Back in my days with Truth Wins Out, we liked to kick around this one anti-gay bigot called "Porno Pete" (not his baptismal name), until, as Thers would put it, it sort of became "unsportsmanlike" to mess with him. He, who made a name for himself by photographing fetish sex festivals and posting said pictures on his Jesus blog, who had his last hurrah when he was named as a "hate website" by the SPLC, and has continued to fade into further obscurity...why mess with him? The SPLC could remove him from their list in the same vein that shopping malls don't tend to list those kiosks that sell cell phone koozies in their directories, but I digress.
Anyway, Porno Pete has a one-man hate group called Americans for Truth, and I am willing to answer one very simple, stupid question he is axing regarding Rick Warren, the mega-church pastor who recently expressed regret for lending his support to California's Prop 8. Here is what is troubling the Porno Pete guy (lots of words ahead because apparently this "Christian News Network" doesn't know how to edit long bullshit quotes):
“[Warren] regrets that the statement got out wider than his church. To me, that’s incredible because he should be happy that he had influence outside of his church to the whole body of Christ in California — indeed, to people all over the state voting on the issue who look to him for guidance,” he said. “And so, that troubles me that he even says now that he wouldn’t make that video. … That’s saying that he does not want to be a leader on the homosexual ‘marriage’ issue.”
LaBarbera stated that he believes many pastors are becoming inward and exclusive about their beliefs, when they should be using their influence outside of the four walls of the church.
“[Warren] used the world ‘pontificate.’ You’re not pontificating. You’re putting your voice out there as a spiritual and moral leader, and that’s what pastors need to do,” he said. “They need to get outside of this mindset that I’m only allowed to talk to my church.”
“The question is, are Christian leaders self-segregating on the moral issues because they’re under the gun of the pro-gay culture?” LaBarbera asked.
He stated that the fear of man should never be an excuse to run from the Christian responsibility of publicly standing for truth.
“The homosexual activist never agonizes and says, ‘Wow, I don’t think I should talk beyond my group of homosexual activists,’” LaBarbera explained. “They’re pontificating all the time. They’re telling us what to think. They’re telling us that we’re bigots if we are against homosexuality, or even if we’re against same-sex ‘marriage’ now, they call you a bigot or a hatemonger or a homophobe.”
“I get the fact that [Warren] is under the gun by the homosexual lobby. We all get it,” he continued. “The homosexual lobby is aggressive and loud and vocal, and they want him to shut up about homosexuality being a sin, and they want him to conform to their ideology, but he can’t.”
I will offer two answers to this stupid question, one cynical and one more forgiving to Rick Warren, as I do not know Rick Warren and do not have firsthand information on how much of an asshole he is. Cynical answer goes first:
1. Rick Warren is a mega-church pastor with a national voice who grasps the concept that the fatness of his bank account runs directly concomitant to how much his message resonates with The American People, and Rick Warren, seeing the writing on the wall and knowing that The American People increasingly do not give a shit about the insipidly racist, homophobic and hateful ramblings of a dying-off breed of bigot, has decided to try to slowly step away from that message, for the sake of his Evangelical empire.
2. Same thing, but being nicer to Warren for whatever reason. Hi, former Christian here, one who knows The Book better than pretty much any Religious Right leader he's ever come across. There is this series of things in the Gospels, like "I will make you fishers of men" and "go, make disciples of all nations" and "For God so loved the world that ... whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life," and "DID I FUCKING STUTTER?", and if Rick Warren actually takes that shit seriously, he might, just maybe, be noticing that the only response normal educated human beings have to Religious Right homophobia and their other general bitterness, these days, is to recoil in horror and add their voices to the growing chorus of people who will never set foot in a church again. Maybe he actually wants to make disciples of "all nations" (yes I'm still being gracious toward him for a few more seconds), rather than preaching to the same choir of fearful dumbfuck bigots every Sunday. Maybe.
He's probably just an opportunistic dick, but ya know.
Anyway, simple answers to stupid questions from bigots, this has been.