Skip to comments.Rick Warren on Syria: 'A moderate country'
Posted on 11/26/2006 10:39:52 PM PST by Gamecock
I am much obliged to Bruce Delay, a talk-show host at KFAQ 1170 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for downloading the audio version of Rick Warren's YouTube video, recorded while in Syria.
Now, keep in mind, Warren has been telling the world he was misquoted by the Syrian press when he extolled the virtues of the totalitarian police state.
But before anyone questioned his statements, Warren's Saddleback Church had recorded him as he strolled down a Damascus street explaining what a peaceful and tolerant place Syria really is.
As soon as I hotlinked to the YouTube video last week and questioned Rick Warren about it, the church yanked it. I didn't have time to download a copy, but, thankfully, one johnny-on-the-spot talk-show host did.
You may not be able to see it, but you can at least hear it. Here is a word-for-word transcript of what Warren said in the 50-second video:
"Syria's a place that has Muslims and Christians living together for 1,400 years. So it's a lot more peaceful, honestly, than a lot of other places because Christians were here first.
"In fact, you know Saul of Tarsus Saul was a Syrian. St. Paul, on the road to Damascus, had his conversion experience and so Christians have been here the longest, and they get along with the Muslims and the Muslims get along with them. There's a lot less tension than in other places.
"It's a moderate country, and the official government rule and position is not to allow any extremism of any kind."
It's not a press release from the Syrian government that Rick Warren can deny. He didn't make these remarks under duress. He spoke these words of his own free will. By the way, this audio clip is not taken out of context. It represents the entire content of what Rick Warren and his team produced, posted on YouTube, then removed once I linked to it and questioned him about it in an e-mail.
It's not a case of someone twisting his words. Rather, it's a case of twisted ideas expressed in words.
Let's analyze this statement carefully.
When Warren suggests Christians were in Syria first, he's certainly forgetting the progenitor of monotheism Judaism. He rightly claims Saul as a Syrian. But Saul was not a Christian. He was a Jew until that Damascus road conversion. It's not a technicality. It is more than worth noting that someone who praises Syria, one of the most viciously anti-Semitic regimes in the world, claims Christians, not Jews, were there first.
Then Warren moves into this Muslim-Christian brotherhood sophistry. The only way Christians get along with Muslims in an officially Muslim country is by accepting the role in Islam known as "dhimmi." Think of the dhimmi life as religious apartheid. It's a good analogy. Christians are not free to evangelize Muslims. In a civil dispute between a Muslim and a Christian, the Christian's word is worth less than nothing.
Rick Warren demonstrates his complete ignorance of the subtle repression Christians face in the role of dhimmi. Perhaps he hasn't been briefed on the phenomenon by the Council on Foreign Relations, from which he claims his expertise on the Middle East.
Again, Warren neglects even to mention the Jews the pathetically small community of Jews in Syria who have historically been subjected to barbaric pogroms to keep its members in line and to give the average Syrian Muslim an artificial feeling of superiority.
Less tension? Let me explain how Warren's buddy, dictator Bashar Assad, manages to keep peace and tranquility. Secret police. Wiretapping. Torture. Political prisoners. Death squads.
Bashar's father, Hafez, was the master at heavy-handed Big Brother tactics. When the citizens of Hama rose up to challenge his authority in February 1982, Assad sent in Syrian troops to massacre between 10,000 and 25,000 civilians. The town was paved over and marked permanently to ensure that others would learn the terrible lesson.
It worked. There's been "peace," as Rick Warren would call it, ever since. There's been a lot less "tension," as he would put it.
Lastly, Rick Warren says: "It's a moderate country, and the official government rule and position is not to allow any extremism of any kind."
Where does one even begin answering such a lie?
True, the Assads simply crush any extremism that threatens their tyrannical rule. But Syria plays ball with the terrorists by allowing them to use Syria and neighboring Lebanon as staging grounds under the proviso they do not subvert the Assad regime. That's why Syria serves as the headquarters for more terrorist organizations than any other country in the world yet experiences little of its own.
My goal is not to beat a dead horse with Rick Warren's trip to Syria. My goal is to bring understanding and truth to an issue that has been perversely distorted by Rick Warren.
And I have to note that Rick Warren has been deceitful about the nature of this trip and the content of his statements from the beginning. Last week, after I first challenged him about the trip, he denied making any statements like this. He claimed his words were misrepresented by the Syrian government. When I asked him if he made any recordings while there that could help clear his name, he said he did not.
Yet, not only did he indeed record something, but what he recorded affirms the essence of what the Syrian government claimed Warren told officials. Warren's church posted that recording on YouTube and pulled it down only after it was cited as evidence of his mischievous activities in Syria.
In other words, Rick Warren seems to want to be everything to everyone. He seems to want to please the whole world everyone, that is, except the voiceless victims of tyranny, anti-Christian persecution and anti-Jewish bigotry in Syria.
Thanks for the post and links.
RICK WARREN PING LIST?
Purpose-Driven Dhimmi ping.
"Purpose Driven Jihad"
Hopefully RW will fade away as yesterday's fool and yesterday's fad...
If we see him gaining in influence, he'll be worth having his own ping list.
While I thought PDL was ~mostly harmless~ fluff, it does appear that Warren has jumped the shark.
I am concerned that Warren was quoted as saying that he did not tape/record a certain statement about Syria, and that such a tape/record was later found. Perhaps he was unaware of the taping, but the truth is that the statement preserved is damning. It appeared that he truly did side with the Syrians.
In Warren's defense, I think he was naive and saw only what he wanted to see. A new market for his books.
This is nothing new. When Warren is with Baptists, he says he is a Baptist. When he is before a different denomination he denies he is a Baptist. Go figure.
I think post #9 hits the nail on the head: Warren saw only what he wanted to see -- a new market for his books and teaching materials.
Sure why not?
I sure wish his 15 minutes was up
Is Rick Warren that important to you?
I'd think Paul would have been Turkish, not Syrian.
"Whenever a half truth is presented as the whole truth, it becomes an untruth." - Keith Green, "What's Wrong With The Gospel?"
Thanks for the information. Is Warren in over his head or is he "simple", stupid, devious or greedy?
But bad teaching should be important to all of us.
Are you a Warren apologist?
Why don't you find yourself a nice cup of decaf coffee somewhere and relax.