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“”When students are taught they are no different from animals, they act like it.
|—Rick Warren, in response to the Aurora shootings|
Besides pastoring a real big megachurch that makes yours look so small that, well never mind heh heh, Rick Warren also wrote a bestseller called The Purpose-Driven Life, which probably goes more into the self-help category than anything approaching serious theology. He then parleyed his fame and fortune into hosting a Presidential debate or something like that. Yawn.
There was a shit-ton of controversy when Barack Obama invited Warren to deliver the invocation at the inauguration. Gay rights groups opposed this, as Warren had supported the anti-gay marriage Proposition 8 in California. The ceremony seems to have cemented Warren's position as "America's pastor" despite him being a right-wing anti-gay nutjob. Commentators now seem to refer to Warren as being a "new" evangelical who, despite believing all the same crazy shit as the old evangelicals, is supposed to be markedly different from Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and other fire-breathing loons. On the other hand, judging by his predictable reaction (blaming it on teaching evolution in public schools) to the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, maybe he isn't.
In May 2021, Warren made some headlines by actually ordaining three women pastors to Saddleback Church, despite a ban on female pastors being official policy of the Southern Baptist Convention since 2000 (a sign of the "conservative resurgence" that slowly took over the SBC in the 1980s and 1990s). Since the mere idea of a women speaking in church in a leadership role outraged SBC leaders like seminary President Al Mohler, Saddleback Church (along with 5 other churches) were kicked out of the SBC on February 2023. In June 2023, Warren issued on social media an "apology to Christian women" for failing to "speak up" on their behalf during what Warren called his prior "years of ignorance".
- Rick Warren is a lying ghoul. Pharyngula, 20 July 2012.
- SantaFeMarie, Rick Warren links Aurora shooting to teaching evolution. UPDATE: he has pulled the offending tweet. Daily KOS, 21 July 2012.
- "Pastor Rick Warren’s final Saddleback Church sermon is a lot like his first one in 1980" by Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 2022 August 29
- "Saddleback Church just ordained three women as pastors. The Southern Baptist Convention says only men should be." by Bob Smietana, Washington Post, 2021 May 11
- Rick Warren, The Purpose Driven Life. Zondervan, 2002, ISBN 9780310803065.
- Rick Warren: Aurora shooting the fault of evolution
- "How did Saddleback get kicked out of the SBC? It’s complicated." by Bob Smietana, Religion News Service, 2023 February 24
- "My biggest regret in 53 years of ministry is that I didn’t do my own personal exegesis sooner on the 4 passages used to restrict women", Rick Warren (@RickWarren), Twitter, 2023 June 10, archived on 2023 June 11