Rick Warren gets mixed reviews

January 21, 2009 at 8:44 pm 2 comments

Rick Warren gets mixed reviews… that’s charitable! My take is Warren totally botched the inaugural warreninvocation. Starting with Deuteronomy 6:4-9, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God…” (text of the Shema) was encouraging. But everything started downhill from there.

I predicted he would end the prayer invoking the name of Jesus, and he did. It was bothersome in the sense that it excludes all non Christians. What really stung was his attempt to invoke Jesus’ name using multiple languages including the Hebrew for Jesus, Yehoshuah. This version is most often used by the ‘Jews for Jesus’ folks as a way of pacifying or mollifying listeners. It did the opposite, raising the collective hairs of informed listeners.

The pièce de résistance (or straw that broke the camel’s back) – ending with the Lord’s Prayer. Now, there’s nothing objectionable in the text of this lovely piece. However, it is unrepentantly a Christian missive. I happen to know that Warren was coached, or at least requested, to be inclusive. Come on Rick!

But let’s be real here – Warren had to be Warren. He’s an evangelical, fundamentalist pastor. While he might think differently in private (and I think he does), he has a constituency he must serve. So, was it really Warren’s fault? I think not – I think Obama screwed up. That’s screw up number one for President Obama and I’m sure not the last. He’s entitled, and I’m sure he thought having Warren up there would broaden his appeal with evangelicals. The truth is, they still think Obama’s a Muslim. Let it go Barack… you can’t appeal to everyone. Stick with us folks who already like you!

Entry filed under: intolerance, Judaism, Politics, Social Justice. Tags: , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carey  |  January 21, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    It seems that any Pastor (whatever his faith) who is worth his salt would pray according to his own convictions and religious principles. In this vein, by definition, Warren could not be “inclusive” of all others – simply because many of them do not share the same convictions he does. Warren was not serving a constituency, he was serving God as he is convinced he should.

  • 2. rebaaron  |  January 21, 2009 at 9:50 pm

    Sorry, I disagree – he was representing the whole country which includes people of various faiths and no faith at all. There are ways to be inclusive without violating ones convictions. I often hear people representing all the Abrahamic traditions say we pray to the same God. If that’s so, why not do it in a way that works for all of us?


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