How Pernicious Is Rick Warren?


It's perhaps the most depressing fact of this campaign so far that the first major encounter between McCain and Obama will be presided over by a mega-pastor and in a church. Here's Jeffrey Goldberg's interview with the man who is taking American politics one step further away from the vision of the Founding Fathers. Take this particular piece of blather:

I believe in the separation of church and state, but I do not believe in the separation of politics from religion. Faith is simply a worldview. A person who says he puts his faith on the shelf when he's making decisions is either an idiot or a liar. It's entirely appropriate for me to ask what is their frame of reference.

The entire basis for Western secular government, which rests on the capacity of people to distance absolute truth from political affairs, is based on idiocy or lies? I wonder if Warren has ever read Locke, or Hobbes, or Machiavelli or would even understand the term secularism if it knocked him square off his pedestal. Then here we have full-on Christianism in foreign policy:


RW: People say America is not the policeman of the world. We may not be, but the Bible says, if you have been blessed, then you are to care for people who can't care for themselves, you are to speak up for people who can't speak for themselves, and to defend the defenseless.   

JG: Some people argue that we're not so great ourselves. 

RW: The difference is that there are no death squads in America. The worst you can get here is that you can get blogged, you can get Lewinskied, on the Internet. There is a difference between that and living under oppression, living with fear for your life. That's why whether or not they found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq is beside the point. Saddam and his sons were raping the country, literally. And we morally had to do something. If you have a Judeo-Christian heritage, you have to believe it when God says that evil cannot be compromised with. It has to be resisted, it has to be overcome.

America exists to defend the defenseless. Really? All of them? Now? And foreigners as much as Americans? And then we hear it simply doesn't matter that a war launched as a matter of self-defense was based on false pretenses. If a dictatorship exists, if rulers are raping a country, it is America's moral duty to stop it. Why have we not invaded North Korea and Zimbabwe and Burma and ... well, you get the picture.

When you have had the kind of Christianity that Bush represents in power for so long, maybe it's only inevitable you will end up with thinkers of the caliber of Warren actually holding debates for presidential candidates. And even worse: have presidential candidates who will agree to attend.

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