As a gay man, I’ve been bothered by President-elect Obama’s choice of a blatant bigot to lead the invocation at the inauguration ceremony next week. As a Christian man, I’ve been bothered by the thought of someone like Rick Warren praying to the God of Creation on the nation’s behalf. (As an American man, I’m not so sure why we have invocations at government ceremonies anyway, but that’s a whole other issue.)
Today I have new reason to fear Rick Warren. I use the word “fear” on purpose, because it actually sends a chill up my spine. It should do the same to you.
The reason is the following video of a speech given by Rick Warren on April 17, 2005, found through the Box Turtle Bulletin and originally posted today by Bruce Wilson over at the Huffington Post. Watch the video (published by the New Apostolic Reformation Research Team), read Wilson’s article, then come back here for a bit more from me.
Here we have Warren invoking Lenin, Mao, and Hitler as prime examples of passionate leadership and requiring a stadium full of his followers to emulate theirs. I guess those three leaders did know how to work a crowd into a lather pretty good, but I’m surprised at a Christian preacher going to those three for leadership examples rather than Gandhi, King, and I don’t know, this one guy named JESUS.
It’s surprising and a bit frightening that Warren chooses to pattern himself after Lenin, Mao, and Hitler when he has so many others to choose from. Those three required blind, feverish, rabid dedication from their followers and so does Warren. Scary.
Wouldn’t you agree, President-elect Obama? Four days left to fix your mistake.
(I’ll have more to say on another part of the speech, specifically the “Whatever it takes” bit, which is frightening in itself. Look for that tomorrow.)