My husband told me today that Pastor Rick Warren, author of The Purpose Driven Life and head of the conservative Saddleback church, was backing Barack Obama for president. I gave a holler of jubilation.
Unfortunately, my husband appears to be misinformed.
I got online and tried digging around to find the actual news story. It's not out there. Alas. What I did find was that there was a huge hullabaloo last December when Obama spoke at a conference at Saddleback about AIDS. He was called by conservatives "evil" and "against Christ." Their largest outcry, of course, was that he voted in support of legal abortions. Next in line was his support of gay marriage. Well, call me evil, too, then.
Several articles I read cried out that abortion is the biggest moral issue we face today. Abortion? Really? Not war? Not poverty? Not corruption among our elected officials? Not allowing millions to suffer and die due to lack of access to health care? Not homelessness? Not greed? Not child abuse? Not failing education systems?
Why is it that this ONE thing trumps all others?
As a liberal Christian, I struggle with the idea of abortion. Therefore it is not, frankly, a deciding factor for me. I think that most people who support legalized abortion (which I think is different than "supporting abortion") feel strongly about working towards better education and opportunities in an attempt to lesson the number of abortions.
It is infuriating to me that people will get so hung up on one issue, and fail to see a bigger picture.
Rick Warren is a pretty conservative guy, and I don't always agree with him. He also has some really great theological points to make. But I admire him most for breaking against the conservative mold to speak out against the AIDS crisis and for allowing a liberal Democrat to speak at his church (not to his congregation, but to a conference, Warren points out), and defending his decision to do so.
Now if only he would actually stand behind Obama for the presidential race. That would be amazing.