The Cash-Driven Life

Okay, so, Rick Warren. I tend to agree withJohn’s posters that it’s a nice opportunity to slap Dobson in the head, and withAtrios that it’s such bullshit to think that anything that pisses your base off is good politics if you’re a Democrat but dangerous if you’re a Republican. I also tend to think that anybody screaming OMG I TOLD YOU SO YOU GOT FOOLED BY YOUR MESSIAH OBAMA HAH HAH HAH AREN’T YOU SORRY NOW ADMIT I’M RIGHT DO IT LOUDLY DO IT ON THE TODAY SHOW DO IT IN SKYWRITING TAKE A PICTURE OF IT should consider whether screaming “I told you so” has ever changed anybody’s mind about anything.

Here’s my problem with Warren. It’s not just that he’s an anti-gay bigot, actually. He’s not the first at that nor is he frankly the best. My problem with Warren is that he’s reduced a particular interpretation of Christianity, withbigotry included, toa brand, a marketing ploy, designed to appeal to comfortable people in comfortable lives who buy a sense of satisfaction and get this — to use a fundie favorite phrase — shoved down their throats too. It’s particularly insidious, this fluffy feel-good Christianity that reinforces what you already think and takes your credit card statement to prove it. Buy the book! Then buy the special edition just for commuters! (The fuck?) Then buy the one for graduates! Then buy the journal! Then the soundtrack! Then the wall calendar! You’ll have really done something then! Way to go, you! Don’t forget the VHS tapes! DVDs! Study guides! Don’t forget this thing:


It’s the holidays — thank God there’s aChristmas edition! How else would I know how to think? And if along the way I happen to buy into an ideology that tells me America needs to abandon that whole “equal protection under the law” thing along with my daily affirmations, well, joke’s on me, and Rick Warren’s laughing all the way to the bank.

And when something comes along like Prop 8 that he has to talk about, he cloaks his bigotry in dishonest canting about freedom of speech and loving the sinner, civility and acceptability, so that he wouldn’t turn off potentialcongregants customers who could be slightly uncomfortable with all the hating going on. At least with the dude on the street corner ranting about sinners burning in hellfire for all eternity, they’re up front about what they think, and if they’re trying to make a buck off it, at least you know what you’re buying.


11 thoughts on “The Cash-Driven Life

  1. Ditto with Elliott. I just don’t understand why Obama didn’t pick just your run-of-the-mill minister. Did it have to be a warehouse church charlatan? Really?

  2. Maybe he figures that his benediction preacher (Lowery?) cancels out Captain Goatee.
    In any event, I am going down to Sea World in San Antonio to see about acquiring a Porpoise-Driven Life.

  3. Maybe he figures that his benediction preacher (Lowery?) cancels out Captain Goatee.
    That’s certainly what’s inferred in the talking points sent out by the Inauguration committee and GLBT liasons last night. “We got a gay band! We got Pastor Lowery!” meaning: “We have two people that AREN’T homophobes!”= This is the most inclusive, diverse, blah blah blah.*
    In addition the talking points say Obama “disagrees” with Warren on many points. I’m sure Obama also “disagrees” with David Duke on many points but he’d never invite him to participate in the the inaugural because he’s a bigot, like Warren is a bigot. But Obama just “disagrees” with Warren’s outspoken bigotry. Bigotry isn’t an opinion, it’s an ethical and spiritual transgression.
    No, Warren isn’t a Klan member but I’d label him with a much more vile stamp than Athenae has. He’s more ambitious than John Cornyn, but he’s in the same strata of homophobe. He’s equated gay marriage with incest. That’s neither civil or acceptable. He’s also turned around in the same interview and said that because he’s given money to his AIDS mission, that buys him out of being a homophobe. You can’t say “I think gay marriage is the same as marrying your brother, but I’m not homophobic.” You can’t take rights and protections away from legally married gay couples and their children and claim you’re not homophobic. Well, you can, but you’re wrong.
    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. …
    … Most people, you know… I have many gay friends, I’ve eaten dinner in gay homes, no church has probably done more for people with AIDS than Saddleback Church. Kay and I have given millions of dollars out of “A Purpose-Driven Life” helping people who got AIDS through gay relationships. So they can’t accuse me of homophobia. I just don’t beleive in the re-definition of marriage.
    *(which btw, I think the Poet Laureate is included in the inauguration and she’s a lesbian)

  4. Marketing Christ. Yes, and when the fundies want to bring out the “angry Jesus” they always use the “Jesus overturns the money changer tables in the temple.”
    WHAT was Jesus mad about? Out of ALL the things that he could have gotten pissed about, he got mad at people SELLING stuff? Or doing some banking in the temple, just to make a buck? Christ, what a baby!
    I know that we need to market stuff. That is the reality of our world. I find some of the marketing repellent. I especially dislike when they misrepresent their product. Truth in Advertising? Jesus was a big fan of helping the poor. He challenged you to do stuff like give your money away and follow him. He was very much into helping the sick.

