Rick Warren: HIV/AIDS Activist

UPDATE 1/9/09– More RIck Warrens anti-activism.

When I found out yesterday that Rick Warren was speaking at Obamas inauguration, I was pretty grossed out. Grossed out, and confused. Obama and Warren appear to be polar opposites… but whatever. Its Obamas party, he can invite whoever he wants.

I didnt care.

Until I read how Obama was justifying this decision:

Pastor Rick Warren has a long history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, the President-elect recently addressed Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to salute Warren’s leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and pledge his support to the effort in the years ahead.

…waaaaaaaaat?

Warren started ‘caring’ about HIV in 2005. December 2005. A good 25 years after the HIV epidemic began. For fucks sake, Ive been a full-time HIV researcher longer than Warren has given a crap about HIV.

Starting a website on how evangelicals should deal with the homoplague HIV/AIDS three years ago doesnt mean you have ‘devoted your life’ to shit, nor are you a ‘leader’ of shit.

Warren has ‘devoted his life’ to a radical branch of Christianity. He is a ‘leader’ of a radical branch of Christianity.

He doesnt care about HIV patients.

He cares about winning souls for Zombie Jesus.

“Oh ERV!” you dear readers might chide, “It took him a while, but hes coming around! Hes done so much good energizing the evangelical base to help HIV/AIDS patients! Dont be so cynical!”

The ‘good’ Warren does for HIV is the same ‘good’ all radical theists provide: misinformation and proselytization.
How to S.T.O.P AIDS

While condoms are easily accessible in the United States, it is reported that the average African man will see no more than 5 or 6 condoms in his life. The solution to the AIDS pandemic is not to “condomize” the world. Besides giving a false sense of security to the user, they have a limited shelf-life due to heat, poor manufacturing, etc., and they require a man’s cooperation. But the main reason not to depend on condoms as the ultimate solution is because of the possibility of behavior change.

Supplying condoms indiscriminately does not promote the positive behavior changes that only the church has the moral authority to suggest. AIDS is nearly a 100 percent behaviorally-driven illness; we know how it is spread and we know how to prevent it, and while condoms have a place in prevention, we believe a more biblical approach is to encourage sexual purity before marriage and mutual faithfulness in marriage afterwards.

From 2005:

Ministering to those poor African women and babies. Saving the souls of those sinnin’ colored men.

Fuck homos, unless they turn straight.

Obama, your religious beliefs are your own. As long as you arent saying Baby Jesus came to you in a vision and told you to invade Iraq, or forcing women to wear burkhas cause Mohameds got a raging boner, I dont care.

But a BIG “FUCK YOU, OBAMA” for calling Rick ‘Sweaty Bread Dough’ Warren a ‘leader’ in HIV/AIDS advocacy.

Fuck. You.

Comments

  1. #1 Bayesian Bouffant, FCD
    December 18, 2008

    For fucks sake, Ive been a full-time HIV researcher longer than Warren has given a crap about HIV.

    What are you saying? Would you like to give the invocation?

  2. #2 ERV
    December 18, 2008

    I was the speaker at my high school baccalaureate.

  3. #3 MattK
    December 18, 2008

    Pathetic Canadian Obama envy …fading…fading…

    Seriously though, I don’t know anything about Warren and I haven’t read the Purpose Driven Life (why would I?). The fact that he even admitted that condoms have a place in the fight against HIV/AIDS is a lot more then you’d get out of most other traditional religious leaders. It’s just not realistic to expect everybody to be a secular humanist all of a sudden. If he is helping to move the evangelical base towards a more pragmatic (and Christian) attitude (in other words making them a little less base), good for him. Isn’t this the sort of thing that Christians are supposed to be doing, helping those in need? Anyway, about Warren as a speaker, to me it seems like a pragmatic move. If Obama needs to get shit that needs to be done, done then he needs to have the support of a large majority of Americans, even ‘Murcans. It’s the whole political capital thing. So if he finds someone who the evangelical right listens to, and who is less distasteful than the other options, then maybe that is the best move. It’s not like he’s giving the guy a job. It’s just a speech.

    The other thing is that much of Africa is already very religious (most of sub-Saharan Africa is very Christian). I don’t think that Warren et al will change that situation much. I’m not going to try to say that I know what the best strategy there is. I will say I’m sure that it includes condoms. Nevertheless, a little abstinence never hurt anyone and there is plenty of work that needs to be done that evangelicals could do (and fund) that wouldn’t conflict with their anti-condom nonsense (care for AIDS orphans, funding schools and hospitals, funding treatment etc). Someone else can hand out the condoms. As long as their tactics do not undermine the broader strategy then there is probably more good then harm to come of it.

