promote science and technology in America, would choose a man who declares on his official website that “the church is the greatest force on Earth.” In an article posted on Pastors.com he describes how God spoke to him “in a very audible way” through his wife.

Let us not forget that Warren backed Proposition 8 in California that explicitly states that California will only recognize marriage between a man and a woman. Obama also opposes gay marriage.

Warren’s Saddleback Church which has a congregation of 20,000 worshippers in affluent Orange County cites the literal interpretation of the bible in the What We Believe part of its web site. Fair enough, it is a Christian church after all. What is disturbing is that a future Democratic President of the United States would choose a creationist and someone who looks to God and divine intervention for solutions to the world’s problems to read the inaugural prayer. Especially since Obama presents himself as a president who will promote science and technology. It looks like the only promotion will be Warren’s own self-promotion, his books and congregation. Warren will have more exposure than Obama’s scientific and technology team.