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What America Needs to Know About Rick Warren

Vjack from Atheist Revolution has published a list of things that everyone needs to know about Rick Warren. He treats these things as if they are bad things, as if it is scandalous to believe any of them. I thought I’d take a look at his list and see just how scandalous it is.

  1. Warren’s much praised work on AIDS in Africa has been revealed as undermining scientifically-sound efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in favor of thoroughly discredited religiously-based methods. He opposes contraception, even when it comes to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS. This takes anti-intellectualism and religious delusion to astounding levels.
  2. Warren opposes reproductive rights for women and stem cell research. He has criticized Obama’s position on these issues and vowed to pressure him into changing his mind. This should be worrisome for anyone who values separation of church and state.
  3. He was a strong supporter of Proposition 8, the measure which rolled back civil rights for many Californians by denying marriage to GLBT couples. This is bigotry.
  4. Warren has equated gay marriage to incest and pedophilia. This is bigotry.
  5. Warren has publicly stated that he would not vote for an atheist, regardless of qualifications. He thinks that no atheist could possibly be worthy of holding office. This is bigotry.
  6. He is a creationist. Lest we dismiss this as mere stupidity, please remember that many of us are still having to fight to keep this nonsense out of our schools. (source)

All right, let’s break this down:

  1. In other words, if people aren’t allowed to have sex wherever and whenever and with whomever they want–which is what “scientifically-sound” methods do–then the approach is no good. It is no good to teach people to keep their pants up, no, we must give them condoms and allow them to have sex all willy-nilly. The only 100% effective method of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS is abstinence. The problem isn’t the method, as Vjack implies, the problem is the committment level of the people in question. I’ve covered this topic before.
  2. “Reproductive rights” is a very nice way to say “abortion.” Vjack is trying to use less emotionally-charged words in order to downplay a serious ideological argument. What Warren is opposing is the murder of the unborn children. Vjack himself admits to holding a similar position in this post.
  3. Proposition 8 was nothing less than an attempt to legislate morality, and therefore should not have been passed. My views on gay marriage are rather complex and best discussed in a separate post. For now, let’s say that I disagree with Proposition 8 but I think that it is harsh to call its supporters bigots. There are sound intellectual reasons to oppose gay marriage, but they are all grounded in the Bible and therefore have no place in the law books.
  4. Warren has never equated gay marriage with incest or pedophilia. What he has done is question where the state will draw the line as far as what immoral marriages it will allow. To that end, he cited incest and pedophilia as two examples of what may be allowed next. History offers no examples since gay marriage has been as universally forbidden as incest and pedophilia among the many cultures that have existed. Warren was speculating, not equating.
  5. I’m not going to disagree with this point. This is bigotry.
  6. There are many intellectual and philosophical reasons that lead someone to be  a creationist. Just as there are many philosophical and intellectual reasons that lead someone to be a naturalist. I don’t call naturalism “nonsense,” even if I think that a person who holds the position is being intellectually dishonest. Neither view is nonsense; but one must be incorrect. I’ve made my stance known. Now, what about teaching creationism in school? It toes the line, but I don’t think that it should be illegal.

Vjack reveals himself as very close-minded to other points of view. He is so certain that atheistic naturalism is correct, that he won’t even consider the position of the other side. Perhaps Vjack is guilty of the same bigotry that he accuses others of.

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About Cory Tucholski

I'm a born-again Christian, amateur apologist and philosopher, father of 3. Want to know more? Check the "About" page!

Posted on January 15, 2009, in Morality, Pro-Life Issues and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I find your positions consistent because I understand, someone on VJack’s side of the argument might point out the following as a possibility inconsistency in your last posistion on teaching Creationism (again this isn’t my position, but I’ve seen the argument enough times recognize where one would apply it):

    In #3, you express the position that morality grounded only in scripture is appropriate to be made law.
    In #5, you agree that not voting for an atheist is bigotry.

    However, in #6 you do not believe that teaching creationism should be illegal. If we limit this to only public schools, then one might have the following criticism: public schools are publicly funded. The education there is law-mandated. Creationism implies an existance of God, which implies to an atheist Judeao-Christian morality. Bring it into a public a school with legislated curriculum, and you have therefore legislated morality, and biblical morality at that. And given the rising number of atheists and atheistic parents involved in public school, such legislation is offensive. Therefore, supporting legislated morality that is offensive to atheists is inconsistent with the posistion that not voting for one is bigoted. Forcing them to pay for and/or sit through what they would call “publicly funded Christian education” is bigoted.

