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Rick Warren: 'I am Not an Anti-Gay or Anti-Gay Marriage Activist'


Pastor Rick Warren appeared on Larry King Live last night and King asked him about the controversy that erupted when Barack Obama asked him to deliver the invocation at the inauguration.

Said Warren: "You know, Larry, there was a story within a story that never got told. In the first place, I am not an anti-gay or anti-gay marriage activist. I never have been, never will be. During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never -- never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop 8 was going. The week before the -- the vote, somebody in my church said, Pastor Rick, what -- what do you think about this? And I sent a note to my own members that said, I actually believe that marriage is -- really should be defined, that that definition should be -- say between a man and a woman.

Warren "And then all of a sudden out of it, they made me, you know, something that I really wasn't. And I actually -- there were a number of things that were put out. I wrote to all my gay friends -- the leaders that I knew -- and actually apologized to them. That never got out. There were some things said that -- you know, everybody should have 10 percent grace when they say public statements. And I was asked a question that made it sound like I equated gay marriage with pedophilia or incest, which I absolutely do not believe. And I actually announced that. All of the criticism came from people that didn't know me. Not a single criticism came from any gay leader who knows me and knows that for years, we've been working together on AIDS issues and all these other things."


King later asked Warren whether or not he "encouraged his flock" to vote 'yes' on Proposition 8.

Said Warren: "Oh, yes. You know, I don't think that the definition of marriage should be changed. Yes. I just never campaigned...I never campaigned for it. I never -- I'm not an anti-gay activist -- never have been. Never participated in a single event. I just simply made a note in a newsletter. And, of course, everything I write it's -- it's (INAUDIBLE). It's very low [on my list of issues]. In fact, I am working with a number of gay organizations on issues that we care about, in saving lives."

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  1. "During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never -- never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Prop 8 was going."


    Posted by: JohnInManhattan | Apr 7, 2009 9:10:32 AM

  2. RICK WARREN: But the issue to me is, I'm not opposed to that as much as I'm opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I'm opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I'm opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I'm opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

    STEVEN WALDMAN: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?

    RICK WARREN: Oh I do. …

    Posted by: John M | Apr 7, 2009 9:10:41 AM

  3. Next up we will hear from Vermont Gov. Jim "Crow" Douglas as he tries to convince us that he is not really a segregationist.

    Fat chance.

    Posted by: Wayne | Apr 7, 2009 9:12:01 AM

  4. Sorry Rick, but what you're saying is, you were the tallest, most famous man in the crowd and you only yelled "Stone him!" once. So fuck off.

    Posted by: Yankintex | Apr 7, 2009 9:17:36 AM

  5. What's funnier than watching a fat guy trip over his own feet as he backpedals? Listening to him lie at the same time.

    Posted by: MikeMick | Apr 7, 2009 9:20:00 AM

  6. So he's not a professional bigot, it's just a hobby.

    Posted by: David D. | Apr 7, 2009 9:36:33 AM

  7. He's trying to have it both ways

    Posted by: Miles | Apr 7, 2009 9:43:31 AM


    wow, he is certainly one of the most stupidest people out there. how he gonna say he didn't say something when in fact, he did and it's clear as day? IT'S ON TAPE, YOU FRIGGIN IDIOT.


    Posted by: liz templin | Apr 7, 2009 9:46:07 AM

  9. I believe lying is still a sin.

    Posted by: sam | Apr 7, 2009 9:47:49 AM

  10. All the above comments are true. WE know that. "My gay friends" - my ass. But does Larry King's audience? Where is the freaking rebuttal? Media keeps kissing this guy's feet and there's never anything but the most cursory challenge to his lies. This time not even that. I'd kill to see Rachel debate him.

    Posted by: sean | Apr 7, 2009 9:50:42 AM

  11. If he's going to try and cover it up he should at least keep his story straight in one single interview.

    How he can possibly try and pull of "a note" as not being a direction when he's the leader of a church is beyond stupid. He makes me livid.

    Posted by: lis | Apr 7, 2009 9:56:04 AM

  12. @Sean: You're right that there should have been some rebuttal, but you're not going to get it from that mummified hack Larry King or the majority of the "journalists" who give Warren platforms for his lies.

    Posted by: MikeMick | Apr 7, 2009 10:04:39 AM

  13. Long ago, Warren's ordained bookend at the Inauguration, the Rev. Joseph Lowery, spoke at an antiwar rally I'd organized in Indiana. One of his lines, a hybrid of some passages from the Psalms, is still fresh in my mind:

    "Their lying tongues strut through the earth."

    King doesn't maintain the rebuttal format as much as some other shows, and, I'd guess that, unfortunately, that, in his mind, Warren is too exalted to be insulted by such a thing—another indicator of how far below religious con artists gays reside on the respect list.

    But I'm still in shock that our own Rachel Maddow let Colin Powell tell a MUCH greater lie to her—and millions watching—the other night about the origins of DADT. He was one of the Four Horseman of the Moral Apocalypse that brought it about, along with Dole, Moskos, and Nunn.

    And still in mourning that too many of us have given up our right to outrage when such homohating thugs, theocratic like Warren or ostensibly non-parochial like Powell, lie through their fangs and get away with it.

