Rick ‘Bearing False Witness’ Warren: What he really said on gays, pedophilia, incest

Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church, gave a message to his congregants recently. He addressed the controversy over the invite he received to lead the inaugural invocation.

Addressing his repeated comparisons of gay relationships with incest and pedophilia, Warren said (quick, paraphrased transcript):

…what do you really believe about gay marriage? Let me just lay it out for you, my members. My views have not changed in 30 years. I’ve been accused of equating gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia. I believe no such thing. You’ve never heard me in 30 years talk like that.

I’ve in no way ever taught that homosexuality is the same as a forced relationship between an adult and child or between siblings. I’ve never taught that in 30 years. I understand why people think that because of a recent BeliefNet interview. In that interview I named several other relationships such as living together, a man with multiple wives, a brother and a sister relationship, adults with children or common-law relationships. I don’t think any of them should be called marriage. There should only be one definition: one man, one woman.

Now, for the facts. This is what Warren really said:

BELIEFNET: What about partnership benefits in terms of insurance or hospital visitation?

WARREN: You know, not a problem with me.

[Clarification from Pastor Warren 12/15: I favor anyone being able to make anyone else the beneficiary of their health or life insurance coverage. If I am willing to pay for it, I should be able to put a friend, partner, relative, or stranger on my coverage. No one should be turned away from seeing a friend in the hospital. But visiting rights are a non-issue in California! Since 1999, California has had a domestic partnership law that grants gay couples visiting rights and all the other rights. Prop 8 had no -zero -effect on those rights.]

The issue to me, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to redefinition of a 5,000 year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister being together and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.

BELIEFNET: Do you think those are equivalent to gays getting married?

WARREN: Oh , I do. For 5,000 years, marriage has been defined by every single culture and every single religion – this is not a Christian issue. Buddhist, Muslims, Jews – historically, marriage is a man and a woman.

Does Pastor Rick Warren suddenly think the Ninth Commandment doesn’t apply to him? Bearing false witness is bad thing, Pharisee — ooops…. I mean, Pastor.

In the same message to his congregation, Warren said (quick, paraphrased transcript):

I believe God gives us free choice… I believe I must give everyone else that same freedom of choice. I’m opposed to forcing people to act the way I believe God wants me to act.

Oh, really? If that’s so, you should have no problem with civil unions or gay marriage. You know, since you don’t want to force other people to believe the same thing you do or anything. Or, do you just get to set your own rules?


  1. Warren supported Prop. 8. — Forces gay people to not marry, i.e. act the way Warren thinks they should act.
  2. Warren does not support civil unions (“No American should ever be discriminated against because of their beliefs. Period. But a civil union is not a civil right. Nowhere in the constitution can you find the “right” to claim that any loving relationship identical to marriage.” src) — Warren to gays, “Act they way I believe you should.”
  3. Warren told NBC’s Anne Curry he believes gay people should “control their natural impulses” and refrain from having committed, monogamous relationships. After, all, he controls his natural impulse to have sex with every beautiful woman he sees, he said.

At the end of his message to his congregation, Warren sounds nice. He talks about love and kindness, and I have no doubt he might be inclined to actually live out that love and kindness among gay people. BUT, that doesn’t change the fact that he is a liar. What makes it worse is that he’s actually contemplated and pre-meditated his lies. All in the name of God.

Part of that whole “Do not take my name in vain” thing applies to people who use God’s name to further their own agendas. Using God’s name to lie, or invoking his name during your sins, is just as immoral as lying. It’s a shame America’s most well-known preachers can never live by the own laws they try to impose on everyone else. Wait… I thought that’s what Jesus was fighting against? Oh well. Pharisee Rick will never see that.

18 Responses to “Rick ‘Bearing False Witness’ Warren: What he really said on gays, pedophilia, incest”
  1. Allyson Robinson says:

    On a minor note, Warren has already shown himself not to be above bending the truth past the breaking point to make himself look “reasonable” on LGBT issues.

