Saturday, January 24, 2009

My Response to Joel's questions about Rick Warren, Catholicism and other stuff

I haven't blogged on Rick Warren much yet but I've been thinking about it!

The only issue that Brad and I have ever really haggled over is religion. He's such a good man from his head to his toes and that gives me pause when I criticize the hierarchy of Catholicism.

But, as we've discussed before, I came from a very rigid, dogmatic fundamentalist Christian family and as you can imagine, I came away with quite a few scars from that experience that makes me very sensitive to hypocrisy in a religious system. Nothing makes me more upset than the notion of using Christ (or any other religious figure for that matter) as a tool of the powerful to oppress others. In a weird way, it makes me defensive and angry for Christ himself that humans use the threat of condemnation from God to impose their own flawed logic and irrational fears on others. That just flies in the face of the Christ that I learned about, even from the fundamentalists themselves. Does that make sense? At some point, I started thinking that to be truly Christian, ones needs to avoid the churches!!

Having said that, I cannot support the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in particular for the blatantly homophobic statements that they regularly make about gay people. I cannot understand how or why they continue to ignorance the scientific evidence, and the personal experience of good gay men in the priesthood, to continue to hold on to unnecessary dogma. And I believe that this dogma contributes to the continuing stigmatization and hate crimes against gay people around the world. With one stroke of the pen, the Pope could begin an amazing reconciliation process and healing for millions of oppressed gay people everywhere!

As far as Rick Warren goes, I think clearly the moment was bigger than the man. It's incredibly difficult for evangelicals to think "outside the box" and a big flaw in their judgement revolves around their tendency to be "all of nothing" thinkers, you're with us or against us kind of mentality.

I think the fact that supposedly Rick Warren is more open to environmentalism, etc. than other evangelicals, gave Obama hope that this was a way to connect with this previously ignored subgroup within the Democratic Party. I am trying to trust Obama's judgment about him right now, hoping that this might pay off with less opposition to his Presidency when Obama makes the big moves toward civil rights.

I watched Rick Warren discussing his views about gay people on an interview on NBC a few weeks ago. He is so hopelessly ignorant that I realized at that moment that he's simply a chess piece in Obama's larger plan to bring the Sarah Palin supporters of the world to the table. Same thing with Mike Huckabee. You know when men like these can't rationally discuss the issue, knowing that they are going to be on a national stage, they can't be that bright. Giving a Christ-centered invocation at an international event is more evidence of the lack of sophistication and sensitivity of the man.

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