Cross posted @ God Is 4 Suckers!
I'd heard/seen these headlines about a pastor arbitrating the Obama/McCain discussion. Of course, this in and of itself is enough to curl my upper left lip into a semi-snarl. I mean, don't we just have a surfeit of these religious folks sticking their noses into the process as is?
So, as the title implies, I began poking around.
I am even less happy now. I am, well, for wont of a better term, horrified that this fellow has the ability to broker anything in our government, let alone a meet for the two presidential candidates.
So let's start out here (mind you, this starts the article, paragraph one no less!):
Rick Warren has Rick Warren syndrome. That's not a joke. He has a brain disorder. "I was born with it," he says. "I went to the Mayo Clinic, and the doctors said, 'We have found a dozen or so other people with this. There's no name, so maybe we'll just call it the Warren syndrome." He describes the ailment's chemistry as an inability to process his body's own adrenaline. Its symptoms are tremors, disorientation and pain, and, as he says, "it makes my brain move very fast." I ask — since a colleague of his has asserted it — whether Warren also has attention deficit disorder. Warren laughs heartily. "Am I ADD? Yeah, I'm probably ADD too."
How much of this impacts his judgment? I don't want to be politically incorrect or mean-spirited, but a brain disorder? He seems to do pretty well despite it - he's authored a number of books, and yes, you guessed it, they're all paeans to his specific superstition.
Here's the thing - this 'Warren's Syndrome' is extremely rare. I couldn't find a flipping thing on it anywhere. I even went as far as the Mayo Clinic's website and search there. Nada.
A shift away from "sin issues" — like abortion and gay marriage — is reflected in Warren's approach to his coming sit-downs with the candidates. He says he is more interested in questions that he feels are "uniting," such as "poverty, HIV/AIDS, climate change and human rights," and still more in civics-class topics like the candidates' understanding of the role of the Constitution. There will be no "Christian religion test," Warren insists. "I want what's good for everybody, not just what's good for me. Who's the best for the nation right now?"
Yeah, a 'shift away' my ass. As I understand it, it's an "in for a penny, in for a pound" package.
If Warren were content to be merely the most influential religious figure on the American political scene, that would be significant enough. He isn't. Five years ago, he concocted what he calls the PEACE plan, a bid to turn every single Christian church on earth into a provider of local health care, literacy and economic development, leadership training and spiritual growth. The enterprise has collected testimonials from Bono, the First Couple, Hillary Clinton, Obama, McCain and Graham, who called it "the greatest, most comprehensive and most biblical vision for world missions I've ever heard or read about." The only thing bigger than the plan's sheer nerve is the odds against its completion; there are signs that in the small country Warren has made a laboratory for the plan, PEACE is encountering as many problems as it has solved.
All these assholes must've read the fuzzy wuzzy version, because pretty much anything 'biblical' usually entails huge swathes slaughtered en masse for just about any old damn thing.
During the 2004 presidential election, he seemed to toy with using his new influence to become the next Jerry Falwell or James Dobson. Although he did not officially endorse George W. Bush, the mega-author made no secret of his preference. Two weeks before the election, he sent an e-mail to the several hundred thousand pastors on his mailing list, enumerating "non-negotiable" issues for Christians to consider when casting their votes: abortion, stem-cell research, gay marriage, euthanasia and human cloning. Shortly after the election, two attendees of a Washington meeting of conservative religious and political heavyweights remember Warren's actively soliciting advice on how he might increase his clout with GOP politicians.
I'm with old James Madison (founding father) - these folks want to stick their nose into the political process? Start paying taxes.
Here's a serious capper:
Warren had an epiphany in 2003. His wife Kay had dedicated herself to the fight against HIV/AIDS, a brave move in a community where it was still often stigmatized. In Africa with her nine months later, he says, he heard a message from above. "God said, 'You don't care squat about the sick and the poor. And you need to change; you need to repent.'" He became fond of repeating that the Bible has 2,000 verses dedicated to the poor and that the Gospel of Matthew contains not only the Great Commission, in which Christ bids his disciples to spread his word, but also the great commandment, in which he tells the Pharisees to love thy neighbor as thyself.
So this clown hears voices. He admits as much here:
I'm willing to admit my presuppositions: there are clues to God. I talk to God every day. He talks to me.
Oh, and the icing on the spoiled cake is, yet another fucktard who thinks evolution is a belief:
If you're asking me do I believe in evolution, the answer is no, I don't. I believe that God, at a moment, created man. I do believe Genesis is literal, but I do also know metaphorical terms are used. Did God come down and blow in man's nose? If you believe in God, you don't have a problem accepting miracles. So if God wants to do it that way, it's fine with me.
And here's a direct statement from the Saddleback Church:
Although it cannot be stated with certainty, it appears that dinosaurs may have actually been mentioned in the Bible. The Bible uses names like "behemoth" and "tannin." Behemoth means kingly, gigantic beasts. Tannin is a term that includes dragon-like animals and the great sea creatures such as whales, giant squid, and marine reptiles like the plesiosaurs that may have become extinct. The Bible's best description of a dinosaur-like animal is in Job chapter 40. We don't know for certain if these are actually dinosaurs or are some other large creatures that became extinct.
This should not sound so strange. After all, God tells us that he created all the land animals on the sixth day of creation, the same day that he created mankind. Man and dinosaurs lived at the same time. There was never a time when dinosaurs ruled the earth. From the very beginning of creation, God gave man dominion over all that was made, even over the dinosaurs.
He hears voices on a daily basis. He also admits to having a brain disorder. He (and the other morons in his midst) think that dinosaurs were shoulder-to-shoulder with humanity.
He's a highly functional schizophrenic, is what he is. This guy should be in therapy, not directing anything resembling major political discourse. In short, he and his should butt the fuck out.Why on earth does he have this ability? Well, he's fairly charismatic. He's also made millions on his book (contributed 90% of it to his club, too).
And of course, the addled masses have a soft spot for all that warm 'n cuddly fuzzy wuzzy crap we call religion.
This gets up my nose in so many ways, I should have a deviated septum.
Final analysis: people as a rule aren't able to distinguish teh crazies. Wear a suit, be articulate, brownnose, and have some money is all it takes in this country. Because reason and evidence don't fluff the fuzzy wittwe heart.
Till the next post, then.