    In a CNN.com story, he countered the charge of homophobia with the now infamous “water and doughnuts” comment: “Of course not. I have always treated them with respect. When they come and wanna talk to me, I talk to ’em.” That was clearly not Soulforce XD Jeff Lutes’ experience. After making a commitment weeks in advance to meet with Jeff and the other American Family Outing families earlier this year, Warren ultimately snubbed them. (See Jeff’s post on Bilerico from 12/19/08.)

  2. Matt says:

    Thanks Allyson. The link to Jeff’s Bilerico post is here, if anyone is interested in reading it.

  3. Eye's Wide Open says:

    When thief meets a saint – all he sees are pockets and not the saint. (Arabic saying) Perhaps, your rational is clouded by your desires, after all – all that YOU see, and touch is but yourself and not the other. It is not Warren but God – who judges but than again, you wouldn’t be able to see that either!

  4. Matt says:

    Eyes Wide… Warren is hardly a “saint.” Saints don’t lie on purpose and with pre-meditated intent, all while using God’s name to shore it up.

    Perhaps, your rational is clouded by your desires, after all – all that YOU see and touch is but deception and lies from men who line their pockets using God’s words and deceit. It is not me, but God, who judges liars and pharisees like Warren but then again, you wouldn’t be able to see that either!

  5. Eye's Wide Open says:

    Matt, you may want to turn that camera around for a change and look at the stuff your hiding! Good luck to your re procreation of the species.

  6. Matt says:

    “Good luck to your re procreation of the species.”

    Do you tell infertile people that? Do you tell that to people who’ve been unmarried for life?

    Our only purpose on this earth CAN NOT be summed up in procreation. God has many purposes for each and every person, and each purpose is different.

  7. Eye's Wide Open says:

    No not at all but I also don’t tell them to go out and find their joy in inordinate affections. Do you?

  8. Matt says:

    My future, committed and monogamous relationship with the man I love isn’t inordinate to me.

    Again… Perhaps, your rational is clouded by your desires, after all – all that YOU see and touch is but deception and lies from men who line their pockets using God’s words and deceit. It is not me, but God, who judges liars and pharisees like Warren but then again, you wouldn’t be able to see that either!

  9. Eye's Wide Open says:

    You are the fulfillment of Bible prophesy that there is a time coming when right will be wrong and wrong will be right. But it is your right and I wish you joy and peace.

  10. Matt says:

    That’s some audaciousness Eyes Wide. On a post that calls out a pastor for lying… with the evidence laid out for all to see… you say I am the one proving “right will be wrong and wrong will be right”? Wow. I didn’t know just how delusional you were.

  11. Eye's Wide Open says:

    Many fit that description Matt – the question is do you see it of yourself as well?

  12. Matt says:

    I think it is curious spending your time trying to blast me, when it is the “Man of God” who is actively using God’s name to perpetrate lies.

    But… I actually have a life and a job outside my blog here. If all you want to do is go back and forth with cutesy little one-liners, I’ll really have to excuse myself from the conversation and get on with the rest of my day.


  13. tom says:

    Of course he lied.
    He’s a born-again Christian.

  14. TampaZeke says:

    Matt, the Bible also says that only a fool tries to reason with a fool. Don’t waste wise words on a fool because he is not only unwilling but unable to hear you. Turn and walk away.

    It’s in Proverbs somewhere.

    I think “Eyes Wide Open” fits the bill. Don’t waste your words on him. He’s not here to listen or to consider what you say with an open mind.

  15. Matt says:

    Tom… I’m a born-again Christian… and gay. Not all Christians are like Rick Warren.

    Bigotry and prejudice can cut both ways.

  16. Jeff Barea says:

    Actually TampaZeke, the Bible in two verses (one following the other – and forgive my memory if the verses are not verbatim according to the KJV):

    Answer not a fool according to his folly lest thou also be like unto him. (So you are correct, but let’s explore the next verse).

    Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit (Hurray for my Bible School memories).

    The commonly accepted (among the evangelicals I rode with) meaning is that there are times to speak out and expose fools who are fooling others with their silver tongues.

    Then there are times when the fool is so obvious to everyone that arguing with him simply diminishes you.

    Rick Warren is sweet talking everyone, so now is actually the time to expose the fool.

  17. MiloThePoet says:

    Lev 20:13
    “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.”
    God is never changing – once an abomination always an abomination.

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