    He provided, “The Jesus Touch™” The original Universal Health Care! One touch is all it takes! Cures blindness, lameness, leprosy and even death itself!

    To refashion Jesus’ message so that it fits the needs of your Al-Qaeda (or “The Base” in English) is something that started the second Jesus was arrested. (Peter on his relationship to Jesus right after he was arrested, “The DFH you arrested? Don’t know him. Seriously, never heard of him. You say his name was Jesus? I don’t recall knowing anyone by that name.” [cock crows])
    Jesus misinterpreted message can be used for all sorts of things. Even fighting over what IS his message is almost a suckers’ game. If I “win” and convince his users that my view is right and that Rick Warren is a fraud, then they are in a pickle. “Where can I go now? Rick made me feel good!” Unless I provide another “feel good Jesus” I’ve left them in the cold. I need to show them that Jesus’ message might NOT make them feel good and that the community of people who think the same way is also a good group of people, but they don’t have the same nice seats and multimedia production value.

  5. It’s a shame there’s nothing in the Constitution that would keep religion out of politics. If they’d had a little more foresight, the founders could’ve written one hell of a document.

  6. When Jesus threw the moneychangers out of the temple, they saw where the money was and became followers. I’ve known my share of religious leaders. The parish priests who stood over us at Catholic school were jovial and kind, mostly drunk, but not that bad. One of them left the priesthood to marry a nun. Gotta love that.
    The protestant ministers weren’t so familiar. They loved their titles. In the years since, my home town has turned decidedly hard core Zealots for Jesus. Feh.
    I wouldn’t give you a tarnished crucifix for the whole lot. Spocko is right, religion today is driven by spreadsheets not parchment. Compare the way Jesus lived and Rick lives now. See any difference?
    Warren has been called the inheritor of Rev. Falwell. He wants to take on the mantle of one of the most divisive, execrable, anti-human bastards ever to draw breath. (Hope the dead fucker brought lots of sunscreen.) Obama’s choice threw me for a loop. I would have hoped for someone a little more congenial like a Native America medicine man/woman or a Wiccan priestess. Instead he went for the exact opposite.
    Then I read the press release his office sent out reaffirming his commitment to gay and lesbian folks. Considering his pick of Nancy Sutley for a cabinet post we can see some validation of that. As for Elizabeth Alexander, the poet, I wasn’t aware she was a lesbian but that also reaffirms his stand. Why then would he do this?
    Consider this: He selects Warren, a known homophobe, and heir to the Falwell Crown of Thorns. He then releases his statement of affirmation of the gay and lesbian community with frank and precise language. Now, where does that put Warren? He has to stand up before a crowd that’s mostly hostile (or at least bothered) by his bullshit. Does he give the invocation then hightail it out the back door? Would he face the hostility or cower?
    Personally, I think Obama’s got this covered. He puts the hater in the front row and has him give an invocation that may have to be ‘friendly’ to the GLBT community. Born-agains would never forgive him. If he went off-script and condemned gay folk, he gets booed off the stage and vilified by the press. Scratch one preacher.
    Am I out to lunch here?

  7. Thank you, Leinie, but it’s not my win alone. No, this win belongs to all those out there who would waltz into a comment thread where people are seriously engaging the issues—really challenging themselves and others, sometimes with beautiful, soaring language—and contribute nothing but a sarcastic remark, then check back later in hopes of an ego-stroke in the form of audience acceptance like the small, sad people they are.
    I dedicate this honor to them, the heroes.

  8. While we’re on the subject, would someone please explain to the dumb foreigner exactly why there needs to be atelevangelist giving aprayer at the inauguration of a US president, anyway? Last I checked, you guys not only didn’t have a state religion, but you specifically went out of your way to talk a lot about the separation of church and state.
    Does this mean I get to puke on the shoes and kick the shins of the next American who mentions the Establishment clause to me?

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