Skip to comments.TODAY: Rev. Rick Warren puts Obama, McCain on the same stage (LIVE thread)
Posted on 08/16/2008 11:59:35 AM PDT by XR7
LAKE FOREST, Calif. When John McCain and Barack Obama appear on the same stage today, they will vividly demonstrate the reach that has made the Rev. Rick Warren among the most significant evangelists of his generation.
He's a megastar who leads the nation's fourth-largest church and reaches thousands of ministers through the Internet and crusades against poverty and AIDS. That globe-trotting work and his successful book "The Purpose-Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here For?" puts him at the vanguard of a movement that inspires young, socially conscious Christians.
But his willingness to soft-pedal political issues once central to U.S. evangelicals, such as opposition to abortion, has opened him to criticism that he has strayed from his calling to spread the Gospel.
Today's forum also is a sign of religion's importance in the 2008 presidential campaign, and the emergence of a new style of evangelical leadership on the national stage that is not tied to a single party and has broadened its social agenda beyond that of the religious right.
"This is absolutely a changing of the guard, and it suggests that the new guard of the evangelical movement is able to generate the attention and focus of both parties," said D. Michael Lindsay, a sociologist at Rice University and author of "Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite."
Warren personally invited the two candidates "friends of mine" via their cellphones. His event at the Saddleback Church will be broadcast live on CNN and Fox News Channel and streamed on the Web. It has among its aims "helping the church regain credibility and encouraging our society to return to civility," he said.
It's likely that fans and critics will be watching closely...
(Excerpt) Read more at seattletimes.nwsource.com ...
This historic forum will be the only joint event for the two, and the last public appearance
for either candidate prior to the two-week hiatus during each partys national convention.
The two-hour Civil Forum on the Presidency will be held in a non-debate format, with Warren asking the questions. Obama will take the stage first.
Is this Rick Warren fellow a conservative or lib?
Isn’t Warren an obama-bot? For some time now (even before a lot of people had heard of obama) I’ve considered Warren a snake-oil salesman type.
He is pro-abortion and pro-gay rights....McCain is gonna get ambushed.
The megachurch pastor Rick Warren is a signer of the “Evangelical Climate Initiative.”
Warrens main issues are global warming and promoting gay rights. This was a dumb forum for McCain to agree to.
I’ll go out on a limb, and say he won’t ask.
It will be interesting to see if McCain and Obama get the same questions and if Obama is asked anything about his wanting the partial birth abortion ban to be overturned.
Warren had both Obama and Hillary in his pulpit prior to this. Any questions?
He is pro-abortion and pro-gay rights....McCain is gonna get ambushed.
****Nah, I’m sure someone on McCain’s staff knows at least that much about Rick Warren. Hopefully Senator McCain has done his homework.
A few hours later he flew from Chicago to California.
Monday, December 18, 2006
RICK WARREN: Obama is “amazing” and has “got the stuff” to be Prez...
Posted by: Kevin McCullough at 12:53 PM Townhall
Remember back when Rick Warren was adamantly denying that his inviting Barack Obama to his HIV conference had anything to do with politics?
Well - if that’s the case - why is it that he’s now TALKING POLITICS on CNN and sending the message that “Obama’s Da Man”?
Warren also says the reason he believes Obama would be such a good President is because of his character.
I bet Obama already has a list of the questions and signed off on them.
Obama wouldn’t have agreed to this unless he knew Warren was on his side. That’s not how the Obama campaign operates.
Rick Warren is all about Rick Warren and $$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Then the 2 candidates will meet onstage briefly before McCain's hour.
McCain is to receive the same questions. Although he will not arrive at the venue until halfway through Barry's hour, he is honor bound not to monitor Barry's answers.
Prayers up for our Nation.
The integrity of the upright will guide them,
But the crookedness of the treacherous will destroy them. Proverbs 11:3
He who leads the upright astray in an evil way
Will himself fall into his own pit,
But the blameless will inherit good. Proverbs 28:10
An unjust man is abominable to the righteous,
And he who is upright in the way is abominable to the wicked. Proverbs 29:27
Do you have a link for that?
My Pastor looks up to Rick Warren and I would love to show him that!
