Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rick Warren Update 3


Well, why not? Because it is interesting. Because sometimes it is good for the soul to see the other point of view.

I noted Warren’s comparison of gay marriage to paedophilia, and incest, (and he compared it to polygamy, which puzzled me, as I am African!)

There is this lesbian lady defending him. Has some very thought provoking words. Who? Mellissa Ethelridge.

"I hadn't heard of Pastor Rick Warren before all of this. When I heard the news, in its neat little sound bite form that we are so accustomed to, it painted the picture for me. This Pastor Rick must surely be one hate spouting, money grabbing, bad hair televangelist like all the others. He probably has his own gay little secret bathroom stall somewhere, you know. One more hater working up his congregation to hate the gays, comparing us to pedophiles and those who commit incest, blah blah blah. Same 'ole thing. Would I be boycotting the inauguration? Would we be marching again?

Well, I have to tell you my friends, the universe has a sense of humor and indeed works in mysterious ways. As I was winding down the promotion for my Christmas album I had one more stop last night. I'd agreed to play a song I'd written with my friend Salman Ahmed, a Sufi Muslim from Pakistan. The song is called "Ring The Bells," and it's a call for peace and unity in our world. We were going to perform our song for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, a group of Muslim Americans that tries to raise awareness in this country, and the world, about the majority of good, loving, Muslims. I was honored, considering some in the Muslim religion consider singing to be against God, while other Muslim countries have harsh penalties, even death for homosexuals. I felt it was a very brave gesture for them to make. I received a call the day before to inform me of the keynote speaker that night... Pastor Rick Warren. I was stunned. My fight or flight instinct took over, should I cancel? Then a calm voice inside me said, "Are you really about peace or not?"

I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say "In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him." They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn't sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife's struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine."

We are human beings, us gay people. And we do have differences of opinion. Sometimes, many times, they get ultra heated!

Checking out Eruptions from the Volcano- on the Rick Warren issue and what it means to many american kuchus, I came across this post. It was an interesting attempt to explain the anger that we gay people express. Like the issue that African Americans seem to be realy angry, in relation to race issues in America, gay people, including myself, sometimes seem to have an abiding and deep anger. The writer gets to the point of putting some of my thoughts into words here.

Something the Ssempas and Rick Warrens, and Nsaba Buturo's will fail to understand.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I don't think that Melissa recognises a "snake-oil salesman" when she see him. See

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