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Rick Warren Admits What Poll Shows: Churches Have Responsibility For Anti-Gay Hate

by David Badash on November 29, 2012

in Bigotry Watch,News,Religion

Post image for Rick Warren Admits What Poll Shows: Churches Have Responsibility For Anti-Gay Hate

Evangelical megachurch pastor Rick Warren today on CNN admitted what the American public has known for years: Evangelical churches are responsible for anti-gay attitudes and hate. Warren has been on a PR blitz pushing his book, The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?.

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When asked about the 2010 suicide of Tyler Clementi, Warren was forced to admit churches bear some responsibility for anti-gay animus, despite the teachings of Jesus.

JOHN BERMAN (HOST): [Tyler Clementi's] parents wrote that they left their Evangelical church recently because they felt the beliefs on homosexuality estranged them from their son, which meant he could not come to them. His mother said this, she said, ‘at this point, I think Jesus is more about reconciliation and love. He spoke more about divorce than homosexuality, but you can be divorced and join a church more than you can be gay and join churches.’

WARREN: Very good point. You know, Jesus taught, as a Christian, I am not allowed to hate anybody. I’m not allowed to do that. In fact, I am commanded by Jesus Christ to love everyone, to show respect to everyone. There’s a difference between acceptance and approval. God accepts me, accepts you unconditionally. He doesn’t approve of everything we do.

BERMAN: But pastor, don’t you think some of our churches are responsible for some of the attitudes towards gays in America, the negative attitudes?

WARREN: Probably, yeah. In fact, there are some people who are extremely violent or hateful. And hate is never of God, never.

In fact, the vast majority of Americans “agree that messages coming from places of worship about the issue of homosexuality are not positive,” according to a 2010 poll by The Public Religion Research Institute, taken just after September 2010′s dozen or more suicides of teens, including Tyler Clementi’s, largely fueled by bullying and anti-gay hate.

READ: Poll: Vast Majority Of Americans Blame Churches For Gay Teen Suicides

As The New Civil Rights Movement reported in October 2010, the poll also found that sixty-five percent of Americans — a vast majority — blame churches for “higher rates of suicide among gay and lesbian youth,” and it also found that seventy-two percent of Americans believe “messages 
about 
the 
issue 
of 
homosexuality
 coming 
from
 places
 of 
worship 
contribute
 to negative
 views 
of 
gay 
and 
lesbian
 people.” Additionally, forty-three percent of Americans, a plurality, “think 
messages
 on
 the 
issue 
of
 homosexuality 
coming 
from
 America’s
 places 
of 
worship 
are
 generally 

negative.”

Pastor Warren — whose own anti-gay animus has been tied to the extremism in Uganda where lawmakers are promising to pass the infamous Kill The Gays bill — was reluctant and late in voicing a modicum of opposition to the bill.

Let’s go back to that CNN interview:

BERMAN: But pastor, don’t you think some of our churches are responsible for some of the attitudes towards gays in America, the negative attitudes?

WARREN: Probably, yeah. In fact, there are some people who are extremely violent or hateful. And hate is never of God, never.

“Probably”?

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It’s not, “probably,” Pastor Warren.

Video and transcript via Think Progress

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{ 2 comments }

Alex_Parrish November 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

More of "love the sinner, hate the sin" bullpuckey. Not acceptable. Christian bigotry masquerading as "love" but demanding people conform to their idea of what their 'god' demands is just as toxic as the outright "Hate-the-gays" approach. Perhaps even more so, because it can be harder to confront than the in-your-face hate-the-gays bigots. It is bigotry nevertheless.

TheDiamondOrb December 7, 2012 at 12:39 am

It's not shocking that he said "Possibly"…What's shocking is that he'd consider Christianists at fault at all.

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