Ron Paul is starting to look good! /s/
In other words he’s not supposed to know what Barry answered to the (same) questions.
If Rick Warren was a genuine man of God, the Democrats would be calling him a nutcase and a racist. The Obama campaign knows what he really is, the is why Obama will be in attendance.
Leftist of the Jim Wallis stripe CfromGA, all religions lead to God, no mention of controversial topics like gay marriage or abortion.
He is a sort of soft Socialist who does not take the Bible as inerrant Word of God.
I can’t watch this bilge, it is a bit like having a debate in Mr. Rogers as the moderator..bleeech..
No, let them debate please.
Everything Obama supposedly stands for will be shot down in flames.
Dont really knoiw much about this guy ...
A Rev Wright type ???
Will there be a forum in a Christian/conservative church/setting also ???
CBN ??? Focus on the Family ???
Where, Oh Where is Mrs. Osama Obama HUSSEIN?
At least Mrs. Hussein doesn’t have to worry
about Reggie Love getting knocked up!
Rick Warren is the author of a book called, “The Purpose Driven Life”.
Tonight its Rick Warren’s, purpose driven agenda. And something tells me, Obama will come out ahead.
Dec 15, 2006 Situation Room Transcript-=
We’re watching this, and we’ll get you more information as it comes in to THE SITUATION ROOM.
We’ll move on now to some other news.
He’s known by many as America’s pastor. And even those who aren’t familiar with Rick Warren have probably heard of his bestseller, “The Purpose-Driven Life.”
Let’s bring in our Mary Snow. She’s joining us for a closer look at this increasingly influential evangelical leader.
Mary, we’re going to speak with him in just a moment, but I want you to give our viewers some background.
MARY SNOW, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Wolf, as you said, Rick Warren wrote “The Purpose-Driven Life,” and his messages from that book are part of his ministry teachings around the globe. Some say Warren’s influence is not only growing, but changing the relationship between evangelicals and the right.
SNOW (voice over): Pastor Rick warren’s latest mission brought him to Washington for the White House summit on malaria. Wiping out pandemic diseases has become one of the cornerstones of the lessons he preaches. Lessons that have made him one of the most influential pastors in America.
E.J. DIONNE, THE BROOKINGS INSTITUTION: I think what you’re seeing with Rick Warren is almost a new version, a 2006 version, of Billy Graham. SNOW: But unlike Graham, who’s always seen in suits, Warren is often dressed in Hawaiian shirts. Most people know him as the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life.” It sold some 20 million copies worldwide.
He’s taken his message around the globe, even traveling to controversial countries like Syria. This past summer he tried unsuccessfully to enter North Korea.
PASTOR RICK WARREN, AUTHOR, “THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN LIFE”: I’m always happy to be a back channel for peace.
SNOW: But there was anything but peace earlier this month when Pastor Warren invited Illinois Democratic senator Barack Obama to his California mega-church to address the AIDS crisis.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA (D), ILLINOIS: We must do what we can to prevent...
SNOW: Some conservatives and ministers were outraged since they adamantly oppose Obama’s support of abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research. Warren himself is conservative and opposes them, too, but he refused to bow to pressure and invited Obama on the pulpit, along with Republican senator Sam Brownback.
WARREN: You’ve seen the face of compassionate conservatism and the face of compassionate liberalism. And what we have in common is compassion.
SNOW: At least one political observer said the event marked a turn in American politics, predicting that conservative evangelicals and Republicans won’t always see eye to eye as they have in recent years.
DIONNE: I suspect most will continue to vote Republican. But Republican politics won’t be the most important thing to them anymore. It will be much more about what they see their Christian mission as demanding, and that will include some issues that aren’t traditionally associated with the right.
SNOW: Issues that include poverty, AIDS in Africa, and concern about the environment — Wolf.
BLITZER: All right, Mary. Thanks for that.
This popular pastor also says his goal is to restore responsibility in people and credibility in churches.
BLITZER: And joining us now, the author of the best-selling book “The Purpose-Driven Life,” Pastor Rick Warren.
Pastor Rick, I’ll call you. Thanks very much for coming in. WARREN: It’s good to be here, Wolf.
