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Rick Warren Reaches Out to Gene Robinson

By Jacqui Salmon
The Rev. Rick Warren, the conservative evangelical minister who will deliver the invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration, has extended an olive branch to Bishop V. Gene Robinson.

Robinson, an openly gay Episcopal bishop, had reacted angrily to the selection of Warren, who opposes gay marriage, calling it a "slap in the face." But then Robinson was selected this week to give the invocation at the inaugural opening ceremony at the Sunday afternoon concert on the Mall.

Today, Warren issued a statement praising Obama for selecting Robinson, saying the president-elect "has again demonstrated his genuine commitment to bringing all Americans of goodwill together in search of common ground. I applaud his desire to be the president of every citizen."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 14, 2009; 3:00 PM ET
Categories:  Inauguration Week  
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It would be great if everyone would take out their bibles and read those 5 or 6 verses on "homosexuality" in context with the whole book. You will find that God is most interested in people not being hurt by others. Check out the context of these verses. Homosexuality is always discussed in a dominating, pagan-worshiping or a rape type situation....not much different than the very types of violence found in heterosexuality. As for do not lie with a man as a man does with a women, just remember how women were "laid with", used and abused in the ancient world...neither man or woman are deserving of such "relationship"...sure no man would want that in a sexual encounter. So, for those that think they know so much about committed gay relationships, pay attention to your own marriages. Stop trying to overlay modern culture on ancient culture. It is so intellectually dishonest.

Posted by: swimlynx | January 20, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

This is a rather sad string of e-mails. All I see here from the christian crew is anger and hate with a goodly measure of self-righteousness thrown in. If any of you were to invite me to attend a service with you I would run the opposite direction as fast as possible.

This son of a Southern Baptist preacher sees here all the reasons to not join a denomination or a church; all the reasons to doubt everything christianity tries to teach. All of this anger and bile doesn't do anything to win converts in my mind. I remember my father always preaching that sin is sin and that in God's view they are not ranked but that "ALL have come short."

A last thought: everyone keeps talking about God and what he has said. Sorry, but in my view the Bible is a record of the folks who have claimed to be the People of God, not of God. Divinely inspired? Perhaps, but most assuredly not divinely dictated.

Posted by: TBOakland | January 19, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

As an update on the topic: Right as the concert began there were several technical difficulties. For a while the screens went blank and the speakers did not work. Most of te crowd did not even hear Rev. V. Gene Robinson’s benediction.

The crowd started shouting “Turn it up!” and “We can’t hear.” They raised their pointer fingers in the air to call attention to the sound difficulty. It was finally fixed, just as the "Reverend" finished his prayer. All that was heard, however, was “peace to all and amen.”

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 12:23 PM | Report abuse


ALL sex outside of marriage (homo- or heterosexual) is sin. What Bible are you reading?


You are speaking to me mainly? I am not a homosexual.

Posted by: JakeD | January 19, 2009 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Being gay is not a sin. Neither is being in a committed same-sex marriage. Some people cling to a particular interpretation of a few ambiguous lines of scripture to try to justify their anti-gay prejudice. It's still prejudice, and there is no justification for it.

Posted by: alivo | January 19, 2009 11:48 AM | Report abuse

My understanding of says in the bible that it is wrong for a man/man and woman/woman to be together. I am not saying they are going to hell, in the end we all meet are maker. No one lives forever.....How can you be a religious believer and be gay, knowing it is wrong and it says it in the Bible? I am mainly speaking to JakeD.. I have several friend that are gay or non believers and i dont judge them i love them. I dont hate Rick/Gene. Its hypocritical. To me it looks rebellious. The mom tells her son stay away from the dog, the boy doesnt listen and gets bit.. The bible is against homosexuals but the bishop wants to rebell and have same sex relationships. Whats the point?