    Again, I do not believe this argument, though I understand it, even while I do not agree with it. But, as a Christian, the fact that one could take offensive to your (and my) non-offensive intentions (helping Christian kids keep their faith) makes me pause. And so I point this out about your argument on the chance that you would want to address it.

  2. I should have proof-read better. My opening should read like this:

    “I find your positions consistent because I understand it, but someone on VJack’s side of the argument might point out the following as a possibility inconsistency in your posistion #6 (the argument I am about to give isn’t my position, but I’ve seen the argument enough times recognize where one would apply it).”

    Sorry for any confusion.

  3. On point #1, “Warren’s much praised work on AIDS in Africa has been revealed as undermining scientifically-sound efforts to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in favor of thoroughly discredited religiously-based methods.” I agree that such a statement as this atheist makes is moronic.

    However, when he says “He opposes contraception, even when it comes to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS. This takes anti-intellectualism and religious delusion to astounding levels” (and his reference to contraceptives, as the link shows is to condoms not pills) I must agree with him. Although you are correct that “The only 100% effective method of preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS is abstinence,” we know that everyone is not going to abstain. Short of rounding up everyone who has aids and detaining them in an AIDS camp apart from uninfected people, condoms is the answer for those who refuse to control themselves. We can’t imagine that everyone is going to play by the rules. AND I am much more concerned for the children who might inherit the disease than for the fornicators who might get it. At the very least, steralizing people with AIDS so they can’t spawn children who might inherit the virus, seems prudent. Perhaps if that were being done, “burning condoms for Jesus” wouldn’t seem quite so idiotic.

  4. There are sound intellectual reasons to oppose gay marriage, but they are all grounded in the Bible and therefore have no place in the law books.

    That is precisely the problem with evangelicals today. We preach a gospel that lets man think unbiblically when it comes to matters of “the state”.

    God sanctioned the death penalty for sodomites…this is not merely an issue for the Church, it is an actual crime…but hey, that’s just what God says.

  5. “That is precisely the problem with evangelicals today. We preach a gospel that lets man think unbiblically when it comes to matters of “the state”.” (Antipelagian)

    You’re an idioti, Mr. Anti. The New Testament does not teach the merger of church and state.

    Paul says that the ruler doesn’t bear the sword in vain but is God’s minister to execute WRATH on evil doers. Yet in the same chapter he instructs Christians to “give place to wrath” because “vengeance is mine, saith the Lord.” What does this mean, therefore?

    Biblically we are assured the ruler will NEVER be a real Christian. He can’t be, because Christians must “give place to wrath” which means “let God handle it.” They have to “defeat evil with good” and “requite evil with good.” They cannot take vengeance. But the ruler is the minister of God to take vengeance. It follows that the ruler is chosen from among the unsaved to do for God what no Christian can do (without losing his salvation).

    I realize that moronic Calvinist idiot freaks believe that it is God’s will for the church of Calvin to run the government and burn everyone they disagree with at the stake. I know, that according to demon possessed freaks like Antipelagian I should have a pipe shoved through my buttcrack to my head and be set on fire with gasoline for spitting on his precious doctrine that free will doesn’t exist. But this is precisely why the Calvinists will all burn in hell. They are pure evil and hatred. All they think about is finding an excuse to kill or torment someone.

    Christians are supposed to be running from the government, not running it. We’re supposed to be persecuted, nor persecutors! Jesus said all men will hate us, not that we will hate all men! But the Calvinists, being Satan worshipers, have got it all backwards (as always!).

    “There are sound intellectual reasons to oppose gay marriage, but they are all grounded in the Bible and therefore have no place in the law books.”

    This also is an idiotic statement. Nature itself teaches that homosexuality is wrong, and it has been scientifically proven that homosexuals spread sexually transmitted diseases at a much higher rate than fornicating normal people do.

    “God sanctioned the death penalty for sodomites…this is not merely an issue for the Church, it is an actual crime…but hey, that’s just what God says.”

    At the very least, we need an oppressive tax to be placed on fags. It is absolutely necessary to deal with the plagues and diseases they inflict on a nation and the strain they put on the health care system.

  6. but again, to add to the last paragraph, I say that pragmatically as to what the government should do, not as a religious dogmas like the moron Calvinists.

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