Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Black Bishop Rips Episcopal Lesbian Leader for her Views of Rick Warren and Intolerance

News Analysis

By David W. Virtue

A leading Black African Bishop, the founder and Chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC) and senior pastor of the 3,000-member Hope Christian Church in Washington, D.C., ripped the lesbian leader of the Episcopal Church's Integrity organization describing her condemnation of Dr. Rick Warren as "intolerant" and typical of the Left's "mischaracterization" of the views of the Saddleback pastor.

Bishop Harry R. Jackson butted heads with the Rev. Susan Russell on FOX News Channel. In a Sunday segment subtitled "President-elect Obama under fire for inviting Rick Warren to speak at Inauguration.", Jackson said that Russell slandered Warren's name in order "to advance their cause and their PR and wanting to sound tolerant about being so aggressive."

Jackson, who was named one of the top 50 most influential Christians in 2005 by the Christian Post, believes that the church and its leaders must lead the way to protect America's moral compass and heal the nation. A transcript of the " Fox News Sunday" segment on the controversy over President-elect Obama's invitation to Pastor Rick Warren to offer the invocation at his January 20th Inauguration appeared on Russell's blog:

Bishop Jackson: This controversy is a clear example of just how intolerant the gay community is about anyone they disagree with. They've mischaracterized what they've said about Rick Warren. He was not calling gay people pedophiles or anything of that nature and they've been putting out a false story for PR purposes.

MODERATOR: Joining us now on the phone is the Reverend Susan Russell, a priest at All Saints Episcopal Church in California where Prop 8 has been a hotly contested issue. What say you about the invitation to Pastor Warren to speak?

REVEREND RUSSELL: I think it's an unfortunate choice, I think it's a disappointing choice. As I said in my open letter to the President-elect, I applaud -- I applaud. -- his efforts to bring the evangelicals back to the table.-I think that's exactly the sort of post-partisan leadership we're looking for in our president-elect, but we could have done better than Rick Warren.

And I want to rebut your guest. This is not about gay intolerance. This about pointing out that Rick Warren as a pastor has compared a woman's right to choose to the Holocaust, who doesn't believe in evolution, he has said that the Bible would condone the assassination of the President of Iran. These are ideas that are way outside the mainstream of American religious thought.

What I'm saying is rather than seeing gays as being "intolerant," we're serving as the canary in the coal mine saying we deserve better - the American people deserve better - and if you're going to ask someone to pray a blessing on America on Inauguration Day, please select someone who speaks for all Americans.

MODERATOR: Bishop Jackson?

BISHOP JACKSON: Well, I think this is part of the PR spin. Your guest is mischaracterizing the statements of Rick Warren. He is the new Billy Graham. He represents American. The Purpose Driven Life ... everybody knows ...has sold multiple millions of copies ... and he's given millions of dollars to help people who are HIV/AIDS ... he is not intolerant ... he's helped the gay community. I just resent that they're slandering his name to advance their cause and their PR and they want to sound tolerant about being so aggressive.

MODERATOR: Let me point something out to both of you. Last night, Rick Warren spoke for a gathering of Muslims in Southern California - about 800 there. Melissa Etheridge opened up the event, performing there as well, and she of course is openly gay. She went on to say that Pastor Rick Warren is a great guy, someone that she enjoys talking to despite their differences. President-elect Barack Obama has said the same thing.

And then [Warren] also gave a quote here. He said, "Let me just get this over very quickly. I love Muslims, and for the media's purposes I happen to love gays and straights." He said people ask him what he prays for when it comes to the President-elect Obama and he said (quote): "I pray for the president the same things I pray for myself: integrity, humility and compassion." Reverend Russell, what's wrong with that?

REVEREND RUSSELL: There's nothing wrong with that. Our issue is, we want to see the actions meet the words. This is a person, Pastor Warren, who preaches family values and practices discrimination against gay and lesbian families. This is someone who fundraised and advocated to take civil rights away from California regarding civil marriage. We want to see the actions that meet the words and what we're asking is that rather than Rick Warren, the President-elect should look at evangelicals like Tony Campolo or ...

MODERATOR: Reverend Russell, we're running out of time here. I understand your point -- point well taken.

Bishop Jackson, I understand your point as well and of course it's up to the President-elect. He can choose who he wants to for the Invocation, and he says his choice is Rick Warren.

Russell is not the only pansexual proponent critical of President-elect Obama's choice. The openly homogenital Episcopal bishop of New Hampshire, Gene Robinson condemned Warren saying that the God Warren is praying to is not the God that he knows.

Washington Episcopal Bishop John Bryson Chane said he was "profoundly disappointed" by Obama's choice, accusing Warren of being "homophobic, xenophobic, and willing to use the machinery of the state to enforce his prejudices-even going so far as to support the assassination of foreign leaders."

Russell was angered and deflated by the recent passage of Prop 8 in California, vowing to push the California Supreme Court into reconsidering the issue."No one has the right to write their theology into our constitution," Russell said. This of course begs the question: If Prop 8 had lost, it would have been her pansexual theology written into the Constitution. Apparently, it is okay to write her version of theology into the California State Constitution, an apparently untenable position to most Californians.

The original article is here at VirtueOnline.

No comments: