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Melissa Etheridge Defends Rick Warren on NPR

NPR's Guy Raz spoke with Melissa Etheridge about her embrace of Rick Warren on "All Things Considered" on January 3.

EtheridgeExplained Etheridge: "I believe I understand Obama's choice here. I believe that Barack Obama wants to be the President of the entire United States. Pastor Rick Warren reached out to him, brought him into his church during the campaign, which outraged many members of his church. Yet he reaches across and I think this is Obama reaching back and going, 'I think we can disagree on things, yet we can still all move forward. We need to get past our differences.' And I just want to make sure that as the liberals and progressives and Democrats or whatever you want to call us are moving into this new time with this new president do not say that they, the Evangelicals who say such horrible things about gays, they have to stay over here and we're not going to let them in. That makes us no better than the last administration."

After Raz played her the clip of Warren comparing homosexuality to polygamy and incest, Etheridge said:

"Just because he (compares gays to incest or polygamy) does not mean I have to not speak to him, or don't ever want to be in his company. We had a crazy experience at the Muslim Public Affairs Council conference...We met, we spoke. He's a fine person...He said he was trying to make the definition of marriage not change, not necessarily saying that gays are pedophiles or any of that stuff. One can draw whatever they want from that. This is what he told me."

Plus, Warren's a huge fan of her music.

Listen to the interview AFTER THE JUMP...

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(audio courtesy of Jeremy at Good As You)

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Comments

  1. If we want to get the crazy evangelicals out of our society, or at least push them to the fringes, it is our job to pull the country to the left. Not the president's. Obama will not go any further to the left than he has to, unless he is forced to do so by the right.

    However, to shift the whole country to the left, that is our job. That means protesting, campaigning in our neighborhoods, coming out, making sure everyone knows that they actually know gay people.

    Posted by: J.P. | Jan 5, 2009 9:42:30 AM


  2. So disappointing. Melissa just isn't getting it on this one. He's a fine person? Not in my opinion, or by any definition that I can understand.

    Posted by: wisebear | Jan 5, 2009 9:44:29 AM


  3. I'd just like to hear which of Melissa's songs Rick Warren likes, if he's such a fan. Can he name any besides her big singles? Cause, I really want to believe Melissa on this one. I want to think maybe there is an overreaction to his presence, but so far I can't really tell what the man believes. Warren seems to be a master of doublespeak, as shown on youtube, and if he can lie about his feelings about gays, he can certainly lie about listening to someone's music.

    Posted by: OrangeCrux | Jan 5, 2009 9:50:35 AM


  4. wow, somebody got to her. what happened to not wanting to pay her taxes anymore? seems she got spooked worrying about her overall appeal to the masses (record sales).

    Posted by: niles | Jan 5, 2009 9:52:17 AM


  5. I'd just like to hear which of Melissa's songs Rick Warren likes, if he's such a fan. Can he name any besides her big singles? Cause, I really want to believe Melissa on this one. I want to think maybe there is an overreaction to his presence, but so far I can't really tell what the man believes. Warren seems to be a master of doublespeak, as shown on youtube, and if he can lie about his feelings about gays, he can certainly lie about listening to someone's music.

    Posted by: OrangeCrux | Jan 5, 2009 9:52:34 AM


  6. Unfortunately the majority of gay people and people who voted for Obama find no problem at all with the Warren involvement in the inauguration festivities. Sadly-Melissa's opinion is reflective of that fact. J.P.'s comments have resonance and hopefully there will be a few of us who will continue to fight the good fight.

    Posted by: Nick | Jan 5, 2009 9:57:37 AM


  7. Melissa. I love you. Shut up.

    Posted by: David D. | Jan 5, 2009 9:57:54 AM


  8. There both a couple of douchebags, but out of this, at least, my expectations of Obama have been set - Bill Clinton all over again. Two-faced on gay issues. I don't expect anything positive for my gay life out of him...

    Posted by: David B. | Jan 5, 2009 10:16:19 AM


  9. Our own Uncle Tom !

    Posted by: Lars | Jan 5, 2009 10:26:31 AM


  10. That bitch does NOT speak for ME.

    It's INFURIATING she doesn't specify that she's not out there to represent the gay community at large.

    Dump Warren and DUMP ETHERIDGE.

    Posted by: Tim in SF | Jan 5, 2009 10:26:59 AM


  11. So what does Melissa think of this quote:

    "Dr Warren said that homosexuality is not a natural way of life and thus not a human right. "We shall not tolerate this aspect at all," Dr Warren said."

    Posted by: Mike | Jan 5, 2009 10:45:59 AM


  12. Everytime I see her, I now think of the comment someone left saying that no one should be shocked that Melissa Etheridge likes the pudgey preacher RIck Warren. This is after all the same woman who thought David Crosby was the perfect sperm donor. Ewww!