Posted by: sbryson80 | January 18, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

The Bible is against homosexual relationships!! How can a man of Gods word be gay and lead the world in prayer? To me his faith is FAKE!!Why have a fake prayer? I guess to include all the people who dont who are the people going to pray to, themselves? but then that would be breaking a commandment "thou shall have no other gods before me". The people who dont believe are their own GODS. I am soooo confused. I am just in shock, me being a southern christian, hearing that Robinson will be giving prayer but it wont be "overtly christian" so the unbelievers can join in..wouldnt that make them mad? Do they really want to pray? I have so many questions and would appreciate answers from anyone. thank you

Posted by: sbryson80 | January 18, 2009 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Don't people read the Bible anymore?

The Bible tells us that we must not wear garments made from 2 kinds of material, yet people wear shirts made from a blend of polyester and cotton. They also wear undergarments with elastic bands.

The Bible tells us that we must not let 2 kinds of animals to breed, yet for centuries mules have been created by letting horses breed with donkeys.

The Bible tells us that we must not receive interest on money, yet many people have bank accounts. The banks lend, at interest, the money in those accounts.

Jesus himself forbids divorce, yet even pious Christians divorce and remarry different partners.

St. Paul tells us that women must not be permitted to speak in church, and that if they have a question, they should wait 'till they get home and ask their husbands. Yet, we even have woman preachers!!

St. Paul tells us that if people cannot abstain from sex that they should marry, but in general people whose romantic interest is limited to the same sex are not permitted to marry, even if they cannot abstain from sex.

Don't people read the Bible anymore?

Posted by: Russell5 | January 17, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

I find this amazing!. 1st - "Gays" have no business teaching any religion. Mr. Robinson is not a man of faith. As "GOD" has stated" - "A man who lays with a man is an abomination, and shall face condemnation" - WHY?? The sex act between (2) men is based on oral or anal contact,not a natural physical design for this act. The sex act between (2) women is based on oral or anal contact with syntheic devices, not a natural physical design. It is a distortion from natural relations between a man and woman that are married and blessed in the convenant of "GOD". Marriage between a man and woman is for creating children (souls) and teaching the values of "GOD" thru ten the commandments (ethics and morals).
WHY? The family is a strong union and lays the foundation for a strong moral and ethical society.
Without this value, society will collapse and destroy itself. History has proven this already!. Mr Warren is playing religion,politics and placing himself in a politically correct position. Is he committed to Jesus Christ, Obama or Mr Robinson?? Remember this always - we will die sooner or later,it will happen. "Jesus Christ" has made it perfectly clear - "ALL COME TO ME"! Mr Warren may want to re-think his faith and the bible. "GOD" has made it perfectly clear. "My word does not change".

Posted by: gwebster5858 | January 17, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

How shocking the bitter, toxic, vicious, judgemental antigay bigotry and hatred here all in the name of Christ. Christ himself is strictly New-Testament and he never said anything about gay people out of his own mouth.
Some of the most devout people as seen here, are some of the unkindest people ever. All they do is spew hatred from their words about a people they know nothing about.

Posted by: mmhoover1 | January 17, 2009 6:05 PM | Report abuse

peterpangloss, said:for at least understanding Jesus' message of unconditional love.
What Jesus would say regarding homosexuality, I do not know, but he surely wasn't in the business of condemning to hell those who didn't see things just his way.

Yes the Lord has unconditional love for mankind and wants that none should perish and is no respecter of persons..BUT..He said to REPENT or you will surely spend an eternity in hell without Him. You might want to read the Bible so you know what He said about homosexuality! You can start with Romans 1. Then read Leviticus 18:22 and 1 Cor. 6:18.

You and others misunderstand the Lord's words concerning the judging of others. Remember, the Lord said to be wise as serpents and gentle as doves. Again unless you study the Bible for yourself you cannot begin to understand what Christ said.

The problem with Warren's support of Robinson is simply that Robinson supports and encourages homosexuality in the name of God when God has made it very clear homosexuality is an abomination to Him. If you understood how the marriage of a man and woman mirrors the relationship of God and the church, you would begin to understand WHY homosexuality is such a serious sin in the eyes of God.

