The Islamic Post Blog

Choice of Rick Warren for Inauguration Breaks the Mold by Khalida
January 2, 2009, 6:48 am
Filed under: Front Page News, January Volume I- 2009, National, Religion

By Muhammad Ahmad

Islamic Post Staff Writer

Rights activists are angered by President-Elect Barack Obama’s choice of Dr. Rick Warren, of Saddleback Church, in California, to deliver the formal invocation at his inauguration. Reverend Warren discourages his congregation from straying from Biblical teachings.
While the reverend does not ban homosexuals and adulterers from his congregation, he does preach a moral restraint from desires that are counterproductive to society. Saddleback Church also has a program called, “Celebrate Recovery,” which offers counseling similar to the 12-step format that the addiction recovery program, ‘Alcoholics Anonymous‘, uses. ‘Celebrate Recovery’ is for alcoholics and those who struggle with addiction to drugs, but is also geared to helping others “overcome their hurts, habits and hang-ups.” This includes those who are victims, or perpetrators, of abusive behavior, as well as those who have sexual preferences condemned in sacred texts. The recovery program claims to use the “words of Jesus rather than psychological theory” to assist people to “grow toward full Christ-like maturity,” and claims tens of thousands of participants to have benefited from the program.
Pope Benedict XVI has also seen fit to reason with the homosexual community. Last month, in an address to senior Vatican officials he said: “What is often expressed and signified with the word ‘gender’ leads to the human auto-emancipation from creation and from the Creator. The human being wants to make himself on his own and to decide always and exclusively by himself about what concerns him.”
“But, in so doing, the human being lives against the truth and against the Spirit creator. Rain forests deserve, yes, our protection but the human being – as a creature which contains a message that is not in contradiction with his freedom, but is the condition of his freedom – does not deserve it less.”
Muslims believe that by pondering creation, humans can arrive at a conclusion about the Almighty Creator’s plan for mankind. Religious people of all stripes find it amazing that as scientists quote Newton’s third law of chemistry, “For every action, there is a reaction,” few apply the same law to all aspects of their lives. For every good deed, there is recompense; for every sin, likewise, there is repercussion. In a way it can be said, that mankind is punishing itself by its deeds. The evil of amassed sins returns in the form of earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, fires, war, bloodshed, and sweeping pandemics like AIDS. Reverend Warren would not address such grim issues, on such a joyous occasion as the inauguration.
President-Elect Barack Obama defended his selection by reminding the media that everyone in America has a right to differ from the next person and also voice their opinion.
Update: Rev. Warren spoke at Muslim Public Affairs Council in late December, noting his love for Muslims and his desire to work together with the Muslim community to solve some of the moral and medical problems that surround the world today.  “If just the two of us could get together to start working on some of these problems, that would be half the world!… We have differences. So what. Does it mean we cannot work with one another? Does it mean we cannot love each other?”


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