    I'm beginning to fear that the Internet, far from being a lighting-quick instrument for activist, has become another "opiate of the people."

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Apr 7, 2009 10:15:50 AM

  14. Which is the bigger sin? Homosexuality or using the word of God to justify intolerance against your neighbor?

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Apr 7, 2009 10:29:53 AM

  15. Please Jon Stewart, if you can hear my voice, have this lying pus sac on your show and SMITE HIM! Amen.

    Posted by: soulbrotha | Apr 7, 2009 10:50:09 AM

  16. "I'm beginning to fear that the Internet, far from being a lighting-quick instrument for activist, has become another "opiate of the people."
    lol beginning to fear?

    I love that this story is right below the one about Michael Savage saying the sight of two gay folks kissing makes him want to vomit.

    Which enemy do you prefer?

    Posted by: JeffRob | Apr 7, 2009 11:03:32 AM

  17. This post actually makes me smile. I think it's great that a religious leader feels that he must lie about not being anti-gay. As opposed to simply saying nasty things about gays and acting like there's no problem with doing so. It's progress! Meanhile, I really have the urge to go gather all the elephant shit over at the zoo and shove it down michael "weiner-dog" savage's throat. That fucking tool deserves a good kick to the ass.

    Posted by: Hal | Apr 7, 2009 11:04:08 AM

  18. you don't have to be an "activist" to spread hate through your flock, you merely have to give your bigoted opinion and the lemmings will take it as a directive from god.

    also, notice how he changes the subject when king asks him how he feels about the iowa vote.

    Posted by: puhleeze | Apr 7, 2009 11:06:55 AM

  19. I could have gone through the day quite happily without seeing this lying sack of piety's sweaty ass face on my computer screen.

    But his lying has to be exposed, I suppose.

    And yes, bearing false witness IS still a sin. Don't you think Warren will get all crackly as his vast folds of dishonest Christian fat burn in that lower circle of Hell...?

    Posted by: Grizelda Brown, RN and Sister in Crime | Apr 7, 2009 11:19:26 AM

  20. Hal is right.

    If the dishonest and amoral entrepreneurs of the "soul" like Rick Warren now think being too nastily anti-gay is bad for business, that's good news for us.

    Posted by: Sportin' Life | Apr 7, 2009 11:42:22 AM

  21. "No, really! I'm just a Class-A opportunist! That's all I am!"

    Posted by: anon | Apr 7, 2009 11:54:19 AM

  22. The most telling thing that narcissists do is contradict themselves. They will do this virtually in the same sentence, without even stopping to take a breath. It can be trivial (e.g., about what they want for lunch) or it can be serious (e.g., about whether or not they love you). When you ask them which one they mean, they'll deny ever saying the first one, though it may literally have been only seconds since they said it -- really, how could you think they'd ever have said that? You need to have your head examined! They will contradict FACTS. They will lie to you about things that you did together. They will misquote you to yourself. If you disagree with them, they'll say you're lying, making stuff up, or are crazy. [At this point, if you're like me, you sort of panic and want to talk to anyone who will listen about what is going on: this is a healthy reaction; it's a reality check ("who's the crazy one here?"); that you're confused by the narcissist's contrariness, that you turn to another person to help you keep your bearings, that you know something is seriously wrong and worry that it might be you are all signs that you are not a narcissist]. NOTE: Normal people can behave irrationally under emotional stress -- be confused, deny things they know, get sort of paranoid, want to be babied when they're in pain. But normal people recover pretty much within an hour or two or a day or two, and, with normal people, your expressions of love and concern for their welfare will be taken to heart. They will be stabilized by your emotional and moral support. Not so with narcissists -- the surest way I know of to get a crushing blow to your heart is to tell a narcissist you love her or him. They will respond with a nasty power move, such as telling you to do things entirely their way or else be banished from them for ever. ^

    Posted by: JD | Apr 7, 2009 12:47:36 PM

  23. Hopefully either Maddow or Stewart will air these clips and compare them to what he actually said in the past. Altho, it probably won't effect a lot of King's audience, who may not know they can just check YouTube to see that he's obviously lying.

    Posted by: remix | Apr 7, 2009 2:23:03 PM

  24. Let's see: he's not anti-gay. Um, if he's not anti-gay, then I'm not gay. Rick Warren makes millions of tax-deductible dollars a year, has a million-dollar home, a vacation home, three cars, investments, has a church with 30,000 members who "tithe" at least 10% of their income automatically, has an ego the size of Montana (but that's probably about all that's big on him), is the epitome of vanity and self-aggrandizement, and is about the most UN-Christian of them all. But, he is NOT anti-gay. Well, um, what do you call it then, Pastor Rick?

    Posted by: mike | Apr 7, 2009 2:29:44 PM

  25. I think it is great that he feels the need to tell lies. After all, he would like to get invited to the White House and take up the position that Billy Graham is leaving - spiritual counselor to the Presidents. He knows that being a bigot won't get him there. It is progress that he feels the need to lie.

    Posted by: Charlie Watson | Apr 7, 2009 2:33:16 PM

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