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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Melissa Etheridge on Rick Warren

My friend Laura sent me this terrific Huffingtonpost column by Melissa Etheridge regarding Rick Warren. I have to say that it's very nice for Rick Warren to say in a private phone conversation with Melissa that he "regrets" his choice of words, however, what he said publically is what most people heard and know about. Is he going back to his congregation to express his "regret" and to say how warmly he really feels toward gay people? Yeah, I doubt it (though apparently his website has removed some of the more blatantly homophobic language - I'm swooning with gratitude). I give Melissa a lot of credit for trying to see the good in people, but the end result hasn't changed - most homophobes still think Rick is on their side. Here's an excerpt:

I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say "In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him." They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn't sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife's struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine. When we met later that night, he entered the room with open arms and an open heart. We agreed to build bridges to the future.

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