Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Via Alternative Invocation, yet another reason (or at least it's new to me) why Rick Warren is bad news:

Wives do not have a "right" to divorce abusive husbands, according to Rick Warren.

...Warren explains:

Having been involved as a pastor in situations of abuse, there's something in me that wishes there were a Bible verse that says if they abuse you in such kind of way, then you have a right to leave them.

"God," Warren says, "hates divorce."
This teaching is posted in the "Bible Questions and Answers" section of the Saddleback Family website (#32, "What should I do when abuse is happening in my marriage?").

...Warren recommends that couples temporarily separate while they participate in counseling to repair the marriage. According to Warren, it is better to maintain an abusive relationship than seek the immediate relief of divorce....

Warren omits mention of contacting the police, seeking medical attention, or obtaining legal assistance to secure orders of protection for yourself and your children....

A couple of thoughts: First, while I really, really don't want to downplay what the choice of Warren for Obama's inaugural means in terms of gay rights, I'm sorry this got framed as "Obama and Warren vs. Teh Gay" -- there are a lot of very good reasons to be offended by this pick. This is one more.

Also, I'm struck by the resemblance between Warren's solution to domestic violence problems and the Catholic Church's solution to the problem of sexual abuse of minors by priests. In both cases, what may well be an irresistible compulsion -- to batter, to molest -- is treated as something you can simply pray away. I know it comforts Christians to believe that willpower plus prayer can make any and all bad behavior simply go away, but, er, that didn't work out so well for Catholics, did it?

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