BLITZER: A good time of the year to have a serious discussion on a lot of the issues that are in the forefront for you.
You caused a bit of a stir recently by inviting Barack Obama to your church to speak out on some of the sensitive issues of the day. You were criticized by some evangelicals because he supports abortion rights, gay rights.
What’s your response to that?
WARREN: Well, you know, if you can only work with people you agree with 100 percent, you’ve ruled out the entire world, because I can’t even get my wife to agree with me all the time. So you’re going to have to work with people who have differences from you. And we had 60 speakers at this conference on AIDS, and Barack Obama was there, but so was Sam Brownback, Bill Frist, first lady Laura Bush, Bill Gates, Bono. There was a lot of people.
BLITZER: What did you think of Barack Obama?
WARREN: He’s an amazing man. I think...
BLITZER: Do you think he’s got it? In other words, he’s got that potential like so many other presidential prospects, to be the president of the United States?
WARREN: I think he does.
WARREN: I think he has good character. I think both Sam Brownback and Barack Obama — the reason I invited them both, first, they’ll tell you the truth. They’re not just going to beat around the bush. They’ll tell you what they believe. And I appreciate that.
Second, they’re men of civility. And I’m so tired of the rudeness we’ve got in our society where people are just mean to each other. We need to return to civility, which says, I treat you with respect even if I violently disagree with you. That we’ve lost the “civil” in civilization.
BLITZER: Are the American people ready for an African-American president?
WARREN: Oh, I think so.
BLITZER: Your congregants, what are you hearing?
WARREN: Well, I think that America’s ready for leadership any time. I think Sam Brownback, who was there, I think Barack Obama, I think there’s a lot of people in the field who are good leaders who could easily lead America with — because they’re clear.
BLITZER: Let me read to you what David Van Biema, writer for “TIME” magazine wrote.
“The invitation works perfectly for Obama. Through his autobiography ‘The Audacity of Hope’ and his public statements, the senator had already positioned himself as one of the rare potential Democratic presidential candidates who can truly talk the Christian talk.”
WARREN: Talking the Christian talk is not nearly as important as being a person of character. And I think that in the — in this next election people are tired of partisanship.
I think whoever is going to get elected is going to be somebody who has the ability to draw people from different sides, even people who disagree with you, and say, let’s work on the greater good. Let’s work on the common good of our society rather than narrow casting, rather than saying I’m appealing to simply a base. I think base politics is out of date.
BLITZER: Here’s what one of your critics who didn’t like the fact you invited him because of his support for abortion said this, Wiley Drake, second vice president, Southern Baptist Convention.
“You can’t work together with people totally opposed to what you are. This kind of conference is just going to lead people astray.”
WARREN: Well, I disagree.
BLITZER: So you’re ready to reach out and work with people who have different...
WARREN: We will work with anybody...
BLITZER: ... even on a sensitive issue like that?
WARREN: There’s a difference, Wolf, between being an ally and being a co-belligerent. Francis Schaffer was a great writer who talked about this. And so did Wilberforce, by the way.
In other words, for instance, I’m a co-belligerent with the feminist movement when they’re opposing pornography. I don’t agree with everything in the feminist agenda, but I happen to agree with them on that, and I would work with them on that particular issue.
BLITZER: Let’s talk about some of the other issues that you’ve really made a name for yourself...
BLITZER: ... including North Korea.
BLITZER: You’re ready to reach out to Kim Jong-il and North Korea to do what? WARREN: Well, to preach the gospel. I’m a pastor, not a politician. And I report to a higher authority, where Jesus said, “Go into all the world, to every nation.”
Does that involve Syria? Yes. Does that involve North Korea? Yes. Does it involve Iran?
I’ll go anywhere as long as I’m not muzzled. Now, if they put restrictions on what I say, that’s a different issue. But I have a basic message that says you were made by God and for God, and until you understand that, life isn’t going to make sense.
And if I get the opportunity to share that, then I don’t go — I don’t ever go into these places as a politician. I don’t go in as a diplomat. I don’t go in as trying to take a job that’s not my job. But if I get an opportunity to go in and bring hope, encouragement, and the message of the good news, I’m going to do it.
BLITZER: And another major issue for you is dealing with the crisis of AIDS in Africa. You’ve gone there.