    Posted by: Wayne | Jan 5, 2009 10:55:21 AM


  13. Wow, such venom, while I find that churl Warren a, sick, twisted bigot, her point of view on him is from her personal dealings with him. Sorry, not everyone in the glbt community is going to agree 100% of the time on any one or any issue and it does not make it mandatory to call her nasty names.

    Posted by: Sebastian | Jan 5, 2009 11:00:06 AM


  14. this woman is terrifyingly delusional and has turned into an embarrassment for the gay community.

    Posted by: seriously | Jan 5, 2009 11:31:25 AM


  15. She's deluded, so is anyone who thinks that Rick Warren is anything other than Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Jan 5, 2009 11:31:56 AM


  16. She's deluded, so is anyone who thinks that Rick Warren is anything other than Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Jan 5, 2009 11:33:15 AM


  17. I wish Obama had chosen a religious leader who is more inclusive and less controversial for the invocation. I notice how when I am criticized for my objection it is made to seem that I am against talking to Warren or engaging him in any sort of dialogue. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is inauguration is a huge moment and it concerns me that Obama will pander to the religous right on gay issues just like Clinton did. I suspect this is a strategic move to head off criticism from Warren and company for the next year and to be truthful it's just an invocation and isn't any kind of policy decision or long term appointment. I'm just concerned. It's not like this is as big a deal as either side has made it. We'll see in the next year if Obama is going to keep his promises to the gay community or if he'll stab us in the back like the Clintons did.

    Posted by: Houndenone tenor | Jan 5, 2009 11:33:58 AM


  18. So what Melissa is saying is that gay rights is an issue on which good people can disagree, and that if bigoted people are polite and friendly in person (as opposed to trying to beat you up or carrying a sign that says you're going to hell after you die of well-deserved AIDS)—regardless of what they believe, what they push others to believe, how they vote, where their money goes—then there is no legitimate reason to marginalize or apparently even criticize them.

    She is so, so wrong on this, and that's so disappointing.

    Posted by: Matthew Rettenmund | Jan 5, 2009 11:36:09 AM


  19. I agree with the majority of people commenting that it would be better if Melissa kept her comments to herself. She is doing more harm than good, and while being an "out" performer has helped gay people generally, her personal opinion here is detrimental to the majority of gay people. She should think more and speak less.

    Posted by: John in Philly | Jan 5, 2009 11:38:06 AM


  20. I am so disappointed in her. I won't buy any of her music, go to her concerts, or contribute to her in any way.

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 5, 2009 11:48:52 AM


  21. OrangeCrux, i believe his favorite melissa etheridge song is come to my window.

    i get what obama is doing. what i disagree with is that i'm completely intolerant of an ideology that means to demean other people's characters just because these people are ignorant due to a life of set privileges.

    it's gotten to a point where we need to say a certain way of thinking isn't only wrong, but it incites violence, and that's never tolerable.

    Posted by: Ian | Jan 5, 2009 11:52:39 AM


  22. So when is Obama going to invite the KKK and Nazi skin heads?

    Melissa says,'I think we can disagree on things, yet we can still all move forward. We need to get past our differences.'

    Saying we are not human,comparing us to incest and bestiality, is not a difference, it is an outrage.

    She is an ignorant bitch who does not speak for me, and from the look of the posts here, for most of the ones who come here.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Jan 5, 2009 12:42:18 PM


  23. Two things influenced Melissa to go this route.

    1) Rick Warren, the quintessential con-man/stake oil salesman, flattered her in the very first sentence of their conversation telling her how much he loved her music and how he has all her recordings. Melissa, as if on command, rolled over and purred like a kitten. Hook, line and sinker! And;

    2) Her ignorant, idiot of a wife who not only does not support marriage equality but also had the chutzpah to say that the difference between civil unions and marriage was like the difference between a baseball cap and a "yamaka". Po-tay-to/Po-tah-to. I don't know who should be more offended, gays or Jews.

    Note to the idiot wife. If you're going to say something so absurdly ignorant and offensive about something you clearly know NOTHING about, at the very least take the time to learn to spell the name of the Jewish "baseball hat". It's a "yarmulke" (or "kippah" if yarmulke is too difficult for you to spell).

    Has the old saying, "Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt" ever been more applicable?

    Posted by: Zeke | Jan 5, 2009 12:47:04 PM


  24. I agree with Melissa, and I appreciate her bravery and wise worldview. We are on the moral high ground here, so we should act like it. We have real love on our side, they have Jeebus. So stop complaining, let Obama be everybody's President, and stop acting like he owes you, or us, or anyone else anything.

    We are going to win this war, so just let the man pray, and get your own house in order.

    Posted by: JeffRob | Jan 5, 2009 12:49:11 PM


  25. AS much as I want to agree with her...

    I simply cannot. No matter how kind Warren happens to be at an event, he's still compared my marriage to pedophilia and bestiality. He has attempted to marginalize our community. We have been told that we suffer from disorders and a lack of stability.

    That's not someone who cares for civility.

    Posted by: Matt | Jan 5, 2009 12:52:55 PM


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