It's still a free country and we are still free to purchase and read a Bible. You might consider doing so if you are really after the truth.

Posted by: debbieguru | January 15, 2009 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Rick Warren should do what is right in GOD'S sight. Gene Robinson should do what is right in GOD'S sight, not be more concerned with what mankind thinks. (1st and Greatest Commandment: Love The LORD your GOD with all your heart, soul, mind. Both men would be wise to please GOD first. HE holds everyone's future.

Posted by: 1john518 | January 15, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

It's not what we think, it's what God thinks. God setup the laws (read the Old Testament), not you or me. Our opinions and beliefs are not Gods laws...just opinions.

If you don't like what God says about this issue, go argue with Him. If you don't believe in God, then argue with yourself since truth is relative to you. Your opinion does not transgress to anyone else in that case.

Posted by: newyorkesco | January 15, 2009 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone believe the Bible anymore when it states that God does not condone gay homosexuals nor their 'gay lifestyles'? Read 2 Peter 2:6,"And turning the cities of Sodomand Gomorrha into ashes condemned (them) with an overthrow, making (them) an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;".
Jesus did not go along with gay lifestyle either because he talks about the Sodom situation in Luke 17:29.
Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. Gene Robinson may be an Episcopal priest/bishop but he is as lost as a drunk in the gutter and needs to repent of his gay life activities, trust the Savior Jesus to save him from that sin. If he doesn't , he will get an inheritance of eternal condemnation in the lake of fire, away from the pressence of the thrice holy God.

Posted by: hbjonsmith | January 15, 2009 7:41 PM | Report abuse

Because of this sick action, Your heterosexual son's and daughters will now have to share rooms in the military with people of the same sex. You will now have people of the same sex looking at them as if they were the opposite sex. As long as Rick upholds this anti-christian leader instead of upholding the laws of God, then he is not saved and belongs to the church of Rick Warren and not of Jesus Christ.

Posted by: kchamberlain11 | January 15, 2009 7:26 PM | Report abuse


Pastor Rick is getting hit from both the left AND right. Given everything the left is upset with him about, please explain why you think he is a "corrupt priest"?!

Posted by: JakeD | January 15, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

Gay rights, abortion rights, etc. etc. Everyone wants their rights not to be stepped on. We don't want anyone telling us what to do, who we should be etc. GOD will not allow anyone to define who HE is, or Who HE can be. HIS existence doesn't depend on "if" we believe in HIM, either.
I have a question. What about GOD'S Rights? HE should/does have ultimate right and authority over everything. We have authority over who comes into our house; so HE has the right to set up The WAY to come into HIS House-(Jesus is HIS WAY)--that's respect. We can do what is right in our own sight (like the many examples in the Bible), but we will not be in charge of the consequences (consequences of wrong decisions are abundant thru out the Bible). GOD is in charge of consequences. So AcommonKing has it right. Here's wisdom: seek HIM while HE can be found, and anyone can find HIM "if" they seek HIM with their whole heart---a desire to know HIM.

Posted by: 1john518 | January 15, 2009 7:09 PM | Report abuse


Don't look now, but aren't you judging "Christians [that you now accuse of thinking they] have attained perfection"?

Posted by: JakeD | January 15, 2009 7:06 PM | Report abuse

Anybody's ears tingling?

2 Kings 20:21 KJVR And Hezekiah slept with his fathers: and Manasseh his son reigned in his stead.

2 Kings 21:9-12 KJVR ... and Manasseh seduced them to do more evil than did the nations whom the LORD destroyed before the children of Israel. (10) And the LORD spake by his servants the prophets, saying, (11) Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: (12) Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.


Corrupt Priest/Reprobate/Evil King

Posted by: o8sys | January 15, 2009 6:20 PM | Report abuse

The Gospel according St. Matthew, chapter 7:

1 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?
4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?
5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

I guess all you Christians have attained perfection, and are thus qualified to judge your fellow citizens. Although I disagree with you in other ways, kudos to you, jkbeaulieu1, for at least understanding Jesus' message of unconditional love.