    I do agree though that 2 years as an HIV activist (=oportunistic preacher) does not a world HIV superfighter make. Yeah, Obama’s pilin’ the manure on this. Still, I say let the evangelicals do some good for once.

    Basically, I agree that it seems sketch but I don’t think it’s as bad as it looks.

  4. #4 Stacy S.
    December 18, 2008

    ‘ we believe a more biblical approach is to encourage sexual purity before marriage and mutual faithfulness in marriage afterwards.”

    Riiiiiiight. We all KNOW how well that ‘abstinence only’ approach works.

  5. #5 Paul Lundgren
    December 18, 2008

    I can think of all kinds of ways HIV/AIDS and gay rights organizations need to smear themselves all over Obama for this. He’s going to owe them big time for this screw-up, and they need to hold him to it.

  6. #6 Stacy S.
    December 18, 2008

    … But at least – John Holdren will be President Obama’s Science Advisor and Jane Lubchenco will head up President Obama’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admninistration (NOAA).

    Here’s John Holdren …
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyKaLnzAtzc
    Here’s Jane Lubchenco …
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ht7CrJwbl7U

    This on the heels of him appointing Steve #75.

    Warren won’t have any input – he is just trying to make the masses feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

  7. #7 buck a fuck
    December 18, 2008

    He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis

    “For fucks sake” as you say so well, Obama’s statement separated devoting his “life” to doing good works for the poor, NOT for AIDS activism, that was stated in the present tense.

    Starting a website on how evangelicals should deal with the homoplague HIV/AIDS three years ago doesnt mean you have ‘devoted your life’ to shit, nor are you a ‘leader’ of shit

    Again oh shitter thrower, your aim is off on that language, which I think Obama chose carefully and didn’t say what you imply.

    In any event, although your panties are in a bunch over this and for the most part I support bunchen’em up over faith head stupidity, I’d say he wasn’t mis-characterized about how LONG he “cared” about HIV/AIDS by Obama.

  8. #8 Frasque
    December 18, 2008

    In a nation full of them, Obama couldn’t find one faith-sufferer to give the invocation who wasn’t a drooling homophobe? Disappointing.

  9. #9 chris
    December 19, 2008

    Frasque:

    No, he couldn’t. There aren’t any that are both committed political christians and not totally homophobic, and none that come remotely close to having both qualities that have any sway in among the more religiously deluded of our compatriots. In fact, it seems remarkable to me that he managed to find a preacher that thinks political christianity should include anything aside from homophobia and general sexual repression and even more remarkable that they are things like social justice and environmentalism. Do we have any reason to believe at this point that the plan is anything other than to have warren get up in front of all his followers on the national stage and speak politely to and about a guy who’s getting ready to repeal DADT, etc instead of flinging shit and molotov cocktails, and then have Obama get up and say something along the lines that we disagree vehemently about a lot of things, but we agree about a few, so we ought sit down like big people and advance those causes.

    I came up in Arkansas so I got more than my fair share of evangelical bullshit and I hate these fucking people more than anybody, but I gotta say the reaction on the left seems pretty stupid. The point is that they found a main stream christian politician with any redeeming qualities whatsoever. Either run with that and try to encourage any larval good habits the opposition may have or do away with the invocation altogether.

    /finals induced run-on tantrum. sorry

  10. #10 douglas
    December 19, 2008

    i dont mind the choice. i see it as just a way to bridge gaps towards the right by way of some prayer, which basically doesnt do anything anyway. calm them down a little- earlier better than later. as i saw in excerpt from a creationist propaganda from the amazing “why do people laugh at creationists” series on youtube, “you have to get behind them before you can stab them in the back,” or another favorite phrase “you can do more damage from the inside.” I’m not exactly sure how obama truly feels about many social issues so i guess we’ll just have to see how he goes about actually addressing gay rights, hiv/aids research, etc… i do hope this isnt an actual omen but more of a carrot for the crazies

  11. #11 CRS
    December 19, 2008

    @#9:

    I am also from AR originally. But I am also a gay man with HIV, and this really roasts my chestnuts. Calling Warren mainstream betrays the AR mindset. Warren is NOT mainstream. (Though it’s all batshit crazy to me.) He is a fake-smiling Fundamentalist who has admitted that he and James Dobson have similar views, but a different “tone”.
    I should probably buy my ticket for Canada now. I can feel my disappointment in the administration already. Sad.

  12. #12 Jon
    December 19, 2008

    As much as I think this is a completely retarded choice, I just wanted to say some of your reasoning is wrong for hating on his reply.

    “He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis.”

    He compounded that sentence, in a grammatical sense Rick Warren didn’t devote his life to addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis, he devoted his life to performing good works for the poor. He simply LEADS the evangelical movement, which I suppose is true (not saying much because the evangelical movement isn’t addressing shit in this crisis).

