Rick Warren claims he never said it:
I have been accused of equating gay partnerships with incest and pedophilia. Now of course as members of Saddleback Church you know I believe no such thing, I never have. You’ve never once heard me in 30 years heard me talk that way about that.
Rachel Maddow has the video proving him wrong.
Rick Warren: But the issue to me is, I’m not opposed to that as much as I’m opposed to the redefinition of a 5,000-year definition of marriage. I’m opposed to having a brother and sister be together and call that marriage. I’m opposed to an older guy marrying a child and calling that a marriage. I’m opposed to one guy having multiple wives and calling that marriage.
Steven Waldman: Do you think, though, that they are equivalent to having gays getting married?
Rick Warren: Oh I do.
Maybe Warren misspoke; if so, the thing to do is apologize and move on. Instead, Warren simply lies about what he said.
The video is also well worth watching for Katha Pollitt’s segment at the end, in which she outlines some of Warren’s genuinely outlandish misogyny. For instance, you probably already knew that Rick Warren thinks wives should be subject to their husbands; but did you know that Warren says the only acceptable reasons for divorce are abandonment and infidelity? Abused spouses, presumably, should just suck it up.
Transcript of Maddow’s chat with Pollitt is below the fold.
Joining us now is Katha Pollitt, a columnist with “The Nation” and author of “Learning to Drive: And Other Stories,” which is currently on sale now. Katha, nice to see you, thanks for coming in.
KATHA POLLITT, AUTHOR, “LEARNING TO DRIVE: AND OTHER STORIES”: Thanks so much for having me.
MADDOW: I was surprised that Rick Warren is continuing to talk about this publicly. Are you?
POLLITT: No, I`m not. Rick Warren, I think when you said he confuses himself with Christ, I think you`re on to something. The man obviously has a colossal ego. He`s a best-selling author. He`s got churches all over the place. He is not going to shrink away. This is a big opportunity for him.
MADDOW: The thing that seems, I guess, even more surprising to me in watching this 22-minute video today and spending more time than I ever thought I would in my life with learning about him and his politics as an activism, is that he sort of seems like a “not ready for primetime player” here.
That was an unscripted 22-minute screed that had a lot of very impolitic comments, things that are not going to help President-elect Obama take this heat for having extended this invitation. I would have thought that a man that`s so experienced internationally and in national politics would be more careful.
POLLITT: Well, I had a different feeling about that video which I watched while I was having my little dinner before coming here. I thought, my god. He`s very – he does project that teddy bear geniality – I`m talking to you. He has that ability to seem like he`s just talking to one person when he`s talking to, you know, hundreds of – however many – hundreds of thousands are watching.
And I thought that the things that you noticed would fly by the people that that was aimed at who share those beliefs. They also think that they`re the real Christians. So if you don`t like Rick Warren, you don`t like Christ.
MADDOW: How big of a political problem is this for Barack Obama? And is it getting larger or getting smaller?
POLLITT: Well, I think it is getting larger. I think that the Proposition 8 and the disappointment and anger over that has given it a news hook that might not otherwise be there. When I wrote about it in the “L.A. Times,” I focused on some of the other things that Rick Warren believes that I find very disturbing.
Besides the anti-gay stuff and the anti-gay marriage stuff, that he has compared people who are pro-choice to holocaust deniers. He says that women who have abortions are like Nazis. And compared – you know, it`s like comparing their wounds to Auschwitz.
He has very disturbing ideas about the inequality between the sexes, that he believes, and his church believes – it`s all over the church`s Web site – that wives should be subject to their husbands and that the husbands where it goes.
I learned today – and I think everybody should spend time on the Saddleback Web site because it`s very educational. He believes there are only two reasons you can get divorced, so all those gays who want to get married better think about this.
MADDOW: Yes. The exit strategy.
POLLITT: And the reasons are abandonment and infidelity, but abuse is not a reason. Abuse is not a reason for divorce.
MADDOW: Wow. I think that this problem is getting larger for Barack Obama, and I think that is largely the choice of Rick Warren at this point which itself should be a bit of a warning bell. Katha Pollitt, columnist at “The Nation,” author of “Learning to Drive: And Other Life Stories,” it`s really nice to see you. Thanks for coming in. `
POLLITT: Thanks so much for having me.