What Jesus would say regarding homosexuality, I do not know, but he surely wasn't in the business of condemning to hell those who didn't see things just his way.

Posted by: peterpangloss | January 15, 2009 5:30 PM | Report abuse

If you guys think that Rick Warren wants anyone (homo- or heterosexual) to stay in sin, you are wrong.

Posted by: JakeD | January 15, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Jesus forgave the woman caught in adultery. Forgave His murderers from the cross. Washed the feet of Peter, even though He knew Peter was about to deny Him three times. And yet Rick Warren offers one word of praise for Obama and people are ready to throw him under the train.

How are we going to truly reveal Christ to the world? How are we going to open the eyes of the blind to the love of God? By acting in love, by allowing ourselves to be transformed by love. Some of you are so full of hate for your fellow man it is hard to understand how the love of God could be alive in you.

By praising Obama, Warren is loving the sinner, not the sin. There will be a time when a defense of truth will be needed, but not every reaction we have as Church needs to be one of fear, anger and disgust.

Yes, homosexuality is a sin and there is a great deal of brokenness in the Bishop. But he will only be made whole by the love of Christ. That is the only thing that will ever heal the brokenness we all have inside. The UNCONDITIONAL love of Christ.

So stop placing conditions on love. Love with conditions is not love it is control. Then maybe we can truly love the sinner while hating the sin.

Posted by: jkbeaulieu1 | January 15, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

JakeD, The Bible makes it very clear what God thinks of homosexuals. Jesus said nothing about hugging lepers and beggars. He healed many lepers and told us to care for the poor. He didn't say that about homosexuals. As a matter of fact, the Bible speaks of homosexuals and other sinners who repented and then followed Christ. They did not stay in their sin and follow Christ. Read your Bible Jake. You might finally know the truth.

Posted by: debbieguru | January 15, 2009 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Too bad Rick Warren didn't take the opportunity to take a polite and loving, but respectful, stand for Christ and remind Christians and pretend-Christian Barack Obama that while God loves the sinner, He abhors the sin of homosexuality.

And that Robinson's ascension in the Episcopal Church, as a homosexual, doesn't square with the Word of God.

Given, though, that we're now in the era of hyper-thin skin and political correctness gone wild, I realize that this is but a dream.

Posted by: 1legacy | January 15, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

I have strong feelings on one side of this issue, but I am willing to recognize that good people have a different opinion. Our president-elect, like him or not, wants us to respect each other again. What say we give it a try?

Posted by: peterpangloss | January 15, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I have little respect for Rick Warren. I consider him a "wide gate" Christian, the touchy, feely kind. He may be against abortion, and support traditional marriage, but even Harry Reid is against abortion. I wouldn't call him a Conservative, or a Christian. Don't let the title "Reverend" fool you.

Posted by: Boray1 | January 15, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I'm very can Rick Warren now teach the Sheep of his Church the Gospels as it has been ordained by God!/? Maybe the faith based initiatives, that the leaders of this nation have introduced has been wrong by causing the flood gates to open to those that seek to erode our Faith in God heritage.

Posted by: EDGYTEX | January 15, 2009 12:28 PM | Report abuse


Does Jesus say not to hug homosexuals? What about lepers or beggars?

Posted by: JakeD | January 15, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

At the very least, Pastor Rick reached out to this homosexual:

Posted by: JakeD | January 15, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Robinson won't be using a Bible either. Wonder why. What god does he serve? Clearly it isn't the God of the Bible and the Savior to the world. Warren should decide which side of the truth he is on and stick with it. Christ said not to waiver in your faith but I guess Warren didn't read that part of the Bible.

Posted by: debbieguru | January 15, 2009 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Does anyone catch the drift yet?Rick Warren is just another liberal celebrity preacher anointed by Oprah.He is designed to calm the heathen conservative,(normal)folks among us, under the guise of: Can't we all just get along? Symbolism over substance. He will probably wear a pink ribbon to the inaugural.