    Jus’ sayin.

  13. #13 Ktesibios
    December 19, 2008

    the main reason not to depend on condoms as the ultimate solution is because of the possibility of behavior change.

    WTF? I mean W. T. fucking fuck?

    If you can persuade men that routinely using condoms is the thing to do, isn’t that behavior change? in and of itself?

  14. #14 Richard Wolford
    December 19, 2008

    If you can persuade men that routinely using condoms is the thing to do, isn’t that behavior change? in and of itself?

    Yes, but it’s not the behavior they want; they want you to remain perfectly pure (i.e. a virgin) until you get married, because after all marriage fixes everything. What’s better than two virgins in bed trying to figure out what goes where and if it goes there, do you need to get permission from her first?

    It actually reminded me of some lingerie I saw several years ago. It was a black g-string, but on the back at th top there was a condom holder. I thought it was pretty good in that it mixed sexy with safe-sex; the message was somewhat similar to “if you’re seeing this, you’re gonna need this”. So behaviors can change in that regards to make people safer, but the church has moral objections to it.

    In other words, the church makes no fucking sense at all.

  15. #15 catgirl
    December 19, 2008

    Darn those hemophiliacs, rape victims, and babies born to HIV-positive mothers for not changing their behavior to avoid HIV infection!

  16. #16 minimalist
    December 19, 2008

    And yet, when Rick Warren’s cholesterol-hardened arteries seal off completely and he collapses face-down in his third pie of the night, his flailing arms scattering a plate (atop which sat a T-bone, once a scaffolding for 16 ounces of medium-rare red meat, stripped completely clean) and a half dozen empty martini glasses…

    …the heart attack will, of course, just be “God’s will”, and not a “consequence of sinful behavior”.

    Fat self-righteous bastard.

  17. #17 Sili
    December 20, 2008

    Meh. I just hope he’s trying to placate the proles.

    I prefer to think that we now have a chip on our table when the fundies try to critique PEBO’s policies:

    “Oh yeah? Well, if Obama is sooooo wrong, why does your beloved pastor Warren support him? If condoms/gay marriage/CO2 sequestration is good enough for this man of God, what does that make you? An agent of Satan?”

  18. #18 Bill Walker
    December 20, 2008

    AIDS is gods solution to the population explosion. he decided that atomic war was a ‘bit much’.

  19. #19 Tyler DiPietro
    December 20, 2008

    “AIDS is gods final solution to the population explosion.”

    Fixed.

  20. #20 David Lyons
    December 22, 2008

    Obama said that Warren “devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis.” “And” is a conjunction that joins two discrete verbs–”devoted” and “leads”– and their respectiv objects–”good works for the poor” and “evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis.”

    Obama did not say that Warren has devoted his life to “giving a crap” about HIV/AIDS.

    It helps to read all of the words in the right order, asshat.

  21. #21 ERV
    December 22, 2008

    Pastor Rick Warren has a long history of activism on behalf of the disadvantaged and the downtrodden. He’s devoted his life to performing good works for the poor and leads the evangelical movement in addressing the global HIV/AIDS crisis. In fact, the President-elect recently addressed Rick Warren’s Saddleback Civil Forum on Global Health to salute Warren’s leadership in the struggle against HIV/AIDS and pledge his support to the effort in the years ahead.

    It helps to read all of the words in the right order, asshat.

  22. #22 Rrr
    December 22, 2008

    Hmm… Daniel Lyons, Daniel Lyons… where did I read that name? Maybe it was descriptive, somehow?

  23. #23 Daniel
    December 22, 2008

    Independent of the Obama invocation controversy, it saddens me–no, it *angers* me–that such a large demographic will look towards someone so notoriously backwards as Rick Warren and hail him as a revolutionary in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention and eradication research…

    …while not only ignoring, but forcefully blocking the actions of biomedical researchers, healthcare workers, and sociologists who actually have a prayer in hell of making significant progress.

    It’s just sick, sick, sick how people put their faith and trust in the ramblings of money-hungry megalomaniacs while slicing the tongues of the proven experts.

  24. #24 Shaden Freud
    December 23, 2008
  25. #25 David Lyons
    December 23, 2008

    I guess you missed this part of your own screed, to which I was, fairly obviously, responding:

    “Starting a website on how evangelicals should deal with the homoplague HIV/AIDS three years ago doesnt mean you have ‘devoted your life’ to shit, nor are you a ‘leader’ of shit.”

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

  26. #26 Matt Heath
    December 23, 2008

    Just to link together a couple of recent erv themes: Rick Warren hates bloggers, thinks they should get lives (video).

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