BLITZER: You encourage people to go there.
Why did you decide that this was going to be a seminal issue for you?
WARREN: Well, you know, Wolf, AIDS is no longer a sexy issue. It used to be on everybody’s mind in the early ‘80s. And I think a couple of things have happened.
Hollywood has moved on from it. They’re now looking into adopting kids and stuff like that.
The reason, though, is that AIDS is worse than it was 20 years ago. In America, it’s become a chronic disease.
If you’ve got the money, you’ve got $10,000, $15,000 a year, you can live a pretty reasonable life with the antiretrovirals. What most people don’t realize is that around the world it’s exploding at an exponential rate.
Within a matter of 10, 15 years, there will be 100 million people who have AIDS or who have had AIDS. And it’s still a death sentence.
You’re going to die from it. And there is no cure. And so while the church is late coming to the table — and I really think we have to repent over that. I think we have to say, we were wrong, we were flat-out wrong. And I’ve said that publicly. But we’re in it for the long haul, and it is a — it is the greatest health pandemic in the world right now.
BLITZER: You’ve been described as the next Billy Graham.
WARREN: Nobody can replace Billy Graham. BLITZER: But what are you — let’s look down the road. America’s pastor, is that the kind of responsibility you would like to have one day?
WARREN: I never imagined I’d be sitting here talking to you, so I don’t predict the future. I’m not a prophet. I’m a local pastor of a church that happened to grow quite large, and I’ve spent most of my ministry just helping other pastors.
I’ve trained about 400,000 pastors in 163 countries. And so we kind of stayed under the radar for a long time. I intentionally said we’re never going to put our services on television like a weekly show because I didn’t want to be a celebrity.
BLITZER: Well, your book and your comments have certainly made you a celebrity.
WARREN: Kind of blew my cover. The book blew the cover.
BLITZER: You’re out there. And we want to thank you for coming in to THE SITUATION ROOM.
WARREN: Thank you.
BLITZER: Have a Merry Christmas and happy new year.
WARREN: Merry Christmas. Happy new year to you.
The Boston Herald reported earlier comments by McCain on the Russian president...that played off Bush's famous remark in 2001 that he'd looked into Putin's eyes and gained "a sense of his soul." McCain sees something different:http://www.weeklystandard.com/weblogs/TWSFP/2007/12/mccain_man_of_the_year_should.asp
I looked into his eyes and saw three letters: a K, a G and a B."
I don’t like him, but you’ll have to cite your sources on that one. Last time I saw him on LKL (2-3 yrs ago), he opposed gay marriage, saying that he believed that marriage was between a man and a woman, and this moment was against the “go along to get along” stream of the rest of the show.
This is what it looks like when Christianity rots from within.
Obviously you sell more books when your fuzzy, watered-down message doesn't alienate the hedonists and the wicked.
My Prayer: God, help me come up with a religion so I can get rich too.
Oh I know that Rick Warren’s only purpose is to line his pockets.
I just used to roll my eyes at his actions until he let the “Messiah” speak from the pulpit of his megachurch. That is when I let all know that RW was nothing but another liberal pastor that wrote a book.
Thanks I just sent that to him as well as the other links you provided that will get our pastor going today.
I love to stir our pastor up. He went to Seminary with Warren. And says Warren’s heart isn’t what we see now.
I love to rub Warren’s straying from Conservative Southen Baptist ways in my pastors nose.( I know I know not very nice of me)
Two presidential candidates in a game show hosted by a false prophet.
This is completely FUBAR.
That’s the book the girlfriend gave Scott Peterson to read...
I remember thinking why would a nice Christian girl have such a promiscious life ????
Was not familiar with the book, but from somewhere I got the impression it was a Christian book...
The spirit behind the writer is not righteous or Christian...
(Ecc. 10:2 Don't be Lazy look it up!!)
I guess you can contribute to MoveOn.org at this “Just Say No to McCain” site, since you are doing their work
But entertaining for a dull Saturday night....
I have the popcorn all ready to pop...
And the REAL Coke cooling...
And a frosty mug in the freezer...
Bring on the dancing boys...
At least Mr. Rogers was a Christian.