Posted by: oscar349 | January 15, 2009 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Bishop V. Gene Robinson has issues w/ GOD, not Rick Warren. God actually has issues w/ all of us, as He is the respector of NO man! Weigh Robinson's lifelong commitment to sin (as defined by God in His Word) and continuing PROUDLY in that sinful state, and you will surely see that the "slap in the face" is one that Robinson delivers up daily to my Lord and King, Jesus - and He has taken it so far, remembering before His Father to "...forgive them, they know not what they do." TIME IS SHORT, however! Much sooner than later, there will be no mercy left, having run its course and all pardons will be over. REPENT NOW, Bishop V. Gene Robinson, before He says, "I NEVER KNEW YOU" and returns the slap across YOUR face that you so richly deserve. See now His wonderful face, seek His loving gaze daily, not based on your own misunderstandings and misinterpretations of His HOLY Word, but on what is written - for it IS written (Rom. 1-2, Eph. 5:5, etc., not to mention Jude 1:4, where Robinson and his ilk are addressed directly). WAKE UP! This place isn't a game, it's a TEST. Choose NOW what kingdom you will be an eternal part of: Christ's (Life) or the World's (Death). Call upon His Holy Name and earnestly seek Him with ALL of your very being and He has promised that He will let you find Him. Wash yourself in His Blood, knowing yourself to be His forevermore, and the go forth and sin no more. Selah. Maranatha! Amen.

Posted by: ACommonKing | January 15, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Rick Warren has good will for all unless you're gay in which case you had better repent your natural feelings and suppress them which is quite a cruel joke. I would never ever in a million years consider Rick Warren a liberal. The liberals don't want him and his Yes on Prop h8 brethren.

Posted by: johnozed | January 15, 2009 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm lost. Exactly where did Mr. Warren reach?

Posted by: unclesmrgol | January 15, 2009 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Honestly, I do believe in turning the other cheek and all that, but Rev. Warren needs to let this dude know that his openly gay and openly self-serving interpretation of the Bible is a "slap in the face" to Christians around the world.

This Bishop is a walking, talking bi-polar schizophrenic. A gay bishop?

Maybe others feel all warm inside about Rev. Warren's olive branch. I for one felt two slaps in the face. Once from the Bishop and one from Rev. Warren's praise for Obama's choice of the bishop.

Posted by: roughboyrob | January 14, 2009 11:56 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, I do believe in turning the other cheek and all that, but Rev. Warren needs to let this dude know that his openly gay and openly self-serving interpretation of the Bible is a "slap in the face" to Christians around the world.

This Bishop is a walking, talking bi-polar schizophrenic. A gay bishop?

Maybe others feel all warm inside about Rev. Warren's olive branch. I for one felt two slaps in the face. Once from the Bishop and one from Rev. Warren's praise for Obama's choice of the bishop.

Posted by: roughboyrob | January 14, 2009 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Sounded more like he was praising Obama, rather than giving the reacharound to Robinson. And being the nitwit liberal that Warren is, this is about right.

Good for him.

As for the wonderfully post-partisan poseur Obama, once again he rewards the intolerant with PC goodies. Robinson whines about an actual Christian being invited to pray for our new President and this country, and Obama's puppeteers reward the intolerant queer with a toy for his boyfriend.

Ah, how wondrous is our new era of bipartisanship!

Posted by: hurtubises | January 14, 2009 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Ah, so he has before offered an olive branch to an openly gay religious figure? I guess this really shouldn't be news then. And I guess Mr. Warren is himself mistaken in specifically attributing this example of expanding good will to Obama, and applauding him for it (read the article).

Posted by: nodebris | January 14, 2009 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Rick Warren had "good will" for all, long before Obama came on the scene.

Posted by: JakeD | January 14, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Wow. It looks like that vile Mr. Obama is causing a contagion of good will and rapprochement to spread unchecked throughout the land. If we don't stop it now, our precious partisan acrimony may be at risk.

Posted by: nodebris | January 14, 2009 4:16 PM | Report abuse

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